It is important to be prepared if an emergency occurs while you are out on the water. For example, do you know what to do if the captain of your boat is unable to handle the vessel? Who will take over? Who knows how to drive the boat? Who knows where everything is on the boat?
In an emergency, the first thing is to stay calm. Second, ensure everyone on board is wearing their life jacket. Third, survey the situation so that you can radio for help. Know the name of your boat, the location of your boat (see GPS), how many people are on board, the type of emergency, and if anyone is wounded. If the boat has a ship to shore radio, tune it to channel 16 (United States Coast Guard) and clearly say “MAYDAY” three times for life threatening emergencies or SECURITE" (pronounced: secure-i-tay) for safety emergencies that are non life threatening. A safety emergency is where your boat is not in immediate/life threatening danger, but could become without assistance.
Visual Distress Signals
Courtesy of BoaterExam.com
For example: MAYDAY-MAYDAY-MAYDAY THIS IS OUT TO SEA OUT TO SEA OUT TO SEA MI1234 CAPE HENRY LIGHT BEARS 185 DEGREES MAGNETIC-DISTANCE 2 MILES STRUCK SUBMERGED OBJECT NEED PUMPS-MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AND TOW THREE ADULTS, TWO CHILDREN ONBOARD ONE PERSON COMPOUND FRACTURE OF ARM ESTIMATE CAN REMAIN AFLOAT TWO HOURS OUT TO SEA IS FORTY FOOT CABIN CRUISER-WHITE HULL-BLUE DECK OVER
Content provided by DiscoverBoating.com.
Some boaters also subscribe to towing services. In non life-threatening situations, they may also contact these companies for assistance.
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