Small craft boaters need to be especially careful to avoid falling overboard. Falling overboard and drowning is the major cause of fatalities for small boats. To prevent falling overboard:
- Keep centered in the boat with your center of gravity low in the boat. Always keep your shoulders between the gunwales.
- If possible, don’t move about the boat. If you must move, 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.
- Evenly distribute and balance the weight of persons and gear within the boat, keeping most of the weight low. It is extremely important not to overload a small boat.