Are you prepared? What’s in your emergency ditch bag?

Emergency Ditch BagIt’s a bag with many names, ditch bag, grab bag or abandon ship bag. But they all mean the same thing. It’s a bag with items you may need if you have to abandon your boat. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for those unexpected emergencies.  One way to be prepared is to make sure your emergency ditch bag has everything you may need, just in case.

The best way to increase your survival until you’re rescued, is to be prepared and have everything you need.

The Bag

To protect what you have inside, the bag is important. Make sure it’s…

  • Water resistant
  • Float capable
  • Visible, both day and night
  • Large enough to hold everything
  • Clearly labeled and stowed

The Rescue Items

  • Emergency Ditch BagA EPIRB – emergency position-indicating rescue beacon – This is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency.
  • A waterproof handheld VHF radio
  • Variety of flares
  • Strobe light
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror

The Survival Items

  • First aid kit
  • Water
  • Emergency food rations
  • First aid kit
  • Patch kit or emergency clamps for a inflatable dinghy
  • Knife
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars

This is just some of the equipment that goes into a well stocked ditch bag. They are designed to keep safety electronics and survival gear organized and ready for immediate abandon boat situations. They are meant to “grab and go” when you have only seconds to get in the water or life raft. Make sure everyone onboard is aware of where the bag is stored.

Be sure to check the items in your bag at the beginning of every boating season. Make sure everything is in working order. Check expiration dates on flares, check and replace batteries.  Be prepared, be safe.

Newmarks Yacht Centre hopes that everyone has a safe, fun boating season.