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Boat Safety Equipment

Before your boat leaves dry land, you need to make sure that you have all of the boat safety equipment specified by law, so you are both safe and operating legally. Ensure you have the right items by complying with regulations and the advice of experienced boat owners.

Life Jackets

Boat life jackets and flotation equipment are undoubtedly the most important safety items on any marine vessel. You will need at least one life jacket, in good condition and the correct size, for each person on the boat. Even their storage is regulated. Life jackets should be stored in a very clearly marked and easily accessible location.

Emergency Flares

Flares are used to signal at long distances that a vessel is in need of assistance. Most areas require red hand flares for day or night time use, and orange smoke flares for the daytime. They need to be stored in a well-marked place that can be accessed in complete darkness. Flares have a three year expiry date, and they require safe disposal.

Basic Safety Equipment

While these items might seem basic, they’re legally required and could be essential in an emergency. A boat is required to carry a waterproof floating torch, something to make a sound (like a horn), a safety label, an anchor, a strong bucket, and plenty of drinking water. V labels can be put on your boat to signal you are in trouble. Fire extinguishers and a compass with a chart are also required. Think about how you will store these items to be easily accessible.

Safety Technology

Boat beacons and distress signals can locate you or signal for help in an emergency. An EPIRB or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon helps rescuers find your position if you get into trouble, while a marine radio allows you to communicate with the shore and other boats. If you have a bilge, a bilge pump should be carried. Check regulations in your area to make sure you’re properly compliant.

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