Boating is an exciting outdoor activity that offers an incredible opportunity to enjoy the sun, the water, and scenery. However, any experienced boater knows that there are risks involved, especially when far from shore. One of the most dangerous situations is getting swamped. Swamping is a sudden influx of water into the boat, causing it to fill with water and potentially sink. This can happen due to sudden weather changes, large waves, capsizing, or any number of reasons. However, what should you do if your boat gets swamped far from shore?
Firstly, if your boat is swamped and you’re far from shore, it’s essential to remain calm and focused. Panicking will not help the situation but rather escalate it, making the problem worse. Once you have assessed the situation and determined that there is no immediate danger, you should assess the amount of water in the boat. This will help you to determine whether it is possible to salvage the boat or not.
The next step would be to put on the life jacket and ensure that all passengers on board are also wearing theirs. This is a critical step that should not be taken lightly, especially when far from shore. Wearing a life jacket ensures that you and your passengers stay afloat and can increase your chances of survival in case the boat sinks.
Once you’ve ensured everyone’s safety, the next step is to bail the water out of the boat. You can use a bucket, bailing pump, or any other available item to remove the water. In most cases, it’s easier to use a bailing pump as it’s more efficient, and it’s less tiresome. Continue to remove water from the boat until it’s light enough to start the motor or row to the shore.
If it’s not possible to start the motor or row to the shore, you may need to seek external assistance. Notify the Coast Guard or any other emergency service provider in your area for help. You can use a marine radio, cell phone, or any other available means to call for help.
Boating is an enjoyable and thrilling experience that requires proper preparation and precautions. However, when things don’t go as planned, it’s essential to remain calm, assess the situation, ensure everyone’s safety, bail the water out of the boat, and seek external assistance if necessary. By following these steps, you can greatly increase your chances of survival and make the situation less dangerous. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than intervention; therefore, it’s crucial to take all necessary precautions before heading to the water.