CHAPTER 4: Emergency Preparedness
RUNNING AGROUND: PREVENTION
Unfortunately, running agroundwith the keel or bottom fast on the sea bottom. is a common occurrence for boaters. But it doesn't have to be.
If you follow these three guidelines, you should steer clear of rocks, sandbars and other underwater hang-ups that’ll bring your happy day of boating to a grinding halt.
#1. If you’re boating in unfamiliar waters, take some time before launch to consult a nautical chart of the area. You should also talk to local marinas and boaters to get the inside scoop on local underwater hazards. They know where to go and where not to.
#2. Always keep a proper lookout while boating. Not only should you be looking for buoys and markers that indicate shallow waters, but you also need to keep your eyes peeled for shoals and sandbars that can be hard to spot. You might be surprised to know that most accidents happen on calm, clear days with light winds. Often it is simply not keeping a lookout that gets boaters into trouble.
#3. Always maintain a safe speed. This will allow you to take necessary action if you do spot an underwater hazard that needs to be avoided.
A final tip is that if you have a depth finder, you can set a shallow alarm alert to give you the heads up if you are headed towards somewhere you don’t want to go.
But remember that a depth finder does not replace the need to always keep a proper lookout. Never rely solely on a depth finder.