So you’ve planned a nice day out on the boat... You’ve got your favorite Doomswell wakesurf board, a cooler of beverages, and good company...Then Mother Nature decides to ruin your plans by sending a huge storm your way.
The swells are rising, people are and supplies being tossed from one side to the other, and your boat capsizes. What do you do (other than remain calm)?
Here are our tips for what to do in the event that you experience a capsized boat:
1. Most importantly, stay with the boat.
To be found, you have to be seen, and an overturned boat is much easier to spot from afar than a person floating alone in the water.
2. Take a head count.
Make sure everyone is safe, sound, and has a head above the water. Ensure everyone has a lifejacket and stays near the boat.
3. Climb on top of the boat (if you can) to reduce exposure.
Water steals body heat 25 times faster than air does. If it’s really cold, huddle together for warmth and to reduce the risk of hypothermia. And never let go.
4. Call for help.
Always let someone on shore know when to expect your return. They can alert emergency services if your return is overdue, and they haven’t heard back from you. Use your flare gun (You have one on board, right?) to signal that you need help.
5. Try to make your boat appear larger by tethering objects to it.
The more surface area you take up, the better. Grab anything you can and tie it to the boat!
Ultimately, you need to make yourself as visible as possible to rescuers -- and keep your passengers safe!