21 October 2010
A South Australian fireman, Matthew, recently learnt that unsecured marine safety equipment can be useless when your boat overturns – because it floats out of reach
Matthew had been fishing with friends off the coast of Kangaroo Island when his vessel overturned and it took an hour for them to be sighted and then rescued.
To add to the immediate danger, they had the required safety vests, torches and other equipment, but had not secured them to the vessel. When the vessel overturned their safety equipment floated away out of reach, so they were left in an even more precarious situation.
“This was a great learning experience. We had all the equipment there, but it was useless floating away from us,” said Matthew.
“Get all the safety equipment, but make sure it’s secure so it’s there when you need it.
“People often stow PFDs under the nose of boat or elsewhere, but from this experience I’ve learnt that the only place to have them is on at all times. “They don’t have to be cumbersome – for a small extra cost you can purchase self-inflating PFDs that are unobtrusive – what value do you place on your life?”
self-inflating PFDs must be maintained according to manufacturer’s directions and the gas cylinder must be recharged once used.