When out boating, make sure someone on your boat is designated as a back-up to the captain if he or she should become incapacitated. To follow the adage, it’s always better to be safe – and prepared – than sorry.
One critical recommendation: everyone on board should know how the radio works and should be instructed how to contact the Coast Guard if emergency help is needed. If crew is unable to connect with the Coast Guard, the next best option is to raise other boaters on VHF Channel 16.
Be sure to teach these simple procedures to your back up or crew members:
- How to turn the radio on (power it up)
- How to transmit: remember to RELEASE the microphone button so the Coast Guard can communicate in response
- Make sure they understand and are ready with the type of information that the Coast Guard will request: What is your location? What is the emergency? What type of boat are you in or how can they identify the boat? How many persons are on board?
The Coast Guard recommends everyone on board understands what steps to take in an emergency.
RNO extends a special thanks to Ray McAllister of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary for this boating safety tip!