Boating enthusiasts would agree that safety makes for fun recreational outings. New and experienced operators should be aware of essential equipment each time they take a boat on the water. There are different guidelines based on the size of each vessel, but the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) does require specific types of gear to be aboard all boats for necessary water safety. Storing equipment on the boat helps you get on the water quickly, but it is important to do a pre-trip check for missing items and to be certain all are properly functioning. Safety protocols are the law and good practice.
5 Safety Gear Basics
Prepping boating safety gear requires you include these 5 items:
- Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
- Sound Signaling Devices
- Visual Distress Signals
- Fire Extinguishers
- Throwable Flotation Devices
Accessibility is vital for all equipment. The ability to reach an item quickly in the event of an onboard crisis could be a matter of life and death. Take time to consider storage areas on the boat. Review procedures with all passengers, because you never know who will need to retrieve and use the safety devices.
PFDs may require additional preparation to get the right fit for each individual. All passengers must put on a PFD before boarding. Wearable flotation devices must be correctly adjusted, so they provide the needed protection. Make sure everyone has a PFD before going boating. Getting to the water and finding you have more passengers than equipment is a hassle and a violation, so a few simple prep steps will make all the difference.
Operator Safety Checklist
One way to make pre-trip checks easier is to develop a checklist. Be sure to put the required items first and add sections for other fundamentals. In addition to the 5 safety basics, you will want to include these items: cellphone, first-aid kit, bucket for bailing, cutting tool, oars and an anchor. GPS is another good idea in case you were to become stranded. Some of these items may be required depending on the type of vessel you operate.
Additionally, it is helpful to include emergency numbers for local rescue operations, the U.S. Coast Guard and other significant emergency contacts. When time is critical, the organization of information creates a far better response time.
The Experts at Mariners General Insurance Group
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (888) 402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.