August 4, 2010
It is half way through the 2010 summer boating season and Go2marine wants you to stay safe. Here are some reminders of safe water and boating rules. The first rule of boating is to stay aboard and not have an accident. The second rule is PFDs are the key to survival when in the water.
- Don’t Swim Alone: Do not allow children to swim without an adult. Even adults should never swim alone. It is best to swim with others. In a pool, swim at a depth that is safe for you. If you’re just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end. Keep in mind that swimming at night increases all risks.
- Follow Regulations: If you are at a public pool or beach, follow all regulations and lifeguard directions. Depth markers are important. You should never dive into shallow water. Additionally, if there is not a lifeguard on duty, you should take extra safety precautions.
- Learn to Swim and Boat: If you have a pool, or your family takes part in water activities, it is very important that you know how to swim. Learning basic swimming and boating techniques can save lives. Check with your local YMCA or community pool for information on swimming lessons from a certified swimming instructor. Most States and the USCG Auxiliary offer safe boating courses.
- Safety Equipment: It is important to keep rescue equipment by the pool or on your boat. PFDs – Life preservers and life jackets should be easy to access in case of an emergency. Additionally, adults and teens should know CPR. Statistics show that when CPR is performed, it improves the outcome for drowning victims.
PFDs – Flotation Vests: When boating, you should wear a US Coast Guard-approved flotation vest, regardless of your swimming abilities. Even while wading in the ocean, at the lake or in a river, it is recommended to wear a personal flotation device; and is especially important for inexperienced swimmers and children. Remember, water wings, noodles, inner tubes and rafts should never take the place of an approved PFD.
Designated Areas: Swim only at designated beaches or in swimming areas marked with buoys that keep boaters, water skiers and jet skiers away. If you cross these buoys, you run the risk of not being seen by boaters, and you could potentially be injured. Additionally, rip currents, tides and water depths may be deterrent the farther out you swim. Remember, designated swimming areas are the safest place to swim.
Don’t Drink* and Swim: At times, your swimming activities may also include a family BBQ or picnic. However, it is important to remember that alcohol and water sports don’t mix. Your chances of drowning or becoming injured increase greatly when under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, many beaches do not allow alcoholic beverages.
Surf Conditions: Ask a lifeguard about surf conditions before swimming in the ocean. Rip tides are dangerous and can catch even the best swimmers off guard. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore. Once you are free of the current, swim toward the shore. Rip currents can be recognized as water that is discolored, choppy, foamy or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from the shore. Report any hazardous conditions to the lifeguard on duty.
Warning Flags: Beaches post warning flags to alert swimmers of the day’s conditions. Be sure to check these flags before entering the water.
The USCG has enforced a nation wide crackdown on bow riding. One of the most likely ways to get killed or maimed on a boat is to ride on the front, or bow, U.S. Coast Guard officials warned while announcing a crackdown on the practice. Even having on a life vest may not help the person who falls overboard, officials said, since the boat’s hull and the propeller can pose serious and immediate threats of injury.
Speaking to the Washington Post, USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Henise said compared the practice of riding on the front of a boat to riding on a car’s hood. “Would you put your child on the hood of your car and ride around?” he asked rhetorically.
The top five contributing factors to the accidents included boat operator inattention and inexperience, excessive speed, improper lookout and alcohol consumption. The report states that *alcohol consumption “continues to be of major concern” in fatal accidents, and was the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths.
In addition, a full 86 percent of boat operators involved in fatal accidents had not received boat safety instruction.
Some sobering statistics to ponder, did you know that:
- Swimming is the third most popular recreational activity in the US.
- Children from non-swimming households are eight times more likely to be at-risk of drowning.
- According to the United States Lifesaving Association, rip currents cause approximately 100 deaths annually in the United States.
- According to the USCG, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children younger than the age of 15.
- The CDC also estimates an average of 10 people — adults or children — drown every day in this country.
- 92% of children who survive a drowning are discovered within two minutes following submersion, and 86% children who die are found after 10 minutes.
- A total of 4,730 accidents recorded by the Coast Guard in 2009 caused 736 deaths, over 3,300 injuries and about $36 million in property damage.
Enjoy yourself, take your time and wear a PFD while boating. Play safe, know how to swim and have a buddy when in the water. Complete a safe boating course whether you are a new or long time boater.
In parting, here is something you can do to prevent the other common ‘fall overboard’ situation.
July 9, 2010
Catamaran Capsized – 3 saved by EPIRB & USCG
The USCG Group Humbolt Bay rescued 3 from the 32-foot catamaran, Cataylist on Saturday July 3rd, 2010. The vessel was transiting from Crescent City to Alameda, California, when it encountered rough sea conditions as reported in D11.USCGNews.com.
The crew activated the EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) in stormy seas, just minutes before a set of massive waves capsized the vessel, with 50 knot winds and 20 foot + waves knocked the boat completely upside down, pinning all three underneath.
Once the EPIRB was activated, the USCG used the registration information from the beacon to contact the family of the vessel’s crew. The crew had left a float plan with the family. The float plan information included a description of the boat, number of passengers aboard, a description of the safety equipment aboard, destination and estimated time of arrival.
“The float plan allowed us to confirm information about the vessel, create a better plan and expedite our search,” said Lt. George Suchanek, an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter pilot that responded to the call.
After escaping the overturned vessel, the three crew members were clinging to the hull while in the frigid Pacific waters 20 miles off Fort Bragg on the Northern California coast. The US Coast Guard helicopter was able to home in on the signal given by the EPIRB and retrieve the crew with the help of a rescue swimmer, hoisting them aboard the helicopter. All three sailors were showing signs of hypothermia.
“That EPIRB saved their lives,” stated USCG Lt. George Suchanek.
PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons) and EPIRB’s (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) offer a measure of safety when all else has gone wrong. The ability to be found alive and fast can make the difference between life or death when in the cold waters of an unforgiving storm.
An EPIRB‘s signal can be turned on in an emergency to transmit the GPS position and identity of the vessel along with other information to a network of satellites orbiting the earth. The USCG monitors all EPIRB activations.
For the full length Video’s from the USCG, see below.
Go2marine carries ClearView Ragasco fiberglass lpg propane cylinders…
ClearView Ragasco fiberglass propane tanks are perfect for many outdoor activities. A customer called us recently to request a set of these propane tanks. The use was unique, but not rare; the customer was looking for a better, less expensive LPG cylinder than an aluminum propane tank. His designated purpose for the clear view propane tank was for horse packing, to be used when leading overnight trips. The corroded steel tanks that had been banging around in pack boxes were to be replaced with rugged fiberglass tanks that were lighter and corrosion resistant.
Attractive, Easy to see the level of fuel and Ruggedly built make this propane tank perfect for many outdoor activities.
Primary benefits of the Clear View Fiberglass Propane Tank by Ragasco are:
- Lightweight – 50% lighter than steel
- Translucent tank always shows the volume of fuel
- Rugged – on par with metal tanks in safety tests
- Corrosion proof
- Quiet, no banging metal
The Clear View fiberglass propane tanks are made in 2 useful sizes, 3 and 5 gallons. The uses for this tank can be found with many Overland or Eco-tour companies, including:
- Commercial river rafting
- Horse packing and guiding
- Jetboat and airboat tours
- Large sea kayak trips
- Desert excursions
- Sailing and power boating
- Overland vehicle tours
- Teardrop and vintage trailers
- Field camp support
- Fly-in fishing and hunting camps
- as well as powering propane campfires on Eco-tours in sensitive areas
So, whether you have a Yurt with a stove or a boat with a BBQ, these tanks will make things just a little bit easier!