RYA urges powerboat drivers to heed safety advice
Following the publication of the MAIB’s report today on its investigation of the tragic RIB accident which took place in the Camel Estuary, Cornwall last year, the RYA is urging owners and drivers of small open-powered boats and RIBs to stay safe by following these simple safety steps: always wear a kill cord; keep a good look out, keep passengers and crew seated safely with secure handholds and maintain good communication throughout the journey.
Richard Falk RYA Training Manager “Last year’s accident was a salutary reminder to us all of how important it is to always wear a kill cord when underway. However, with most incidents there is rarely one single causal factor, but rather a number of contributory factors. In a majority of cases the avoidance of any one of these factors would have either prevented the accident or at the very least minimised its severity.
“That is why it is vitally important that boaters should never lose sight of any of these basic safety steps that should be followed every time they go out on the water, in particular to always wear a kill cord when underway.”
“They should also be aware that boat handling at speed is a different ball game to manoeuvring at slower or more moderate speeds; when something goes wrong at speed the knock on effect is far greater”.
RYA assisted the MAIB (Marine Accident and Investigation Branch) in its investigations into this sad incident and continues to work with the Branch, the Maritime Coastguard Agency and the RNLI in promoting safety on the water.
It will be implementing the recommendations made with regard to its Powerboat Scheme as well as taking additional steps to further highlight hazards associated with high speed craft through our range of publications.
The RYA Powerboat 2 course is an excellent entry level course for anyone considering driving a small open-powered craft or RIB with more advanced tuition for more powerful or high performance craft available through our intermediate and advanced courses. Details on RYA powerboat courses can be found here.
Four Safety steps
Always wear a kill cord
Always, always use a kill cord and ensure that it is correctly attached to the driver of the boat. Wearing of kill cords is essential, as highlighted in the RYA’s annual Safety Advisory Notice 01/14. The kill cord when correctly worn will stop the engine if the driver becomes dislodged from the helm position. You should always switch off your engine before coming alongside someone in the water.
Keep a good look out
Ensure the driver of the boat keeps a proper lookout at all times. When towing anyone on water skis, wake-boards or inflatables always have a spotter in the boat to monitor the people being towed.
Safe seating and good handholds
The driver, passengers and crew must have a firm handhold at all times and be seated on seats and not on the sides or the boat or at the front - particularly at high speed. Speed should be matched to the conditions – in rougher conditions slow down.
The driver should warn passengers and crew prior to making any manoeuvres at speed or approaching rough water or wash from other vessels.
Don’t ruin a good day out on the water: be safe, enjoy more.