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Daily fishing report
By STEVE PAPEN
Published September 13, 2006
Being able to make long runs offshore is very important for having consistent success in our area. And making sure you are safe at all times is extremely important. We are very lucky to have access to the finest life-saving equipment. Things can go wrong in seconds, so having the right equipment, thinking ahead and keeping calm is key.
EPIRB stands for emergency position indicating radio beacon. This unit is a must for anyone heading offshore. EPIRBs allow the Coast Guard to find you anywhere, and the signal reaches it almost instantly when the unit is activated. Some beacons can be attached to a vessel in such a way that they automatically deploy themselves if the boat sinks.
A life jacket for everyone on the boat is vital. There are many different jackets; a Type 1 vest will keep a person's head above water even if he is unconscious.
A life raft is a great investment, and again there are many to choose from. The most common concern for people who don't carry a raft is space. But some rafts can be packaged in a canister so they deploy automatically. The manual design is packaged in a bag that takes up about half the space as the automatic.
Satellite telephones are also an important tool. The more ways you can keep in touch with land, the better off you are if something goes wrong. These can also be used to call for non-emergency help such as a breakdown.
A good VHF radio and antenna are also essential. This will keep you in contact with the Coast Guard, a tow company or any other vessels in the area. But be aware: Most VHF radios will not transmit more than 20 miles. There is also 24-hour weather forecast and updates available.
It is also vital that all passengers know where all of the safety equipment is stored before any trip, as well as how everything works. A good plan will ensure many more days on the water for everyone.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 or at fintasticinc.com.