In boating, as with any other sport, sometimes things can go wrong. The difference between an annoying mishap and a life threatening disaster is knowing how to respond when things go south. Below you will find a list of several things that you should do, should you find yourself in a boat accident, or any other type of emergency at sea.
When faced with a problem of any kind it is important to remember to stay calm and composed. There is no way to ensure that you will follow all of the correct procedure if you are unable to manage your emotions. Panicking could not only compromise your ability to manage a situation correctly, but could cause others to panic and accidentally hurt themselves or others as well.
Call the Proper Authorities
In a crisis, it is essential that the first thing you do is call either the Coast Guard or 911 emergency services, that way they can find you and help you as quickly as possible. If someone is hurt or your boat is damaged, this could be critical to getting back to shore safely. Attempting to deal with the problem if you are unqualified could only cause further damage.
Make Sure Your Passengers Are Okay
If your boat has been shaken, hit by debris, or compromised in any other way that could cause harm to the passengers, take the time to make sure no one has been seriously wounded. If someone is wounded, return to the shore as soon as is possible and seek help. If someone is in the water, react immediately in order to get them back on the boat safely. Time is of the essence in such situations, which is why we recommend the SeaMe™ Personal Safety Tag for boaters of all skill and experience levels.
Ensure That Your Boat Is Not Critically Damaged
This is an important step, because there are many things other than simply springing a leak that could cause damage to your boat or its passengers. For one, a motorboat that has been damaged could leak gas. Keep an eye and a nose out for the smell of gas, and if there is any reason to believe that your boat is leaking, turn the engine off. Allowing your boat to catch fire is, needless to say, very dangerous. In addition, note that fumes like carbon monoxide could leak into closed spaces of your boat.
Wait To Be Rescued
Unless your boat is facing the immediate threat of capsizing or catching fire, it is always better to remain in your boat than to attempt to swim or sail a compromised boat to safety. Rescue teams will surely find you faster and return you to land more safely than if you chance it and attempt to get to land yourself.
Be Prepared Before Disaster Strikes!
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s always better to avoid emergency situations from the onset rather than dealing with them when they arise. To learn more about boating safety and the steps you can take to ensure secure, enjoyable outings, visit Beacon-Watch online today!