For many UK divers it will soon be time for that first 'real' dive of the year and correct boat preparation is vital.
There may have been a few dives in that wonderful, much loved, quarry and perhaps even the odd shore dive to ease back into things but the first boat dive of the year somehow seems more of the real thing.
Taking the club, or privately owned, RIB out of winter storage requires similar thought and boat preparation to that personal health check and prep we give ourselves. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that first boat trip is a relaxed and enjoyable success.
As with personal equipment, winter is the ideal time to get the boat and engine properly serviced.
- Ensure it is done by a reputable dealer and service agent
- Check and service all electronics as well
- Try out the boat on short trips before committing to more adventurous activities
Before loading the boat for the first trip of the season;
- Check the boat and engine to ensure that everything functions properly
- Check the Weather Forecast and make sure you have a Voyage Plan on board
- Use a Safety Checklist
- Brief the crew
- Notify Coastguard
- Make sure all crew members are fully briefed on the trip
- Ensure all are aware of emergency actions
The sight of a rescue vessel as it comes into view is often one of immense relief for anyone with the misfortune to get into trouble at sea. But let's face it, the best option for everyone is to avoid the need for the callout in the first place and some simple checks can avoid most problems.
The Safe Operation of Member Club Boats provides information and guidance for divers and boat users from the Combined Diving Associations. Remember to have a current weather forecast and passage plan on board.
Think SAFE - Dive SAFE