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Man Overboard: Be Prepared!

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Despite all your precautions, an accident can happen. Depending on the nature of the accident (drowning, thermal shock, collision), be prepared to react effectively to save your crew.

Watch Out for Drowning

The most common accident among boaters is, not surprisingly, drowning.

Obviously, swimming and enjoying the cool waters is always a risk whether you are a good or bad swimmer.

But many accidents also happen because of :

  • Failure to wear a life jacket
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Capsizing of the boat
  • Setting sail at night time
Intervening in Case Someone Falls Overboard

Many tragedies could be avoided by taking the necessary precautions.

If one of your passengers should fall overboard, here are the steps to take to avoid the worst.  

  1. Stop your boat, turn off the engines and throw a buoy to the victim.
  2. Have a passenger keep an eye on the person in the water at all times.
  3. Using a rope attached to the boat, retrieve the victim by pulling him or her against the wind.
  4. Make sure you always have an ascending device on your boat, such as a ladder.

Boaters with small boats are encouraged to prepare a navigation plan (Transport Canada) and communicate it to someone on shore in case of emergency. If this is not possible, you can leave your sail plan with the Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) at any time by phone (*16 or #16 on your cell phone), by radio or in person.