Last month, we wrote about what happens when your boat breaks down, and our Marine Assist Program. Let’s look at some of the issues that cause breakdowns and preparations for getting on the water.
By far, most of the rescues we are involved with are due to running out of fuel, and you might agree that this is totally avoidable. Just to put a rule of thumb on it, if you get back to the ramp with less than a third of a tank, you didn’t have enough.
The second most common cause of rescues are flat batteries. Boat batteries don’t get the regular use and charging that car batteries do, so check it before you leave with a multimeter of hydrometer. Better still, carry a small LED jump start unit that can get you going in an emergency. They can be bought for around $100 and are just as useful for charging your phone, another piece of vital equipment.
Finally, ensure your maintenance is up to date, especially if your pride and joy has been unused all winter, as small maintenance issues cause the third most frequent source of rescues.
Sometimes, things just go wrong and you need to call us for help. Knowing exactly where you are is vital, especially at night or in poor visibility. We recently were called out at night to a boat we could not contact because the phone was flat. Not everyone has a chartplotter that can give us a latitude and longitude, but if you have a working phone with a GPS, you may be able to get a position from that.
There is now a new app for phones that uses a grid of the world drawn up in three metre by three metre squares, where every square is named by just three words. The app is called “What ThreeWords” and emergency services, including us, are now looking at this to see if we can use it as an alternative to quickly find people in distress. Just last month, some bushwalkers were located with this app in remote Tasmania.
Thank you again to those who have helped keep us strong through Covid-19 with support, buying tickets in our raffles. Congratulations to Tony B. who won some kitchen equipment and Pam H. who won a $50 IGA gift card in our recent raffles.
We will shortly draw the winner of the BBQ boat experience provided by Coastwide Charters and begin selling tickets in our big Christmas Raffle.
Stay safe out on the water this spring and summer.