NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
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Press Contact: Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Going Boating? A Crew Safety Briefing Could Save Lives
National Safe Boating Week May 16 - 22
ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 29, 2009 – Having friends and family aboard is what boating is all about. But in an emergency could they quickly locate a fire extinguisher or provide accurate location information to rescuers — without your help?
For National Safe Boating Week May 16 – 22, BoatUS Seaworthy magazine Editor Bob Adriance has developed a short Crew Safety Checklist. “Boating is supposed to be fun, so we do not want to unduly alarm our guests. However, every skipper should take a few minutes before they leave the dock to share these tips with crew.” They are:
1. Life Jackets: Give a correctly sized life jacket to those who wish to wear one, show guests where they are stored and how they are properly worn.
2. Fire Extinguishers: They should be easily visible near engine and galley areas. Take a moment to explain what types they are and how they are meant to be used. Point out any fire port locations for snuffing out engine compartment fires.
3. Flares: Show where they are located and how to safely activate without causing injury.
4. Engine and Fuel Shutoffs: Especially on sailboats, it’s not always clear how to shut off the engine (usually by pulling out the “kill” knob).
5. VHF Radio: It’s very important to familiarize the crew with its operation, how to make a radio distress call, and DSC one-button rescue mode (if equipped).
6. Battery Switch: Show the crew how to turn off power in case of an electrical fire.
7. Chartplotter, GPS, and Loran: At a minimum, crew should know how to find a latitude/longitude position with these electronics. Pinpoint its location on the unit’s screen. Have a paper chart aboard, show your crew where you’re departing from and headed for the day.
8. Man Overboard Gear: Show where it is and give a brief explanation on how to use it.
To help boaters learn more about these and other safety related items, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has an Online Boating Safety Study Guide at http://www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/Toolbox.
About Seaworthy and the BoatUS Foundation:
Seaworthy is the BoatUS Marine Insurance magazine that helps boaters avoid damage to their vessels, educates boat owners on proper boat maintenance and repair issues, and helps prevent injury to crew. For more information or a subscription, go to http://www.BoatUS.com/seaworthy.
Founded in 1981, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization primarily funded by the voluntary contributions of the 600,000 members of BoatUS. It excels in providing safe, smart and clean boating resources for boat owners nationwide.