How to Operate a Boat: Emergency Scenarios

If you encounter an emergency at sea, the most important thing is to not panic. Since you’re out in the middle of the water, you need to think quickly and clearly, as you never know if help is going to arrive. One of the most common emergencies on a boat is having a man overboard. If you can’t see where the person has gone, turn off the engine immediately to avoid causing them any more harm. Have one of the other people onboard raise your warning flag to alert other boaters to the person. Once you’ve identified the person in the water, throw them a flotation device and slowly move the boat in their direction.

Whether you have a medical emergency or simply didn’t pack enough gasoline and Evinrude XD 100, there may come times when it’s necessary to signal another boat. It’s always a good idea to have a VHF or CB radio onboard, but if you don’t, you can use one of these internationally recognized distress signals: waving of your arms, reflecting sunlight with a mirror, SOS message or a flare.

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