Safety on board. Always.
No one is immune to engine failure, Mother Nature's whims or hull failure. That is why it’s essential to have safety equipment on board that can prevent a misadventure from turning into a disaster. Make sure you have these on board at all times:
- One lifejacket or PFD for each person on board.
- One reboarding device – if the vertical height to climb to reboard is over 0.5 m (1’8”).
- One buoyant heaving line – length varies depending on type of watercraft – or a lifebuoy.
Devices to signal your presence
Waterproof flashlight, flares, etc., which was the subject of the article “To find your way and be spotted, the basics of safe boating,” in our June 2019 newsletter.
Manual propelling devices
The wind is dropping off. The engine is out of order. You didn't plan it and are far from your destination. To make up for it, you could use a pair of oars, a paddle or any other item that allows you to propel the boat. You will be relieved to have them at hand!
Having an anchor and cable compatible with your boat can prevent you from drifting due to water movements. Always be well anchored, especially if you are swimming nearby or sleeping in your boat.
Bailers and manual bilge pumps
Your boat fills up with water and every minute counts. That's why you must have these on board:
- Plastic or metal bailers with a capacity of at least three cups and an opening with a diameter of 9 cm or more (you can easily make one with a four-litre rigid plastic bottle, ideally with a handle, such as an antifreeze gallon bottle or laundry detergent bottle )
- A manual bilge pump with a hose long enough to reach the bilge and discharge water overboard.
Safe boating guide (p. 16-28)
The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice. Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks of Aviva plc. and are used under licence by Aviva Canada Inc. and its subsidiary companies.