Heading out on the water is one of the finest experiences – the fresh sea breeze, the salty and refreshing spray of water, the spectacular views and the general sense freedom from the mundanity of every day life. It’s a beautiful escape for many of us, though one that can all too easily end in disaster if you don’t take the necessary precautions. With these 5 simple and straightforward boating safety tips, you shouldn’t run into any major issues, though if you do, you’ll have a much stronger chance of survival that’s for certain!
1 – Don’t Leave Without Telling Anyone
OK, so the odds are that you’ll likely be heading out with friends, however no matter what you should always let people know where you are going, how long you expect to be out on the water and so on. You can file what’s called a flat plan which is an excellent way of protecting yourself in the event of an accident.
2 – Always Wear a Life Jacket
Sure, it’s not ‘cool’ and it certainly isn’t all that comfortable either, however it could literally be the difference between life and death should things take a turn for the worse. There’s no reason why you should bother risking your life – if you’re out on the water, wear a life jacket, or keep them handy at the very least!
3 – Research Weather Broadcasts
Naturally you should double check the weather forecasts before you decided to head out on the water, though it’s also worth staying up to date whilst your out there just in case! You never know what’s around the corner and there’s no point heading out blind if you’re going to run into a storm after being out on the water for a couple of hours.
4 – Invest in a Top-of-the-Range VHF Marine Radio
If you’re relying solely on your mobile phone, then you’re going to have a bad time! Particularly if you run into trouble and you realise that you’ve got no bars! (which is highly likely off shore) And if it isn’t a lack of signal it will be your battery and in addition to that, most phones aren’t waterproof either. Take a high-quality VHF Marine Radio and you’ll have nothing to worry about! In case of an emergency you’ll be able to call for help from local vessels and any nearby coastguard’s 24/7 – this should be your number one priority before heading out!
5 – Take Some Form of Signalling Device
At the very least you should have a whistle, however your best bet in the event of an emergency is having a flare gun with several rounds. With your vhf marine radio, an emergency beacon and a ways of signalling first-responders in the dark, you’ll have a strong chance of survival in the unfortunate event of an emergency.