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.
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 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”.
Sospenders Inflatable Lifejackets (Personal Flotation Devices – PFDs) allow freedom of movement, are lightweight and comfortable, and provide maximum buoyancy so that boaters can safely enjoy most water-based activities. Stearns SOSpenders inflatable lifejackets/PFDs are U.S. Coast Guard approved.
Whether you are sailing, fishing, paddling, boating, or hunting, SOSpenders Life Jackets (PFDs) are a great choice, without sacrificing comfort or freedom of movement. Sospenders are not designed for personal watercraft, white water paddling, or towed activities.
September 17, 2008
Go2marine carries products that are purchased and used by the USCG, the United States military, the Canadian, British and Mexican Governments as well as rescue services in many other countries.
The USCG 47′ Textron MLB
The United States Coast Guard Motor Life Boat (MLB) built by Textron is capable of self righting in less than 10 seconds and withstanding winds of 60 knots and 20′ breaking surf. The USCG 47′ MLB has military application as well as being manufactured for rescue services in foreign countries. The products that go into building one of the most rugged rescue boats ever conceived come from a number of sources;
Balmar manufactures marine charging systems fitted to the MLB’s, constructed as a lightweight generator for the US Marine Corp and the Canadian Department of Defense. Balmar’s unique alternators, regulators and charge regulators capable of multiple engines and multiple batteries are built for use in cruising power and sailboats as well as work vessels. As an industry leader, Balmar is creating marine worthy high output alternators, intelligent voltage regulation and temperature monitors to meet the charging needs of boats with newer battery types and increased electrical demands.
Baier Hatches exceed the demands of the USCG 47′ MLB which is certified to withstand vessel impacts of three times the acceleration of gravity. From the USCG to Research and Work vessels, Baier manufactures aluminum and steel hatches to meet rigorous off shore marine duty. There are only 2 moving parts when securing the hatch to the deck ring of the Baier patented strong-back system. All Baier hatches have been approved by the US Coast Guard, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Canadian Department of Transportation.
When Textron builds the 47′ USCG motor life boat, they want shaft seals that can stand up to 30′ following seas in a 40,000 pound boat powered by Two 435 Hp Detroit Diesels. The PYI shaft seals stand up to punishing conditions, are dripless and require reduced maintenance while serving a hard, long service life. PYI PSS shaft seals are built to fit most mariners needs, from 3/4″ to 6″ shaft sizes, with metric shafts also, from 22-95 mm with custom sizes to 140mm.
Stearns Industrial safety and survival equipment includes USCG and Law enforcement marked floatation equipment and suits. From Commercial Type 1 vest’s (PFD’s) to Rescue Suits, Immersion Suits and Flotation Jackets, Stearns provides quality USCG approved safety equipment for working and survival in harsh conditions. Whether you are a fisherman, kayaker, sailor, boater – out on the water for play or work, Stearns manufactures equipment for your safety in the marine environment.
Go2marine is proud to carry these products and supports both recreational boaters and professional mariners. Go2marine’s products and information are featured on National Fisherman and the Go2marine Boaters Community.