Whether it’s engine problems or an unexpected storm, being left in the open water is a frightening experience.
It’s beneficial to learn the tips for staying safe when stranded in the open water to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario or prevent it from happening.
Carry a maritime rope on your watercraft in case anybody offers assistance but doesn’t have one on their vessel. Ensure that it’s a long, sturdy, robust rope that can connect two boats with relative ease.
Along with the rope, you should always carry a knife on board, allowing you to cut the rope when you’re satisfied with your tie-up. If the water is choppy or if you’re in the middle of inclement weather, it’s better to seek the help of professionals. Hopefully, the good Samaritan has the capabilities to cruise back and get more help or radio in a mayday call.
Safety equipment onboard
Having the appropriate safety equipment is paramount before you go out to sea. Ideally, most safety gear is decorative, and you don’t have to use anything. Nevertheless, it’s better to overprepare than under prepare.
You should bring a radio, water markers, air horn, and flares. Additionally, pack the different flags to relay a nonverbal message if you need help.
Leave a float plan
One way to expedite any measures of someone locating you is by leaving a float plan. Filling out a float plan lets others know where and how long you will stay in the water. If something were to go wrong, the authorities would know where to look. At the very least, tell a loved one the route you are taking, so they can help in the search effort.
Prepare to row manually
If you’re a needle in a haystack and you have little hope that anyone will find you, you should have the essentials to reach the shore by yourself. Muscling it out is the last thing you want to do, but you may not have a choice. Using telescoping paddles may get the boat headed in the right direction, although you may run out of energy quickly. Remember to bring plenty of drinking water to prevent dehydration, giving you a fighting chance to get your way back manually.
Stay in the boat as long as possible
Do not leave your boat until you exhaust all other choices. A bobbing boat is more visible than a person flailing in the water, especially when the sun dissipates. Even if you think you can reach the shoreline by yourself, odds are that it’s farther away than it looks, and you’ll quickly run out of steam. Thus, stay calm, strap on a lifejacket, anchor your boat, and wait it out.
Educating yourself on the best tips for staying safe when stranded in the open water provides answers in case of an emergency by teaching you the proper precautions. All being well, you will never have to employ an SOS message, but you’ll be happy that you prepared for it if you ever do.