Your boat trip will not be ‘plain sailing’ if there is an unexpected emergency whilst out on the water! Safety items and precautions are a big must have on your boat so to help you prepare, we’ve created a checklist of things to think about before taking your boat for a spin.
Arguably one of the most important safety precautions to have onboard is a lifejacket. No matter how well you think you can swim or who is onboard, it is always a good idea to keep a lifejacket handy.
Throwable Flotation Device
Being on the water can always be unpredictable which is why you must make sure to have a throwable flotation device, such as a lifebuoy ring on a string or other similar items. If a passenger onboard or even a passerby is struggling in the water, these devices can truly be lifesaving.
Another safety precaution which should always have onboard at all times is a fire extinguisher. Before purchasing a fire extinguisher make sure you understand the difference between Water Extinguishers, Dry Powder Extinguishers, Foam Extinguishers, CO2 Extinguishers and what the purpose for each one is – otherwise you can end up aggravating the fire even more!
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit or medical kit is always useful to have on a boat. If you hurt yourself from slipping over or cut yourself, it is good to have the appropriate items on board to help with any accidents. It’s also useful to have supplies such as headache relief tablets, or sea sickness tablets as well as the more common first aid kit inclusions such as plasters, antiseptic and bandages.
Visual Distress Signal Device
A visual distress signal device is useful to make others aware of your boat and yourself. These signals can be especially useful if you are in any danger and in need of help. Some visual signals that you might consider using are flares or a torch.
Hearing Distress Signal Device
Similarly to visual distress signal devices, it is also good practice to have either a bell, a whistle or an airhorn onboard incase of an emergency. If you are worried about being seen, finding a way to communicate to other one that can help can be essential.. Either way, it’s probably useful to have both!
Some other optional safety precautions you could take before setting sail are taking oars or paddles in case the engine fails, a snorkeling set as you might need to see what is under the boat, or a mobile phone which can make it easier to call for help.
There are many other things you could pack to stay safe, but this list should put you in a good position to alleviate many of the more regularly occurring accidents that can happen on the water. At the very least making sure you have these items can give you peace of mind and help you get back to having fun and enjoying your time on your boat.