So, it’s the beginning of August and we are all good and warmed up! While we are out having fun, I want to remind everyone of a few safety items to consider:
Up and down A, B and C docks, there is a stanchion every 100 feet that has a fire extinguisher and a life ring attached. Make sure you know where these are, just in case! The instant that a loved one falls in the water is not the time to wonder if there is any floatation around! Make sure that you keep the walkways clear, and try to minimize tripping hazards. One trip over a forgotten garden hose will make a believer out of you! Please keep shore power cords up and out of the water. The outer jackets of the cords are weather-resistant, and will be just fine in the rain or while you are washing the boat, but they are not meant to be immersed in the water. There are two reasons for this- 1. Electric fields around the cord can create what is sometimes called “stray current”, and even though this won’t likely be enough to hurt someone, it does increase the potential for galvanic corrosion of the metalwork on boats nearby. 2. The cord is subject to having marine growth form on it, and begins to magnify any
damage that has been done prior. Eventually, this can cause a cord failure that would be bad enough to shock someone. There are a variety of ways to secure cords, using Velcro straps, pieces of rope or string, bungee cords, etc. that will leave enough slack to allow for vessel movement, but will keep your cords high and dry!
While you are headed to the water, check the boat to make sure that you have all of your required safety equipment. Enough lifejackets of the correct size for everyone on board, a throw-able floatation device, a whistle or horn for signaling, and an appropriate fire extinguisher are absolutes! A first aid kit is also a really good idea. Take a moment to check your VHF radio before you go out. Try calling a friend to help them check their radio too, or you can always call the Harbor to make sure that you can send and receive. Cell phones don’t always work, so making sure that your radio is in good operating condition is always a good idea. Make sure that any guests that you take out are familiar with ways to get onto and off of the boat, and know where the lifejackets are and how to put them on. This is a simple thing that is often overlooked! Check your safety equipment, and use it! Many times these items are overlooked until they are truly needed.
A friend of mine in the St. Louis area was out for a fireworks show just a little over a week ago, and had 28 people on board his Gibson Houseboat when he struck something that punched a 6 inch hole in his hull. Because he had checked his radio, and his guests had been told where everything was, he was able to summon help quickly, and everyone was prepared for the evacuation that took place (local rescue boats were there within 10 minutes and took everyone to shore). The boat was towed to a nearby harbor and hauled out, but where he was located at the time there was no cell coverage. If his radio hadn’t been working properly, there could have been 28 people in the waters of the Mississippi in the dark. Because the Captain was prepared, and he had taken a few minutes to talk with his guests before they went out, a situation that could have been a tragedy just ended up being an expensive sea story!
Go have some fun, but be safe!
As a last side note, we have picked up new channel guides from the local Mediacom office and the channel line up can be picked up from the Marina Office. You may want to run a channel scan on your TV to see if you have picked up additional digital channels.