One of the dangers with travelling in this part of the world is the lack of regulation within industries such as this. Many boats that have been inspected and given permission by port authorities to operate may still break the regulations imposed on them. Boats vary widely in safety, comfort, and price. A person would be ill advised to book an 180 nautical mile ocean passage without meeting the captain in advance, researching and viewing the boat
We highly recommend that all customers book a boat from Portobelo when leaving from Panama, allowing you to meet the captain in advance, view the boat and obtain some assurances regarding the amount of passengers that they will be taking. The information provided on this website has been provided directly from the operator. This includes the maximum amount of passengers that should be aboard. We do not operate these boat ourselves however using our safety checklist, seeing the boat in advance will help decide.
The waters between San Blas and Colombia can be challenging at times. Customers chances of having a bad experience are greatly reduced by using the Captain Jack Safety Check-list, inspecting the boat in advance and meeting the captain.
1. Experienced Licensed Captain
2. Type 1 life vests in good repair for all passengers and crew with lights and whistles
3. Life Raft to accommodate all passenger & crew with up to date inspection
4. Dingy with a enough horsepower to to maneuver the boat in an emergency
5. EPIRB – Emergency Positioning Indicator Radio Beacon-tested each trip within expiration date
6. Up to date fire extinguishers in each room and engine room
7. Emergency Flares within expiration date
8. VHF Radio
9. HF Radio or satellite phone
10. More than one GPS
11. Electronic and or paper charts
12. More than 1 experienced crew member
13. Adequate berth for every passenger
14. Adequate water supply (minimum 10 gallons per passenger)
15. Man overboard device and procedure
16. Ocean rated first aid kit
17. Safety briefing
Drugs & Alcohol
It goes without saying that there is a zero tolerance policy with drugs aboard any vessel. If drugs are found aboard then it may result in that boat being confiscated not only ruining the captains business but also making them homeless.