Before you head out on your next voyage, here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything you need to be fully prepared.
- Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
- Sound Producing Devices
- Distress Signals
- Tools and Spares
- Fuel and Oil
- Fire Extinguishers
- Weather Forecast
- Battery Care
- Docking and Anchoring Tips
- Rules and Documentation
Key safety points
- Every boat has to have the right sized lifejacket for each person on board, and for boats under 6 metres they have to be worn unless the skipper decides that the risk is very low at the time. Visit our directory of safety gear stockists.
- Get a marine weather forecast before you head out and listen for regular updates while you are out.
- Carry at least two means of communicating distress on you, and for boats under 6 metres, these need to withstand immersion.
- Stay in touch, so that if you have an unexpected accident you will have the best chance of coming home safely.
- If you have a VHF radio, make a trip report and stay in contact with Maritime Radio, or the local Coastguard or marine radio service. Keep your trip report up to date during the trip so those on shore have a good idea where you are should you ever need help. Coastguard Boating Education has a comprehensive course that will teach you how to operate a marine VHF radio.
- Avoid alcohol or limit its intake – alcohol impairs judgement and the ability to survive in an emergency.
- Always watch where you are going and use others on board to help with the lookout.