It is Fall and for many of us we really appreciate the off-season boating. This season typically means that boaters encounter fewer boats and that the water and weather is subject to frequent changing conditions. Kirk Scarborough of the Coast Guard Auxiliary reminds boaters, “don’t be a boating casualty on the water. Follow these simple rules to have a safe and enjoyable day.”
- Check the weather before heading out on the water
- Monitor the weather continuously with a Marine Radio
- It is recommended that every one wear an approved PFD, but at a minimum, PFD’s should be readily available.
- Know about the boat you are on; especially true for those renting or borrowing a boat.
- More than one person (the skipper) should know the location of all Safety Gear, including the VHF Radio.
- Do not rely on cell phones as a primary means of communication. Contacting someone on a cell phone precludes aid from a local Good Samaritan.
- The best way to get help is through a Marine Radio.
- File a Float Plan with someone who knows where you are going and when you are expected to return. USCG Auxiliary Float Plan in a printable PDF form that you can save to your computer.
- Receive a free Vessel Safety Check from the USCG Auxiliary.
- Take a safe boating class in the state you are in.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is a uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.
July 22, 2010
Free Shipping on Inflatable PFDs*
Our most popular inflatable PFDs are now shipped to you FREE*.
Inflatable PFDs come with a number of features that help tailor the vests design to the end-user. The primary choices to be made are between the manual or automatic / manual inflation system. Automatic / Manual inflation systems work when the PFD is submerged in water (not spray) and they also use the manual pull cord as a backup to inflate the PFD in situations where you want it already inflated before getting into the water. A Manual only system is useful for water sports like kayaking or canoeing where you might get wet, but do not want the PFD to fill on its own. The downside to a manual only system is that it will not inflate unless you pull the cord. All inflatables come with some sort of oral inflation tube that will supplement the manual or automatic / manual system.
Inflatable PFDs are also available with or without a harness system. If you are in an enviroment where you might be washed off a boat, as in cruising offshore, you will want a harness so that you may secure yourself to the boat.
One size fits all – well almost. You will need to be 16 and a minimum of 80 pounds to wear an inflatable PFD. The Coast Guard also takes the position that non-swimmers should not wear this type of PFD.
* May not be combined with any other codes or promotions. Inflatable PFDs are shipped ground to the lower 48 States. Applies to most of our popular inflatable PFDs, but not all.
July 22, 2010
In the Sun
Brenda Freed, public educator for Scott County Health Department offers these recommendations; apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, sunscreen should be applied even in cloudy weather and “Often times we fail to reapply sunscreen after we get in the water. It’s recommended to reapply every two hours, especially if you’re in the water”.
“It’s very important for parents to stress sun safety when their children are young and continue to practice that because it’s one of the keys to preventing skin cancer,” Freed added.
Along with sunscreen, staying in the shade will offer relief from the harmful rays of the sun. On a boat, shade is hard to come by unless you provide your own in the form of a Bimini Top or Anchorshade. Beyond preventing sunburn, some cover also reduces the chance of dehydration.
Sherry Brethold, health and safety director of American Red Cross’ Southeast Missouri Chapter, offers “”If working in the heat, stay replenished with lots of fluids. Many people drink tea or caffeine, but it’s bad for you during the hot season because it dehydrates you faster than if you drink water, lemonade or even Kool-Aid”.
On the Water
To be safe on and in the water, there are several steps that a boater can take to increase their chances of enjoying this summer; and many to come. Through the entire summer, there is story after story told about the accidental drowning of both young and old while out on the water. The single best prevention of this type of incident is wearing a USCG approved PFD.
In addition to children wearing a PFD, “Adults should practice ‘reach supervision,’ which means to be within arm’s length of a child in case an emergency occurs.” said Aidan Marshall, aquatics coordinator at the YMCA of Southeast Missouri in Sikeston.
There are several types of PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices) for children and adults. The most comfortable PFD for many boating activities and wide range of temperatures is an inflatable PFD, but they are not approved for use on individuals under 80 pounds or under 16 years of age. Smaller children should wear an approved PFD with a ‘between the leg’ safety strap. Many States require anyone under the age of 13 on a boat, dock or in the water to wear an approved flotation device.
Sherry Brethold ultimately offers this advice “Proper gear should also be worn. Kids — and even adults — who are not strong swimmers or who appear to rely on inflatable toys [meaning water wings, rings and the like] for safety should use U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) whenever they are in or around the water”.