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5 Things You Should Always Keep In Your Boat Emergency Kit

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on June 6, 2024
Boat Emergency Kit for Kentucky Boating Accidents

 

After Memorial Day hits, lakes, rivers, and other waterways become much busier. Boating season has arrived! From seasoned boat owners to first-time sailors, there are a lot of boats out on the water in the summer. However, no matter how much time you have under your boating belt, safety precautions should always be taken. If you are in charge of a boat, or even a passenger, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure everyone’s safety. Maintaining an easily-accessible, updated boat emergency kit is one. This also applies to rental boats. You should double check with the rental agency to ensure that they provide an emergency kit onboard. If they do not, it’s worth investing in, especially if you find yourself renting a boat often.

Boat Emergency Kit Essentials

Depending on where you are boating and what kind of boat you are operating, you will want to customize your boat emergency kit to your needs. Oceans and lakes might require different items, as will a sailboat vs a pontoon boat. The storage area you have available will also likely fluctuate, so be sure to take this into account when buying items for your kit. You can buy a pre-made kit, or you can put your own marine safety kit together to ensure that you have what works for you. Regardless, your kit should always include these 5 things:

1. First Aid Kit

First aid kits are helpful to buy pre-made, as they combine many different medical supplies. However, you can always invest in building your own. First aid kits for boats contain many of the staples you see in normal first aid kits. This can include bandages, gauze pads, scissors, antibiotic cream, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, and over-the-counter pain medication amongst other items. However, ocean first aid kits might also include emergency splints and slings, seasickness medication, bigger bandages, and jellyfish sting relief.

2. Fire Extinguisher

It might seem ironic to need a fire extinguisher when you’re surrounded by water. However, boats are designed to keep the water out, and some boats will be too big to reach down and easily gather water. Plus, if you are cooking on a boat and have a grease fire, water is not the correct solution. A class K fire extinguisher will be lightweight, able to handle all types of fires, and be readily available in the case of emergency.

3. Personal Floatation Devices or Life Jackets

This one is a no-brainer. Even if you don’t have a full boat emergency kit, it is Kentucky law to have a Type I, II, or III personal flotation device (PFD) on all boats. Boats 16 feet and over, except canoes and kayaks, must also carry one Type IV throwable PFD. Having extras in your kit will ensure that you have enough, even if a few get lost or broken.

4. Loud Sound Device or Radio

It’s important to have a way to get other boaters’ attention if you have an emergency. This might be a medical emergency, a broken motor, or other malfunction. Whatever it is, you do not want to be stranded and without a way to contact someone. Remember that your cell phone service won’t reach some areas of the water. Having a loud sound device such as a horn, whistle, siren, alarm, or similar item will draw attention to you for help. A radio might be better, depending on your location. If there are no other boats around, sounds won’t be enough. Having access to the emergency radio frequency will ensure that someone knows where you are and that you have a problem. Just be sure you know what that frequency is!

5. Flashlight with Extra Batteries

Finally, you’ll want a reliable light source onboard just in case you get stuck on the water at night. Flares are better for grabbing attention, but a flashlight has additional uses in addition. Having a way to maneuver the boat without tripping or injuring yourself will help prevent any extra emergencies from arising. Flashlights are also always good to have for simple repairs!

Be Safe on the Water, and Call Louisville Injury Lawyers, Cooper and Friedman, About Your Boating Accident

Boating accidents happen, and it pays to have the equipment to remain safe if it happens to you. Be sure to keep your emergency boat kit in a waterproof bag to keep items dry. Also, it is preferable for your bag to have some sort of buoyancy device so that it will float if it ends up in the water.

Other items that a good boat emergency kit can include are:

  • A Compass or Nautical Map
  • Toolkit or Multitool
  • Extra Rope
  • S.O.S. Flag
  • Boat Flares
  • Sunscreen
  • Reflector Blankets and Ponchos
  • Non-Perishable Foods
  • Drinkable Water or a Water Purification Method
  • Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)

If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced injury attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of boating accident victims. Contact us with questions you might have or schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.

Posted Under: Boating Accident, Personal Injury

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