Saturday, June 25, 2022

What Should Be in Your Boat’s Emergency Kit?




Capt. Pete Rapps

Going out on the boat can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous if you aren’t prepared. Besides having lifejackets for everyone, you should always have an emergency kit handy and available at a moment’s notice.

First Aid Kit

If a serious injury happens on the boat, you could be miles away from medical help. With a full first aid kit on the boat, you can be prepared for anything that could happen.

Your first aid kit should include:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bandages of various sizes
  • Gauze
  • Crepe bandage roll
  • Butterfly clips
  • Hypoallergenic tape
  • Sterile wipes
  • Antiseptic liquid
  • Burn gel
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Small, steel scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves (preferably not latex)
  • Pain killers (such as ibuprofen and paracetamol)
  • Antihistamine
  • Motion sickness tablets

Other items to include:

Flashlight & Extra Batteries
A flashlight can be used as a signaling device to alert others of your position or it can just make overnight fishing a little easier on the eyes.

Before you head out, make sure to test the flashlight to see that it is working properly. Any batteries that are brought along will need to be placed in a water tight container to avoid corrosion.

Fire Extinguisher
With so many flammable items on the boat, you will want to be prepared for fires.

Make sure that your fire extinguisher is in an easy to reach spot on the boat. Additionally, you should do some maintenance on boat including checking your fuel lines and ventilating your boat to decrease your chances of a fire.

Non-perishable Food and Bottled Water
You never know what might happen out there on the water and having some non-perishable food items on the boat can be a lifesaver.

Before heading out, make sure there is enough food for everyone. When breaking out the food, be smart and ration it as much as you can so you don’t run out too quickly. Since some of the food might be in cans, you will also want to have a can opener with you. Fresh water is vital for survival. I always bring double what I believe will be consumed on a normal trip.

VHF Radio Device
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, a radio device is vital to contacting those who can help you. VHF Radio devices can be hooked up to the boat directly or you can purchase an individual handheld one.

Prior to going out on the water, you should know which channel will reach emergency services in your area. In addition, you will want to test out your radio before heading out to make sure it works properly.

PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices)
It’s a smart thing to wear a PFD life vest while boating. Please look up regulations before boating.

There are so many emergency items needed in addition to what is listed above. You will want to refer to a source such as to bring yourself up to spec on what is required to meet regulations and general safety for boating.

Have fun out there…just be prepared.

I hope this information serves as educational and beneficial to you, and that it will help you become a better angler, or even just more interested in fishing and boating in our area. If you have any questions or would like to book an instructional charter, please contact us at

Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year-round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips just south of Marco Island in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and springtime tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our vast knowledge and experience of the area, and easygoing demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for booking info, videos, and more at

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