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The first day of Spring is now within view (March 20, 2022), which means launch dates are right around the corner. As we gear up, this is a great time to pull together an Emergency Plan for the 2022 season and refresh any outdated items. The team at Atlantic Marinas compiled a list, using various industry partners, to help minimize damage to your vessel and help preserve the safety of your passengers should something go wrong on one of your boating adventures.

U.S. Coast Guard boating safety requirements:

  • Personal floatation devices (PFDs) for each passenger
  • Flotation device that can be thrown into water (cushion, ring, etc.).
  • Operational fire extinguisher
  • Flares
  • Audible signaling device (horn or whistle)

Additionally, Atlantic Marinas recommend:

  • Map/chart of the waters you are navigating
  • First aid kit
  • Paddle
  • Lines/ropes for being towed or pulled back to shore
  • Communication device to contact outside assistance, if necessary, such as a VHF radio (recommended) or cell phone.

“File” a float plan: If you plan a longer cruise then a few hours, leave a written float plan with the Atlantic Marinas office team or a friend. A float plan should include a description of your boat, who is on board, a description of the safety equipment you are carrying, where you expect to be, and when you expect to be there. If you are going out for just a few hours, let a friend know where you expect to be and when you expect to return. While there is no official “Float Plan” form, the Coast Guard provides a great template:

Did you know a new law took effect April 2021 for all vessels under 26’? The operator must use an engine cut-off switch lanyard while operating the boat at planing speed. These lanyards are designed to stop a boat’s engine if the operator is thrown from the helm. Runaway boats and propeller strikes account for about 4 percent of all boating accidents and injuries in the United States each year and this law aims to reduce this problem. Our Atlantic Marinas team verifies that safety checks by authorities have been occurring on the Bay and Rivers

No matter how many boating trips you have under your belt, it’s best to freshen up on boat safety to protect your family, friends, and vessel.

Article Resources:
U.S Department of Homeland Security | United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Travelers Insurance Risk Control
United States Coast Guard Boating Safety

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