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Safety first

What safety equipment do you need on your boat in case of emergencies?

on August 15, 2021

In the event of an emergency, you need appropriate emergency equipment onboard! Take control of the situation! We are here to help prepare you!

In the event of an emergency

What safety equipment do you need on your boat incase of an emergency?

As boaters, we always have to be prepared for the worst. There are many situations that can arise while you’re out on your boat and it's important to be equipped with the necessary safety equipment in case of emergencies. Boat safety is essential for all boaters!

Boating is a fun and relaxing activity for the whole family. But what happens if you get in an emergency situation? If you are not prepared, it could be a life-changing event. Here's all the safety equipment that boaters need to have onboard in case of emergencies:

Boat safety equipment.

Safety equipment is vital for every boat; rather be over-prepared than under-prepared. Emergencies can happen at any time, whether it is a boat stuck in the middle of the ocean or capsizing, boat accidents, a man overboard, fire on board, etc. The only immediate protection available is your safety gear before the coast guard can reach you or send out a rescue team, you only have the boat safety equipment which you are required to carry!


Life jacket

  • Every person on board must have a life jacket that fits them properly. Life jackets are there to keep you safe! You must carry life jackets on your boat, make sure they are in good working condition. The USCG requires one approved – Type I, II, III, or V, life jacket or life vest per person on board. Most fatalities in boat accidents and capsizing are caused by drowning 79% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 86% were not wearing a lifejacket. For more information regarding boat fatalities, statistics visit American Boating Association: Boating Fatality Facts

No passenger gets on a boat without a life jacket!

Check out our Life jackets; with six pages of life jackets, I can guarantee you will find the perfect vest for you, sizes for everyone, and even for your pet; Dog vest. Find the best personal flotation device with just a click.

 Life jackets

Immersion suits

Immersion suits can protect against hypothermia; if you need to abandon ship, this is the suit you want to wear; however, not all boaters have this on board; people working on large vessels/h, or deep sea fishing at night will most likely use this suit, you are not required to carry this, however, this is part of boat safety!

immersion suits boating safety


Distress flares/ Distress signals

Visual Distress Signals is a "Must carry" It is always good to have at least four red distress flares on board, there are hand flares that burn for sixty seconds, and then you get the Electronic distress flare, which is a long-lasting option for you especially if you run out of flares, you are not required to carry the electronic distress flare, but I find the electronic distress flare is the device to carry because rescue response could miss the sixty seconds by just looking in the wrong direction!

Electronic distress flare, boat safety

Electronic-distress-flare-7-mile-range perfect for your grab-bag. Grap bags are n great way to store your emergency materials and supplies, and you can access them quickly and easily. Most vessels have a grab bag onboard, grab bags are not part of safety requirements, but this is a "must" in my opinion because this way the gear you need is easily accessible, if you have to jump off the boat, you grab the bag and go!

Electronic distress signal

Throwable floatation device

A flotation device is essential to your boat safety equipment and is part of your safety requirements. The flotation device must be approved by the U.S coast guard. If someone has fallen into the water, known as MOB man overboard, you will use this rescue throw bag or ring buoy to retrieve the person. The flotation device must be This is the only option to immediately perform a rescue! If the vessel is 16 feet or more in length, 1 throwable floatation device – Type IV – like a ring is required.

Flotation devices


ring buoy

 Throw bag and ring buoy flotation devices


Sound signaling devices

For vessels less than 40 feet, you need a whistle or horn; for vessels larger than 40 feet, an air horn and bell are required.

acr-survival-res-q-whistle perfect for your grab-bag

Electronic-horn-yellow – keep it in a place where everyone can see it and easily accessible check out this air-horn-holder-white.

Sound signaling devices

Passengers can attach this rescue whistle to their life jackets. If a person falls overboard, they can use the whistle to notify everyone on board; however, there is no guarantee that they will hear you, but it certainly makes you feel safer. 


Marine VHF Radio

A marine radio is a worldwide system used for communications from one ship to another, you must have a proper communication system! Most boats if not all the boats carry this device if you don't have a marine radio you must click on the link below, spoil yourself, this is a great way to communicate in the boating world and the safest.

Get weather alerts, and communicate with other boaters; this comes in handy to notify other boaters of your current situation. All boats should have a marine radio



Marine radio

Fire extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is essential; there are different fire extinguishers; the best option would be multipurpose fire extinguishers. The quantity of fire extinguishers depends on the boat's size; you would require one or more. Explain to all passengers how the fire extinguisher works.  Give them a good training session!

Fires are classified under three types/classes, also known as the "ABC's," and fire extinguishers are rated by the level or type of fire.

  • Type A = Fire caused by Solid Material includes wood, paper, cloth, plastics, etc. 
  • Type B = Fire caused by Liquid includes any kind of Liquid; varnishes, gasoline, diesel, etc.
  • Type C = Fire caused by Electrical includes anything powered by electric circuit or equipment.


Fire extinguishers are marked Type A, B, or C – which tells you the extinguisher is equipped for type a fire or type B fire or type C fire; however, you do get a multipurpose fire extinguisher, which would be the best option when buying

Fire extinguishers are definitely part of the requirements, sometimes the engine can cause a backfire flame if you wondered how a fire occurs! Please do check the expiration date, if they expired you are required to replace them. Every vessel is required to carry this device. If you used it, replace it.

First aid kit

In case of injury, a First aid kit on board is vital. Follow the link provided and choose the perfect kit for your boat. The first aid kit contains all items you need to treat a passenger.

medical kit

Survival kit

Prep like a pro with a survival-kit; this kit includes items that are of great use during an emergency.

Survival kit acr approved

Beacon locators

A live-saving distress beacon alert rescuers within minutes, giving your exact location, so it is easy to locate the person who needs rescue. The personal beacon locater is not part of the requirements, but every vessel may want to use these devices, with the personal beacon locator you can attach it to your vest, be sure that you will be found if you get lost or find yourself in a situation! These devices send out signals to the coast guard. Just like flares but even better.

fast find personal-locator-beacon

 personal beacon locator

Grab and go bag

The acr-rapidditchtrade-bag is perfect for grab and go; if you have to abandon ship, this is the bag you will grab; the bag provides all the storage room to store and organize all of your boating safety equipment in one convenient location.

Marine safety bag


With this proper led-flashlight, you can use it underwater and on dry land, the perfect flashlight for all boats. This flashlight is used for diving, making it excellent to have onboard in case of emergencies or if you have to do a repair or check what is going on under your boat. Every vessel should have at least two flashlights, boating during the night just became easier.

Led flash light

Life raft/ lifeboat

An inflatable life raft/ boat is used for emergency evacuation at sea (Abandoning ship)

Capsize bottle and rope

This is only necessary if you do not have life rafts; the capsize bottle and rope are used when a vessel capsizes. Passengers can hold onto the rope until help arrives.

Emergency blanket

Emergency-blanket can be added to your grab-and-go bag; this blanket offers compact emergency protection that is waterproof, windproof and reflects body heat back to the body. All boats must have this, you may need it, and you can be sure that it works. No this is not required, but in the boating world, anything can happen so be over-prepared always.


Navigation lights

Navigation lights are essential to every boat and are required by law. Always have at least one extra light on board in case one goes out. For more information on navigation, lights visit our blog boat-parts-explained-from-bow-to-stern. Navigation lights must be on always, even when you throw in your anchor, they are there for a reason and they look really awesome during the night.

Navigation lights

Spares and tools

If you have to repair items on your boat, it is always best to have the right tool on hand and spares.

Anchor chain and rope

If you anchor your boat due to an emergency, make sure you have an anchor, chain, and rope. If you are planning to travel long distances, I suggest having an extra set on hand in case you lose an anchor or you must cut the rope.  Most boats always carry an anchor.

Water buckets or bilge pump

When your boat takes on water, you need to get rid of it to prevent your boat from sinking.

Bilge pump


Bilge pump

Drinking water

Fresh drinking water is essential; we don’t often think about all the bad things that can happen but, if you are out on the ocean with your canoe on a sunny day, and you get caught in a strong water current moving your canoe far away from the shore while waiting for rescue team you need fresh water, this is just one example of why you need fresh drinking water. Drinking from the ocean is a big NO




Food is important especially if you find your serve stuck in the ocean for days, canned food is the best as you can store them on your boat, and this is the best long-term option. You can store canned food for a year some canned food even longer.

Extra items you may find helpful

  • Duct tape, you may or may not use this but for some reason, duct tape always works for a quick fix. If used duct tape on your boat for whatever reason please share your story with us!
  • Extra flares are good to have, yes you should have at least three, but keep an extra three.

All boats should have a float plan!

A float plan includes a description of your boat, who is on board, a description of the safety equipment that you carry, where you are planning to go, the route you want to take, and when you expect to arrive. This is vital all boats must have this! If you are planning to travel to the great lakes you must have one!

It can be hard to know what safety equipment you need for any given situation, but we’ve made it easy. With this list of emergency supplies for your boat, you will always be prepared when the time comes! This post may not cover all emergencies that could happen on a boat (or anywhere else), so make sure to read our other blog posts on how to prepare yourself in case an emergency does strike. Do you have a favorite piece of safety gear?

Prepare with your number one marine supplier  Marine Supplies US

 The US boat store that cares about your safety! Stay safe, and most importantly, stay alive. 


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