How to Avoid Falling Overboard on a Rented Boat

Boating may seem like a fun activity but the risk factor is pretty high. Although it’s usually an enjoyable experience, there’s a lot of room for things to go wrong if not done correctly. There are a number of incidents where the boat loses balance and passengers fall overboard. To avoid such scenarios we have gathered some useful tips.

  • Personal Flotation Device

A personal flotation device is usually in the form of a suit or a jacket which is worn to ensure that the user does not drown. Wearing a life jacket yourself and also recommending it to your fellow passengers is a great safety precaution, in case something bad happens. Even though it can get a bit uncomfortable at times, it is highly advisable to not take off your flotation device.

  • Keep the Center of Gravity Low

Having passengers and crew running around when the boat is moving is the worst thing that can happen. It’s not just dangerous for them but for the entire boat. By roaming around, the center of gravity of the boat keeps changing due to which the boat can wobble, shake and you can fall overboard. Being firmly seated is the best tip to avoid falling overboard.

  • Gunwale Restrictions

This is the best pro tip to follow if you want to avoid falling overboard. People have a habit of sitting on the gunwale which is extremely dangerous. Usually in a small boat people tend to lean a shoulder to the gunwale. They don’t pay attention and at any moment the boat turns, they can find themselves in the water yelling for their lives. In case of any injury, personal injury expert Jerome O. Fjeld suggests that you keep track of every minor detail that leads to the injury. To avoid getting injured, staying away from the gunwale is a good idea.

  • Seating Restrictions

Passengers usually get sick of sitting in their seats and start to explore. They tend to roam around and sit at different places such as the bow, motor cover, or any other area which isn’t designed for seating purposes. This increases the risk of falling overboard and even risks the stability of the boat. Restrictions to sit at such places are necessary to ensure that you don’t fall off.

  • Don’t Overload

An overloaded boat is by far the most dangerous boat. It’s not set in stone that the water conditions will remain the same throughout your journey. In case you enter rough water, boating becomes a lot less enjoyable. The risk of falling overboard increases because if the boat is overloaded, it loses stability when people walk around. This is the worst-case scenario where the boat can topple over due to imbalance. 

  • Secure Anchor Line 

Anchoring your boat correctly is an important step to ensure your boating trip goes safely. You need to first ensure that both ends of your anchor line are securely tied to your boat. When lowering the anchor, make sure it’s over the bow, securely tied. In case the anchor tie loosens, the balance of your boat can easily be disrupted by the wind or tides and cause you to fall overboard. 

  • Speed of The Boat 

Ensure that the speed of your boat is optimized and you are not going too fast. The sea is unpredictable, and you should make sure that you are extra cautious. Driving your boat really fast may seem fun but it can cause you or anyone onboard to fall out of the boat. Be extra careful to further slow down the speed of your boat when making turns, sudden turns may cause your body to jerk towards the corner of the boat, therefore making you fall overboard. 

  • Check the Weather Forecast 

Checking the weather forecast before you go sailing is extremely important. It is one of the basic steps of sailing. Basic forecasts include predictions about water tides, topography, and sea breezes. Make sure that the weather is clear, and that there are no signs of heavy rain before you go sailing. Heavy rains and thunderstorm predictions should be your sign to not go sailing, as it is extremely dangerous, and the chances of falling overboard increase tremendously. 

Boat rides are adventure-filled experiences you have with friends and family. Making sure that you have the best possible time and avoid all sorts of accidents is necessary. While there are some other risks when going for a boat ride, falling overboard is one of the most common occurrences during boat rides. Some people also hit their head while falling which can be a cause of minor to major injuries. Therefore, it is extremely important that you take all necessary precautions and follow the above-mentioned tips to ensure your and your fellow passenger’s safety.