Sailing is usually safe; it is actually safer than driving a car. But for anything to be really safe, it has to be done right. The best way to guarantee the safety of your family and friends while taking an amazing vacation on a boat or sailing away to a weekend getaway is to make sure that you hire a professional charter business.
If you don’t know much about the subject, we’ll help you out. Here is how to recognize a legitimate charter company from just someone scamming you with a boat:
Does the Captain have a Professional Charter License? Is the boat certified by the maritime authority of your country? Professionals are not bothered by people asking questions; if they get uncomfortable or have no answers, that is a big red flag.
If the company accepts payments with credit cards and bank deposits in the name of the company rather than just cash, it is more likely to be a legitimate business.
What the boat should have
1. Life jackets for children
Keep in mind that a “float jacket” is not the same as a Life Jacket, which is designed to help a person in the water remain in an upright position. A safe boat has Life Jackets for children, not just adults.
Flares are important to send distress signaling or for illumination in a situation where you might need some assistance.
3. Life rings or life preservers for cases of emergency.
According to the Red Cross, wearing a life preserver device can prevent 90% of drownings and reduce the initial impact of falling into the water. Consequently, if the vessel has life rings on board, ensure they are accessible (according to experts, it should not take more than 4 seconds to access a life ring for it to be effective).
4. Night navigation lights
When operating at sunrise, sunset, or times of limited lighting, the navigation lights prevent collisions and keep the vessel safe.
5. GPS and VHF Radio
The GPS should be a marine GPS. Because this is how you know it would be waterproof, and it comes pre-loaded with maps of the waters you will be exploring.
The VHF (Very High Frequency) Radio allows you to communicate with other vessels about navigation and safety information, which can quite literally save your life in an emergency.
6. Fire extinguisher
All vehicles that use fuel have a small risk of creating a fire, which is why a fire extinguisher is a must near the motors, engine room, or places likely to ignite.
Other Warning signs
- Ensure you set sail from an authorized marina (a specially designed harbor) and not some random beach.
- If the crew has no uniforms, they are probably not a serious business, and there is no guarantee that they are well trained.
- If the motors are releasing smoke or if you feel a strong smell of fuel, those are warning signs that something is not right. If this happens, demand to be taken back to shore.
Traveling in any way has its risks. That is certainly why safety is a serious business, and any charter company should provide that for you. If you have any questions about our services, feel free to contact us. Your safety will always be our priority.
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