Okay, let’s all think this through before we make a quick decision.
- We have an 18 foot sailboat named Cielo.
- We have no sailing experience.
- We have very little food and water.
- We have no reliable source of communication.
- However, we do have a cell phone.
- It is night, approximately 9 pm.
- There is a small craft warning in place and heavy seas and gale force winds are expected.
- But we don’t know that because we didn’t check the weather.
Okay folks, we’ve made our list and checked it twice. I think we are ready.
All in favor say aye! The vote is unanimous.
We are leaving Mayport, Florida and headed for Jamaica.
If you think the above scenario sounds preposterous, think again, it is exactly what happened in early December. Luckily, once again it was the U. S. Coast Guard along with vessels in the area monitoring the ongoing rescue, that led to a happy ending rather than a potential disaster.
The Coast Guard is using this case as an example to educate all mariners that being prepared for possible maritime emergencies will save your life. The close coordination between good Samaritan vessels, Coast Guard operation watchstanders and rescue crews were pivotal in the successful rescue of these boaters. Always have a working VHF radio aboard your vessel and monitor it continually. Before ever getting underway, assess the risks, check the weather and file a float plan. Being prepared will save your life.
To read the whole story go to: http://coastguardnews.com/coast-guard-rescue-illustrates-importance-of-safe-boating-practices/2009/12/03/
For more information on boating and boating safety visit http://boatsafe.com