Kids and boats

Preparing children for boating

If you take your children boating, teach them emergency procedures. It will build their confidence and give you peace of mind

Make sure that the lifejackets are well fitting and suitable for the boating situation.

Older children should be encouraged to wear an appropriate lifejacket at all times, especially when in open areas of a boat where it is possible to fall directly overboard.

Teach kids about lifejackets and sunscreen right from the start of their boating life.

Teach children to swim and practice emergency positions like Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP) and 'Huddle'.

Teach them to stay with a capsized boat or an easily seen floating object, making them easier to be seen by rescuers.

Show them around the boat and where all emergency items are located. If they are old enough to understand, show them how to use equipment such as radios, EPIRBs and flares, stressing the importance of not using them unless real trouble exists and the penalties that exist for misuse.

Teach them about stability and loading of the boat, and how to get in and out of dinghies and small boats.

Stop children from having any part of their body out of the boat when it is underway. It is illegal and penalties apply.

Teach them the rules about keeping a good lookout, avoiding collisions and reducing wash.

Children under the age of 18 years must not be aboard any vessel travelling at 60 knots or more, unless approved under an aquatic licence.

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