5 Key Factors in Ensuring a Safe Rescue


Sun09142014

Last update06:44:05 PM

Yachting You are here: Home How To and DIY Safety 5 Key Factors in Ensuring a Safe Rescue

altThis past May, Coast Guard surface and air crews conducted an all-night search of the Great Peconic Bay area of Long Island, NY, for a possible missing kite surfer after gear was found floating in the water. The search was suspended after news reports prompted the owner to call to say he was safe. Coast Guard patrols often encounter abandoned and adrift boats and gear. If there is even a small chance a person is in the water, the Coast Guard undertakes search and rescue efforts. If you should find yourself in trouble, here are five actions you can take to increase the chances Search and Rescue will get to you in time.

1. Wear a Lifejacket

A Coast Guard-approved lifejacket is the single most important factor in surviving a boating accident, and this applies to any water sport, from kayaking to sailing. Wear it, don’t stow it.

2. File a Float Plan

Make a habit of always filling out this form and leaving it with a friend, relative, or someone at the marina to let others know your boat, the people on board, where you are headed and when you plan to return. In the event you don’t return, rescuers will have a better idea of where to look.

3. Label Your Gear

Write an address and phone number with indelible ink on paddles, sails, canoe and kayak hulls. If these are found adrift, Coast Guard officers can call to see if the items were simply lost or if someone is actually in trouble.

4. Bring Safety Equipment

Flares, a sound-producing device, a signaling mirror, and cell phone can all help you summon help if you find yourself in trouble. Check the local navigation rules to make sure you have the required safety equipment on board. If boating offshore in the ocean, carry a marine band VHF-FM radio and an Electronic Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). It’s a big ocean. Make sure rescuers can find you.

5. Know What You’re Doing

Don’t put your new vessel on the water until you’ve learned how to properly operate it and to avoid dangerous situations. Many boating organizations offer low cost/no cost boating courses. These courses are readily available online, on CD-ROM, and in the classroom, and can bring you up to speed quickly on emergency procedures and required safety equipment.
 

Boat Reviews

Coastal Craft 65 Concord

Coastal Craft 65 Concord The BC builder takes a big step forward with its largest yacht to date: stylish, fast and super-smart.  BC’s Coastal Craft has established a solid rep...

Read more

Dufour Grand'Large 410

Dufour Grand'Large 410

Modern graceful elegance is what Dufour’s Umberto Felci was trying to achieve when he designed the Grand’Large 410.  The boat was a new design in 2012...

Read more

Shark

Shark

When George Hinterhoeller designed the Shark in 1959, he was looking for a boat that would "go like hell when the wind blew". Growing up in Austria's ...

Read more

Destinations

Kwakume Inlet

Kwakume Inlet Having cruised the BC coast for several decades, we enjoy sharing information about the remote northern anchorages we’ve discovered over the years. Ho...

Read more

Venture in Prince William Sound

Venture in Prince William Sound Few cruising boats visit beautiful and remote Prince William Sound. Some 2,800 square miles in area and situated at the very northern tip of the Gulf ...

Read more

Cruising up the Thames River with Le Boat

Cruising up the Thames River with Le Boat By Greg Nicoll

It was great to get back on Le Boat this past summer, this time on the historic Thames River. Our vessel was the Royal Mystique, a 43 fo...

Read more

How To and DIY

Winterizing Your Boat

Winterizing Your Boat Almost every boat in Canada gets “winterized” in the fall and “summerized” in the spring. Here is an easy way to make sure it's always done properly, ...

Read more

The VHF (Very High Frequency) Marine Radio

The VHF (Very High Frequency) Marine Radio

I often get asked how to best call for help if I have a problem when out on the water. Do I use my cell phone or should I have a VHF Marine Radio? The...

Read more

Installing a High-end Audio/Video System Onboard

Installing a High-end Audio/Video System Onboard

My gawd! Don’t we all just love our music and video these days! A cruiser, power or sail boat from twenty years ago was not likely to have a T...

Read more