Top 60 Boating Tips by Boating Magazine

Friday, March 6, 2009

Emergency Procedures #I

This will be a several part post on Emergency Procedures to help you get ready for the big opening day coming up pretty fast:


In the event of an emergency, where the Captain is disabled, or otherwise unable to command this vessel, the following emergency procedures will assist in assuring the safety of persons on board and returning the vessel to port safely.

Emergencies fall into two categories, Life Threatening and Non Life Threatening. Life threatening emergencies are those where there is an IMMEDIATE threat to life or property as a result of an event. This may be a heart attack, severe bleeding, internal injuries as a result of a fall, drowning, explosion or fire, a vessel in danger of immediate sinking, etc. These events require immediate action. Non life threatening emergencies are those where assistance is needed, but there is NO IMMEDIATE threat to life or property. This may include grounding, taking on water where there is no immediate danger of sinking, engine failure, running out of fuel, or other breakdown. It is important to determine which of the two categories is evident and act accordingly.


In the event of a LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY, do this:

1. Be sure the ships radio is turned on.
2. Adjust the squelch down so noise is heard through the speaker.
3. Press the CHANNEL 16 button or move channels up or down to 16.
4. Press the button on the microphone to transmit. Say clearly:

MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY This is the NAME OF YOUR VESSEL AND CALL LETTERS, requesting immediate assistance due to a (medical emergency) (taking on water and in danger of sinking) (etc.) Release the button and listen for an answer. If no answer within 10 seconds, repeat the above message until a response is heard.

When asked, give the following information:

A. The nature of the emergency.
B. The number of people on board.
C. Your position. (Look at the LORAN and/or GPS screen and give position in lat/lon)
D. Description of vessel. (for example, mine would be 36 ft. express cruiser, white hull and decks, red trim, red canvas, registration number CF 1889 SE) and any other information requested.

Do whatever is needed to assure your safety, the safety of others and the vessel. Remember, the vessel comes last. It can be replaced, but YOU can't.

Next..Non-Life threatening Emergencies.

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