Days spent on the water can be treasured memories. Whether it’s a weekend at the lake, or a day trip on the ocean, there’s just something special about spending time out on the water. While the scenery can be beautiful, remember conditions can change quickly, and you should always leave the shore prepared. Here are five things you should take aboard every boat trip.
1. Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)
You will want to have a personal flotation device for every passenger on the boat. A life jacket denotes a certain type of PFD, a “throwable device” is another. Check your states laws on PFDs and life jackets to ensure you have the correct number of each.
When choosing a lifejacket, look for the United States Coast Guard Approved stamp on the inside. Check that jackets are free from rips and tears. Life jackets should be snug, but allow you to move freely.
2. Boat Certificate and Registration
Just like you always carry your driver’s license in your car, you should always have your boat’s registration aboard.
3. Fire Extinguisher
Did you know that U.S. Coast Guard approved, marine-type fire extinguishers are required on boats where a fire hazard could be expected from the engines or fuel systems? It recommended to keep the fire extinguisher in a readily accessible location.
4. Emergency Survival Kit
Pack or purchase a marine first aid kit. Here are some suggestions on what should be included:
– Variety of adhesive bandages
– Gauze pads
– Cold packs
– First aid cream
– Antiseptic wipes
In addition to first aid supplies, other items to include in the kit are:
– Audible signaling device (such as a whistle or an air horn)
– Visual signaling devices (such as flares)
Offshore boaters will want to pack additional items, such as a satellite phone in a water-tight enclosure.
Follow these boating safety tips to be more prepared the next time you head out on the water.