Survival When StrandedNo one wants to think about it, but there is unfortunately always a possibility that you could find yourself stranded out in open water. When your boat is disabled at sea, there are many things you can do to make sure that you stay safe while awaiting for help to arrive. The same things that are important day to day are important in this situation – you need to consider how to provide yourself food, water and shelter, as well as to get yourself in contact with rescuers.

Many of these tips will require preparation before you leave, so never assume a short easy trip. Always prepare for any situation to arise.

Warmth & Body Heat – Even in the spring, it can be quite chilly overnight on the water. Keep multiple layers of clothing at will hold in heat and keep you dry.

Water – No matter how tempting, you should never drink saltwater. So if you exhaust your supply of drinking water, use any container you can find to collect rainwater for drinking. Tarps, the hood of a raincoat, or even boots will do well to collect rainwater. Because seaspray will coat everything with a salty residue, first rinse off the collecting mechanism with the rainwater to make sure you are not ingesting salt.

Food – Nourishment is swimming under your boat. If you didn’t bring fishing line or a pole, a shoelace or drawstring from a jacket can serve as fishing line; jewelry or metal pieces off the boat can work as lures. If you catch a fish, save a few pieces of the fish to use as bait for your next catch.

Rescue – Always file a plan for your trip – ensuring that people will already be looking for you. The flash of sunshine off a smartphone screen can be seen miles away when on the open water; so relax, don’t panic, and look for passing boats or aircraft that you can signal.

The moment you find yourself stranded, do try to contact anyone via any means you have necessary before batteries die out. Of course, for situations when you are closer to shore, don’t ever leave without your Sign and Glide membership information. Towing, jump starts, fuel replenishment or getting off a soft -grounding – we’ll be there to help.

Never leave your boat slip without preparing for the unexpected, and that includes an affordable and easy Sign and Glide membership.