An intelligent sailor is a safe sailor. Today we’re ensuring that our nautical escapades are safe and thrilling by having the right marine safety equipment on board. With our marine safety equipment checklist, let’s start with our boat.
These are like hugs from our gear. PFDs, or life jackets, are essential to ensure we remain buoyant when the waves decide to play it rough. Having them on board is not enough. Wear them, and ensure everyone else does too!
This radio lets you talk to the coast guard and other boats. It’s your lifeline for emergency SOS calls and friendly chats. Whether it’s a big help or a little chit-chat – it’s just a button away.
This gadget is your boat’s savior signal. When the ocean gets rough, it will send your location’s signals to the rescue teams. Therefore, always attach it to your vessel before starting the engine.
Another must-have tool on our marine safety equipment checklist is a fire extinguisher. It’s like having your own mini firefighter on board. Marine fires can be sneaky, but having a fire extinguisher can help you zap them away before they become havoc. Here’s a quick tip: Learn how to use fire extinguishers properly.
These treasure maps will help you find your way out of the vast sea. The GPS will guide you like a north star, while the charts will show you the underwater hills and valleys. Just stay on course, and you’ll always find your way to safety.
As much as we have the safety equipment on board, let’s add an extra layer of safety gear to our boat. Sea emergencies are always unpredictable, but we want to make sure that our boat lacks nothing. Here’s what we’ll need to conquer those waves with confidence:
Think of these devices as your very own Bat Signal. If you ever lost your way at sea, activate the PLB, and it will send the signals to search and rescue teams, guiding them right to where you are. It’s like having a beacon that says, “Hey, over here! Come save the day!”
Simply put, these are fireworks for emergencies. They will burst into bright colors to help you get seen from afar. These visual signals are easy to notice by the rescue team.
Signal whistles will produce high-pitched noise to project your voice very far, even when your actual voice can’t. On the other hand, mirrors will flash sunlight like a disco ball to catch the attention of any nearby rescuer.
In case of any fire outbreak on your boat or ship, throwing this blanket of flames will smother them immediately.
A compass will be our backup to keep you on track when all the electronics go on strike. Sometimes your primary navigation device may fail, and that’s when backup navigation devices like tablets with GPS will come in and save the day.
As a captain understands his ship, you should know what’s best for your vessel. That’s why we’ve gathered all the safety requirements for different vessel sizes and types.
You will know what you need for your motorboats, Personal Water Crafts (PWC), sailboats, yachts, and fishing boats. But let’s start with the smallest of all, motorboats and PWCs.
Your marine safety equipment checklist for small motorboats and PWCs should have the following:
If everyone on board is wearing a life jacket, you can skip the bilge pump, reboarding device, bailer, and anchor.
Next on the list is our marine safety equipment checklist for sailboats and yachts. Surprisingly, they are similar to what you need for a small motorboat or PWC. You will need PFDs, a lifebuoy, a sound-signaling device, a class 5BC fire extinguisher, visual signals like flares, and a bailer.
Unlike sailboats and yachts, your marine safety equipment checklist for fishing boats is quite different, and here’s what you need:
Remember the other essential safety requirements like the sound signaling device, PFDs, and navigation lights, just in case you prefer night fishing.
You’ve steered your ship through calm waters, but what happens when the storms come knocking? That’s when using marine safety gear matters the most. All you need is to use your safety equipment, call for help, and navigate to safety. But here’s exactly what you need to do when you see an emergency.
Always wear a life jacket whenever on water. This will keep you afloat, just in case you go overboard. Remember to ignite signal mirrors or flares to grab attention from afar when the waves become wild.
Use your marine VHF radio to chat and connect with fellow boaters. In fact, use Channel 16 – it’s like the 911 of the sea – when things get hairy. Now, when things get really tough, activate your Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) to signal rescuers with your exact location.
Use navigation charts to plan your route and mark the dangerous spots. The GPS will keep you on track during these foggy times. If the GPS fails, use your compass to locate your bearing and steer right. When you find the perfect spot, drop the anchor and ensure it grips the seabed well. It’s like a safety net that will keep your ship steady.
Keep your marine safety equipment ship-shape at all times. However, it all comes down to three simple rules: inspection, maintenance, and good storage. Let’s see how to approach each of them to keep our equipment ready for action.
Always double-check your boat before hoisting an anchor. Check out the hulls for damage or cracks. If you’re being powered by an engine, examine its parts like the fuel system, prop shaft, and throttle.
Tighten those loose cables on the batteries and clean the spark plugs. In fact, replace them if they look worn. Wash your boat to keep things shiny and less slippery. For the emergency equipment, ensure your flares haven’t expired and the life jackets are free of tears.
After each adventure, ensure your safety gear is thoroughly dry before storing it to avoid mold and damage. Refrain from crushing the life jackets and PFDs. Instead, store them in a cool, dry place to keep them buoyant.
Also, store flares and visual signals in their original packaging to keep them away from heat and moisture. Keep your EPIRB and marine VHF radio in a safe place, and always maintain their batteries alive.
Navigation tools like charts, GPS, and compass deserve a cozy spot, so keep them away from direct sunlight. As you can see, you need to maintain every piece of safety gear in its proper condition for it to serve you well at sea.
Regularly check your equipment, even after storage. But here’s the point. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance and storage regulations will keep everything safe and sound.
Finally, you have your marine safety equipment checklist at hand. Besides the essential equipment, you must have additional gear tailored explicitly to your vessel’s size and type. Most importantly, know-how and when to use each device on board are necessary to be well-prepared for emergencies.
Inspect your vessel after each adventure and follow your manufacturer’s maintenance and storage instructions for the best results. But hey, don’t store them and keep them off. Pay regular visits to your equipment’s storage location to keep those flares within their expiration dates and flashlights charged.