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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent case involving the missing boaters off of Jacksonville has a lot of folks reevaluating their safety practices. I posted this on another forum and thought it mught be worthwhile to post it here,

The below lists are by no means hard and fast. A good ditch kit will have survival and active and passive signalling devices in it. As always, feel free to ask questions or make suggestions if you have them.

Inshore/Near Shore Ditch Kit

Floating waterproof box or bag

EPIRB or PLB

Handheld waterproof VHF Radio

Cell phone in waterproof bag/case

Flares

Signal Mirror

Waterproof flashlight

Whistle

Glow sticks

Bug spray

Sun screen

First aid supplies

Aspirin or Ibuprofen

Food and water

Survival blanket (bright silver)

Orange Bandana

Gorilla Tape

Multi-tool

Cordage

Lighter



OFFSHORE DITCH KIT

Floating ditch bag

Sat Phone

EPIRB

PLB

Handheld waterproof VHF Radio

Cell phone in waterproof bag/case

Flares

Electric distress light

Waterproof flashlight

Signal mirror

Whistle

Glow sticks

Survival blanket (bright silver)

Orange bandanas

First aid kit

Aspirin or Ibuprofen

Anti-Seasickness pills

Sun screen

Bug spray

Food and Water

Supplemental flotation devices

Multi-tool

Cordage

Lighter

Gorilla Tape

Fishing gear
 

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Another thing is a plan. Obviously you don’t wear a ditch bag. Let’s say boat is sinking or capsized. In those frantic moments you can’t get to the bag. Where would you/anyone store it for easy access after the incident? A plan is needed. Maybe it needs to be left out while on the water so it can float free or attached in an easy to retrieve location. Like life jackets. Boat gets flipped, you end up in the water and the jackets are stowed in a latched compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In my primary boat (20 Dual Console) the kit stays on deck quick clipped to a handrail near the operators station. I should be able to get to it if I need to ditch. If not, I should be able to get to it after I ditch. On smaller boats and kayaks, the contents are scaled back a bit and put into a waterproof floating box that is kept out on deck.
 

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Zip ties are good to have also
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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Another thing is a plan. Obviously you don’t wear a ditch bag. Let’s say boat is sinking or capsized. In those frantic moments you can’t get to the bag. Where would you/anyone store it for easy access after the incident? A plan is needed. Maybe it needs to be left out while on the water so it can float free or attached in an easy to retrieve location. Like life jackets. Boat gets flipped, you end up in the water and the jackets are stowed in a latched compartment.
Very important and often overlooked.

When SHTF you need to be able to grab it quickly and without thinking. Mine was on top of the center console with a velcro strap to the T-top, so it was a quick rip of a strap and it was in my hand. Never even had to leave the helm/radio.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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These are all great for emergencies. I’d like to add that having a second kill switch on a lanyard where you can show passengers how to clip it back in and start the boat if the captain gets tossed and they need to be able to start the boat and pick him up. This could save a life, especially offshore, near passes with lots of current or rough water situations.
Texas just passed a kill switch law. I have always worn one and found that it works great around your knee so your hands are free to do whatever instead of accidentally killing the boat while reaching for something (like a cap that blew off at speed).
 
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