Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

Shurhold Clean-N-Simple tips on offshore travel safety

by Shurhold on 15 Jun
Shurhold Clean-N-Simple tips on offshore travel safety © Shurhold
Optional boating safety equipment is like icing on the safety cake. The Coast Guard requirements meet the essential ingredients for boating safety, but the following items increase your odds of staying safe on the water or a speedy rescue in the event the worst happens:

Float Plan

One of the most important safety steps is to let others know your plan for the trip. A float plan lets your family and friends know your whereabouts and, should a trip come to grief, the plan will give the searchers a valuable head start locating your boat. You can download or print an official USCG float plan here. Get in the habit of filing a float plan for any major offshore excursion.

VHF-FM Marine Radio

Either fixed or hand-held, marine VHF-FM radios give you edge over calling for help on a cell phone because you can speak directly with the Coast Guard on Channel 16, which never has spotty reception, and other boaters who may be nearby can hear your distress call.

EPIRB or PLB

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) sends a distress signal with your exact coordinates for increased likelihood of rescue. An EPIRB can be self-activating when immersed in water, or activated by hand and worn on a person or attached to a boat. A PLB is a simplified and often less expensive alternative to an EPIRB.

Nautical Charts

Nautical charts provide essential information about the area you are boating in. They not only help you navigate safely, but they show you the depth of water, underwater obstructions, and aids to navigation such as buoys and lights, and danger areas.

GPS / Radar

A GPS is a useful item to tell you where in the world you are, and if you get lost while boating, say in the fog, a GPS can give you the coordinates to help you find your way again. Your coordinates can also be passed to the Coast Guard in an emergency making it easier to locate. A RADAR shows objects that may obstruct your path and vessels that may propose a collision risk. Finally, a Chart Plotter is nautical chart at your fingertips that provides real-time chart information as you drive. They often include a GPS and RADAR, making them a perfect boating safety accessory.

Throwable Life Ring

Simple yet effective a throwable life ring becomes a lifeline in the event of a man overboard. If equipped with a strobe light, it can also provide an effective search and rescue tool if the person can not be recovered immediately, such as in the case of a person going over at night and who may be injured.

Distress Signal Devices (Flares)

Distress signal flares are used by mariners to indicate an emergency. They work by alerting nearby boaters, people on land or search and rescue personnel through the use of bright lights in white or red and orange, which are the international distress colors. This guide to distress signal devices, otherwise known as flares, will show you the types of flares and their uses aboard your boat.

Day Distress Signals

There are two types day distress signals – an orange distress flag or orange smoke handheld flares. The orange flag is an international distress symbol that can be seen for miles and is best used by placing it high on your vessel so that, if possible, it can be seen by air and by sea. Hand-held orange smoke flares are also visually striking by emitting a large cloud of orange smoke. When using these flares, keep in mind that they only last about a minute, so deploy them when you have the greatest opportunity of being spotted by air or vessel traffic.

Day/Night Combination Signals

The most commonly known visual distress signals are red flares. Red flares can be found in hand-held devices and in arial devices that shoot a flare into the sky. Most are approved for day and night use by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The hand-held devices work by emitting a bright red light, roughly about 700 candlepower for nearly 3 minutes. They are useful to direct rescuers to your location and work best when rescue is near.

Arial red flares are sent up into the sky using a launching device and can be seen from a great distance. They burn for about 5 – 6 seconds, alerting others boats and land goers to a distress either in the day or at night.

Another type of arial flare is the parachute flare, available in white or red. Parachute flares on average can be seen up to 25 miles away, go up to 375 feet and burn for almost 7 seconds. They are the most powerful arial launched flare available. They are approved for either day or night use.

Distress Kits

Most distress signal manufacturers offer kits with a combination of electric flashing white lights, whistles, a distress flag, day smoke signals and both hand-held and arial day/night combination flares. A kit can give you everything you need to meet federal requirements while taking the guesswork out of purchasing flares.

The Coast Guard requires all vessels over 16 ft. to carry a varying combination of day and night visual signal devices depending upon the size of your boat for good reason – when used properly, they can save lives. Be sure to replace yours by the expiration date and store them in a dry compartment so they will be ready if you ever need them.

Until next time, keep it Clean-N-Simple

To read more, go here

NaiadGAC PindarBavaria R40 660x82

Related Articles

Recreational Boating Safety - By Ed Huntsman, USCG Eighth District
Don't let the temperature outside fool you. Cold water immersion and hypothermia can occur in water as cool as 70 degree Even on a warm and sunny day a sudden and unexpected fall into cold water for as little as 30 minutes can result in hypothermia - and if you're not wearing a life jacket can even lead to a life-threatening situation in as little as three to five minutes.
Posted today at 1:02 pm
Lessons learnt – Explosion after refuelling
Petrol vapour is heavier than air and it settles in the lowest areas of a boat and will explode violently when ignited Over the past 10 years there have been more than 100 boat fires and explosions, some of which resulted in very serious injuries, with more than 90 per cent occurring on vessels fitted with inboard petrol engines.
Posted today at 11:24 am
Celebrate the opening of the Adelaide Boat Show
Purchase an Adult ticket between 10 am and 12 noon on the opening day, Friday 30 June and bring a friend in for free. In effect that allows two people in for the price of one. But remember, this offer is only available from 10 am until 12 noon on Friday 30 June. This ticket is only available at the door.
Posted on 27 Jun
Coast Guard authorities search for a person in the water off Plymouth
Coast Guard is searching for a possible person in the water after an overturned kayak was spotted off Duxbury Pier Light The Coast Guard is searching for a possible person in the water Monday after an overturned kayak was spotted off Duxbury Pier Light (Bug Light), in Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts. A local fisherman spotted an overturned, unmarked 10-foot lime green kayak with a paddle at about 4 a.m. and reported it to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Boston.
Posted on 27 Jun
Stylish hardware keeps fenders in position
The cumbersome task of deploying and retrieving fenders is simplified with clever hardware from Accon Marine. The cumbersome task of deploying and retrieving fenders is simplified with clever hardware from Accon Marine. Its Fender Hangers eliminate repetitive tying and wrangling with bulky docking aids.
Posted on 23 Jun
Crime rings stealing boats - Seven tips to slow down thieves
BoatUS said today crime rings responsible for stealing boats, Yamaha outboard engines, Garmin electronics Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) said today crime rings responsible for stealing boats, Yamaha outboard engines, Garmin electronics, and other expensive navigation units along the East Coast’s I-95 corridor have moved across the country. Largely striking boat dealerships and boat-storage facilities
Posted on 22 Jun
Swimming near boat docks claims more lives
The fatalities of an 11-year-old girl and 19-year-old young man are bringing scrutiny to an age-old summer ritual The fatalities over the weekend of an 11-year-old girl in New Jersey and 19-year-old young man in Ohio are bringing scrutiny to an age-old summer ritual that’s common on waterfronts across America: swimming near boat docks. Initial reports say the youngster died when touching a dock’s electrified boatlift, and the Ohio teen died as a result of dangerous electrical current in the water
Posted on 22 Jun
Fit for a QING
46m ruby-hulled MY QING has been at Rivergate Marina & Shipyard in Brisbane since March undergoing scheduled maintenance The 46m (149.93ft) ruby-hulled MY QING has been at Rivergate Marina & Shipyard in Brisbane since March, undergoing scheduled maintenance for her five-year Lloyds survey, plus wide-ranging precision refit works to equip her for global expedition cruising.
Posted on 21 Jun
New level of unique luxury on water
CCY launches a new level of unique luxury on water, catering to ever-increasing demand for Luxury Yachts in Whitsundays. Cumberland Charter Yachts (CCY) launches a new level of unique luxury on water, catering to the ever-increasing demand for Luxury Yachts in the Whitsundays.
Posted on 20 Jun
USCG home in Maine following 65-day counter narcotics patrol
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Campbell returned to homeport in Kittery, Maine Sunday following a two-month counter-drug patrol The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Campbell returned to its homeport in Kittery, Maine, Sunday following a two-month counter-drug patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean. The 270-foot medium endurance cutter was deployed in support of Joint Interagency Task-Force South (JIATF-S) with the primary mission of interdicting illegal narcotics in the transit zone.
Posted on 19 Jun