143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 5 X Accident Prevention and Rescue

GROUNDING Running aground, touching bottom and getting stuck, at high speed can seriously damage a boat and throw passengers overboard or into solid objects on board. You can prevent grounding easily by learning about the area beforehand, and by using caution in shallow areas. Prevention ƒ Always be alert to your surroundings. ƒ Know and observe the Aids to Navigation (ATON) markers, signs and buoys. ƒ Learn to “read” the water surface. Ripples, boils, and coloration can indicate shallow water, reefs or shoals. ƒ Know the expected tide levels and times. Consult a tide book. You may have good water depth in an area during a high tide, but the area may be dangerous at low tide. ƒ Know the area where you will be boating. Check charts for possible shallow areas or other underwater hazards before boating. ƒ Use caution rather than convenience. Don’t just guess about the depth of the water. Rescue ƒ First, check for leaks and damage to your boat’s hull. Make sure you are not sinking or taking on water. ƒ Identify the cause of the grounding (sand, rock, sharp objects, a wreck, etc.). ƒ If it won’t damage the hull, reverse engines and attempt to back off. ƒ Waiting for a higher tide may be the solution if you ran aground because of a low tide. ƒ If there are obstacles that may increase damage and the vessel is in danger of sinking, or if you have serious hull damage, call the local law enforce ment agency or Coast Guard on Channel 16 for help. Case Study Bill, the operator of a vessel was traveling in the early morning darkness in ocean waters. He thought he was familiar with the area, so he was not using any navigational aids. He lost his bearings and struck rocks just offshore. Then, his engine stalled. He tried to drop anchor, but it was too late and he was washed against the jetty, which destroyed his vessel.

X REFER TO CHAPTER 2-3 PAGES 38, 42-44, 62


If there is an emergency and you are out to sea or in an isolated area and have a radio, hail the Coast Guard over VHF Channel 16 using the standard “Mayday” call.

WEBSITE For more information on distress calls and grounding, visit dbw.parks.ca.gov/DistressSignals


California Course for Safe Boating

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