The 2019 boating season will see the RYA launch a new digital safety campaign to highlight its key safety messages: look after yourself, have a plan, keep in touch and know your limits.

A new, year-round calendar of short, impactful safety videos will cover a broad range of topics – from kill cords to clipping on, and liferaft servicing to boat fire safety and the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Aimed at saving lives by delivering safety tips on its website and social media channels, the RYA’s new campaign is a modernised approach to its more traditional method of issuing an annual Safety Advisory Notice featuring six key topics to help boaters think in practical terms about their safety afloat.

The SAN background

Compiled for the recreational boating community and first launched in 2014, the RYA Safety Advisory Notice has always offered a simple digest of critical safety issues including those that have arisen from incidents and tragic accidents in the past year. Reviewing the Notice annually has enabled the RYA Safety Advisory Group to examine safety concerns that have emerged throughout the year and consolidate any lessons learnt.

The new digital safety campaign will ensure that any such learning points not only underpin the national governing body’s ethos of self-reliance and responsibility for safety on board, but also that the learning points can be shared in a more timely and topical manner all year round.

RYA Safety Advisor, Andrew Norton says: “We first launched the Safety Advisory Notice at the London Boat Show in 2014, to raise awareness of particular safety issues, to help prevent avoidable accidents, and ultimately to protect lives.

“By highlighting the causes of incidents and how they might have been prevented, safety advisories encourage us all to think about our own actions in a different light and above all help to make better decisions both before setting off and when out on the water.

“We continue to work closely with our delivery partners and other UK agencies responsible for safety on the water and with the marine trade press to progress our policy of information and education, which we believe is a powerful tool in fostering safe attitudes and behaviour on the water."

Easy to digest and share

James Eaves, RYA Video Production Manager, adds: “We know that our followers like video content because it's easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and it’s very accessible to anyone with internet access, both to watch and to share.

“We’re aiming to strike the right balance of providing critical safety information throughout the year and keeping the content ‘likeable’ so that boaters will want to share the new videos with their friends, fellow boaters and family members.”

Kicking off in May 2019, the new video campaign is set to touch on the following safety issues… and many, many more!

Safety topics

Lifejacket and liferaft servicing: Regularly service lifejackets and liferafts according to the manufacturer’s instructions at an approved service agent. Your liferaft must be capable of being launched quickly and easily in an emergency.

Clip on with care: Think carefully before clipping on. The optimum length of your safety line will vary dependent on the size of the boat and where you need to attach it for the task in hand.

Carbon monoxide poisoning: Get wise, get alarmed, get out. Understand the sources of Carbon Monoxide and the risks associated with it, know how to recognise the symptoms of poisoning and fit a suitable alarm.

Entanglements: Snagging something around your prop, keel or rudder can cause problems ranging from the tiresome to the terrible. Avoid compounding the situation by jumping in to try and clear it, unless conditions are suitable and you are confident in your abilities.

Cold Water Shock: Cold Water Shock is a cause of death that many people fail to appreciate. Adequate clothing and a lifejacket will help you to survive long enough to be recovered.

Weather forecasts: Checking the weather forecast before putting to sea is an obligation under SOLAS2. It is advisable to obtain weather forecasts from several different sources.

Boat Fire Safety: Fire on board can take hold quickly and when it does, it can wreak havoc on a vessel in minutes. A smoke detector can give you those precious few minutes of warning to help you and your crew to get out safely.

Buoyancy aids and lifejackets: Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid unless you are sure you don’t need to; worn correctly they could save your life.

‘Get trained’ advice: Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call-outs to sailing and motor cruisers and accounts for nearly 20% of all lifeboat launches. If you know how to fix common problems and how to carry out basic maintenance and engine care, you can avoid becoming part of this statistic.

Correct use of VHF: A means of calling for help in the event of an emergency is essential for all boaters, yet its misuse can be a cause of interference and danger at sea.

Navigation dangers: Check up-to-date charts and current pilot books, notices to mariners, almanacs or river guides for any navigational dangers such as shoals, overfalls, weirs, overhead wires and buoyage. Be aware that counterfeit charts and publications are in circulation and pose a danger to the safety of a vessel.

Coming soon!

Look out for the videos across the RYA’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn – and visit the RYA online safety hub at www.rya.org.uk/go/safety for a wealth of practical advice and safety ‘top tips’ covering a vast array of boating activities.