As a boat owner, you must prepare yourself to handle emergencies on the water.
Owning a boat is a lot of fun and a lot of responsibility. Every time you get on the water, you should prepare yourself, your craft, and any boat guests for a fun, safe experience.
You can take some safety precautions ahead of time, such as buying a high-quality radio and learning about float plans. However, you should prepare yourself for a boat emergency every time you put your boat in the water.
Get First Aid Certified
As we mentioned above, taking some safety precautions ahead of time can help you prepare for an emergency. Preparing for medical emergencies is a realistic duty of anyone who goes out on the water. Getting a first aid certification, which can last for about two years, is a great way to do so. You may even need these first aid skills in other situations beyond on the water.
Create and File a Float Plan
You text your friends or loved ones before going on a long road trip, so do the same when you get out on the water. Sharing when and where you plan to be on your boat is called a float plan. If you have guests on board, tell your friends or loved ones who they are. If something goes wrong, your person can alert the appropriate authorities.
Double-Check Your Safety Kit
Every boat needs a safety kit that readies passengers for emergency situations. As the boat owner, you need to double-check that safety kit before heading out on the water. Basic boat safety kits contain floatation devices for each passenger, a fire extinguisher, flares, a first aid kit, and a communication device such as a radio.
If you’re missing something, borrow or buy the item. While you may think you can survive one boat trip without that safety item, unexpected emergencies happen all the time. You want to stay prepared.
Learn Boat, Weather, and Water Conditions Before Setting Off
Your safety kit isn’t the only thing you should check before heading out. Take the time to examine your engine and the body of your boat. Make sure you have the right engine for the environment you’re about to navigate. For example, comparing high-thrust outboards to standard outboards in crowded marinas shows that high-thrust motors perform better.
You should also check the expected weather and water conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and affect water conditions. Preparing for various weather and water conditions will keep you safe. For example, you may want to pack shoes with a strong tread to easily walk around a boat deck in the rain.
The best way to prepare yourself for a boat emergency is to take safety seriously. Learning first aid skills, keeping a well-stocked safety kit, and paying attention to boat conditions take extra time, but these practices prove you prioritize safety. Once you, your boat, and your guests are safe, you can enjoy a fun time on the water.