It’s a perfect day to spend with families and friends. But all these can turn into a disaster if the boat you’re on isn’t equipped with the right safety equipment. Aside from the risk of getting arrested by maritime authorities for not following boat safety regulations, you also risk the safety of your family and friends.
So before attempting to go on a boating adventure, make sure your boat has all it needs to maintain the safety of your travel. Know what equipment is needed on board.
These are the essential boat safety equipment you need to have but make sure to check your local maritime departments for any added equipment required.
01. Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
You’ll need one PFD for each person on board. Passengers are even required to put it on when aboard the boat. There are three types you can use depending on the purpose: Type 1 (Level 150 and 100 PFD) is used for open waters and has the highest buoyancy; Type 2 (Level 50 PFD) is used for enclosed waters, and Type 3 (Level 50 S PFD) are usually used for aquatic sports.
Different types of anchors are required for different types of seabeds. An anchor chain designed for sandy or muddy sea bottoms, for example, may not work for rocky bottoms. Be sure you get the right one for your boat.
03. Bilge Pump
Sometimes water gets into your boat. It can be water from the sea during harsh weather conditions like heavy rains or water from leaks. These water will then collect on the bilge. To prevent any danger from occurring you’ll need a bilge pump to get rid of this unwanted water on your boat.
04. Bailer or Fire Bucket
You’ll need at least one bailer or fire bucket to bail water out of the boat and put out fire on your boat. Get one with a rope or lanyard attached to it so it will be easier to use.
05. Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is also needed to put out possible fire on your boat. Remember to pick one appropriate for the type of fuel used on the boat. A fire extinguisher is especially needed if your boat has an engine or has cooking facilities on board.
06. Flares or Hand-Held Smoke Signals
Rescuers often have a hard time looking for a distressed boat. Flares and smoke signals will allow rescuers to pinpoint your location. Lighting a flare would be like lighting up a beacon to signal your location. In some states they require two red flares and two orange smoke signals for each boat, but you can check with your local maritime authorities for the specific requirements in your area. Also remember that flares comes with an expiration date and can’t be used after this set date. Make sure old flares are replaced with new ones.
07. Torch or Lanterns
Aside from flares and smoke signals a torch or lantern can also be used to signal your location to possible rescuers. It could also be a light used for navigation or used when working on something on the boat during the night.