Boating Safety - Falling in the water

People falling in the water. Thankfully, this is rare and as long a people are careful and take sensible precautions rescuing someone in the water is possible.

If one of your boat members falls off the boat in the water or you see someone else fall in the water, you should not do the following:

  • panic
  • jump in
  • let others jump in
  • reverse your boat towards them (there is a risk they could get hit by the propeller

The water is very cold even in summer. Try and kep the person in the water in view at all times.

If you are on a narrow stretch of water you should switch your engine off. Don’t reverse the boat – the person in the water could be dragged into the propeller. Life Ring

You should try and throw a line or a lifebelt – if it’s a canal or shallow they might be able to walk out.

Steer the boat slowly to the bank and get one of your passengers to help the person to shore.

If you are on a wider waterway you should - Throw a lifebuoy or line and steer your boat carefully to approach the person in the water. Make sure that your propeller is well away from the person in the water. If there is any danger that they are getting close to the propella you should stop the propeller immediately.

You can do this by selecting neutral gear. Pull them to the side of the boat and help them aboard with a ladder, rope or pole.

Make sure everyone on the boat knows what to do if someone falls in. Everyone should know where to find the lifeline or lifebelt.

You should never swim in waterways. You could:

  1. Get tangled in weeds or vegitation
  2. Be hit by a passing boat
  3. Get drawn into a sluice or weir
  4. Catch a waterborne disease - often the water in canals or rivers is filthy
  5. Cold, fast-flowing water is dangerous.