If you are interested in riding offshore from the coast further than a 2-mile distance you need to seriously plan about your excursion for safety. You don’t want to stress your family or colleagues.
You can save yourself the embarrassment of an investigation if you have a mishap offshore by pre-planning your route and gear.
You will need to plan ahead.
1. Know what the fuel range of your Personal Water Craft is
2. Operate during daylight hours
3. File a Float Plan
4. Carry a Marine Band Radio (VHF) set to Ch. 16
5. Carry a GPS tracking device on your person such as a SPOT locator or a inReach device
6. Make sure your craft is seaworthy and properly maintained, conduct a pre-launch thorough inspection
7. It is best not to operate with a passenger on board due to safety
8. Plan ahead by monitoring the water and weather conditions, even while underway. Do not operate in lightning will be 10 miles in your zone. Monitor the NOAA Marine Weather Service channel.
9. Have an emergency plan in effect in case something goes wrong or your PWC sinks. You may need to purchase Vessel Assist and ask them what the range is.
10. Talk to your local U.S.C.G or Harbor office and let them know your offshore plans and contact them when you return.
MONITOR WEATHER AND WATER
If properly prepared operating offshore is not a problem, but quickly amplifies when one simply pushes out.
Search and Rescue calls can cost millions of dollars and they can be billed back to the PWC registered owner.
File a digital float plan. Add in all your vessel identification, and yours. Sign up trusted friends or family who will monitor and track.
When you arrive back identify in the float plan that your ride is completed.
Float Plan Registry: https://floatplanregistry.com/index.php
SAFE AT SEA
Make sure you have a safety kit with you and that you do not travel alone.
We have done many long distance and offshore rides out to 40 miles off the coast and sometimes further, but we are prepared with additional fuel and safety plans. Some of our distances have covered 1,800 miles in 6 days.
I would only advise this on a 3 or 4 seater craft, not on a Sport or Stand Up model.
Preparation is the key to go out to sea and it will require your best seamanship skills.
Posted: July 17, 2019
Content Creator of Rescue Water Craft and Personal Water Craft boating international education standards: Shawn Alladio is the world’s foremost authority and leading subject matter expert. She cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.
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Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.