Safety First: Learn What Floats and How to Escape a Boating Accident Safely

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No one wants to think about accidents on the open ocean, but the fact is that they happen. Large waves, risky maneuvers and just general bad luck can lead to all sorts of challenges. You don’t want to wait until someone is thrown overboard to make a plan. These tips will help you locate flotation devices on your boat, such as boat cushions and life vests, teach you how to stay afloat for long periods of time, and give you some advice on maintaining these crucial items so you’ll remain prepared for anything.

Find What Floats

Before boarding, you should make sure you have a life vest for everyone who plans to come on board. Children should wear their life vests at all times, unless they are asleep below deck. Even then, life vests and marine foam cushions should be within reach at all times. Above deck, this isn’t very much of an issue because of seating arrangements.

Yacht cushions float thanks to open-celled foam that doesn’t hold water. If the boat capsizes, look for some cushions to find something you can latch onto and float.

Learning to Float

What will keep you alive for long periods of time is your ability to conserve your body’s energy. If you’re in calm water, you can simply float on your back. Allow your body to go flat, keep your head above water and ride the gentle waves. If the water is rough, do the opposite by lying face down. This sounds dangerous, but you should be able to lift your head for air as needed and your flotation device will help with that. The main concept is to avoid expelling unnecessary energy by treading water.

Final Tips and Thoughts

Survival is not to be taken lightly, so make sure you’re prepared to try and catch water if it rains. If you packed water bottles, they may still be afloat around your boat, so it could be worth it to check. If you have time to disembark in an orderly fashion, fire off a flare to signal you’re in trouble. This should reduce the amount of time you spend floating alone out there. If you’re in a serious bind, and you have not found help for several days, you may need to take more extreme measures. In this case, try to swim down and look for seaweed you can grab. You will often find small fish or crabs nestled in the seaweed that will provide you enough nourishment to keep going.

Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you need this advice. In case you do, it’s always best to prepare yourself so you can keep a cool head.