Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Ditch Bag Essentials
I have a well stocked ditch bag, but for the coastal cruising we predominantly do, its overstocked. In the US, as long as you can notify someone of your emergency, the odds that you'll float in your raft for more than a few hours are slim. Even if your EPIRB has to deploy automatically and you never made radio contact, they'll be around to check you out in under a half day, assuming there aren't other vessels in the vicinity to respond to the Pan Pan they'll issue within a half hour. I will say Coastal, for this purpose, is anything within USCG helo range, at a min. That's 150-200nm offshore.
First Aid is important. Whatever sunk your boat, may have hurt someone in the process. Water is always important, but food is nearly unnecessary, unless you might have to spend days in your raft (I have power bars and peanut butter anyway). Sunscreen is necessary. A means to communicate for sure, even better if it has the ability to broadcast or at least identify your lat/long to you, so you can tell SAR.
If you are on medications that you can't live without for a couple of days, they should be in a watertight container. Even though you should be ashore sooner, you may not be near your spares in time. For some, skipping a dose can be a serious problem. Spare prescription eyeglasses too.
The one item I rarely see, even on published lists.......... toilet paper. Seriously, think about that problem in an overcrowded raft in heavy seas. You're probably not alone either, are you..............
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Last edited by Minnewaska; 10-08-2015 at 07:02 AM.