Articles for The Masthead are due approximately one month prior to publication. Some of my data may be inaccurate by the time you read this. However, I think it is important to address this situation.

The charter boat, Conception, recently caught fire, exploded and ended up on the bottom of the ocean with 33 lives lost, one unaccounted for, and 5 survivors. This is one of the worst boating disasters in our state’s history. I am addressing this because, as vice commodore, I oversee the water-based activities at BCYC.

This disaster hit the boating community very hard. Every person on that boat was an experienced “boater” and it is hard to understand how so many lives could be lost. It is difficult to anticipate every possibility or situation you may experience on your boat and your reaction to it. What I am suggesting to you, if you have not already done so, is to physically place yourself in every part of your boat and imagine and plan how you or your children or grandchildren would escape if they could not get out the easiest way. This is hard to face, but it is a reality. Then discuss it with them.

Up-to-date safety equipment on a boat is a must – check it now if you haven’t done so recently. Don’t wait for Opening Day inspections. Spend time on your boat discussing with other people escape routes (just as we do for earthquake preparedness) and talk to neighbor boaters. Ask them about their plan. Make changes to your boat if necessary. One thing I know for certain is boaters are problem solvers and critical thinkers and are willing to learn from others. You can do everything right and be prepared and things can, and will, go wrong.

This is too important an issue to make light of with a closing cliché so…be safe.

Vice Commodore, Ginny Lombardi