Thursday, July 15, 2004
What Would You Do: Safe At Sea
Summer in South Florida...For a lot of people that means getting out on a boat just about every weekend. But when it's anchors away, there are some common mistakes many of us make. Here's the Nighteam's Charles Perez on what to do to stay safe at sea.
(WSVN) -- Blue skies, blue ocean. For most of us in South Florida, it doesn't get any better than this.
But before you leave your worries behind, don't just turn the key and go.
When you're ready for a day of sun and splash, first make sure everything is working at the marina.
Leave the boat running for a good five to ten minutes and then take the boat out.
That includes checking there is enough oil and enough fuel.
"It's a lot more dangerous to run out of gas off shore because you're going to be off shore in the currents like that."
And believe it or not make sure you put the plug in the boat.
They take them out when the put the boat on the trailer to let the water out and they forget to put it back.
Next be aware if your battery is charged or not.
A dead battery could leave you dead in the water.
Something to remember is that if your battery goes down, you're going to lose your radio. Correct. If you're vhf is hooked up to your battery you will lose power.
Also go over your safety gear...See that you have enough life preservers for adults and children.Make sure you have one for every person on board.
Because once you're out on open water...There are dangers around every corner.
Now one of the most common mistakes that can lead to serious injury is trying to walk around without holding on.
If you don't hold on, especially small children, you can fall on those hooks .. or can fall on a piece of metal on your boat.
If you want to go fishing, be aware the equipment can pose a hazard. We had one a couple of weeks ago where a sword fisherman gaffed himself in the foot. Right.
Make sure hooks are secured to poles...And fishing gear is stored out of harms way.
Then if you decide to go diving, stay near the dive flag.
A dive flag is necessary for everybody who is going to be scuba diving or snorkeling, because their face is going to be in the water and they're not going to be aware of their surroundings.
Plus, whenever a boater sees one of these flags...they are required to stay 300 yards away from the boat.
If you don't it could end up injuring someone and it's definitely a careless citation. And as long as your safety gear is updated and on board ... You will be able to make sure minor incidents don't become major emergencies.
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