Riding on the Gunwales, Bow, or Transom
On-screen text: BOATING
Speaker 1: So where are the unlawful places to sit?
Speaker 2: In New Hampshire, it is illegal for people to sit on the gunwale, the transom, and straddle the bow with their legs or feet hanging over the bow.
Speaker 1: Is it safe to sit in those places at slow speeds?
Speaker 2: It’s still not safe to sit in these locations, even if the boat is underway at a slow speed. We have had instances where people have fallen overboard and been struck by the boat’s propeller. And they’ve received serious injuries and, in some cases, have died.
Speaker 1: Is it legal to sit in transom seats that are facing backwards?
Speaker 2: It is not legal to sit in the transom seats facing backwards while the boat is underway. We advise everybody to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which does not allow somebody to sit in those seats while underway on New Hampshire waters.
Speaker 1: What can happen on a pontoon if you fall over the front, or if you are outside sitting on the rail and happen to fall in?
Speaker 2: You can be swept underneath the boat itself and struck by the propeller. And that has happened, unfortunately, numerous times in New Hampshire.
Speaker 1: This is not just you being a stickler and trying to kill everybody’s buzz.
Speaker 2: From a safety perspective, every year, we have at least one or two people that—unfortunately—fall out of the boat from sitting on the transom, sitting on the gunwale, or straddling the bow. And it leads to serious injuries and, in some cases, death.