Practice for Emergencies to Make Composed Decisions Under Pressure
“Those safety drills we went over just paid off!” exclaimed a client on the phone one day this fall. He’d just watched another boat cut a navigational marker and abruptly run aground. With a boat full of guests, our client maneuvered near the grounded boat, maintaining a safe distance from the ledge. Its captain and occupants were panicking. One guest appeared to be injured, and another jumped into the water without a life vest.
Our client directed a guest to throw the rescue rope and life ring we had placed on board to the man in the water, while he called the Coast Guard with the location, description, and number of people on board the grounded vessel. He used the hailer function on his VHF and instructed the captain and crew to don life vests and check all bilges for water. Though taking on water, the boat was hard aground and not in danger of sinking in the short term. Our client instructed the occupants of the boat to stay put until the Coast Guard and towboat arrived.
The right safety equipment and consistent practice of proper safety procedures will empower you to make composed, methodical decisions in an emergency.