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Boating: Tips for planning a safe Caribbean trip

Boating is one of the most popular activities in the area, but while the activity is lots of fun, it can also present some hidden dangers, especially if you’re not prepared.

It seems a long time since we have been able to make travel plans with any certainty. Now, at last, tourist destinations and travel agencies are preparing to get busy as the world starts to reopen. The idea of setting sail in the Caribbean is something that is on many bucket lists, and when lockdown restrictions are fully lifted, this beautiful destination will once again take its place as one of the world’s most popular tourist hotspots with more than 26 million visitors every year.

Safe and relaxing Caribbean boating trip

Boating is one of the most popular activities in the area, but while the activity is lots of fun, it can also present some hidden dangers, especially if you’re not prepared. The biggest cause of boat accidents is operator inattention and improper lookout. However, you can take steps to make your Caribbean islands activities, like Las Cuevas Beach swimming sessions, as safe and relaxing as possible.  This includes following safety measures related to pre-departure, weather, and emergencies. 

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Create a pre-departure checklist

While some situations during boating trips are beyond your control, you can try to minimize accidents by creating a list of things to check before departure. This can help to make sure the boat is in good condition, and it helps you to be pro-active about possible problems. The checklist can be effective for different vessels like rowboats, sailboats, and motorboats. It can include a wide range of items including checking for leaks, fuel or oil levels, and testing electronics. If you’ll be boating at night, make sure all lights are operational and you have several signaling devices like flashlights, flares, and strobes.   

Make sure to fully stock the ditch bag or abandon ship bag and first aid kit. In terms of nutrition, include lots of water to prevent dehydration. Rapid dehydration is more likely to be experienced while in a boat since your body is constantly adjusting to the boat’s changing position. This causes body heat, sweating, and water loss, so make sure to have plenty of water and beverages onboard. You should also add seasick remedies to your supply list such as carbonated beverages, saltine crackers, and licorice root lozenges. 

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Check the weather forecast

The Caribbean’s weather varies somewhat based on the time of year. The average yearly temperatures generally range from the low 80s to high 80s Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, there’s about a 47 percent chance of rain on any given day in places like Trinidad & Tobago. Before you cast off, make sure to check the maritime forecast for your departure and destination locations.

If there’s a chance of inclement weather, it’s better to be on the safe side and cancel your trip. Besides the weather itself affecting your trip, it can also cause unsafe sea conditions. If it’s a charter boat then make sure to provide rescheduling or refunds to passengers. While you’re on the water, you should also keep the VHF radio on at all times. This can provide weather alerts about sudden storms and allow you and your passengers to head inland in emergency situations.

Create a Man over Board (MOB) Procedure

Studies show that over one-third of boating fatalities are caused by people falling overboard, and it’s also one of the common causes of drowning. Thus, it’s important to have a man over board (MOB) procedure and just as importantly, conduct man overboard drills until your crew has mastered what steps to take. In this case, the old saying “practice makes perfect” holds true and could save lives.

The MOB procedures can vary and be as simple as the vessel’s crew yelling “man overboard!” Other important steps include tossing a lifeline to the person, and pressing the MOB button located on the GPS.  Another important preventative measure is to teach passengers how to stay balanced after launching. This involves issues related to how to step on and off the boat, what to hold onto while walking, and being aware of the boat’s movement.  

Boating is one of the most thrilling ways to see areas like Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. As always, it’s important to follow the safety-first rule with steps related to pre-departure checklist, weather conditions, and MOB procedures. Doing so will help you to stay out of harm’s way while enjoying your trip. 


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