Boat Safety Tips & Setting Up An Emergency Plan
Boat safety should be the number one priority for yacht captains and owners. While today’s yachts are built to the highest safety standards, the open ocean continues to be unpredictable. While the chances are incredibly low, it is always best to be prepared for emergencies and accidents to happen. At Yacht Management South Florida, vessels under our yacht management plans will receive the maintenance and expert advice they need to be safe and splash-ready before going out into open water. Read on to learn some of our top boat safety tips.
How to Prevent Boat Fires & Flooding
Preventing an emergency situation aboard a boat is the ideal choice for captains and owners. There are a number of preventive measures you can take to minimize the chance of flooding, fires, and other major emergencies. First is to keep up with regular yacht maintenance, particularly for critical systems including the electrical system and the engines. One thing that is overlooked often, is to periodically empty out lint build up from dryer vent ducts. At Yacht Management South Florida, yachts under our care routinely go through a 20-point systems check to ensure optimal performance.
Gather Safety Equipment & Set Up A Boat Emergency Kit
Having the right safety gear onboard is important. Make sure they are stored in places that are easily accessible in the case of an emergency. When preparing your boat emergency kit, there is a wide range of safety gear and equipment you should have on your vessel including, but not limited to:
- Life vests
- Bailer Kit
- Life rings
- Fire extinguishers
- Distress flags
- Air horns
- Hull plugs
- First aid kits
Hold A Safety Meeting With Guests
Before any cruise, the captain of a yacht will hold an extensive safety meeting with the guests and crew. This will inform all passengers on the boat what to do in case of an emergency. Whether you are dealing with seasoned owners and passengers or new yacht owners and guests, holding this safety meeting should be mandatory on all yachts. During this meeting, the captain should go over an emergency response and float plan.
Prepare Am Emergency Response & Float Plan
In advance of any boat excursion or yachting trip, captains should work with crew and owners on developing emergency response procedures as well as a float plan. Emergency response procedures should be able to address all types of scenarios from how to save someone who has fallen overboard to how to evacuate the ship should there be a major fire or hull leak and signal for help.
A vessel should also have a float plan in place before going out into open water. A float plan is a document that’s given to authorities, a marina, a yacht club, and/or a friend. This document outlines the expected route of your yacht and includes a description of vessel, the number of passengers, and important contact information. Should a boat fail to reach its destination within the expected timeframe, a float plan gives authorities a head start in looking for missing passengers.
Not having a float plan in place can lead to grave consequences as was the case with a 29-foot boat that went missing during a trip from Bimini in the Bahamas to Lake Worth, Florida earlier this year. The Coast Guard did not have many details about the trip when they started their search of the vessel and the 20 passengers who had been onboard. After over three days of searching, they made the difficult decision to suspend the search.1
Get A Sea Tow Membership
Another boat safety tip would be to sign up for a sea tow membership for your vessel. Should your boat or yacht require towing or on-water assistance, all you’ll have to do is call a sea tow company, such as Sea Tow Fort Lauderdale. You’ll receive immediate assistance should your boat stop dead in the water and need to be towed back to shore.
Yacht Management South Florida, Inc. specializes in complete yacht care. As such, we offer premier maintenance services at our South Florida marina including boat bottom cleaning, hull painting, and boat interior restoration. Our certified yacht technicians can also go to your yacht to provide dockside assistance and emergency yacht repair services. Contact us today to learn more about out our extensive maintenance services and first-class management program!
- Christina Morales, The New York Times – Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Boat With 20 Aboard