Reminders for Safety Boat Helm

  • Always wear a kill cord.
  • Keep your hands on the throttle and wheel at all times when moving.
  • Always switch your engine off when dealing with a person in the water.
  • Wherever possible keep your boat speed to a minimum so that you do not create unnecessary wake, and make it easier for people anticipate the safety boat intentions.
  • When approaching a capsized dinghy, it can sometimes be best to approach bow first, from up wind, keeping the prop away from the boat hazards and crew.
  • Avoid steering directly astern of those who are racing, in case they capsize, fall out or alter course unexpectedly.
  • If it is necessary to come alongside, it is best to do this when a sailing boat has stopped on a close reach and the safety boat can come in on the windward side of the dinghy and hold the shroud to keep them close. Once in place turn the engine off if necessary for ease of communication.
  • If approaching a moving dinghy let the helm know your intentions, communicate clearly, approach from the windward side.
  • Always have an escape plan up your sleeve, know which way you’re going to turn to get out of a situation before things go wrong - sometimes just dropping into neutral will do it!
  • Above all maintain a good look out around your safety boat at all times!

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