What To Do If You Capsize, Swamp, or Fall Overboard
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. Your swamped boat is easier to see and will signal that you are in trouble. Also signal for help using other devices available (visual distress signals, whistle, mirror).
- If you made the mistake of not wearing a PFD, find one and put it on. If you can't put it on, hold onto it. Have your passengers do the same.
- Take a head count. Reach, throw, row, or go, if needed.
- If your boat remains afloat, try to reboard or climb onto it in order to get as much of your body out of the cold water as possible. Treading water will cause you to lose body heat faster, so try to use the boat for support.