If you are the owner or the captain of a boat, you know that the safety of everyone on board is your responsibility. Accordingly, when the time for your outing arrives, you perform a vessel check before departure: your boat is in perfect operating condition. You have all the necessary accoutrements to keep everybody safe and comfortable — from a first aid kit to a cooler of clean drinking water. You have a float plan that you emailed to a reliable friend. Everybody on board will be using a SeaMe monitor from BeaconWatch and be wearing one of their top-rated automatic/manual life jackets. When your passengers arrive, you go over some boating basics with them and reinforce the need for each person to keep their PFD on at all times. You have thought of everything . . . . Or have you?
Propeller Safety Needs to Be Addressed on Every Outing
One safety issue that is easily overlooked by captains is propeller safety. Never ever assume that everyone coming onboard your boat is aware of where the propeller is or how dangerous it can be. Novice boaters and children might easily forget that there is a sharp blade spinning just below the surface that can hit them one hundred and sixty times in just one second. The US Coast Guard offers many tips for preventing any propeller accidents. Among them are these points:
- As captain, always be aware and alert to what’s going on around you.
- Wear a lanyard on your life vest that connects to the engine cut-off switch.
- Assign a passenger to keep watch of the propeller area if people are in the water, being especially careful when children are around.
- Consider purchasing a propeller guard for your engine.
- Never let anyone sit or stand on the edge of your boat where they might fall overboard.
- If someone does fall overboard, stop the engine first. Then carefully and slowly turn the boat in whatever direction you need to retrieve them.
By following a standard boat safety protocol like this, and with a little help from the top-tiered products of BeaconWatch, your boating experiences will always be a fun, fulfilling, and safe experience.