Safety Tips to Enjoy Yourselves
Going to sea is fun – that is, if nothing goes wrong – but a nightmare if something does go amiss, as quite often it can. You can bet your problems will multiply if you haven’t got the proper equipment on board.
Let’s take these items one at a time, as things are not as obvious as you would think.
Five Main Safety Points
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Check your engine & fuel.
- Tell others where you’re going.
- Carry means of calling for help.
- Keep an eye on weather & tides.
- The Lifejacket is only any good if it inflates and stays inflated. So the CO2 cylinder should be examined often, as corrosion might cause a leak and it must screwed in tightly; make sure the jacket is tested for leaks.
- The Engine should be in good service, oil and water levels checked and plenty of spare oil, water & fuel. Engine spares such as Water Pump Impeller and Fan Belt are always an asset and of course a Tool Kit to make any repairs that might be necessary.
- Tell others when and where you are going and coming back. Inform the Coast Guard on the radio – they will always look out for you.
- Carry some means of calling for help. Mobile phones are not a good idea unless all other means have been exhausted. A Ship’s Radio should be carried in all vessels at sea, but if you are operating in coastal waters a hand-held radio will do as long as you are aware that battery life is limited and it’s not as powerful as a Ship’s Radio. Carrying Flares is important for alerting a dangerous situation and for guidance of any rescue taking place. Know your Radio Procedure. It is important to know where you are at all times, so keep your Charts updated.
- It is important to keep an eye on the weather by listening to forecasts, both on VHF (Ship’s Radio) and broadcasts on domestic radio before going to sea and getting updates while at sea. It is worthwhile, in planning a cruise, to note possible bolt holes on the way. You should always know the state of the tide in any port or bay and especially at sea.
Some other Items that need a Mention
Make sure your Anchor has a long enough cable which is attached to the boat, and that you have plenty of warm clothing and a flashlight.
It is illegal to go to sea without having a radar reflector and rules of navigation, lights & signals on board.