Boating is a centuries-old recreational activity which is still very fun for fishermen who want to chase a good catch as well as families wanting to enjoy time together on the water. Just like most activities in life, boating comes with its own set of hazards like personal injuries, the risk of drowning, a failed motor which could lead to getting stranded on the water and being caught in extreme weather conditions.
In order to enjoy safe boating, it is essential to have the right equipment every time you go onto the water so that you can be ready to handle any unexpected problems that you may encounter.
Ensure that you have the necessary safety tools on your boat every time. Some tools you may want to consider include:
Make sure that you have enough life vests on your boat for every passenger and that they are the right sizes. Since life vests come in different sizes, styles and buoyancy ratings, one which works well for an adult may not work well for a child and vice versa. You will want to make sure your boat has US Coast Guard approved buoyancy devices in a size appropriate for each passenger.
It is also important to inspect the jackets annually to ensure that they are in proper condition and replace them when they become worn.
Overlooking this vital item is one of the biggest mistakes that boaters can make. Boat engines and wiring, just like any other motor-operated equipment, is prone to fires. Fire can be a big concern on the water. Before you head, ensure that you have a charged extinguisher on your boat that is in good working condition.
First Aid Kit
This is a must-have item which serves a wide range of uses, ranging from treating a sunburn, insects bites to severe cuts. Lack of a first aid kit can turn a minor injury into a major problem. Premade first aid kits can readily be found at your boating supply store, local drug store and even on Amazon. Be sure to check the contents of the kit at least once a year as some first aid items may expire over time.
Sometimes in life, we run into trouble, and we may need help. If your boat happens to a breakdown in the water, or you need emergency assistance, you will need a communication device to alert others of your problem. This could be a request for rescue services or a call for a tow in. VHF Radios come in handy at such times.
They come in various sizes, from handheld to larger fixed mount sizes with different features and distance ranges. Before leaving the dock, make sure that you have the right type of VHF radio. Your local boating supply store can help you with making sure you have the right size and type for your boat. Remember, channel 16 is the International Distress channel and can be used to reach emergency assistance if necessary on the water.
Rescue Strobe Light
This is an item which makes it easy for you to get located if you need assistance and it is not expensive. It has a high-intensity flashing beacon which is visible several miles away. It’s available in several styles including those that gets mounted on the boat to ones that are attached to life vests. This makes a great addition to the safety equipment on your vessel.
The items as mentioned above are some of the necessary safety devices that you should have to stay safe on the water regardless of the type or size of the vessel you are using. You may need additional items like weather instruments or a GPS. Local boaters, your boating supply store, and boating clubs can help with other items that are useful for your vessel. You can protect yourself on the water in many other ways, so, ensure that you have the right equipment in good working condition.
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