As we move into January and the colder months, we normally think more about staying warm when fishing in the cold, windy weather. Also, since the Captain of a vessel is responsible for the safety of his/her vessel and the crew, all Captains should be giving some thought to the prevention of hypothermia. Hypothermia can pose a problem for boaters anytime of the year, but should be of greater concern to all Captains as we approach colder weather.
Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. As a Captain, have you ever thought about what a life jacket has in common with a blanket relative to hypothermia and safety in boating? Both can save your life when you are facing a major killer in aquatic mishaps such as hypothermia. As a result, you should carry both of these items on your boat. A life jacket is a federal and state requirement, but a blanket is not. However, all boaters should carry a blanker on board.