Boating has become one of the immensely popular recreational activities chosen by people. The percentage of people opting to go boating has increased and so has the need for safety. However, improper care and inadequate safety measures taken while boating have led to an increase in the toll of lives lost during boating.
To avoid such situations, here are some tips to stay safe while boating.
Safety gear is one of the most important requirements for any recreational activity in the open water as it protects the members from bodily harm.While boating, it is essential to carry the right safety gear while boarding the vessel. Here are some must-haves:
- Distress Signals: In case of emergency, distress signals such as flares, emergency beacons will gain the attention of passing help.
- Air Horns: They can be used as distress signals, if there is help within the hearing range. There must be several portable air horns available on the ship.
- Lifejackets: Premium grade life jackets that have been properly examined must be available to every passenger on board. Lifejacket manufacturers India make top quality lifejackets. Also, attaching a whistle to all the life jackets and other personal safety equipment can also prove beneficial.
- Portable Fire Extinguishers: Several portable fire extinguishers must be kept on board in case of a fire. The passengers must know about the placements of these extinguishers.
- Lights and Batteries: It is important to have torches and light-emitting devices along with spare batteries.
This safety equipment is manufactured by indigenous ship manufacturers in India. Extensive care needs to be taken to keep the equipment in proper shape and free from rust and decay. This is crucial to prevent the loss of life due to damaged appliances. The recent incident at Dahanu where at least 3 children died because they were not wearing lifejackets, when a boat carrying 40 children overturned in the Arabian Sea, proves that personal life-safety devices must be worn mandatorily to protect lives.
Safety Tips for Safe Boating
It is essential to have the right gear and equipment to ensure safety aboard a vessel. Following certain rules and boating safety tips can guarantee the safety of a group. These are a few steps to follow:
- Check the Safety Gear: While it is a good thing to have packed all the safety gear well beforehand, checking if the gear is fully functional before boarding the vessel is always a good idea. Also, carrying extra pairs of safety gears including lifejackets can also help others.
- Strictly Avoid Carrying Alcohol on the Vessel: Alcohol has been known adverse effect on people. Drinking on board can put your life at a major risk. It also muddles with one’s ability to comprehend, which can prove fatal in case of an emergency.
- Take Note of the Weather: Checking the weather before boarding a ship is imperative. Carrying a radio on board to keep an eye on bad weather is preferred. In case the weather turns bad, it is best to get out of the water as soon as possible.
- Familiarize Yourself with the Vessel: Get comfortable with the ship. Know where the exits, emergency exits and storage areas in the ship are. It is also vital to find out all the major ventilation points in the ship in case of suffocation.
- Equipment on the Ship: Make sure the lights, radio and navigation system on the ship is fully functional. The fuel and oil in the ship must also be full. Proper precautions should be taken in case of extra fuel being carried on board.
- Follow the Navigation: Boat Traffic Rules need to be followed while boating. Navigating the ship skillfully, as per the instruction can assure safe boating. Sudden change in the speed of the boat or a lurch could cause passengers to fall overboard. It is necessary to steer the boat cautiously.
- Tell Someone: The details of route, names of team members, details of the ship, contact information and personal details must be given to friends/family that are not on board. This is the most important step that individuals and groups alike must keep in mind.
These 7 simple methods can successfully protect your and your companions’ lives and ensure that boating continues to be a fun, recreational activity.
The crucial thing is to never make haste in case of an emergency. Following the steps mentioned above can guarantee a fun and safe boating experience. It is important to ensure that all your equipment is in compliance with the safety standards prescribed by your national/state safety organizations. In addition, timely replacement and regular maintenance of equipment can go a long way in protecting lives while boating.