Our last Carefree Boat Club training blog covered Water Sports Safety. As a follow up, this week’s #TrainingThursday will cover Packing A Safety Kit. We will cover best practices for what your safety kit should contain and where to store it.
What is a Safety Kit?
Also known as “grab bag” or “ditch bag” a safety kit is essential to have before you ever set sail or start your engine! Although this is not a fun topic, Carefree Boat Club considers education and safety a top priority. Carefree Boat Club ensures that all vessels have a safety kit on board, which allows members to enjoy their time on the water with peace of mind. Members are also required to go through on-site boating safety and emergency training–both in the classroom and on the water.
A safety kit should contain emergency supplies to take on a life raft in the event you have to abandon your ship. It’s key to have your safety kit readily accessible on your ship to allow at least 30 seconds to grab it. Also, keep in mind the contents of your safety kit should also be based around your geographic location.
The contents of a safety kit should have all or a most of the following supplies:
- Emergency food rations
- Fresh water
- Signaling devices
- Basic first aid
- Check your ditch bag at the beginning of every season.
- Check your ditch bag before a long voyage.
- Flares, food, water and batteries can all expire. Check expiration dates and replace if necessary.
- Talk with your crew about their roles in the case of an emergency:
- One person can grab safety kit or ditch bag.
- Two people can grab life raft.
- One person can grab whatever else they can carry, water jugs, food, etc.
What should your safety kit contain?
The safety kit contents depends on the size and the needs. This can be based off of the weather in the area, the size of the life raft or how far out to sea you’re going.
Here are a few of the recommended basic safety kit essentials although there are many more things that could be included, such as: strobe lights, binoculars, sunglasses, solar blankets (in cold climates), etc.
Basic Safety Kit Essentials:
- Waterproof whistle
- SOLAS flares – Self contained aerial flares that don’t require a pistol to launch.
- Extra clothing
- Food and water
- One 16oz bottle of water
- Commercially available sealed high-calorie bars formulated to decrease thirst
- EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Rescue Beacon)
- Fishing kit (line, jigs and hooks)
- Waterproof handheld VHF radio
- Spare battery pack, medical kit
- Space blankets
- Signaling mirror
- LED Floating Flashlight
What kind of bag should it be?
- Ability to float
- Visible – Red, orange or yellow
- Should have interior pockets for safety items
- Clearly labeled
- Sturdy, easy to carry
Other Related Articles:
- ACR Artex: The Science of Safety – What A Survivor Should Pack In Their Rapid Ditch Bag
- Boating Magazine – Assembling A Ditch Bag
Tune in to our next training blog!
For more information stay tuned to future posts and articles from Carefree Boat Club, or visit our social pages below!