Sinking vessel: What to do when your yacht is going down
January 15th, 2008 | By: admin | | One Comment
Knowing how to protect yourself and your crew in the event of a sinking can be critical.. Preparation is key to a safe voyage on the high seas, and from captain to crew, proper training cannot be emphasized enough.
In 1993 , 83 percent of people who drowned in yachting accidents were not wearing life jackets . By 2004 that number had risen to 89 percent. The United States Coast Guard stated that they rarely recover bodies from the sea with proper life vest or safety suites.
If your yacht is sinking on the high seas, proper protocol can save your life. The best defense is a good offense.
Make sure you have a navigation system that enables you to track your yachts movements, establish exact location, monitor speed and heading, and give you access to weather and sea conditions. This will allow you to pilot your yacht safely through conditions that would otherwise compromise your vessels integrity.
Always perform a safety inspection before launch. Make sure your yacht is equipped with Spine boards, life rings, rescue cans, and tubes. Also insure that items such as ACR safety strobes, life raft(s), flares or flare guns, and med kits (Fox 40 safety kit are recommended), have been checked and secured. A Satellite radio for contacting the coast guard in case of a major emergency is also a must.
Even with all the precautions in place, sometimes the worst happens. In the case of an emergency the proper sequence for abandoning ship are as follows:
<li> Start the GPS alert system to notify Coast Guard.</li>
<li>Alert crew to abandon ship.</li>
<li>Make sure all crew have on life saving apparel and vest.</li>
<li>Launch the life rafts.</li>
<li>Make sure you have taken a head count.</li>
<li>If able make a quick sweep of ship, make sure no one is left behind, sound abandon ship horn.</li>
<li>Make sure crew are loading in to life raft in an orderly manner.</li>
<li>Once on the raft, start the GPS location buoy.</li>
<li>Shoot an emergency flare to notify local vessels to your sinking yachts location.</li>
<li>Tend to your crew, make sure no one is hurt or going in to shock.</li>
It is important that you and your crew are trained in the use of the safety equipment and it's location on the yacht. Quick thinking and proper protocol can save lives.
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