Yachting as a Sport and a source of recreation can be very exciting. However there are various safety precautions a Yachter must undertake and be prepared for. YachtsIndia.com has here, some of the basic safety precautions listed which would be useful to a Yachter make his / her Yachting experience an enjoying and a memorable one.
Personal Floating Devices such Life jackets, throwable buoyant devices or Floatation aids.
A Sound Producing device such as a bell or a whistle
Flame Extinguishers - a must if your yacht carries flammable Cooking Gas Cylinders or Gasoline.
Visual Distress Signal Devices like Smoke flares, Meteor Flares and Distress flares- night time or day time you never know when you need them.
Sailing during the night requires a beam light and a combination of green and red indicators on the sailing mast and in the front of the deck respectively to alert other vessels and to display the state of Anchoring. Diving at night times necessitates showing a rigid illuminated replica of the Divers down flags.
Shapes or flags should be displayed at times of anchoring during daytime and when Diving.
It is wise to carry spares of Flags, Bulbs and the rigid shapes, you never know when they get lost or the get
A fire on board is a dangerous condition. One must understand that it takes 3 elements to start a fire - oxygen, fuel and heat. Remove anyone of them and be assured you have the Fire under control.
Check the Gas Cylinder hose and fuel cans for any sign of leakage regularly. Although it isn't necessary to carry fire extinguishers in smaller vessels , it is advisable to do so. Fire Extinguishers are classified by the A,B,C and D types which is measure of the capacity of the cylinder, the greater the Alphabet the more capacity the fire extinguisher has.
Always inspect the Fire Extinguishers, the hoses and have them recharged frequently or if they are of the replaceable type, get them replaced. There are different classes of fires like Class A for Wood and combustible items, Class B for flammable liquids like Gasoline, Class C for Electrical Fires and Class D for Chemical Fires. Select the right type of Fire Extinguisher when dealing with a Fire.
Give enough ventilation facilities on deck and in the hull. It may prevent a Fire out of Gas Leaks.
The Weather is an unpredictable phenomenon an you should never leave dock before checking the weather from source such as the Radio, TV or from the Weather channels on your FM Radio.
Check your Engine, Rudder, Propeller, jib and spinnaker regularly. Keep the hull and decks clean and properly waxed. Cracks on the hull should be given prime attention and get them patched. Metals and Aluminum parts like nuts, screws etc. tend to get corroded in seawater very quickly, polish them with Metal Wax regularly. Use Silicon grease or any other water proof adhesive for Electrical fittings at their contacts to prevent an electrical short. A regular checkup of your Refrigeration, cooking facilities, Air Conditioning, Fresh Water system, Communication equipment, Batteries and Generator is recommended.
Always keep your crew informed and demonstrate the usage of a Life Jacket and the various safety precautions before leaving dock. Be courteous to others either on the Sea or on the Waterways as they are enjoy same rights you have. Be aware of speed limits and other regulations prior to leaving dock and venturing on unfamiliar waters. Sound over water travels much farther than on land especially in the nights, therefore try to limit noise as much as possible. While disposing waste solid or liquid, check if they are biodegradable. Pollution laws have become much more stricter. Try to prevent the use of Plastic Bags. Alcohol is cause for more than half of the accidents , don't get drunk while navigating. Always wear your life jackets while fishing, Your catch if huge may pull you out overboard!! while sailing keep your yacht some distance away from swimmers and when you see the Divers down flag on any neighboring vessel.
Every Yachter is expected to get some training in First Aid. Carry a fully stocked supply of medicines, bandages, antiseptics, burn ointments and a First Aid Manual before leaving Dock. A victim of drowning, cardiac arrest or burns are some of the cases encountered while venturing out on the waters. Be alert for such emergencies and get yourself trained in First Aid, it can save others lives and maybe even yours!!
(Please check with the appropriate governing agencies for current boating and safety rules).