photo & story
by Don Greene
Engine and Fuel Storage and Ventilation
For in board gasoline engine, you can use your nose to check for gas leaks. Also, look for the oil pollution placard. Look for signs of uncontrolled oil in the bilge.
If you have a gasoline engine you need to have a backfire flame control arrester on each carburetor.
Engines and bilge should be clean. Check fuel tank ventilation, older boats free airflow, or powered airflow system. Vessels built after August 31, 1980 require working power-venting system.
• First Aid Kit: Small commercial first aid kits are OK, but supplement them to reflect the type of boating and activities you do on your boat (Pliers if you are going to be fishing).
• All vessels should have a means to dewater the boat (a pail) in addition to an electric bilge pump.
A marine radio “VHF” should be aboard your vessel. In an emergency when you make a VHF call for help many people around you will hear you and try to help. A cell phone is a good secondary device. A 911 call may end up in New York or Massachusetts.
Boating Accidents Reports
A “Mayday” call is used in the event of fire, wounded people in the water, or the need to abandon ship.
Call the Coast Guard on Channel 16 and give them the nature of your problem. They will suggest safety precautions for you to take and begin a procedure to bring help to you.
Fatal accidents or persons lost overboard must be reported to US Coast Guard on Channel 16 immediately. A written report must be filed with the CT DEP no later than 48 hours after the accident.
If you have a VHF radio onboard you must maintain a watch on Channel 16 distress channel when not talking to other persons.
In the event you come upon a boater in distress you are required by Federal law to assist, providing you can do so without endangering your crew, passengers vessel and your self.
Safe Boating Decal Award
If your vessel passed the inspection, we will be happy to ask you to put a decal on your port side window or wherever it can be easily seen on the port side.
Sound Producing Devices
Sound Signals are necessary in many instances. They should be used in overtaking situations or reduced visibility. A bell is useful when anchored in fog. The size of the bell is determined by the size of the vessel. Vessels over 39.4 feet must have a 7 7/8 inch bell on board in operating condition. Also a vessel 39.4 feet or larger must have a current Navigation Rules Book on board.
Don Greene, Flotilla Support Officer – Vessel Examination, USCG Aux, Mystic Flotilla 25-3, has been doing vessel inspections for three years. For more information on getting your free safety inspection please call Don at 860.608.1075.