A Course for Safe Boating
Accident Prevention and Rescue
REFER TO CHAPTER 1
the operator was unaware of an incoming storm. In the afternoon, the seas
became dangerous, swamping the vessel and causing it to sink. The victims
were in the water for 30 minutes and had body temperatures of 82º F when
they were rescued. The victims were wearing life jackets but not special
clothing for cold water.
1. Identify the mistakes that the people made and the proper actions.
2. What could these people have done differently to prevent this accident?
3. What steps could you take to rescue the victims and/or make the
BASIC RESCUE TIPS
Navigation rules are built upon safety and courtesy. Boat operators are
required to assist other boats in distress when doing so does not put their
own vessel or passengers in danger. You should be trained, careful and
responsible when attempting to help others.
Always be ready to help others, but do not take needless risks. To help in
emergencies from a boat:
Approach an accident scene cautiously. Watch for victims in the water.
Check the area for possible risks to yourself and other rescuers. Turn the
engine off before picking up victims—as long as you don’t need it on to
maneuver against winds or currents.
Communicate with people in the water. They can tell you if they are all
right, if other passengers are with them, and help you to choose your first
Whenever possible, use equipment such as a throw bag or line, ring life
preservers or floatable objects to save lives.
Toss lifesaving devices to those who do not have them.
Do not jump into the water to help a victim unless it is your only choice and
you face no risk to yourself.
Give help first to anyone who seems to be seriously injured or is having
trouble staying afloat.
If necessary—and if your boat can safely hold additional people— help
victims by pulling them aboard over the stern. In heavy seas, it may be
safest to rescue the victim over the side of the vessel near the stern.