Safety—you've got to plan it
It should cover everything you need to successfully complete your trip, in addition to preparation for what could go wrong.
Before you head off, make sure your vessel is suitable for the activity―with up-to-date safety equipment, suitable communication equipment, sufficient fuel and enough room for everyone as well as your equipment and supplies.
Make sure your safety equipment is easy to access and those on board know where it is located and how to use it.
Check the weather―including warnings, forecast, wind, waves and tides―and change your plans if the conditions are not safe for your type of vessel and those on board.
If going on a long trip, plan your route―along with possible safe havens along the way―in the event that you need to return to port quickly for shelter, medical assistance, supplies, or repairs. Make sure your contacts include Volunteer Marine Rescue, ports, police and emergency services.
It’s extremely important to inform someone ashore where you are going, when they should expect you back and what to do if you don’t check in. Your emergency contact will be able to raise the alarm if you don’t return on time.
You should also have a GPS-enabled emergency beacon, registered with AMSA. If AMSA receives a beacon alert, search and rescue officers will attempt to make contact with you and your emergency contacts to verify the situation and get a search underway as soon as possible.
Using a pre-departure checklist helps make sure you are always prepared and haven’t forgotten anything. You can easily add to your checklist as you become aware of additional things you can do to improve your preparation.