A Course for Safe Boating
Accident Prevention and Rescue
PADDLING ON FLATWATER OR THE OCEAN
Weather and water conditions can change very quickly and with little
warning. Be ready for the unexpected.
Do not overload the vessel.
Check and monitor weather and ocean conditions.
Do not go out when conditions are worse than your skills or your equipment
Carry the proper safety equipment and wear the right clothing for the water
Get training in the techniques used to right a sea kayak or other paddle
craft. Practice these techniques in a calm and supervised setting, such as a
If you are paddling in open water you should know and practice open water
rescues. These can be rescues for one or more boats.
Try to right the boat if possible.
Once the boat is righted, climb back in and begin bailing out the water.
Count the number of people to make sure that no one is missing.
Check the group for signs of hypothermia and take necessary actions.
If you’re unable to right the boat, climb on top of the boat and signal for help.
The operator had overloaded his small row boat and was allowing his
passengers to ride in an unsafe position on the gunwales and transom. As a
prank, all the passengers moved to the stern of the vessel at once, swamping
and sinking the vessel. During the crazy scene that followed, two of the
passengers drowned. The operator and many of the passengers were under
the influence of alcohol.
1. Identify the mistakes that the people made and the proper actions they
could have taken.
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