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Bad weather - Boat capsizes

What to do when? A boat capsizes and Boating accidents.

on August 15, 2021

Are you ready for any type of emergency situation while on the water? Here are essential tips for avoiding dangerous situations. 

Bad weather - Boat capsizes

What to do when? a boat capsizes and boating accidents

Boating season, we all just love being out on the waters, the outdoors is the best way of living, boating safety is essential for all boat owners! Making sure you have enough life jackets on board since every person on board must wear a life jacket, ensuring you have all necessary emergency equipment as boat owners our only priority is to keep all passengers safe.

Boating accidents are often a result of human error, a capsized boat can be caused by a boating accident, in this blog, we will discuss both topics.

In this blog, we will point out, the most common causes, and how to react, how we can prevent the situation, the blog is short but informative, you will find many links relating to other types of emergency situations, stay safe, be prepared and enjoy the ride!

Don't go out boating all stressed about what can happen, you only need to prepare yourself by gathering all information, and making sure you have all the equipment you need, I always say be over prepared!

What to do? When a boat capsizes and in case of boating accidents: Causes and how to prevent it.

Boat capsizing is when a boat overturns, or a boat takes on water, causing it to sink; capsizing most often occurs with small vessels like canoes or sailboats; however, small boats usually stay afloat and easy for boaters to hold on to. What causes a boat to capsize, and how do we handle such a situation? 

 Boat capsize

What causes a boat to capsize?

  • Boating accidents
  • Bad weather conditions leading to large waves
  • When the boat takes on the water caused by leaks and starts to sink
  • Too much or poorly distributed weight. Inexperience and operators error (small boats)
  • small sailboats getting hit by a large wave


What to do if your boat capsizes

  • Don’t panic; panic causes stress, and injuries may occur.
  • Do a headcount to ensure everyone is accounted for.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing a lifejacket
  • Press the MOB (Man overboard) button; this button will appear on your GPS system.
  • Stay with the boat: Ensure everyone stays with the boat and does not swim/move away from the boat unless there is a danger/hazard.
  • Try to move out of the water onto the hull of the boat (hull is the bottom part of a vessel)
  • Always keep a waterproof bag on board containing all your safety gear; flares, distress signals, a whistle, beacon locator. The perfect grab and go bag for you is the acr-rapidditchtrade-bag


ACR Ditch bag

Tips on how to prevent a boat from capsizing:

  • Know your boat
  • Do not overload your boat
  • Pump the bilges
  • Always be aware of other boats and your surroundings.
  • Take corners at a safe speed and angle
  • Never place an anchor on the stern (back) of your boat.
  • If you notice your boat taking on water inform the coast guard of your situation.


 Boating is fun, but when you find yourself in a capsizing situation, boating might become scary quickly, especially if you do not know how to handle the situation. When a boat capsizes, you have a person overboard emergency, known as Man overboard, falling overboard, is scary for each individual, when the sea is rough this situation can become deadly, wearing a life jacket is extremely important especially in this situation, as most of the capsizing accidents the leading cause of death is drowning, it is important to do a headcount, while you are in the water and after the rescue mission.

Person overboard below is a blog that will provide all information on a man overboard (person overboard) find the best products that can help you.

Safety equipment is vital, signaling devices, a first aid kit, and a flotation device check our safety equipment blog, and find everything you need, floating in cold water can lead to hyperthermia, so having an emergency blanket on board is vital. What safety equipment do you need on your boat in case of emergencies? – Marine Supplies US

crew overboard

Yes, who thinks of grabbing all of the safety gear when you find yourself in an immediate emergency, well this is why you want a grab bag, easy to access, and all of your equipment in one place. Being prepared is for the well-being of every passenger including yourself.

Boat accidents

Boat accidents are dangerous and can be fatal; the sad part is that boat accident is very common, and the most common cause of death is drowning, wearing a life jacket is essential. There are more car accidents than boat accidents, which makes us feel safe while boating; however, we still need to be safe and prepared.


Boat accident, vessel destroyed

What causes boat accidents?

  • Operator Inattention: Spending time with family and friends is fun, but losing focus on your surrounding when the boat is in motion, can cause an accident. Staying safe and keeping everyone on board safe is the operator’s number one priority. 
  • Operator Inexperience: Taking a boater educational course is essential; learn all the rules and regulations. Know how to operate your boat out on the water.
  • Reckless driving: (excessive speeds) speeding the boat and trying to do all sorts of tricks sometimes causes the operator to lose control of their boat. The law requires boaters to reduce speed when in close range to other boats.
  • Equipment Failure: Regular maintenance is essential for all boats; failing to maintain your boat can cause engine problems or steering problems and could cause an accident or a boat to capsize.
  •     Alcohol Use
  •     Failure to yield.
  •     Bad weather conditions

 vessel excessive speed

What to do when in a boating accident

  • Make sure no one has fallen overboard.
  • If you are in an accident and the boat is still afloat, and you are aboard, switch off the engine immediately. to avoid propeller strike
  • Press the MOB button, call in rescue teams if you do not see the other passengers.
  • Make sure all passengers are safe and accounted for.
  • Determine if anyone needs medical attention
  • Ensure everyone has lifejackets on.
  • If the boat catches fire or you need to abandon ship or in case of a man overboard situation, visit our following blogs for more information: 


Related blogs


what-to-do-when-a-fire-occurs -and-what-to-expect-when-abandoning-ship

  Choosing the Right Life Jacket: A Complete Guide – Marine Supplies US

How to prevent boat accidents

  • Always boat sober, passengers do not get on board if the operator is under the influence. 
  • Ensure all safety equipment is on board.
  • Monitor weather conditions.
  • Take a boat safety course.
  • Be vigilant; know your surroundings.
  • Do not lose focus on the passengers. 
  • Follow boat navigation rules.
  • Maintain a safe speed
  • Ensure everyone on board wears a lifejacket.
  • Maintain your boat.
  • Do not overload your boat.
  • practice good seamanship


 Boating safety

Boating safety is the main priority, keep your passengers safe and yourself, never go out boating in bad weather, always inform the coast guard of your situation, falling overboard can be dangerous practice rescue missions, never overload a vessel, always remember "the leading causes of fatalities are drowning" So please every person must wear a life jacket! Always have a float plan.

life ring , fall overboard,  life ring

Most boat accidents occur in the summertime and are caused by reckless driving, driving under the influence, distracted operators, and drowning because nobody is wearing their lifejacket. As a passenger, make sure to put your safety first and wear your lifejacket at all times and do not get on a boat if a person has been drinking. As for the operator, it is vital to ensure safety on your boat and care for your passengers.

 It should come as no surprise to anyone that boating accidents happen. These types of emergencies can be avoided if you follow the rules and practice good seamanship, but even with these precautions, some boat capsizing incidents will still occur. If you find yourself in any type of emergency on a watercraft, don’t hesitate to call for help from the coast guard immediately! You may not have time to think about what steps are necessary during an emergency situation so it is important that you read all our safety-related blogs beforehand or at least bookmark them for quick reference when needed. The best way to stay safe while out on the water is by having life jackets available for everyone on board your vessel—even those who might try and swim

What is your view, have you ever experienced this? Share your story with us, if you have more advice drop a comment.

Related blog post


what-to-do-when-a-fire-occurs -and-what-to-expect-when-abandoning-ship



Marine safety is the number one concern, at  Marine Supplies US we offer boat products and boat accessories to ensure your safety and we provide you with educational blogs that can be of great assistance in any emergency situation.


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