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  • Float plans-gctid385077

    I have another post in a diiferent thread about "Search and Rescues" I did while in the CG Auxiliary. Brought to mind something which boaters should do.

    Many of you, like myself have a radio, a handheld,cellphone, GPS(s), epirbs, etc aboard to get help in case of a distress. However, many are "just going out on the lake/river..." A float plan will greatly increase you chances for survival if you have a problem.

    Tipically, on many inland rivers and lake, there are no agencies monitoring marine radio. Many marinas who have VHF radios, only monitor during the day, not at night.

    SO a float pan:

    Note: do not give this to a law enforcement or CG agency. They have enough to do without watching out for you.

    With a friend of neighbor, leave the following:

    A description of your boat: color, lenght and any distinguishing features E.G. boat has a hardtop

    registration numbers

    any communications equipment aboard, and a cell number if not radio equipped.

    Number of people on board and their names

    An itinerary of where you launch, and where you are going and aproximate times.

    A time of when he is to all you on the cell if he does not hera from you.

    If you do not return at a certain time, the are to call the CG, marine patrol, or sheriff, whichever is appropriate.

    The above info is what a rescue agency needs to start looking for you.

    We have a chain of lakes starting at Kissimmee (20 mile south of Orlando) which goes to Lake Okeechobee. Its runs well over 100 miles. There is NO VHF radio monitoring, and the entire chain with its canals, is very remote. If an law enforcement agency receives a call for an overdue, I hope they have an airplane. An further complicating the issue, is the lake/canals go thru or along 8 counties, some of which do not have a marina patrol.....

    By all means, make sure you cancel teh float plan upon safe arrival home.
    Captharv 2001 2452
    "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

  • #2
    Absolutely agree, and with technology today, it's easy as can be. There's a great app for the iphone that can be used to create & distribute a plan in seconds.


    • #3
      I put a float plan in a zip lock taped on top of our dock box in addition to sending it to a couple of friends if we are going out for more than the day.

      The first time I left a float plan in a zip lock bag taped on top of our dock box in the marina you would have thought I invented the wheel. I had more comments and questions than I could believe when we returned.

      It had not been done or seen before by any of those around us.
      Jim McNeely
      New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
      Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
      Brighton, Michigan USA
      MMSI # 367393410


      • #4
        Here is a link to the usps float plan form that can be printed out. There are various ones you can find on the internet.

        I usually put it on my kitchen table and then I make a phone call to let some one know its there and when I will notify them up on return. I tell them If I have not contacted them with in a reasonable time to where to go look for the info and who to call.

        If I just go to the lake for an hour I always tell some one.

        Now my parents are 85 years old and they like to 4 wheel motor cycle ride in the mountains. They do the same so that if they dont return we know where to look. It works out well.

        I have also seen this at marinas where they have a bullitin board to post float plans on. I am not sure how its mananged though
        1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
        twin 454's
        MV Mar-Y-Sol
        1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
        Twin chevy 350's inboard
        Ben- Jamin
        spokane Washington