Boating Accidents, Fire Emergencies, and Running Aground
Most boating fatalities don't have anything to do with bad weather or hazardous sea conditions. They typically occur in smaller, open boats on inland waters during daylight hours when weather and visibility are good, the winds are light, and the water is calm. Despite these ideal conditions, passengers fall overboard and many boats capsize. If you should capsize or swamp your boat, or if you have fallen overboard and can't get back in, stay with the boat if possible. If someone on your boat falls overboard, you need to immediately throw a PFD to the victim and slowly approach them in the water from downwind. Stop the engine. Pull the victim on board over the stern, keeping the weight in the boat balanced, especially in small boats.
To prevent a fire emergency, don't mix fuel, oxygen, and heat. If fire does erupt on your boat, position the boat so the fire is downwind, shut off the fuel supply, and use your fire extinguisher.
If you run aground while traveling at a high speed, the impact not only can cause damage to your boat but also can cause injury to you and your passengers. Knowing your environment is the best way to prevent running aground. If you run aground, make sure no one is injured and then check for leaks. If the impact did not cause a leak, try to shove off from the rock, bottom, or reef with a paddle or boathook.