Even with modern weather tracking capabilities, a storm can still strike with very little warning. This is one of the most dangerous times to work in the maritime industry. It is absolutely critical that everyone on the boat knows exactly what to do to stay safe.
With that in mind, here are a few important boating safety tips:
- Stow everything that is not needed and not strapped down. In a storm, having loose gear sliding around the deck only increases the danger. A ship that has been properly cared for should be nearly ready for a storm at all times.
- Use safety gear. Do not underestimate the storm. In some cases, devices like harnesses are used along with life jackets. Always use the proper gear, even if you feel like the storm is not that dangerous. Things can change in an instant.
- Slow down. While the boat may be able to outrun a storm when you know it is coming, by the time it hits, it is too late. Going slowly can smooth out the ride and make it possible to navigate safely through the storm.
- Be cautious around metal. Avoid it as much as you can if there is a chance of a lightning strike. The crew should all find a safe place to hunker down and wait out the storm. Some experts suggest simply using the boat's cockpit.
These tips can help, but storms are still unpredictable and dangerous. If you do get seriously injured while working at sea, make sure you understand all of the legal rights that you have to seek compensation.