Top Safety Tips This Summer Season!
The sun is shining and the water is beckoning. But before your dust of the sunnys and hop on board, here are a few top tips to make sure you stay safe out on the water.
Lifejackets…useless unless worn!
85% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket (PFDMA.org)
Remember wear it at all times in, on and around the water and make sure it fits properly. No matter how experienced you are accidents happen and this simple precaution could save your life.
A great article to make you aware it is important to know your life jacket, ‘I may be your life jacket but you don’t know me’ www.powerboat-world.com/usa/I-may-be-your-life-jacket,-but-you-dont-know-me/121661.
Planning and Preparation!
When heading out on the water preparation is key. Firstly your vessel should be in a fit state to do the job, make sure you have enough fuel, your navigation lights are working and that you have the right kit and equipment onboard. At least a basic first aid kit is a must and if you decide to carry flares make sure they are in date,stored & disposed of properly. Carry any appropriate spares and make sure your crew are thoroughly briefed.
Plan your passage according to time, tides, weather, your vessels restrictions and where you are. Check charts and pilot books of the area and make someone ashore aware of your plans.
You may have heard in the news, during the past few years, very unfortunate incidents with Powerboat drivers not wearing kill cords. Men, women and even children have lost lives and limbs which could have been prevented with the correct use of a kill cord.
A kill cord is designed to cut the engine should the driver be thrown overboard, thus stopping the propulsion of the boat. An unmanned boat under power inclines to automatically steer into an ever decreasing circle until it runs out of fuel or it is manually stopped.
Anyone in the water is at immediate risk so be safe. So think of yourselves and others !
Check your kill cord works every time you step on the vessel nad before leaving the dock and seek immediate attention to any damaged ones. Always carry a spare.
It is also advisable that should you be training anyone how to drive the boat that an additional kill cord should be attached to you as well as the ‘trainee’ driver to stop the boat should you be thrown overboard.
See the RYA page for tips and advice when it comes to your kill cord www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/safetyinfo/Personalsafetyequipment/Pages/KillCord.aspx.
How is your Engine and Fuel?
Don’t forget about what’s hiding under the hood! Have you checked your engine? Is it working the way it should? Got enough fuel? Make sure you do, as it’s not fun after the sun has gone and you’re stuck out at sea…it gets lonely and cold!
If you want to learn more about engine checks, what problems to recognise and how to solve them then why not book on our MCA Approved Engine Course!
Do you know the difference with a MAYDAY call and a PAN-PAN?
If you have a VHF radio on board, and we highly recommend you do whether inbuilt or handheld, remember that at least one person needs to have their RYA Short Range Certificate License (or above) to generally operate them. This 1 day, classroom based course will give you the knowledge on how to use your VHF radio correctly as well as keep you and other people out on the water safe.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin
Whether you are a complete beginner looking to get out on the water or an experienced boat handler, training courses are a great way of assessing your ability, learn new skills and meeting like minded people whilst attaining a recognised qualification.
If you think driving a rib is for you then why not join us on one of our 2 day RYA Powerboat Level 2 courses. You will have hands-on training on one of our boats as well as learning about kit and equipment onboard, pre start engine checks and those all important safety procedures.
Also if you are out on the water regularly or looking to venture further afield then a Medical First Aid course could be a life saving investment.
It is great to enjoy the British Summer out on the water but accidents can happen and at sea they can escalate quickly so use your common sense out their guys, stay safe and most importantly have fun!
Enjoy from OMT