Martel Marine strongly encourages passengers of all boating vessels to practice proper safety precautions and follow all safety rules while in the harbour, or out on the water. Below are some practical tips and guidelines that may be learned, memorized and practiced to keep all participants/guests safe. Have fun on the water, be smart and stay safe.
- Always Wear Life Jackets
Even experienced swimmers should wear life jackets to prevent drowning in the off chance that an accident, capsizing or passenger overboard happens. Statistics say that over 90% of drownings could have been prevented with life jackets.
- Know Thy Boat
Every boat operator should be incredibly familiar with all aspects of their boat, from maneuvering, emergency equipment location and operation, to diagnosing and fixing engine problems, to specific quirks that comes with every boat. Having a strong familiarity with the all these aspects of the boat will prove invaluable in emergency situations and when the unpredictable happens. It can be the difference between being able to act quickly and feeling helpless.
- Take Course on Boat Safety
Your chances of coming out of a possible emergency/accident situation on the preferred side increase dramatically when you have taken a boating course which teaches the foundations of boat safety. Investing time and money into a good course at a marina, harbour or community centre is a very worthy cause for the safety and peace of mind of you and your passengers.
- Have Safety Checks Conducted
It is good and wise practice to have your vessel’s safety and emergency equipment checked regularly, either on a quarterly or yearly basis. Similar to checking your home smoke alarms and condition of your fire extinguishers, having your vessel checked over by yourself or a third party is crucially important when and if an emergency does arise. This simple task can not only save your life and the life of your crew and passengers, it could save you money. A fine for not having your boat safety equipment in good working order can cost you hundreds of dollars. If you do a bit of research in your community, you will likely be able to find an organization that is willing to check your vessel’s safety equipment for free.
- Have an Emergency Plan
We have plans and procedures in place for earthquakes and fires in our homes. You should also have a clear step-by-step plan for emergency situations on your boat, whether it’s engine failure out at sea, man overboard, or capsizing. You should rehearse and memorize the plans regularly so if such a time every comes, you will be fully prepared to act accordingly in a calm and efficient fashion.
- Report Your Plans With Others
Whether it’s with your boat club, marina, a friend or relative… always let a third party know of your travel plans, especially if you’re planning on travelling a long distance or for a longer period of time. Include a description of your vessel, locations you will be visiting along with their respective dates, names of all the passengers on your boat and a brief description of the safety supplies you will have with you.
- Never Operate Intoxicated
We understand boating is a lot of fun and leisure is a big reason people get into boating in the first place. It can be tempting to add alcohol to the mix. However, under no circumstances should anyone be operated a boat while intoxicated. It is not only absolutely unacceptable, it is illegal and is accompanied by strict legal consequences. Statistics claim that over half of boating deaths involving alcohol use resulted in capsized boats or passengers falling overboard.
- Carry a Strong Reliable Radio
A radio is your sole line of contact with the outside world. When venturing out into the ocean, it’s of paramount importance to have a reliable way to communicate and notify/call for help should you find yourself in an emergency situation.
We hope this list has been informative for you, as a boat owner/operator. Boating is meant to be fun experience. Let’s practice good safety precautions and keep it that way.