Safety at Sea

Make sure you are properly equipped prior to putting to sea.

Make sure you are properly equipped prior to putting to sea:

Some equipment is mandatory for Pleasure Vessels of 13.7m in length & over; dependent on how far from the coast you venture – you may be required by law to have items such as a life-raft, lifebuoys, life-jackets, flares, a marine radio & a boarding ladder.

For Pleasure Vessels of less than 13.7 metres in length (approximately 45ft), however, there are no statutory requirements for safety equipment other than those required under SOLAS V. That said, although safety equipment may not be required by law, it is essential that you properly equip your boat prior to putting to sea and that you ensure that the craft is suitable for its intended use. As an absolute minimum the RYA recommend that you carry: an engine kill cord a life-jacket (or buoyancy aid) for everyone on board (which should be worn unless you are certain it is safe not to) a handheld VHF radio to allow you to request assistance in an emergency a means of identifying yourself to other boats in the event of an emergency – for example handheld red flares for night time use or orange smoke flares for daytime an anchor and cable, or suitable alternative to stop the boat drifting whist waiting for help

All equipment should be checked regularly for wear and tear or damage. Flares should be in date and life-jackets regularly serviced. Don’t just presume that your engine and navigation lights will work because they did last time you used them…. check them before you leave. In addition to having the equipment on board it is essential that you take the time to learn how each item is used. RYA Training Courses are available both for new and experienced boaters in a wide range of subjects. Contact your local RYA training centre for details.

The RYA website is an excellent source of information for all water craft users, from maritime regulations, training and safety, to racing and events; keep up to date with the latest boating info with the RYA