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Boating Safely

Boating safety is paramount. Always be prepared, and if you find yourself in a situation like running out of gas, seek professional assistance rather than attempting risky maneuvers.

The Katana was washed ashore on the rocks Monday morning, near Judith’s Fancy, St. Croix, after a Coast Guard boat crew rescued nine people from the vessel Sunday.
Photo by U.S. Coast Guard 

Click here to read how the Coast Guard assisted this vessel after it ran out of fuel and was drifting towards the reef, ultimately rescuing several passengers after being washed ashore.

Here are some additional steps to follow if you find yourself in a similar situation!

1. Stay Calm: The most important thing in any boating emergency is to stay calm. Panic can lead to poor decision-making.

2. Contact Help: If you’ve run out of gas and need assistance, immediately contact your nearest Coast Guard station, marine towing service, or emergency services. Provide them with your location, the number of people on board, and any other relevant information about your situation.

3. Safety Gear: Ensure that all passengers are wearing life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs). Check your boat’s safety equipment, including flares, a whistle, a flashlight, and a fire extinguisher, to ensure they are readily accessible.

4. Anchor if Necessary: If you’re in an area with currents or tides, consider deploying your anchor to keep your vessel in place and prevent drifting.

5. Check for Fuel Reserves: Double-check your fuel situation. Look for any hidden reserves, like reserve tanks or portable containers of fuel, that might be on board.

6. Towing Service: If you have a towing service subscription, contact them for assistance. They can usually provide a tow to a nearby marina or refueling station.

7. Inform Others: Let someone on land know about your situation, your location, and your estimated time of arrival. This way, if you don’t return as planned, someone can raise the alarm.

8. Await Help: Stay with your vessel, as it’s easier for rescuers to locate a boat than a person in the water. Keep a watch for approaching vessels or rescue teams.

9. Prevent Future Occurrences: After this incident, consider implementing better fuel management practices. Keep track of your fuel consumption, carry extra fuel if necessary, and plan your trips with fuel stops in mind.

10. Review Your Boat’s Systems: When you’re back on land, review your boat’s fuel system to ensure there are no leaks or other issues that contributed to the fuel depletion.

Ready to enjoy St. Croix’s weather and warm waters year round? Remember to subscribe to our Youtube Channel, follow us on Facebook and like our videos for up-to-date info on what to do and where to go when you visit St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands!

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