What safety equipment do I need for my boat? | With Andrew Hart & Nick Duigan

What safety equipment do I need for my boat? | With Andrew Hart & Nick Duigan


For an enjoyable day out on the water, you
need to make sure you’ve got a few essential things checked off. A great day never hurts. The fish being on the chew. And some ice in the esky. Little bit of fuel in the tank never
hurts either, but just as essential as those things are, you also need to make sure that
you’ve got the correct safety gear and it’s at hand and ready to go. It’s often the last thing we think of when planning a day out on the water, but a full set of serviceable
safety equipment is a vital part of your boat. The list of requirements ranges from things
as simple as a bucket and lanyard up to a GPS-enabled EPIRB, if you’re heading into offshore waters. So the safety equipment requirements form the minimum safety equipment that you’re required to go boating. These minimum requirements
change depending on the type of waterway that you’re operating in.
For powered vessels operating in enclosed and coastal waterways, the minimum safety
standards require an approved fire extinguisher, a set of handheld smoke flares, anchor and
line, bilge pump or bailer, bucket and lanyard, a paddle or paddles, depending on the size
of the boat, and a lifejacket for everyone on board. Another required, but sometime overlooked
item is a waterproof and buoyant torch. Now, there’s no point in having all this safety
equipment if you can’t get at it when there’s an emergency. I mean let’s face it, if you’re
gonna need to use it, it’s not gonna be flat calm like this and they’ll be a bit of panic.
So I want my EPIRB here within easy reach. Fire extinguisher is a really good case in
point of that. What you don’t want is your fire extinguisher back where your source of
ignition is. Typically in a boat like this, that’ll be the battery and electrical system.
You also don’t want it near the fuel. So, in this boat, up here away from those things
is a good spot for these. For other loose items, a safety grab bag keeps things together
and within easy reach. It also helps protect your equipment from the elements. Flares are
another item which require special attention. They’re a pyrotechnic which degrades overtime
and soggy out-of-date flares don’t cut it. They do have a three-year expiry, so you need
to keep on top of the expiry dates. Three years is probably just long enough for people
to forget about them. We recommend that people write down the expiry dates of their flares
where they keep their keys, so the moment that they pick up their keys, they go, “Oh, I’ve got another 12 months on my flares”. But remember, minimum requirements are just
that – minimum requirements. We’re in a 4.8 metre boat, within two miles of the shore,
which means by the letter of the law, we don’t have to carry some safety equipment. For example,
this is a GPS-enabled 406 EPIRB. Now, in this boat, in this situation, we don’t need it,
but why wouldn’t you have it? For $300 you push the button on this and within the hour,
somebody is hovering over the top to pick you up. I can’t think of any situation where
this isn’t a good idea. The Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook contains a full list
of requirements for all types and sizes of vessels in all Victorian waterways and the
information is also easily accessed via the Maritime Safety Victoria website and it’s
the skipper’s responsibility to make sure everything is on board and in good working
order. Maritime Safety Victoria safety officers make regular visits to boat ramps and waterways
across the state, so it pays to comply. “We’d just like to do a safety check on your
boat.” “Yeah. No worries.”
And then there’s our coastal waters. A great place to come and explore, but remember, the
sea can be a nasty place. Not a place to be trifled with, Andrew. Once
you are two nautical miles from the coast, you are officially into offshore waters and
there are a couple of pieces of equipment that you need to add to your safety arsenal
to be compliant out there. These off shore items include at least one
parachute distress flare, a marine radio, registered EPIRB and a working compass.
Yeah. As you can see, it’s pretty quiet out here, so if something happens, you’re pretty
much on your own. So you need those things to try and communicate with other people to
get some help. And of course, no set of safety equipment
is complete without a lifejacket for every person on board the vessel. So remember, wear
your lifejacket or others will wear the consequences.

One thought on “What safety equipment do I need for my boat? | With Andrew Hart & Nick Duigan

  • May 1, 2015 at 4:54 am
    Permalink

    Pity u could not have used a Victorian Show to promote boating safety

    Reply

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