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Thread: Safety List for Prince William Sound?

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    Default Safety List for Prince William Sound?

    I have a 22 North River jet boat with a hard top and have gone out of Whittier and Valdez each once and am making a list of safety and fun stuff I am going to need/want for next season because I plan on doing several trips a year now! And want to be safe and over time feel good about taking my family.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Have some spare parts for your jet and motor as well as the tools to work on both in case you run into mechanical issues out there. Not sure how far you are planning to travel but some places don't see too many other boats throughout the season.

    Survival gear for you and your family. Sleeping bags, clothing, food, water, etc.

    Stuff to start a fire and signal anyone passing by on the water or in the air.

    Motor parts: starter, alternator, spark plugs, fuel filter, extra oil, antifreeze, and spare hoses.

    Jet parts: impellor keys, o-rings, impellor?

    Make sure you have a marine band cb and listen into the weather forcast nightly or every afternoon so you know what to expect that night and the next day.

    The "Cruising Guide to PWS". Great book and lots of little historical notes as well as guides on where to anchor up for the night or to sit out a storm.

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Not to sure how you would go about changing an impellor or even working on one while out on the water.

    I would recommend a good kicker motor, that way if your main kicks the bucket while you are out there you still have some power to get you to shore or back to the dock.

    For safety gear, I go with all of the regular gear required by the CG. Ive added a few things, but their list covers the basics for signaling and recovery. I go down to Valdez a few times a year in a 21' jet as well and for the most part we always run with another boat within earshot. Its nice to have some backup if you plan on heading very far out.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    Not to sure how you would go about changing an impellor or even working on one while out on the water.
    I just pull up to a nice spot on the shore and let the tide go out and work on whatever I need to. Just like being on a trailer except a little lower and usually wet.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Everyone knows how cluttered a boat gets after a month or so during the summer. I bougth one of the medium sized yellow dry bags from Wally World and wrote "Ditch Bag" is big red letters on it. All my emergency gear goes in that and everyone knows where it is. While I don't have sleeping bags and such, I do have food, flares, marine radio, flashlights, medical kit, fire starters and a small single burner coleman stove. I add to it at times, but it's always there and waterproof to boot.
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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Survival suits for you, da Mrs and da kids (look on craigslist for kids sizes). A VHF handheld radio instead of the CB radio?

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  7. #7

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    My Ditch Kit Dry Box Contents
    Hand Held VHF Radio
    Hand Held GPS
    Extra AA Batteries
    Swiss Army Knife
    Signal Flag USCG
    Air Horn small USCG
    Flares USCG
    Compass
    Hand Held Chain Saw
    Toilet Paper
    Flashlight
    Large Leatherman
    Tools / Multi Screwdriver, Vise Grips
    Purell Hand Sanitizer
    Matches in Water Proof Container
    Fire Starting Paste
    Parachute Cord
    Candles
    Electrical Tape
    Signal Mirror
    Small First Aid Kit

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    A Personal Flotation Device should be the #1 item on your list, and on every person on your boat on PWS, all the time. Everything else on your list is just gravy.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    On the boat:

    Fix mount VHF and GPS. Tie the two together so the GPS talkes to the VHF and supplies it with current coordinates. Then everything in AP ditch bag.

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    Lots of really solid advice on this thread; you've all thought this over and/or have real life experiences to draw from! Survival considerations should run from the simple to the complex and we've seen people better prepared for a global disaster than for a seemingly 'simple' day on the water. With boats under 26', we highly recommend all persons onboard wearing adequate personal flotation devices with pockets that can hold signalling/communication devices. Small boats can/will capsize quickly and although an overboard bag can be a life-saver, generally when we find a boat where the person(s) have fallen overboard, the survival gear is neatly stowed and still aboard! The most common survival scenario is to find yourself (unexpectedly) in the water without a way to keep your airway above water and no way to signal/call for help. Maybe not a life-threatening situation if there are other people aboard or in close proximity, but if you are out all by your lonesome, you could be in a serious pickle! I guess I'd rather have a PFD on and loaded with equipment than take a chance on not coming home at all...so this is what I carry in my lifejacket:

    Handheld marine VHF radio, floating/6 watt/DSC and GPS equipped.
    Whistle & signal mirror
    PLB
    Laser flare
    Knife

    And (of course) spares on board for common mechanical issues, suitable anchor/rode, fixed VHF, etc. At least I've been able to get home every time...so far!! Boat Safer! Mike

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    The one thing that I dont leave home without and forgot on the origional listing is my spot messenger. People back home can se where we are/were and I can signal help at the push of a button.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Make sure whoever else is on the boat with you also knows how to run/operate/steer the boat so if you go over or are hurt they can pick you up or run the boat back in to harbor.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Steve brings up a good point. My wife hates the fact that I make her operate the boat for awhile everytime we go out. But she is now plenty capable of doing so in an emergency.
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    Consider an actual self inflating life raft. Many boats over 18' long do not have built in floatation, or the floatation is inadequate and/or water logged.

    A lot of people have rafts strapped to the top of their boats and/or wedged under a radar tower. I guess this is OK, but I question how realistic it is to actually get one off of the roof if you happen to capsize in, shall we say, less than ideal conditions. A self inflating raft needs, of course, to be kept out where you can get it immediately, otherwise it may also be also useless. The down side of the self inflating rafts is the hope they actually inflate...................and whoever pulls the painter does not let go of it and have it drift away...........(although any raft has this problem).

    Survival suits are also OK, but only if you actually practice (every year!) putting them on in cold water (don't forget the wife and kids need to practice also) otherwise it seems that you could easily spend most or all of your 20 minutes where you have any finger dexterity left trying to put on survival suits instead of most likely a lot less time to crawl into a raft and activate your PLB.

    Not sure if you put a survival suit on top of your life jacket? If so, how do you get at all your emergency gear on your life jacket that is now inside your survival suit? If you don't put it on over your life jacket, then I guess you try and hang on to your life jacket while you put the suit on, and then assuming you still have the jacket you could then use your radio, PLB etc....Or maybe you wear your life jacket, but the safety gear is attached to the survival suit? Surely somebody has this figured out and field tested a practical solution (or not ??) Curious if the CG has a recommendation on this ?

    I think survival suits are mostly sucessful when they are on larger vessels that allow some time to get them on, and to secure your emergency gear (PLB, radio, etc) to the suit before getting in the water. Imagine your 10 year old kid, wife, and buddy who has never even seen one before, trying to put one on in the water, especially if they have not practiced and trained to do so.......

    Concur with CG that stuff that matters (PLB, radio, fire starter, flares, , light, & knife) should be on your life jacket which you are hopefully wearing

    There are past forum posts with pictures of people's ditch bags (which also needs to be somehere you can grab it in a second).

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    I'm talking about real survival suits not those float deck/work suits. Survival suits float and have a large inflatable float collar attached to them. I'd bet a lot of folks could get a suit over a life preserver but me i'd just stash all the goodies inside the suit, i think some suits might have a outside pocket for a radio or emergency beacon. I've got a strobe light attached to the zipper on mine and it also makes for a nice big zipper pull. Those self inflating rafts are nice but the inspection and repack fees are STEEP.
    To me if its that bad out that you even think you might flip then i'd make sure everybody on board had their suits on before they needed them even if they just have their legs in them and the rest rolled down at their sides.

    AMSEA has in pool survival classes every winter all through the state and i'd bet they would do a class for all the forum members if we asked them to. www.amsea.org or 907 747-3287.

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    Excellent comments on survival suits! I'll reinforce what's already been said about practice, practice, practice! Commercial fishing boats are allowed (in Alaska) to carry survival suits in lieu of conventional PFD's providing they also drill with the suits. They aren't necessarily difficult to put on but don't try it for the first time when the boat is sinking in a storm! Interestingly enough, survival suits are NOT approved flotation devices but can provide the necessary thermal protection for longer term survival allowing additional time for rescue; an important factor in Alaska's cold and sometimes lonely waters! Steve is right, some people probably could get a suit over a pfd (I'm not one of them...) but there really isn't a need to as the suits provide more than adequate flotation. On smaller boats (<26'), sinkings usually happen fast enough that people don't always have the time to put a suit on, so a PFD (worn) probably makes more sense. That being said, I carry survival suits aboard anyway because without the thermal protection, there's a much smaller chance I'll survive the effects of cold water immersion and if I have the time to put one on, I will!

    Speaking of survival suits, there are a bunch of them out there that are getting pretty old. Make sure you inspect your suit annually each spring and test them for leaks, wax the zipper, put fresh batteries in the strobe light and leave the zipper up about 6" or so. Put a couple of plastic grocery bags in the hood and stow them in a dry/accessible place on your boat so everyone knows where they are. Same with your Overboard Bag!

    Boat Safer! Mike

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    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/...klist82812.pdf This is a watercraft orientation checklist intended for operations who rent boats, ans it is applicable to recreational boaters.

    1. Wear your life jacket at all times, even on clear, calm water, sunny days.
    2. Carry communication and signaling devices ON YOUR PERSON such as a Personal Locator Beacon. (A better choice than SPOT) These devices attract attention and communicate a situation.
    3. Flie a float plan, a great tool is the pledgetolive.org website, if you do not return from a trip, a notification via email or text is automatically sent to the person you filed the float plan with, This is only between you and whomever you send it to.
    4. Understand cold water kills, regardless of age, boating experience or swimming ability, cold water takes your breath away, education, learning what to do in an emergency how to deal with cold water could be life saving.

    This weekend, Alaska Water Wise course is offered September 29th from 9-6, Atwood building downtown is a free course. This course may save you some money on your boat insurance, and if you are an EMS person you can recieve 8 hours of continuing medical education credits. This course is approved by National Association of Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the United States Coast Guard. Topics include, trip planning, navigation, legal requirements, emergencies, boating operations, cold water survival. Email joseph.mccullough@alaska.gov to rsvp. I wish you safe and enjoyable boating adventures.

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    thank you for all the info. it all helps

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    All very good advice....

    I also keep a small silnylon tarp in my ditch bag also. IF something happens and we are wet and cold, it might be good to get out of some weather If we can get to shore.

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