Before you head out on your next boating excursion, it’s important to make sure your boat is fully outfitted with all of the necessary safety equipment.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the must-have items for boating safety.
- Floatation devices: There should be a wearable life jacket for each person on board the boat, and children 12 and under must wear that life jacket at all times when the vessel is moving. It is also a good idea to have throwable floatation devices for emergencies. If riding a personal watercraft, you must wear your life jacket at all times.
- Fire extinguishers: All boats under 26 feet, including personal watercrafts, must have at least one B-1 type extinguisher on board. Boats from 26 to 40 feet in size need either two B-1 type extinguishers or one B-2 type extinguisher. Make sure everyone knows how to operate the extinguisher in case of an emergency.
- Signaling devices: Sound and visual signaling devices are also crucial safety features that every boat should have. You can find visual distress signals in a variety of options, including flares or nighttime signals. Boats that are larger than 16 feet will need visual signals for both day and night use. Personal watercrafts do not need nighttime devices because it is illegal to operate them between sunset and sunrise. Sound signaling devices are effective in fog or other low-visibility conditions, and include horns and whistles. Larger vessels should have a bell as well.
- Medical kit: Stow a medical kit that has basic first aid equipment for treatment of minor injuries and seasickness.
- Anchor: You should have an anchor with a line to hold your boat in place when needed.
- Radio: Keep a VHF radio on board so you can call for help in an emergency situation
For more tips for boating safety equipment to have on board, contact an experienced Manatee County personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.