People on boats can fall overboard if they stand too close to the edge without grabbing any boat-railing or if they are not careful enough. Also, excessive consumption of alcohol is a vital reason behind such unfortunate accidents. Sometimes, reckless behaviors such as climbing railings, taking precarious photographs, etc., are reasons behind this mishap. Do you know every year, around 20 to 30 people die from falling overboard in the USA? So, clearly, the topic is worth discussing, and everyone should know the potential risks along with the survival tricks after falling in the sea.
Potential risks of falling overboard
Sailboats, motorboats, cruise ships, etc., are common water vehicles that carry hundreds of passengers every day. With so many people on the water, the cases of falling overboard are increasing day by day. This awful accident involves several potential risks.
The Chilling Water
A sudden contact with the icy-cold water releases all the oxygen from the body. This lack of air leads to swallowing water when submerged in the sea.
Believe it or not, falling to sea level from the boat deck is equivalent to jumping on the rocky ground from the top of the cliff. This plunge can result in a lot of bone injuries and even fractures.
Measures to avoid falling overboard
To avoid this scary accident, you just have to follow a few guidelines set by the US coast guard department. Strict adherence to the following set of instructions can keep you planted on board.
Stay indoors in bad weather
While on the deck, a sudden wind gust or mere slippage can cause this accident. So, when the boat is caught in foul weather, it would be wise of you to stay inside the boat.
Maintain a distance from the edge of the boat
You never know when a nice stroll on the boat deck can result in falling overboard. That is why always keep a hand on the railings and don’t engage yourself in a heated discussion with anyone standing on the edge of the boat. While on the deck, drink responsibly and head to your cabin right after drinking.
Wear non-slip footwear
Do you know that the majority of the water accidents are the result of slippage? So, put some thought into your shoes while packing. Your shoes should cause an ample amount of friction to prevent slippage altogether.
Rescue a person who falls overboard
With the incessant ebb and flow of the waves, it is quite difficult to spot the person who has fallen overboard at first. Once you spot the submerged passenger in the sea, to rescue the person, you will have to follow the following steps.
Stop the engine
If a person falls overboard, you should turn the propeller off as soon as possible. It will diminish the chance of fatal injuries for the submerged person.
Throw the PFD
PFD or Personal Floatation Device helps the person in the water to keep his head above sea level. These air-filled devices prevent the drowning of the passenger.
Pull the victim on board
You can either use a pole or a rope to help the passenger in water climb up on the deck easily. Don’t worry about pulling up the victim in case of large boats. But, for small boats, you have to focus on weight distribution and balance.
You should not take boat-safety lightly in any case, as in some cases falling overboard can claim your life. So, try to memorize the aforementioned safety measures if you plan to board a boat in the near future.