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.

*You think you know the Navigation Rules? Take a fun Navigation Rules Test here:…/documents/ROR_TEST_GENERATOR.xls

*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.