Over The Bow Volume 76 Issue 1 Winter 2018 - Page 50

The buoy is circled in the photo above. Remember that it is four feet in diameter and painted bright yellow. Imagine what it would look like if we were searching for an individual who had no emergency equipment. We would search for a person’s head bobbing in the water. Though relatively small, an inflated PFD is usually orange or another outstanding color. Without it (or other emergency equipment), searching for an individual in the open ocean is virtually impossible.

These photos were taken with relatively calm seas. Emergencies would more likely occur when there are heavier seas, possibly with whitecaps, making identification and rescue even more challenging. This is another reason that we always teach boaters to stay with a capsized boat – it affords Search & Rescue a better chance of spotting a target.