Ever thought about spending a day or even a weekend offshore on your new boat? Nothing more relaxing than that. But before you go, there are some things you should take into consideration to make sure that you are safe while boating. Safety comes first as the saying goes.
If you really want to have a relaxing time, make sure you check the weather before you go and that you pack everything you need. And by that I do not mean that you should pack enough T-shirts (well, don’t forget about those either) – I mean, please do not forget about all the items you need going offshore. Here is a list to help you out. Read on and make sure that you do not forget these at home!
1. Get yourself and the others life vests
The first thing that comes to mind to any person going offshore is, of course, the life vest. It’s the very symbol of safety and it’s the first thing you should be packing.
Do not just throw on the boat some random life vests! Think about who will be going and take their measurements to buy safely. You must consider the weight and age of every person you take with you to buy a fitting life vest. If you do not know where to start, here are some great options you can choose from.
2. You also need throwable flotation devices
There’s also another very important item concerning safety in case, God forbid, someone gets into the water unwillingly. What if that happens when someone is not wearing a life vest? You need something to throw to them for them to grab on and use to get back to the boat. That could be anything from a ring buoy, a cushion, or other flotation devices. These come with a string attached to allow you to pull the person from the water.
You should carry more than one item and make sure that you have them in different places of the boat – within reach, wherever you are.
3. Do you have fire extinguishers?
What, a fire extinguisher? But I will be literally surrounded by water, you might say. That’s right, but what if something catches fire on the boat? You need something near you to put the fire out and fast.
In many cases, a fire extinguisher can be a life savior. Do not forget this and please pack one to make sure that you are safe no matter what!
4. Do not forget about signaling devices
It doesn’t matter if you are used to going offshore and if you believe that you know where you are going. You still need safety measures just in case you get lost. Or maybe you run out of resources – which you shouldn’t if you pack accordingly, but it might happen. This is why you need with you all the signaling devices you can get – from visual to sound signaling devices.
These come in a lot of shapes and sizes and can help if you get lost or get into trouble, never mind if day or night. Here’s more on essential emergency gear you should not forget about.
5. Medical kits are life-saviors
Literally. You should have a medical kit with you wherever you go – travel by car, train or bus, on sea and at the top of the mountains. You never know when an emergency might happen. You might not be careful while slicing bread or managing the gear on the boat. Because anything can happen, you should definitely have these in your kit: gloves, tourniquet, roller gauze, medical tape, and bandages. A rain jacket may also prevent you from getting ill in case you encounter a downpour.
6. You should also have an anchor with line
If something happens and you need help, you must make sure that there is something that helps you stay put, in one place, to make it easier for people to find you. Once you give them your coordinates, stay there. An anchor is an indispensable item in these situations. Oh, and apart from just having one with you, you should also learn how to handle one.
7. A VHS radio is also a must
I am not going to tell you to remember to take your cellphone with you in case you need to call someone for an emergency. Because of two reasons – one, because nobody forgets their phone at home anymore. It’s as if it’s stuck to your hand anyway, so you’ll take it wherever. And the other reason is that your phone might not work depending on where you are.
If you want to go pro and play safe, get a VHS radio. It’s not difficult to use and in this way, you make sure that you can get in contact with someone in case of emergency.
8. Snorkel masks are practical tools
Taking a snorkeling mask with you when you go offshore is not about having fun. You are not packing to go to the beach. But instead, it’s about checking what’s underneath your boat if you hit something, if you get stuck or if anything happens and you need to go underwater and check.
Ok, if you have one with you, you can use it to have fun, as well. But make sure that you pack one for safety measures first of all. Having all the safety equipment you need will make you feel safe.
9. Don’t forget about water and food
I’m not talking about an offshore feast, but about making sure that you pack enough food and water for the period that you will be gone. You can survive without food for a certain amount of time, but water is essential and you want to make sure that you pack enough. It’s important especially because you will be spending hours and maybe days in the heat, under the sun.
Going offshore is about relaxation, but there is no relaxation without safety. Make sure that you check all of the above off your list before you embark and have a great time with family and friends!
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