2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook - (Page 29)

PREPARATION FOR GETTING UNDERWAY 7 As the skipper, you are responsible for the safety of all your passengers. It’s crucial to have a plan, and to be prepared for emergencies. Remember that you can’t walk away from an accident on your boat. Consider how you will respond to any problem or emergency before you set sail. Inform a reliable person of your plans so that someone can sound the alarm if you don’t return when expected. The Float Plan Bernadette and Carol worked hard in their boating safety class, and it paid off—they got the highest grades in their class. This was exciting, because their parents had promised that if they did well in the class, they could take the family boat out for the afternoon at the end of the summer. Finally, the day arrived. The girls went through their checklist twice: “Let see … PFDs next to our seats, check. Visual distress signals in the glove compartment, check … Fire extinguisher, tool kit, extra line…” Meanwhile, Dad filled the tank and ran the blower, and then he supervised the sisters as they checked out the engine compartment. Finally satisfied, he was about to push the girls off when Bernadette said, “Dad, wait! We forgot to give you our float plan—here it is.” After a lovely voyage they arrived at Gills Bay and tied the boat to the deserted camp dock. The water was still summer warm so they went swimming and launched themselves on the rope hanging from the old maple tree. There weren’t other people around, so they cranked up the tunes and danced. The two sisters enjoyed an afternoon to remember. Around five o’clock the girls started to pack up. They stowed their gear, checked that their PFDs were next to their seat, and ran the blower. Carol turned the key— CLICK. She tried it again—CLICK. “That’s strange” she said, “the gas gauge shows that we have plenty of gas. Bernie, check the battery and see if the cables are still connected, and I’ll check the fuses.” But everything looked fine. Bernie figured it out. “Oh no, we ran the battery down playing music all afternoon! Let’s think, what should we do?” They tried to call Dad on their cell phone, but they couldn’t get a strong signal. They hadn’t seen another boat in hours, and they weren’t near a town or a road, so the distress signals wouldn’t help. But just in case, they decided to hang their distress flag high up a tree. An hour passed. The shadows were lengthening, the sun was almost down, and it was getting chilly. The girls were trying to be brave, but it was getting hard not to be scared. Finally they heard the low rumble of a boat engine. “That’s a boat!” said Carol, “We have to light a flare.” But before they could get the flare lit, the boat started to veer and head in their direction. It looked familiar…it was Mr. Shapiro’s boat, and Dad was on it! “Dad, how did you find us? We thought we would have to spend the night out here!” Very happy and relieved, Dad asked, “What did you give me before you left the dock?” The girls cried out in unison “Our float plan!” 29 Before you get underway… Float Plan Before venturing out aboard your boat, prepare a float plan and leave it with a reliable adult, such as a parent or other relative, a friend, or the operator of the marina. The float plan tells how long you expect your voyage to last so that someone on shore will know when to expect you back—and when to start the search if you don’t arrive as scheduled. The float plan also gives searchers or rescuers information that will help them locate you if you don’t return as planned. Of course, if you adhere to safe boating practices and exercise good judgment on the water, you’ll usually return from your voyage on time, safe and sound. When you get back onshore, notify the person with whom you filed your float plan. Every time you take to the water, complete a new float plan. Your float plan should include the following information:  The names of everyone on board;  A description of the boat;  Your proposed route, including where you plan to embark and your final destination, and any stops you plan to make along the way;  When you plan to leave; and  When you plan to return. The more information you can provide the better. A thorough float plan increases the chances that search units will be able to locate you if you need assistance. Should your plans change during your trip, be certain to notify the individual with whom you’ve filed your float plan. http://www.floatplancentral.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook

2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
Boats and Motors
Registration of Boats
Fueling and Ventilation
Safe Loading and Powering
Preparation for Getting Underway
The Marine Environment
Rules of the Road
Boat Operations
Personal Watercraft
Boating Related Activities
Accidents and Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter Review Questions Answers

2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook