Who doesn’t love the sea? A fun way of experiencing its beauty is by traveling by ship. It can be thrilling and adventurous, but it comes with intense risks.

Maritime accidents are surprisingly common and could often be avoided if proper safety measures were adhered to right from the start. To minimize the risk of injuries and similar dangers during sea journeys, it’s important to know about what kind of precautions are necessary.

In addition to the compulsory safety rules set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for all vessels, which also encompass safety equipment for personnel protection, there are additional safety practices that seafarers must adhere to ensure their safety aboard the ship.

Maritime safety is about safeguarding passengers and crew members on ships and those who work or reside near water bodies. It covers various risks and hazards, including potential injuries or fatalities.

Suitable Attire and Shoes

Hamburg night boat tour - sitting on the deck
Hamburg night boat tour – sitting on the deck

Appropriate attire and shoes are indispensable for safe boating, hence their inclusion in our top ten boating safety guidelines. So what is a suitable attire if you’re traveling by sea? Let me make it easy for you.

Non-slip soled shoes are particularly critical for docking operations. Beyond the boat’s movement, elements such as ropes, cleats, and other equipment can present tripping hazards.

Ensure you pack waterproof attire, including items like raincoats or oilskins. Waterproof cellphone cases are recommended too.

If the weather is sunny, wear a lightweight T-shirt with sun protection. In addition, remember to bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from sunburns and heat strokes. See my beach packing list for inspiration.

Do Not Overload

A frequent mistake made by marine travelers is packing their ships too heavily. Exceeding the recommended load can risk the stability of your ship, increasing the chances of an overturn.

Before starting your voyage, verify your ship’s maximum capacity and avoid exceeding it, even if this means leaving some possessions behind.

Ensure that the weight of your cargo is evenly distributed to keep balance and steadiness. Overburdening can also lead to mechanical issues like engine failure, which can be disastrous when you’re in the middle of the ocean.

Always be mindful of your weight to ensure a safe and enjoyable sea journey. You can also learn how to tie up a boat to a dock properly to prevent accidents while docking particularly during tide change.

Carry Some Money With You

Venturing out without cash can be inconvenient, especially when exploring various locations.

If you stop by a local island to buy food, it’s not guaranteed that there will be an ATM in every place you visit.

Not all islands may have robust network coverage, making bank transfers a challenge. This could make it difficult for you to buy the essentials if you’re without cash. Therefore, it’s advisable to always have some cash on hand wherever you go.

Moderate Your Alcohol Consumption

I know that alcohol consumption can be a fun thing if on a holiday but please be careful.

Being under the influence of alcohol can significantly impact your safety. While taking full advantage of sunny weather and drink packages may be tempting, exercise restraint and avoid excessive drinking.

Incidents driven by alcohol are fairly common and they can not only cause embarrassment but also disturb other passengers.

Additionally, it is wise to follow basic guidelines for handling alcohol. This includes never leaving your drink unattended and avoiding accepting beverages from people you do not know.

Appropriate Positioning and Utilization of Tools

Always use both hands when transporting portable equipment and tools. Use a tool belt, if on hand, when climbing or descending stairs with the equipment. Alternatively, you can strap the equipment across your body to keep your hands free and ensure a secure hold.

Before using portable power tools such as welding machines and drills, a thorough inspection is necessary; their operation should be left to trained professionals. Before any work begins, it’s essential to have safety guards in place where needed. This prevents shocks or sparks from exposed wires that could ignite fires onboard.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a sea journey can offer an exhilarating and memorable adventure, but putting safety first and taking necessary measures is vital. Adhering to the safety guidelines mentioned will ensure your voyage is not only secure but also pleasurable.


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