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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:26PM

Could you be a survivor?

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Bill Hempel

By Bill Hempel

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All of us have seen the multiple TV programs dealing with survival. Most strand people in barren places, out of touch with civilization, all alone and having to find a way to survive. It is not likely any of us will be on a TV series, but if you boat offshore, there is a good chance you may find yourself in a similar situation.

Poorly maintained vessels and insufficient fuel are factors that increase the odds of your being stranded. All too often, boaters forget that in addition to the fuel required to reach a destination they also need fuel to return. When you are alone in a 20-foot boat and drifting helplessly 15 miles or more offshore, believe me, you are in a desperate survival mode. Your cell phone and VHF radio are of no help that far offshore. Without the proper safety equipment and preparation, you are out of touch with civilization and your survival depends on how well you have planned and prepared.

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