3 May 2020

10 things to remember in an emergency when on your boat

By Sonia Hook Senior Marketing Executive

As in all emergencies it’s essential to keep calm. Having an idea of how to handle different problems on the water is a big step towards dealing with them effectively. Be prepared with proper training.

  1. Man overboard should be wearing a life jacket. Immediately throw an additional buoyancy aid and detail someone to constantly monitor the position of the victim whilst the boat manoeuvers safely for the retrieve.  Contact emergency services immediately should recovery prove unlikely.
  2. Fire – since there’s nowhere to run, a boat fire needs to be tackled immediately using the fire extinguisher which should be readily available for such incidents. Move any flammable material, especially spare fuel, away from the fire and summon help if necessary. 
  3. Always carry a whistle which can let others know if you’re in trouble.
  4. A VHF radio is the best way of raising the alarm to let someone know you’re in trouble. Does everyone on board know how to use it?
  5. Do not rely on a mobile phone – signal may be poor and you may not be able to make the contact you want.
  6. Flares are a simple back up to let others know you’re in trouble. Always read the instructions before operating and check that the flares are also in date.
  7. When calling for help know – Your vessel’s identification & Your position
  8. Only abandon your boat as a last resort – many have been lost in their life raft whilst their abandoned vessel remained afloat.
  9. If taking to a life raft take a survival kit and waterproof clothing and keep a safe distance from the sinking vessel.
  10. Keep warm and dry and deploy a sea anchor to maintain a constant position to help rescuers find you.


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