Sport Fishing - - NEWS -

When chal­leng­ing a nasty in­let, make sure ev­ery­one dons a life jacket and knows to se­cure them­selves for a run fraught with lumps, bumps and spray, Strum says. Brief ev­ery­one on what to do should catas­tro­phe strike. Bat­ten down any loose gear be­fore mak­ing your run. Get all crewmem­bers on deck and, if pos­si­ble, have them seated. They need to stay out of the cabin or other en­clo­sure.

If you must re­main in an en­closed space such as a pi­lot­house, wear an in­flat­able life jacket with a pull tab only — not one with an auto-in­fla­tion fea­ture. This helps en­sure your es­cape in the event of a cap­siz­ing. It is the same rea­son pas­sen­ger-air­line crews in­struct you not to in­flate your life jacket in­side the plane. If water rushes into the cabin (be it air­plane or boat), it will pin to the ceil­ing any­one wear­ing an in­flated life jacket.

Ide­ally, all crewmem­bers should have a PLB (per­sonal lo­ca­tion bea­con) at­tached to their life jack­ets. Also, be ready to de­ploy the EPIRB (Emer­gency Po­si­tion In­di­cat­ing Ra­dio Bea­con) quickly, es­pe­cially if it re­quires man­ual ac­ti­va­tion.

Ra­dio the U.S. Coast Guard or har­bor pa­trol ahead of time if you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing en­gine prob­lems or other is­sues that might im­pair your abil­ity to safely re­turn. Au­thor­i­ties might choose to stand by to lend as­sis­tance in the event of an emer­gency.

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