You are the captain of your boat, and it is you who’s responsible for the passengers on your boat. The title of “captain” comes with the acknowledgement that everyone aboard is depending on you to make their day safe.
As a result, your boat should include everything that is needed to accommodate your passengers and ensure their safety. In addition to the U.S. Coast guard required equipment, (signal horns, life jackets and lights, etc.) they also recommend a good First Aid Kit! It is not on their required list, but it should absolutely be on yours.
A first aid kit is kind of like a spare tire. If it’s ever needed, you’ve got it, but you hope that you never have to use it. Think of it this way: if someone is bleeding and you cannot readily get to shore, the extremity of the situation could easily become a medical emergency.
Here’s an example. We have a friend who loved to fish in the Chesapeake Bay. He enjoyed taking his friends fishing with him, and one day an accident happened. One of his friends was casting a lure and, without knowing it, caught the nose of the fisherman behind him. When he pushed the rod forward to throw the lure, the treble hook got caught in his nose. They had fished together many times before but nothing like this had ever happened, and no one was prepared for an injury like that. They were far away from shore with a sudden medical emergency and had no way to treat wound. So, they quickly motored to shore and got him to the closest local hospital. The hospital ruled the wound as non-threatening, but the man remained in pain for several days after.
But what if he was bleeding badly and they hadn’t been close enough to shore? What if he went into shock? It could have been very serious.
On our boats we always carry a first aid kit. Because we may overlook something that is needed, we opt to buy a complete kit rather than try to make one ourselves. However, many inexpensive first aid kits are so simple that they provide little assistance in cases of emergency. Be sure that any kit you purchase is complete. If you do purchase a kit that only contains band aids, tape and some gauze, add some items of your own to complete the kit.
Here are two First Aid kits we that we recommend.