Be sure to check out Salty’s boating tips and feel free to contact us should you have any questions at all before you set out on the water!
Getting Help on the Water
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, contact the Coast Guard on your VHF Radio (channel 16). Report your position, the number of people on board, and have everyone put on their PFD. Also, be ready to signal a passing boat with your flares (The importance of a VHF radio cannot be over emphasized).
Convince yourself of the value of wearing a PFD
Next time you are swimming with someone (even a small child) in a pool or by your boat, try this: Pretend for a moment the person you are with is hurt and cannot swim. Try to keep yourself and the other person afloat. Try to move them to a safe place. Then try it with your PFDs on. You will see just how difficult it is to help even the smallest child without PFDs. Many people who fall in the water either do so because of an accident on the boat and they fall in the water injured. Some fall in the water and hurt themselves during the fall. Either way you will be in trouble without a PFD. The best swimmer in the world cannot tread water indefinitely and the colder the water, the less time you will have. Everyone onboard should wear a PFD. If you wait for the fall or accident it is too late!
Rain-X ® Glass TreatmentGood visibility is a very important part of boating. Try this simple product on your glass windshield (not on plexi-glass) you will be amazed at how rain and sea spray just rolls off the glass.
Flares or VHF Radio?
The answer is simple, both. If you have an emergency contact the Coast Guard on channel 16 immediately. All other vessels on channel 16 (in-range) will hear your broadcast. There may be a boat ½ a mile away that can reach you in two minutes. However, if that vessel ½ a mile away does not have his radio on you may be able to get his attention with a flare (day or night).
Monitor Channel 16 on your VHF Radio while Boating
VHF radio channel 16 is the distress channel. The U.S. Coast Guard, rescue boats, commercial vessels and many recreational vessels monitor Channel 16. You do not usually hear a lot of chatter on this channel because it is only used for distress and safety. The broadcasts you will hear are important and useful.