Cruises, yachts, speedboats… even a ferry! You name it, hitting the open seas in a vessel can be a terrific time. Of course, water safety
should always take precedent. Do you know what to do if your boat capsizes? Read on to find out some basic safety tips.
What Does it Mean to Capsize?
To start off, let’s talk about some basic definitions. What does it mean for a boat to “capsize”? In a nutshell, a vessel is considered to be capsized if it has overturned. Whether it is upside down or horizontal, that is bad news for passengers.
Often, when a boat capsizes, it is because it was overloaded with passengers or cargo. They also can tip in heavy seas or adverse weather conditions. Above all, it is crucial to avoid pushing the boat beyond their established limits.
The size of the boat doesn’t necessarily matter. Any boat can capsize. That said, smaller vessels are a bit more likely to capsize due to their relative size versus weather and sea conditions.
Think Ahead: Knowing What to Do if Your Boat Capsizes
Now that we understand the risks, the question for everyone is what to do if your boat capsizes. As chaotic as this scenario may seem, keeping a cool head is always the best advice in any traumatic situation.
First and foremost, the best way to avoid danger is to prevent the boat from crashing or capsizing in the first place.
Above all, knowing the potential hazards is half the battle. To this end, smart captains follow a rigorous safety check before heading out. To start, don’t forget to check the weather forecast before heading out. Next, inspect your boat for leaks or potential problems that could lead to an accident. It’s better to take the time for these extra safety measures before heading out. The other option involves dealing with the consequences of being unprepared in deep choppy waters.
Keep the Weight Limit Low
Part of being prepared involves knowing the limits of your vessel. You’ll better understand what to do if your boat capsizes if you prepare before hitting the waves. Be sure not to overload the boat with cargo or passengers. Above all, never skip this step. It is remarkably easy to weigh down a vessel. Take extra care of knowing and obeying your vessel’s limits before heading out.
Inspect Before Boating
A crack or leak can spell disaster while out on the water. Before anything else, inspect your boat for potential problems that could lead to an accident. It’s better to take the time for these tests beforehand. Nobody wants to learn about a flaw in the middle of a storm.
When on a boat, always make sure you are wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved life preserver while on the water. In case of a disaster, this device should keep you safer in the water.
Adults should always make sure that their kids are properly wearing their life jackets as well. After all, a loose life jacket could easily slip off. If you do not have an approved life jacket, try to grab hold of any floating object. Fortunately, most boats will still remain floating even while capsizing. This offers several options to remain afloat during the ordeal.
Floating requires less energy than swimming. When it comes to knowing what to do if your boat capsizes, you will want to conserve energy and wait for help.
Above all, don’t leave the boat. The rescue team will be able to find a large sinking boat much more easily than a lone person in the waves. Instead, stay as visible as possible.
In addition to these tips, here is a great story from MSNBC about what to do if your boat capsizes:
Beyond this, be sure to read the rest of this safety blog from week to week. There are many helpful tips to share with friends and family. Together, we can help to prevent drowning danger.