2015 New York Safe Boating - 75
reach him or her with a pole, ladder, stick or other long item.
Reaching for the victim keeps you out of the water and out
of harm's way.
International Distress Signals
THROW- Using the throw
method, you attempt to
rescue the victim from
shore or your boat by
throwing a line or floating
object. After safely
anchoring yourself, you
can pull the victim to safety
without ever having to enter the water yourself.
ROW- In this method you
use a boat to approach the
victim and help him or her
out of the water. Be careful,
or the victim may capsize
your boat! The victim may
be tired and probably will
need help getting on board
your boat. If you're thinking
about a row rescue, consider your boat's capacity-don't
overload your boat and put yourself at risk!
GO- This is the most
dangerous method, and
you should only attempt
it if there is absolutely no
other choice, or if you are
a trained lifeguard. Enter
the water wearing your PFD
and a flotation device for
the victim to hang onto. Be
aware that when you make personal contact with the victim,
he or she may panic, grasp at you, and drag you under
the water. Be prepared for this. Push the PFD toward the
person, tell them to grasp it and tow the person in.
sitting unusually low in the water. A sailboat may have its
mast or boom down. Perhaps there are people jumping up
and down, waving their arms or towels, clothing, PFDs, or
bed sheets. Passengers may be yelling to attract attention.
Sail closer to investigate any behavior that seems unusual to
determine whether the other boat needs help.
Don't underestimate the effort that swimming to safety with
the victim will require. If you're unsure that you'll be able to
make it, don't attempt it!
Man Overboard Rescue Sequence
If you ever need to help someone in the water, whether
you're in a boat or on shore, remember this rescue sequence:
Reach, Throw, Row, Go. The idea behind the rescue
sequence is to keep the rescuers out of the water if possible
because once another person enters the water, the situation
becomes much more dangerous. Not only is another person
exposed to potentially dangerous currents, waves, and boat
traffic, but the victim may panic and prevent the rescuer
from helping him or her. Sometimes victims accidently drown
their rescuers! Always try other methods before entering the
water to attempt a rescue.
Accidents-Prevention and Response
You can prevent many accidents if you communicate with
your passengers. Before you allow passengers on your boat,
explain your rules. Before you cast off, show them where
you keep your safety equipment, and make sure they know
how to use it. Find out if any of your passengers have any
knowledge of first aid procedures. Well informed and wellbehaved passengers help ensure a safe voyage. However,
not all accidents can be avoided. The following section
discusses different types of accidents and the appropriate
response for each.
REACH- If the victim is
able and is close enough to
shore or your boat, try to
guide him or her to swim
to safety. When the person
is near enough, try to