Vessel Check List
We have discussed in the previous section all of the required equipment for a safe outing. In addition to the minimum requirements, common sense tells us that we should check everything about our boat which could make the difference between an enjoyable recreation or a disaster.
We all use recreation to reward ourselves or to help relieve the stress of our day-to-day lives. Because it is not an everyday occurrence and because of the mere excitement involved, it is possible that we could overlook something which could be critical to the safety of our trip. Just as pilots have a pre-flight checklist, we, too, should have a pre-departure check list. It just makes it simple to go down the list and check each item. This could prevent an unpleasant event or even save lives.
Here is a sample pre-departure check list that can be modified for use on your particular boat.
Skipper's Passenger Safety Orientation:
- Locate PFDs/Life Jackets, explain when to put them on, demonstrate how, and emphasize the importance of proper fit..
- Locate fire extinguishers and explain their use if there is a fire emergency.
- Locate required flares (VDS) and explain why, when and how they are used.
- Point out the location of your first aid kit.
- Point out Oil Pollution Placard and Save Our Seas Placard (if required) and explain details of discharging waste and waste management procedures.
- Point out location of anchor and give brief explanation of its use and how to deploy.
- Explain operation of the Marine Radio (if equipped) and explain its use during an emergency.
- Explain passenger/crew duties and responsibilities in the case you encounter heavy weather.
- Prior to docking or undocking, explain fully the procedures for line handling. Use terms describing lines that the passengers/crew can understand or explain the terms you use.
- Explain what to do in case of operations emergencies such as losing steering, losing an engine, etc.
- Explain procedures and responsibilities of passengers and crew in case of a crew overboard situation.