On the water: Safety equipment your boat must have!
Whether it’s a day on the water with your family or a weekend away with the boys; getting out on the water is always a fun affair. No matter how much fun you are having, however, being in the water always comes with some risk, so you need to make sure you have taken all the necessary safety precautions possible before you head out. Here’s a list of safety items you should have in your boat before you hit the water this weekend.
A Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
While PFD’s aren’t the most fashionable accessory around, they do save lives – which is VERY cool. There are different floatation devices for different vessels, activities and weather, so make sure your is suitable and that you have for any guests you’ll have on board.
A Fire Extinguisher
You may wonder why you need a fire extinguisher when you’re going to be surrounded by water.. but that water won’t help a fire that’s caused by oil or gasoline, which is the most likely cause of fire on a boat. Oil and gas fires need to be extinguished by a dry chemical extinguisher, so that’s the kind you’ll need to carry on board.
Unfortunately at some stage your vessel is going to take on water. When this happens, you’re going to be extremely happy to have a bailer on board that will help you remove water from the board and, hopefully, stop the boat from capsizing!
A buoy, or a lifesaver, is usually attached to the boat with a rope and can be tossed to someone who has gone overboard. With a buoy, you won’t have to worry about fighting the current or staying afloat while trying to get help.
A bilge pumping system
A bilge pumping system is required for a boat that has an enclosed underfloor compartment. It pumps water out of the boat, which makes it vital for safety on the water.
A Waterproof Torch
Stayed out on the water a little too late in the day? Maybe you ran out of fuel unexpectedly or just ran into engine problems. Not onto does a torch help you find your own way around in the dark, but it is vital to help other boats find you as well.
This one might seem obvious, but you would be surprised. An anchor will help you dock just around anywhere, so it’s a necessity on a boat!
A Marine Radio
A marine radio will be either a VHF or a HP radio. Make sure you ALWAYS keep one of these on hand, especially if you’re heading out in your boat alone. A radio can be handy for weather updates (especially if bad weather is on the way), as getting stuck in bad weather while out at sea can be disastrous.
A Life Raft
If you need to abandon ship for any reason, a life raft can help you get out alive. Before you take the boat out, always give it a once over for any leaks or issues. A life raft that doesn’t inflate can me more dangerous than none at all.
A compass might be old school, but it’s a vital safety tool. If you’re out beyond the coastline, a compass might be the only thing between getting home and being lost at sea.
If you run into any trouble and need help, flares are you best chance of being seen. Make sure you take enough that you can set one off every half an house for a few hours until you’re found.
Having the right safety equipment around can be the ultimate difference when in a difficult and potentially life-threatening situation on the water. Remember, plan for the worst and hope for the best. If you’re in the ma
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