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Having a first aid kit is one of the safety-related items that the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons review during an annual Vessel Safety Check (VSC). As you prepare your boat for the season, review and update your first aid kit. Some medication may have expired, items will degrade over time and you will need to replace items previously used so your kit is ready to go at launch.

If you need to purchase a first aid kit, most marine stores sell a wide selection or you could also put your own together. Find a good water-proof container; determine where you will store it on your boat, to come up with its size, and be sure it is easily accessible.

To gather supplies, think about the activities you do on the water. You may need to remove a fish hook, so add a small pair of wire snips. As you think through events that may occur during your time on the water, your supplies may include: splints, ace bandage, pads, liquid bandage spray, various size bandages, iodine, hot and cool packs, sun block, seasick preventives, and aspirin. Consider having a small flashlight; there are LED lights that are small in diameter.

In addition to your first aid kit, enroll in a first aid training course. Quick action during threatening emergencies such as heart attack, stroke, or seizures can save lives. If you find yourself in a medical emergency, seek help immediately. Make sure you know how to use your marine radio, not just your cell phone.

United Marine Underwriters is more than just boat insurance. Browse our Boats For Sale at BoatBrowser or our Lake Resource Guide at LakeBrowser or share your fishing stories and photos at True Fish Tales – the ones that did not get away.

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