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Prevention is a key element to avoide dangerous situations at sea.
Salvamento Marítimo statistics shows that between 60% and 65% of emergencies, indicate that human error as a major cause of accidents, followed by mechanical failures.
The lack of adequate and binding material or poorly maintained and manipulated, aggravates any risk.
For that reason our first post is dedicated to give you some necessary tips to consider before boarding to your boat.
1. BOAT STATUS
First of all you must be sure of the boat condition. Check the function of:
- Sailing Equipment
- Communications Equipment
- Electric system
- Oil & water levels
Have enough information about the route and ports you are going to visit: nautical charts, sailing miles, book of lighthouses, places of anchorage, available moorings, etc.
Nowadays there are a lot of websites that inform about sailing itineraries. We recommand to check your desired itineray and plan it at home.
- Have enough information and plan an itinerary.
- After that, check the Captaincy weather prediction.
- Estimate the sailing miles and timmings.
When sailing the Atlantic, take note note the times of the tides, calculate the height of water in case you need to stop somewhere and study the map of the currents.
- Consult guides to learn about ports and anchorages, see if they are well protected and identify potential hazards.
- Sailing at night, look at the notes and the lighthouses characteristics.
Do not forget that is strictly prohibited tie to marking buoys.
3. WEATHER PREDICTIONS
- Find out the weather forecast for the area where you are going to navigate.
- Avoide the exit in case of bad weather or poor visibility.
Here there are a few links where you can check the weather predictions:
|Agencia Estatal de Meteorología||www.aemet.es|
4. SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Depending on the sailing areas for which the vessel is authorized (ocean, sea, coastal waters, sheltered waters), the legislation requires certain safety equipment on board.
The safety equipment is divided into five categories: rescue, navigation, bilge and firefighting, different tools and prevention of sewage discharges. So, we recommand to have on board all the safety requirements for your planned trip.
5. MOTOR CONSUMPTION
How is a topic that has many variables, don't worry, we develop it in another post.
6. NOTICE YOUR INTENTIONS
Report the scheduled date / time of departure / arrival and port of departure / destination and don't forget to notice any course change to the club.
Describe the vessel characteristics, at departure and the destination points.
For the best Identification of the boat:
• Name of the ship.
• Crew. How many people are going to sail and their names.
• Type, color, shapes of superstructures, masts, etc.
• Communications equipment you have.
• Contact telephone and people you contact in case of emergency.
7. REQUIRED INFORMATION
Update your nautical qualifications and documentation according to your boat and planned trip.
Don't board more crew than your boat is allowed.
"All equipment and rescue equipment must be located, marked and rather accessible to any crew at all times"