Boating is generally safe and fun, granted that your boat is in great shape and the weather is good. However, accidents can still happen, so it’s always best to be prepared while you’re out in the water.
Boating, for the most part, is safe and exciting. It can be a relaxing activity, especially to people who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives. It feels great to stare into the horizon, a view unimpeded by tall buildings and moving vehicles from time to time. It can definitely give you some peace of mind and clarity that can be hard to achieve elsewhere.
However, being away from everyone and out in the waters can also pose a threat to your safety. Your boat could malfunction and you might need some help getting back to shore. For this, you have to be prepared. You need the right boating supplies to ensure that you’ll be able to get help in case of emergencies.
So, what are the most important items to be on board if you want to ensure your safety while on your boat? Here are a few things you should always have with you.
1. VHF Radio
Very high frequency (VHF) radios will be your main mode of communication while on the water. Especially if you’ve decided to take on the high seas, you won’t easily find cell signal, so you need to have a radio on hand. Some experts even suggest that you get a secondary smaller unit to be extra safe.
2. EPIRB or PLB
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) are essential accessories for any boater. These two will help you send out your exact coordinates to rescuers, allowing them to conduct a more accurate rescue efforts. An EPIRB can be manually or self activated when it gets immersed in water, while the PLB is fully manual. The PLB is also a more affordable option.
3. Throwable Life Ring
While life vests are required for every boat, life rings are also great to have on board in case the emergency is someone fell out of the boat.
4. Marine GPS
Most boats will be equipped with GPS, but some also say that a handheld one is necessary in case of emergencies. A Lowrance handheld gps is a highly rated variety that you should definitely look into.
5. Distress Kits
Distress kits are packed with various items that will help you become visually available in times of emergencies, allowing rescuers to see you easier. It can include electric flashing white lights, a distress flag, day smoke signals and both hand-held, whistles, and arial day/night combination flares. Most of them are also US Coast Guard approved, so make sure to get some before you go offshore.
Always keep yourself and your company safe whenever you go out in the water by preparing and carrying all the safety essentials required by the authorities. These will help boost your odds in surviving an emergency, so don’t skimp on them and get the right boating supplies needed.