Boating Safety - Single Operator (safety)



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  • Boating Safety - Single Operator (safety)

    I was just curious how many people have been out on the water and they were the only ones that knew how to operate the controls on the boat.

    I have heard some real horror stories about families going out dozens of miles and the owner has a heart attack or falls overboard and no one in the family knows anything about contacting emergency services or operating the boat.
    I have even seen situtations where the boat owner cannot swim (myself) and they come close to falling overboard.
    I now try to make sure someone knows how to operate the controls besides myself - after all If I fell overboard and was drifting in the tide - I would want someone to know how to pick me up.
    It makes even more sense if your flying!
    Last edited by akfishnut; 03-21-2009, 23:09. Reason: Formatting
    How stupid is it to be wasting tons of salmon and halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea and then have the coastal villages hollaring they have no food? It's got to stop!

  • #2
    Here's a good story of others knowing how to operate your boat.
    This happened on Lake Ontario out of Toronto in the 90's
    A father and his young son (10 or 12 years old) were out fishing off the Toronto islands in their 26 to 28 foot boat when the father became violently ill. He was vomiting blood and passed out due to a bleeding ulcer. The young lad got on the radio and got tha coast guard on the radio and told them what had happened and that he was running the boat back in. He brought the boat into Toronto Harbour up to the their slip and parked perfectly the first time!!!!! The waiting ambulance attendants attended to the father and rushed him off to the hospital. If the son had not known what to do he would be without a father now.


    • #3
      I thought of teaching the GF how to drive the boat but that is the only thing i drive where she doesn't try to tell me how to do it!!!!!!!!!!


      • #4
        Too funny High Pockets . Fortunately all of my buddies know how to operate my boat and use the radio so no matter who I take, it's good. However everytime they go with me, I still run them thru the drill of where the ditch bag is, where the fire extinguishers are, how to operate the PLB, etc, etc. They kinda roll their eyes sometimes later in the season but understand why I'm doing it. This year I'm installing new radios w/ DSC so they've got a new button to remember to push if needed :eek:. Good thread fishnut and Drifter - that's an amazing story. Another reason why this thread is good.


        • #5
          Stop, Think, Act. . .


          If you value the lives of yourself and your crew, you will practice a few safety techniques.

          First - consider wearing PFD's (Personal Flotation Devices) - whether you / they know how to swim or not. Learning how to swim would be a plus.

          Next - Have family and friends take a boating safety course. Coast Guard Auxiliary courses are great. I 'was made' to take one of these (muti-session) courses when I was fourteen, as a pre-requisite to a SAILING course. I got hooked.
          At a minimum a 'Suddenly In Command' (SIC) course... the situation you are referring to is covered in that 'mini-course'.

          Practice MOB (Man Overboard) drills. Toss a life vest or some other floating object over and go through the drill a few times.
          Try it with a crew member in some chop or current to see how different it can be. :eek:
          If you really have 'scrotal girth' consider jumping overboard yourself and have your crew recover YOU!

          Teach passengers how to operate the radio and the proper channels to use as well as proper radio etiquette.

          Practice use of and carry a Fire Extinguisher! Onboard fires are more common than you might think.

          All of the above are covered in the USCG Auxiliary Boating Safety and Seamenship course, as well as engine info and the like.


          Designate someone as 'Emergency or Back-up Captain' in the event you are unable to continue in that role.
          I still recall the very first time I was assigned this role. It really makes you think about boating in a different light.

          Have fun and minimize the risk of injury or death to those about you.

          Safe Boating!
          Cape CARES - San Marcos, Honduras - video


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