BOATING SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT!!!!BOATING SAFETY TIPS
The incident of Sunday 21 March 2010 as reported by the media particularly on Channel Five and Seven respectively is an example of how not to conduct any boating activity. Thank to the almighty God the lives of 35 people were spared.
Experience and history has demonstrated to us that the sea has afflicted several seafarers before us and that it is foolhardy to venture out to sea or any water body unprepared. As a result seafarers must acquire a solid background in many disciplines that comprises nautical science and seamanship particularly because Safety is an important concept in seamanship.
Easter is one of a time of the year that several Belizeans venture out to sea to enjoy the wonders of our marine paradise. As such Master and Owner of vessel are advised to assume their respective responsibilities of safety to their crew and passengers.It is the responsibility of every Master:
· When you are operating a vessel you have a responsibility to your crew and passengers.
· As the Captain of a vessel, you are responsible for ensuring that your passengers understand basic safety practices and law onboard.
· Use a pre-departure checklist to make sure you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions.
· Make and File a FLOAT PLAN
· Ensure that you have enough fuel for the trip; use the 1/3 Rule
o 1/3 to your destination
o 1/3 to return to your Home port
o 1/3 for RESERVE
· Before departing, have a safety discussion with your passengers. You should point out:
o Location of PFDs, fire extinguishers, VDSs, and first aid kit.
o The need for each passenger to wear their PFD, especially during times of high boat traffic, severe weather, or any other dangerous boating conditions.
o Safety procedures if caught in rough weather, if someone falls overboard or if a fire erupts
o How to signal for help or use the VHF marine radio to make a MAYDAY call.
o Risk of consuming alcohol.
· Don’t throw any litter overboard. Bring all your trash back onshore to dispose of properly. Be sure to retrieve anything that blows overboard.
· Fishing line and plastics are deadly for fish and other marine species and should never be discarded in the water or on land near the water.
· Remember, if you have room to take it with you; you have room to bring it back!
· Carry reusable items such as plates, silverware, and glasses to reduce waste.· Accidents can be easily be prevented; Captains only need to:
o PRACTICE GOOD SEAMANSHIP
o KEEP A PROPER LOOKOUT
o MAINTAIN A SAFE SPEED
!!!!SAFETY IS AN IMPORTANT CONCEPT IN SEAMANSHIP;SAFE BOATING WILL SAFE LIVES AND RESCUE OUR MARINE ENVIRONMENT FROM POLLUTION!!!!!!!
BOATING SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT!!!!
Mr. H. Gilbert Swaso (Major Retired)
Steering a course towards Professional & Efficient Boating Skills “WAFAGUA NAUTICAL SAFETY INSTITUTE”
P.O. Box 2307
Tel: (501) – 670 – 8297