What to Do if You Experience an Emergency While at Sea

Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned boater, emergencies at sea will happen. All the state-of-the-art boating and fishing gear won’t do a thing if you don’t know how to properly use them and haven’t considered your plan for an unforeseen disaster.

The most common accident that the United States Coast Guard gets called out for is probably not what you’d expect; typical issues in 2017 included collisions with a recreational vessel, collision with a fixed object and flooding/swamping. However these are just some of the things that can go awry while at sea. On top of preparation comes practice, which is good for any crew to instill, according to On The Water. With these two things, you and your crew can be prepared for any possible scenario. This is our guide of what to do if you experience an emergency while at sea.

Practice Emergency Situations

The only real way to prep for an emergency is by practicing for said emergency. Crews that go through periodic safety drills are far more prepared than those who don’t. The reactions and reaction time is different when a crew already has a set plan in place. Like everyone says, practice makes perfect. Make sure every crew member has a specific task that they will remember if something does go down. By assigning tasks, you’re making sure that all of your bases are covered.

Conduct Safety Drills

Just like how every crew member should practice their role in a situation, everyone needs to participate in an overall safety drill periodically. Establish a situation, goals and resources. Know who is going to be in charge. Define a problem that needs to be solved and get your crew to figure it out.

Prevent Falling Overboard

There’s equipment that you can get that’ll help in the event of someone going overboard. On top of that, making sure everyone is wearing a life jacket is absolutely imperative. Make sure that no one sits on areas of the boat that can be deemed unsafe. The last thing you want is someone falling overboard.

Prepare for Fire at Sea

It doesn’t seem like one would need a fire extinguisher at sea, but they come in handy. How many you want to carry will depend on your boat’s size. Establish a protocol that everyone can easily follow. Make sure ventilation systems are installed, bilges are clean and the fuel system is maintained to avoid leaks.

Abandon Ship

Make sure you have at least a ditch bag and raft if you have to go overboard. Without those key things, you’ll be out of luck. On top of that, life jackets will be key for survival in this situation.

Have Boat Insurance Coverage

Boat insurance isn’t just for covering damage to your boat and other losses that commonly follow an accident. With our California Boat Insurance program, you can also receive coverage for towing and even roadside assistance for your towing vehicle. This will work wonders in allowing you to safely get to shore and get your watercraft to a secure spot.

 

About Mariners Insurance

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 (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.

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