Tips from Paul Banard, USCG – January 2024
U.S. Coast Guard Heartland Safe Boating
Happy New Year my boating friends! How about making a boating resolution for the coming year? Here are some ideas.
*Start wearing a life jacket.
*Register for and program an MMSI into your VHF radio so that the little red distress button works.
*Buy an EPIRB or a PLB and register it.
*Put together a ditch kit containing safety, signaling and survival equipment in case you get stranded or have to abandon ship.
*Take a look at all of the through hull fittings on your boat and make a damage control kit so that you can stop the flooding if one of those fittings fails.
*Install a bilge alarm.
*Operate with the concept that everyone is a lookout.
*Use a designated driver and encourage passengers to exercise moderation.
*Prepare a “second in command” who can run the boat if the captain becomes incapacitated.
*Begin each trip with a safety and emergency brief so that each person knows where the safety equipment is and how and when to use it.
*Download a weather radar app and watch it closely during your trip.
*Share the Coast Guard posts with your boating friends, and if you do any of this, share your experiences with us.