Preventing Capsizing, Swamping, Sinking, or Falling Overboard
To help prevent and prepare for capsizing, swamping, sinking, or falling overboard, follow these guidelines.
- Make sure that you and your passengers are wearing lifejackets or PFDs while the pleasure craft is underway.
- Attach the engine shut-off line to your wrist, lifejacket, or PFD.
- Don’t allow anyone to sit on the gunwale, bow, seat backs, motor cover, or any other area not designed for seating. Also, don’t let anyone sit on pedestal seats when operating at a speed greater than idle speed.
- Don’t overload your pleasure craft. Exceeding your craft’s capacity will make it unstable and will let water come in over the bow, sides, or stern.
- In a small boat, evenly distribute and balance the weight of all passengers and gear, keeping most of the weight low. When the weight is higher, your boat is more likely to roll.
- Keep your centre of gravity low by not allowing people to stand up or move around while underway, especially in smaller, less-stable boats. Anyone who must move in a small boat should maintain three points of contact. That is, keep both hands and one foot or both feet and one hand in contact with the boat at all times.
- In a small boat, don’t allow anyone to lean a shoulder beyond the gunwale.
- Become familiar with your pleasure craft’s manoeuvrability, and slow your pleasure craft appropriately when turning.
- Don’t risk boating in rough water conditions or in bad weather.
- When anchoring, secure the anchor line to the bow, never to the stern.