Skills & Safety

How to Prepare for Emergencies & Hazards

Boating is one of the best ways to experience summer fun on all of Michigan’s Great Lakes, as well as our state’s thousands of inland lakes and rivers. However, boaters need to be prepared for the unexpected emergencies and hazards that can occur when out on the water. Everything from engine problems to sudden storms to medical emergencies can and do happen, so it’s important that your boat is fully prepared for any of these events. Here are a few steps you can take to be sure:

At Hall’s we carry a full line of boating equipment, everything from bumpers to boat hooks, anchors, aluminum ladders, and marine antennas. Skis, sonar, and shore power cords. For the avid fisherman or woman we have low-tech fishing nets and high-tech fish finders! Among our most popular items are anchors, tubes, pontoon fenders and flares. And don’t forget the life jackets!
How to Prepare for Emergencies & Hazards
  • Always check the weather before going out on the water. Michigan is known for its changeable weather. Storms can come up quickly, and quickly make conditions threatening on the Great Lakes, as well as the inland lakes across the state.
  • Know the water temperature so you’ll know how long passengers can remain in the water while waiting for help or swimming to shore
  • Be sure all your navigational lights are working
  • Have a working marine radio and a cell phone to contact outside assistance if it becomes necessary
  • Make sure you have a fully charged and working fire extinguisher
  • If you are navigating large, open waters, be sure to have a current chart or map
  • If you have radar, be sure it’s working
  • Have enough personal flotation devices (PFDs) for each passenger
  • Carry flotation cushions and life rings
  • Keep flares on board
  • Have a fully stocked first aid kit
  • Keep towing lines and ropes, as well as a paddle, especially on a small craft
  • Be sure to carry some type of signaling device - a horn, a portable search light, a mirror, etc
Boating emergencies not only can happen to your watercraft, they can happen to your passengers, as well. If you’re going on an extended cruise with guests, it’s wise to be informed of any major medical conditions they’re dealing with. If any of their health problems are serious, it may be wiser to forego the trip, especially if weather conditions aren’t ideal.
Information provided is reliable but not guaranteed. Give our boating experts a call to confirm if information applies to you and your specific model.