Surviving Sinking

Even with careful safety planning, unpredictable situations can arise. A worst-case scenario is being forced to exit the vessel. However, jumping into the water itself is dangerous as the person’s chances of survival severely diminish. Instead, it is much better to get into a life raft.

The Titanic is by far the most famous example of a high profile boat sinking. Today the wreck has protected status. The story of this tragedy highlights the importance of sufficient lifeboats. The majority of survivors all chose to enter these vessels instead of braving the cold water.

While waiting to be rescued, it is essential to be aware of heatstroke and sunburn. The website Wikipedia has plenty of information on how to prevent and treat these conditions. Most rafts have a cover for passengers to stay under so that their skin is not exposed. Symptoms of heatstroke can include a high temperature, headache, nausea, fast heartbeat and a confused mental state. Staying cool and drinking cold fresh water will help to fight off the effects of it.

Modern rafts are sometimes equipped with sea anchors, which are utilised for stabilisation. This is also useful as the vessel will drift away slowly, keeping it closer to the sunken ship when the emergency services look for survivors. On the other hand, if authorities have not been informed, it may be better to drift and seek out land. If so, the anchor will need to be pulled up.

It is never a good idea to drink saltwater. Instead, the person should ration their available fresh water. One of the biggest dangers is dehydration. Consequently, sinking survivors have to monitor their fluid intake regularly.

Why Boats Sink

Modern boats are designed to float on top of the water effectively. A great deal of engineering expertise has gone into making them as seaworthy as possible. Despite this, there are numerous factors that can lead to vessels sinking. It is inevitable for some water to get into the ship from time to time. Large waves may break over the sides, or minor leaks can occur. The fluid usually manages to get to the lowest part of the boat. This is called the bilge. Luckily, the majority of vessels contain bilge pumps which push water out when a certain amount accumulates.

There are plenty of news stories each year about boating incidents. A surprising number of these occur while at the dock. Unless the owner lives on the ship, it will not be a life-threatening situation. However, sinking becomes much more dangerous while out in the open water. There is a wide range of possible reasons for this to happen.

The rear of the ship contains a flat vertical surface known as a transom. Motors are sometimes attached to it. Transoms should be high enough so that they do not take on water. Unfortunately, design flaws may lead to it being far too low. Also, when the boat has improper weight distribution, waves could start to go over the transom and flood the deck.

The front is higher than the rear while travelling at sea. Any water collected from splashing waves should be drained with the use of watertight plugs. These devices are essential to have on board. Sometimes captains neglect to stop the plugs from draining when the boat comes to a rest. Vessels that have stopped moving can sink lower and take on even more water through their plugs. It is possible for the entire ship to go down for this reason.

A considerable amount of water is pumped through boat engine systems in order to keep them cool. Hoses need to be watertight. If not, they can burst fluid which will collect in the bilge. The hose fittings are vulnerable to corrosion and split over time. The best way to prevent this is by replacing the parts that look suspect. Proper maintenance and regular vigilance can end up saving lives.

Boat Safety

Boating is an enjoyable hobby that allows people to travel across large expanses of open water. Despite being rewarding, it also has numerous dangers to be aware of. If the boat captain and passengers are prepared, they will maximise their safety.

Even though the boat is surrounded by water, it is possible for fires to start on board. Once the fire begins to spread, it can have devastating consequences. Therefore it is essential to have a working extinguisher on board. It is surprising how prevalent carbon monoxide poisoning is at sea. This tends to be the result of exhaust fumes from generators or issues with stoves that use solid fuel.

Emergencies sometimes occur in remote locations. Portable communication tools are the key to contacting emergency services. If the authorities can be called out swiftly, it significantly increases the chances of survival. In extreme cases, the person might need to jump into the water. Wearing a high quality life jacket will help to prevent drowning. Flotation devices have saved a lot of lives over the years.

Before setting out on a voyage at sea, the owner of the boat needs to perform a range of safety tasks. Smoke and CO2 detectors should be fitted so that the people on board are alerted early. It is wise to create a fire action plan and train all of the passengers. When changing gas cylinders or refuelling, extreme caution needs to be undertaken. If canisters are stored the right way, then leaks will safely flow overboard instead of into cabins.

It is possible for sparks to be created from damaged strands in fuse boxes and battery terminals. The best way to stop this is by checking connections regularly. While performing repairs, it is common for paint, adhesives and spirit products to be utilised. These are hazardous if the space is not well ventilated.

Some people make the mistake of leaving the solid fuel stove lit when they exit the boat. This has in the past led to fires breaking out. Other incidents have occurred due to passengers placing fabric and paper near wood-burning stoves. The key is to recognise these boat dangers and avoid them.

Navigation is also important. Being aware of the exact position of the boat is vital when calling the emergency services. Luckily most modern boats are fitted with GPS tech. This should be fully charged while at sea.