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What is the first thing you should do if your boat starts taking on water?

If you get on a boat, safety has to be at the top of your priority list. Even though you might not think an emergency will happen, your boat could develop a maintenance issue or hit something when you least expect it. This could cause your boat to start taking on water. What should you do next?

Get the Life Jackets and Life Preservers Out

If your boat begins to take on water, you need to get your life jackets and life preservers out. Make sure everyone has a flotation device. Even though you might not necessarily need to leave the boat, you never know if the rate of water accumulation will increase, causing you to have to jump overboard.

Call the Coast Guard

Once you have your emergency equipment out, call the Coast Guard. Give them a description of what happened. The Coast Guard will also ask you for your location so that they can come and help you address the issue or rescue you. The Coast Guard may also give you instructions on what to do next, so make sure to follow them.

Identify the Leak and Try To Slow the Flow

While someone on the boat is talking to the Coast Guard, you should try to figure out where the leak came from so you can share the information with the Coast Guard. You may have emergency water pumps that can help you pump the water out of the boat. If so, put them to use. If you are unsure of how to use them, talk to the Coast Guard representative on the other end of the phone. These boating tips should help you if your boat starts to take on water.

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