Being prepared for an emergency goes a long way in determining the outcome. Part of this preparation is having a simple plan. Then the preparedness is broadened in the hopes we never put it to the test. A high priority consideration for any boating is a boat first aid kit. Marine first aid kits are typically put together for the marine environment where medical assistance is not easily or readily available. An alternate consideration is vessel integrity and mechanical safety such as bilge pumps
, fire extinguishers
etc. An added part of the emergency plan encompasses vessel identification. This is how we can call for assistance if required and how we aid the rescuers in locating the vessel. All the while not to forget the importance of items such as life preservers
, throw lines
and man overboard poles that are essential in any boating activity .
First Aid Kits
A basic boat first aid kit such as the one from SeaChoice® contains first aid supplies for the treatment of fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness, a minor cut, a prick from a fish hook or a jab from a fish spine. The kit also contains some non-aspirin tablets for a headache. These types of First Aid Kits do not provide sufficient resources where medical assistance is not readily available. A larger and more diversely stocked boat first aid kit should accompany any overnight or weekend cruise with the family. These often come with placards or instruction providing additional medical guidance. A good example of such a first aid kit is the first-aid day pack kit
from “Fieldtex Products®”, a 300 or 400 series from the “Tender Corporation®”
, or the Fish N Ski First Aid Kit
. Comprehensive type first aid kits provide a large selection of supplies and are tailored for conditions where medical assistance could be hours or days away and also are supplied with first aid contents for more serious injury. The larger kits offer the advantage of more quantities of supplies ensuring that first aid assistance is capable of being rendered for a longer duration. Providers of comprehensive marine first aid kits are Fieldtex®
, and the “Tender Corporation®”.
Most sailors and vessels have electronic equipment aboard to readily call for assistance. Then comes the task of displaying the vessels location which is easier said than done. There are a number of products available to aid with this, such as a distress flag, the trusty mirror, and flares of different kinds from manufacturers such as Orion® or electronics such as an epirb
or electric signaling light
On Board Rescue
A man overboard situation is often not a topic of discussion yet is more frequent that realized and can happen in a blink of an eye such as when losing one’s step when stepping aboard or leaning over the side to retrieve a prized catch. Preparation for this type of emergency is not complicated and some components are a Coast Guard requirement. A floating throwable device
rated for the type of vessel and a throw line might be all that is required yet there could be no harm in adding to this to suit one’s boating style, activities or habits like adding a floatation device for a pet
. If a man overboard or another type of onboard emergency should ever occur it will certainly be accompanied by the need for some medical attention and a reach for the onboard first aid kit.