If your boat starts taking in water, the first thing to do is ensure everyone on board has their life jacket on and it is properly fastened.

Try to locate the cause of the leak and reduce the flow of water by pushing something into the hole. Make a distress call and head towards shallower water.

Bail the water out as best you can.

Should the boat submerge or turn over, stay with the boat, you have a much greater chance of being found.


When in the water hypothermia leads to unconsciousness and will cause a victim to submerge and drown.

Wearing a life jacket allows a person to conserve energy. Although treading water or swimming will make you feel warmer, it is a false sensation. Energy spent on moving rather than maintaining warmth will cool the body’s core.

Heat loss is greater in water than in air of the same temperature. If you are in the water with floating objects e.g. upturned boat, then raise as much of your torso out of the water as possible.

Get in to a ‘huddle’ position with all those from the boat to conserve body heat and for support.