There are few better ways of spending a quiet day than out on the open water with friends and family. The serenity of the ocean combined with the huge freedom of movement means that it’s possible to travel out into the true middle of nowhere and have a few good hours of relaxation.
But not everything can always be sunshine and good times, and sometimes accidents do happen, especially in an environment that’s as unpredictable as the ocean.
Before heading out on a new boating adventure, these safety tips should be considered and implemented if possible to ensure that everyone involved gets to enjoy a good day on the water.
Boat Safety Kit
When an emergency strikes, the first course of action is to make sure that everyone is okay, and the next is to make sure the boat safety kit is available for use, which means keeping it stocked is a good idea. The kit can be different, depending on the type of boat and where it’s being used, but the following items are considered essential:
- Ropes – Needed for securing things, especially in rough waters
- First aid kit – A well-stocked kit that can be used to treat most kinds of wounds
- Duct tape – Similar to the ropes, duct tape can be used to
- Bucket – Important for removing water in the boat, or for collecting rain water in case of water shortages
- Fire extinguisher – A fire on a boat can spell disaster, and needs to be put out quickly
- Life jackets – Swimming is exhausting, and having life jackets makes a big difference
- Light source – Needed for moving around in the dark and for hailing down assistance
- Whistle – Great for signalling for help and for alerting others to a specific location
The ocean’s weather is famous for changing at a moment’s notice, which means that it’s a good idea to spend the time making sure the weather is ready before the next voyage. Oceanic storms are some of the most powerful in the world, and it doesn’t take too much force to topple a small power boat. Weather services are available worldwide and can easily be checked on a smartphone, much the same way we play fun games we love on the go.
Any seafarer will make it very clear that the engine needs to be regularly looked after. In fact, anyone that doesn’t have some idea of how an engine works has no business going out on the open water. It’s important to learn the basics of motors, how they run, their common problems, and what it takes to keep them running long term. Having the right tools available is another important aspect to consider, as it’s impossible to fix a broken engine without the right gear.
Perhaps the most important piece of equipment to keep maintained is the radio, which is the lifeline between the crew and the mainland. If anything goes awry, turning to the radio is one of the first courses of action to take; and a non-functioning radio can mean disaster for everyone on board.