How to prepare your boat | Stories and what to do
Why you need to be prepared:
Ahh yes, we all love the feeling of warm air, clear skies and full tank of fuel. The joys of starting up the boat and heading out on the water for a day of fun. It's pretty much what has us all addicted to boating. Well that and it's probably the most fun and relaxing way to social distance haha.ha
However, there is another side of boating. One that we all keep in the back of our minds, right behind having a cold cooler and right in front of "It'll never happen to me" and that is safety. Yeah, what? Safety??
Yeah, believe it or not- safety is one of the things that is taken most lightly while boating. So, let's talk about safety for second. Because no matter how experienced the captain and crew are and no matter how small of a trip you're taking, accidents happen... and help IS further away than you think.
I want to share a couple stories here with you that bring that reality to light:
The founder of MyMedic kits had a family member bleed to death one day because the first responders took 40 minutes to get to them. Just a normal day turned so dark so fast. Just like this blog. Family, friends, bystanders, all helpless. Now, how long do you think it would take someone to get to you? 10 minutes, 20... 40, an hour, two hours... however long, it's all slower than having first aid at the ready. "MyMedic Our Story"
Oh, and what happens if you can't reach first responders?? Well, listen to Adam Triplett as he describes his story:
For the final story, I'll share one of mine. The time I accidentally split my face open...
It all started in the totally sober land of Crab Island in Destin FL.
... this pictures puts it lightly. So one day, I was out at crab island with some friends having a good time, as people normally do there and as you can see, it's pretty crowded. What you can't see is that the marina where you put the boat in is just across the way, only about a 2 min hop.
Well, after a couple hours I decided I wanted to try a backflip on one of those floating foam mats you roll across the water.
The end result was this:
... so why does this story matter?! Obviously I ended up okay... but because even on a major weekend in Destin, 2 min away from the slip, it took us about 2 hours to find a doctor to stitch it up. It was a holiday weekend so the urgent care places were closed leaving us having to drive all the way to the hospital. Now luckily I had enough of a vodka blanket to easy the pain by then but this just goes to show you that even when you think you are close, help is further than you think.
So how do you prepare your boat?!
Well we all know the basics right, life jackets, throw cousin, flares, whisk.. I mean whistle, and fire extinguishers. If you don't know the basics check this article out. :)
However, that is about the bare minimum of the bare minimum. It's honestly pretty sad that so many boats ride around with just that equipment in them and think they are fine.
One thing that should be in every boat, car, jet ski, or even with you on a walk along a trail is a medical kit. The first thing to think about who is going to be on the boat, and if there are going to be any pets. If you will only have say 4 people max, like in a car or small boat you wouldn't have a need for a large kit for many people just a small one that is effective for 1-2 people. However, if you are operating a small yacht that could have several people on board, you would want to make sure you had enough supplies to cover a wider range of injuries. If there are going to be any pets that might want to I don't know.. say run around and get into things... you also want to have a medical kit for them.
Next, is a way to get rescued. Look if you can't get rescued, all the preparation means nothing. I don't know about you but even if I was to wash up on the shore of a beautiful island full of food and shelter and I had my survival kit and had fun relaxing for a couple days enjoying the amazing place I've discovered... I'm still going to want to be rescued. So you can buy flares and hope someone sees them, or you can get an audio signal and hope someone here's it... or you can just hail first responders ANYWHERE in the world within yards of you with a flick of a switch. Yeah, I'm going with that option! These magical devices are called PLB's ( Personal Locator Beacon ) and EPIRB ( whatever that stands for ) devices. You buy it once, battery lasts years, no subscription and when you need it, flip a switch.
Check out this video on them:
Conclusion: Set yourself up for success
Now I want you to think about if you are really prepared? Do you have the equipment you need? Do you have it in all the places you need it? If you answered no to any of these questions I have put together my choice of items to carry with you at all times!
Here's the guild as to what to buy:
- A medical kit for jet skis, cars, and hiking
- A pet medic kit ( Pro tip: buy one for each pet )
- A medical kit for medium sized boats
- A large medical kit
- A survival kit which has additional medical supplies
- The basic PLB
- Rescue kit
- A sharp knife
Thank you so much for reading! Remember stay safe and stay alive!