Safety at Sea

6 Safety Items to Include on Pleasure Craft

A well-prepared selection of safety equipment is certain to help in difficult situations.

Buoyancy Aid

Here are six of the most common items to keep on board the vessel:

Smoke alarm

A high-quality smoke alarm is designed to emit a LOUD noise which should be easily heard over other sounds on the boat, such as the engines. Also, a loud smoke detector is practical for alerting the offices at the boat yard should a fire break when the vessel is left unoccupied.

Fire extinguishers

A vessel should be installed with a sufficient number of fire extinguishers to match the type and size of vessel. Plus, boats with a cabin or cooking facilities can benefit from a fire blanket. An automatic fire extinguisher system is highly recommended in vessels with an enclosed engine space. A small fire extinguisher located by each cabin is a practical option. Plus, a carbon monoxide alarm is helpful for vessels with cookers or similar applications with flames.

Emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB)

An EPIRB is a radio transmitter that emits a signal on a specific channel in the event of emergencies or distress. Signals emitted from the radio beacon are recognized by satellites and these are effective at pinpointing the location of the signal. This information is then passed on to the rescue services.

An emergency position indicating radio beacon can be registered with the local coastguard service to make it easier to identify the boat in distress, while also giving information on contacts that are shore based.

Distress flares

An instantly recognizable signal of distress is the inshore or coastal flares. Distress flares should form part of any well-packed inventory of safety equipment.

First aid kit

A fully stocked first aid kit is likely to be the most common piece of safety equipment that is kept on board a vessel.

Life jackets and buoyancy aids

There are two types of personal floatation devices: Life jackets and buoyancy aids

A regular buoyancy aid is effective at keeping anyone in the water afloat and on the surface. It is a practical choice while involved in a sports activity or similar. However, this type of buoyancy aid isn’t helpful if the person is unconscious and their face is facing down.

The preferred choice for life safety is the life jacket which has built-in buoyancy to help turn a person so that they are facing up, which is a practical benefit for those knocked unconscious. A proper life jacket is critical in situations of abandoning ship or similar emergencies. Plus, an infant or child life jacket is available to ensure the right fit and support is given.

What to wear?

Buoyancy aid: Use the buoyancy aid when engaging in water sport activities like water skiing, canoeing, kayaking; windsurfing, riding a personal watercraft (PWC), or using a sailing dinghy.

Life jacket: A life jacket is the safety option when on a small open or power boat. A boat should have one life jacket for each person on board. Use a life jacket at all times for the non-swimmer when out on rivers, lakes, canals, or other open waters.

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