Your Boat Capsizes But Remains Afloat What Should You Do?
Many boaters have never had to deal with the unfortunate situation where their boat capsizes. But on an average day, a boat capsizes once every 30 minutes in the United States.
If it happens to you and you’re lucky, you can do a few tricks and manage to get back on the boat. If not, it’s time to make some important decisions.
Abandoning the boat during this time can be inadvisable, especially if you are near the coast or otherwise in an unsafe area.
If it’s too late to stop the boat from tipping over and if it’s not safe yet, then try to find a spot on the boat where you can escape and make sure that you are wearing a life jacket.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to grab hold of some piece of wood or rope from the side of the boat before going under. If nothing floats nearby then swimming towards shore will be difficult.
What Causes A Boat To Capsize?
Water Intrusion; Water intrusion typically occurs when the boat is moving and not at rest. This happens because water enters the boat from outside, usually from a leak that can’t be seen.
The boat gets filled with water and then destabilizes, tipping over or it can even flip in the air. As you might imagine, this leads to serious injuries and death for those on board the boat.
Improper Weight Balance; One of the most common causes of boat capsizing is improper weight balance. The more weight there is on one side, the more likely it will capsize because that side does not have enough buoyancy to keep up with its added weight. In order to avoid such an occurrence, sailors should have their weight distributed evenly throughout the boat.
Rough Seas; A rough sea can cause the boat to capsize and ultimately endanger lives. In order to avoid such situations, some safety measures should be taken in order to keep the boat afloat.
The most common safety measure a captain usually makes is to drop anchor but that doesn’t always work. So if you are sailing on a rougher sea, it’s advised that you take other precautions so that the boat stays afloat and safe.
You Boat Capsizes But Remains Afloat What Should You Do?
Wear PFD or Life Jacket
If your boat capsizes and you’re not wearing a life jacket, your chances of survival are very slim; this is why it’s important to always have a life jacket on board.
Life jackets should be worn in all situations for safety reasons. If you can’t put on your PFD or life jacket, hold onto something that floats so that you can keep afloat while waiting for help to arrive.
Take account for all passengers on board
If your cruise ship capsizes, you need to account for all the passengers in order to take care of them. This is a necessary first step to take when your boat capsizes and is something that should be done before any rescue efforts can be made.
This includes getting on a lifeboat and starting rescue procedures so that everyone can be accounted for and rescued.
If you can climb on the boat, you should do so
If your boat capsizes, you should try to climb onto the boat to get yourself out of the water especially if it’s very cold.
If you cannot climb onto the boat, then find something else nearby that can serve as a support for your body, it’s also important to climb onto the boat so that you can help others in need. Keeping yourself safe is the most important thing when a rescue mission is underway.
Some people have trouble climbing onto a sinking boat because they are afraid of falling into the water or they think they might be too heavy or too weak to do it. If you can’t climb onto the boat or it’s not safe to do that, you can always float on the water before taking the next step.
Swim-up under the boat if there is a strong wind
If it’s not safe to climb the boat or you can’t do that for some reason, you should swim under the boat. The goal is to make sure that you are not swept away by the water and also make sure that you are out of the path of other boats.
Always stay close to the overturned boat
When your boat capsizes, stay close to the overturned boat. If you’re all alone in the water, you might drift away from it. The best way to keep yourself afloat is to move as close as possible to the overturned boat.
If you do this, it’s easier for the rescue team to reach and you always have something to hold onto in order to avoid drowning. If it’s not safe to be near the boat or hold onto it, you can swim away from it as well.
Signal for help when other boaters are within the vicinity
When your boat capsizes, you should Signal for help. This is because someone else’s vessel may be close by and they will be able to see your distress signal and respond accordingly.
If you can’t see any boaters, you wait until they are within sight to signal for help.
What Is The Best And Safest Way To Float If Your Boat Capsizes?
If you are wearing a life jacket, you should put it on and get on top of the hull of the boat so that you can stay afloat. If you do not have a life jacket or if you can’t climb on the hull, then it is best to swim towards shore.
The safest way to float is by holding onto a cushion or sleeping bag that you have on the boat and holding onto it with your arms.
It’s best to hold on tightly and maintain a position of head-downwards throughout the time you are floating.
Remember to stay away from objects that will entangle you, stay away from animals, keep your mouth closed and head above water, and always find and climb onto any floating object you find.
Related Article: Your Boat Capsizes And Floats Away What Should You Do?
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