File a Float Plan
Boaters use float plans to outline the details of each trip they make. Float plans can be either completed forms given to a responsible person or basic verbal notifications that allow a responsible person to know the details of your outing. Highlighting important aspects relative to your voyage, float plans include all the information needed for search and rescue to find you should something go wrong. The most important part of the float plan is where you intend to be boating, your expected route and when you’ll be back. The person you’ve left the float plan with has the responsibility to notify authorities if you’re overdue, who will then move into action to search for you. Carry a marine radio or cell phone with you so you can call for assistance should the need arise.
With details about your trip, information about your boat type and colour and number of people aboard, if you stuck to your plan, finding you will be a lot easier. For shorter day trips, provide a responsible person with a basic float plan, which includes details about where you are going and when you’ll be back.
If for any reason your plans change on-route, it’s important to get a hold of that responsible person to update them on your new plan. Upon returning from your voyage, it’s important to close your float plan. Let that responsible person know you’ve returned safety. If you don’t, an unnecessary search may be launched, wasting valuable Search and Rescue services.