Seabacs page banner shows 12 workers from an oil rig platform floating in the ocean wearing lifejackets rafted together while awaiting rescue. The headline banner reads: Wear it Washington! Sabacs supports the National Safe Boating Council in promoting the use of lifejackets. Lifejackets save lives. 85 per cent of people who drown while boating were not wearing a life jacket. Wear it! It's the law. Then a banner containing an illustration of a lifejacket shows the text Wear it! Always Wear your life jacket! National safe boating week - May 16 -22, 2015. Another illustration shows a lifejacket inside a circle with the text Wear it Washington!
Seabacs link box for the National Safe Boating Council. It's logo shows a life preserver over top of an anchor angled at 45 degrees. Click the bell or anywhere on the box to go to their website.

Wear It Washington!

Every year in May, National Safe Boating Week reminds all of us who partake in recreational activities on the water just how important it is to wear a lifejacket.

This year is no different. It sees the National Safe Boating Council partnering with the U.S. National Weather Service to promote safe boating practices.

We’ll be sharing their information with you and making it available as a year-round resource.

Seabacs link box for NOAA /National Weather Service Coastal Waters Forecast for Washington State.Click on the bell or anywhere on the link to go to the latest forecast.

Boating Under The Influence

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council,the National Weather Service and Seabacs for this year’s National Safe Boating Week.

The effects of alcohol can be even more hazardous on the water than on land. Boating Under the Influence, or BUI, affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination. These impairments can increase the risk of being involved in a boating accident – for both passengers and boat operators. Alcohol is a contributing factor in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities.

It is illegal to operate any boat or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. Penalties can include fines, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license and even jail time.

Every boater needs to understand the risks of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

To learn more, visit the National Safe Boating Council online, at www.safeboatingcouncil.org. Visit the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov.

Fire Extinguishers

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council, the National Weather Service and Seabacs for this year’s National Safe Boating Week.

U. S. Coast Guard approved, marine-type fire extinguishers are required on boats where a fire hazard could be expected from the engines or fuel system.

When required, boats less than 26 feet must carry at least one B-I, Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher. Boats 26–40 feet must carry two B-I or one B-II Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher(s). Boats 40 – 65 feet must carry three B-I or one B-II and one B-I Coast Guard approved extinguishers. 

Fire extinguishers are classified by a letter and a number symbol. The letter indicates the type of fire the unit is designed to extinguish and the number indicates the size of the extinguisher. A type B extinguisher for example is intended to extinguish burning liquids such as gasoline, oil or grease, all common on a boat.

The boater shouldn’t have to travel more than half the length of their boat to get to the fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers should be inspected annually by the boater to ensure they are properly charged, stored and are undamaged. 

This message was brought to you by the National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council. Visit the National Weather Service on the web at www.weather.gov and the National Safe Boating Council at www.safeboatingcouncil.org

Marine Forecasts

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council, the National Weather Service and Seabacs.

Understanding a marine forecast is critical to safe boating. Weather and wave conditions can change suddenly, catching boaters off guard and creating life threatening conditions.

Typical marine forecasts predict wind speed and direction, wave heights and periods, roughness of near shore waters, and significant weather. Marine forecasts cover large areas and the forecast elements are often given in ranges. The significant weather may not occur over the entire area or during the entire forecast period. The ranges represent average conditions over a period of time (usually 12 hours) and the actual conditions may be lower or higher than the forecast range. Boaters should plan for conditions above and below the predicted ranges.

Take particular note of any current advisories and warnings, including Small Craft Advisories, Gale or Storm Warnings which alert mariners to either high winds or waves occurring now or forecast to occur up to 24 hours from now. Special Marine Warnings are issued for sudden increase in winds to over 35 knots (40 mph), waterspouts (tornadoes over water), and hail of 3/4 inches or greater and indicate a more immediate threat. Marine weather statements bring attention to significant rapidly changing conditions on the water including increase in winds, thunderstorms, development of dense fog and even snow squalls or strong and gusty rain showers.

You should have a marine VHF transceiver with built-in NOAA Weather Radio channels. If you venture beyond about a 25 nautical mile range from shore, you should consider buying a good quality HF single sideband transceiver and satellite phone.

Before setting out, obtain the latest marine forecast and warning information from www.weather.gov/marine or NOAA Weather Radio. Several days ahead of time you can begin listening for extended outlooks which give general information out to the next five days in both graphical and text format.

This message was brought to you by the National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council. Visit the National Weather Service on the web at www.weather.gov and the National Safe Boating Council at www.safeboatingcouncil.org

Thunderstorm Safety

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council, the National Weather Service and Seabacs.

Thunderstorms can be a mariner’s worst nightmare. They can develop quickly and create dangerous wind and wave conditions. Thunderstorms can bring shifting and gusty winds, lightning, waterspouts, and torrential downpours which can turn a day’s pleasure into a nightmare of distress. 

There are no specific warnings or advisories for lightning but all thunderstorms produce lightning. A lightning strike to a vessel can be catastrophic, especially if it results in a fire or loss of electronics. If your boat has a cabin, then stay inside and avoid touching metal or electrical devices. If your boat doesn’t have a cabin, stay as low as you can in the boat. 

Boaters should use extra caution when thunderstorm conditions exist and have a plan of escape. Mariners are especially vulnerable because at times they may be unable to reach port quickly. It is therefore strongly recommended you do not venture out if thunderstorms are a possibility. If you do venture out and recognize thunderstorms nearby, head to port or safe shelter as quickly as possible. Ultimately, boating safety begins ashore with planning and training. Keep in mind that thunderstorms are usually brief so waiting it out is better than riding it out. 

This message was brought to you by the National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council. Visit the National Weather Service on the web at www.weather.gov and the National Safe Boating Council at www.safeboatingcouncil.org

Life Jackets

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council, the National Weather Service and Seabacs for this year’s National Safe Boating Week.

Before you and your family get out on the water this year, grab a life jacket and “Wear It!” Nearly 85 percent of those who drown while boating were not wearing a life jacket.

Wearing a life jacket is one of the most effective and simple life-saving strategies for safe recreational boating. Boaters are required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board for every passenger on their vessel.

Today’s life jackets are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. They are comfortable, lightweight, and perfect for any boating activity.

The most important thing is this: remember to grab a life jacket and “Wear It!”

To learn more, visit the National Safe Boating Council online, at www.safeboatingcouncil.org. Visit the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov.

Hurricane/Storm Preparedness

Boaters: Be prepared for hurricane and storm season. Don’t wait until a hurricane or storm warning is sounded  to secure your boat. By the time a warning is issued, it’s too late to be working on a dock safely.

Listen to weather forecasts and plan ahead. Haul out your boat or add additional lines during a hurricane or tropical storm watch, which is issued before a warning, 48-hours before the anticipated onset of storm winds.

This message has been brought to you by the NOAA National Weather Service, the National Safe Boating Council and Seabacs.

Safety in Fog

The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council, the National Weather Service and Seabacs.

Chances are that when you are on the water, you will at least occasionally encounter reduced visibility in fog, and you will need to know how to navigate through it safely. Fog forms when air over a warm water surface is transported over a colder water surface, resulting in cooling and condensation. Fog is usually considered dense if it reduces visibility to less than one mile. It can form quickly and catch boaters off guard. Visibility can be reduced to a few feet, disorienting boaters. Learning to navigate through fog (or avoiding it) is critical to safe boating.

If you encounter fog, navigate at a slower than normal speed. Slowing down will help you avoid collisions.

Turn on all of your running lights, even in daytime.

Listen for sounds of other boats that may be near you, or for fog horns and bells from nearby buoys.

VHF NOAA Weather Radio should broadcast important information concerning the formation, movement or dissipation of the fog. Pay close attention.

If your vessel has radar, it can be used to help you locate dangers that may be around you.

Use GPS or a navigation chart to help obtain a fix on your location. If you are unable to get your bearings, stay put until the fog lifts but make sure you are in a safe location.

Be familiar with horn and bell sounds that should be produced to warn others around you when in dense fog.

Have a compass available. Even if you don’t know where you are in the fog, with a compass you can determine the direction you are navigating.

This message was brought to you by the National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council. Visit the National Weather Service on the web at www.weather.gov and the National Safe Boating Council at www.safeboatingcouncil.org

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See more boating news and information at our Seabacs Blog.

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