Safety Tips for Yachting in Alaska
A yachting trip to Alaska can be the thrill of a lifetime. Not only do you get to see the beautiful landscape and scenery of Alaska, but you get to see some of the amazing creatures that live there as well – like whales! It could be one of the most exciting trips you ever take, but there are some safety issues that need to be addressed. In this article, you’ll learn several things to do and items to have with you in order to stay safe.
Having a Float Plan
The most important thing to prepare before a boating or yachting trip is a float plan. A float plan is a document that describes various details of the trip. Some of these details include a physical description of the boat, descriptions of people on board the vessel, and your itinerary. The float plan is then given to someone not going on the trip. If that person feels that something is wrong or has reason to worry, he or she can contact the authorities and provide them with a document that helps with rescue efforts.
Personal flotation devices are a must for any yachting trip, and are actually mandated by federal law. There should be one PFD for each person on board, and they have to be approved by the Coast Guard. If, for example, the vessel happens to capsize or take on water, or you’re thrown into the water for any reason, the PFD can save your life. This is especially crucial in the cold Alaskan waters through which you’ll be travelling.
Another requirement of the Coast Guard is to have an approved fire extinguisher on board your vessel. There are different classifications of fire extinguishers, so make sure to check with the Coast Guard to see which device is acceptable for the size of your boat. Class A extinguishers handle fires caused by combustible materials, like plastic or paper. The Class B devices handle flammable liquids, and Class C extinguishers are used for electrical fires. Also, depending on the type of boat, the fire extinguisher will have to be placed in a certain location.
Another device that must be present on your vessel is a visual distress signal. Pyrotechnic flares are some of the most common types of distress signals, and even smaller boats are required by the Coast Guard to have at least three flares on board. Make sure to check the expiration dates on all of your flares, as they will no longer be viewed as legal by the Coast Guard after they’ve expired.
Dealing with Injuries
Unfortunately, there are times when injuries just can’t be prevented. In this scenario, you might want to look into contacting a personal injury attorney. The attorney will assess your situation and determine whether you might be entitled to a settlement for your injuries. If, for example, the crew aboard the yacht did not take the necessary safety precautions required by law, you could be eligible for some sort of monetary award for your damages.
These are some of the items you should have with you during a yachting trip in Alaska. Also, remember to file a float plan or make sure that someone on board has already done this. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, so don’t be afraid to contact an attorney in the event that you’re injured. By taking some basic safety precautions, you’ll worry less about your trip and have the time of your life in Alaska.
Logan McMasters is a content contributor for pentlargelaw.com, a personal injury lawyer Anchorage based firm, specializing in personal injury accidents.
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