A recent news story from the BBC gives us good reasons why doing an RYA powerboat course is not only useful but essential, as it gives an ideal grounding in not only in powerboat handling but also basic safety and navigation skills. It is essential to make sure when selecting your powerboat course that the school conducting the course covers all the syllabus. At the end of your powerboat course you should not only be confident in handling your boat but also know what equipment you need and very importantly be able to give your details and position in a clear and concise manner. We recommend any rib owner takes the RYA powerboat level two and the RYA marine VHF radio course. If you want to progress and learn more then you can progress with the Day skipper and Advanced powerboat courses. The more confidence, skills and knowledge you have will make your boating experiences more fun and safer for you and others.
If you have just bought a boat of any kind then you can get an RNLI free sea check and this gives you loads of good advice about what you really need in terms of equipment etc. Just contact your local RNLI sea safety officer at your local lifeboat station.
It took Coastguard and RNLI rescuers almost three hours to find a boat drifting in the middle of the Solent. The crew on board did not know where they were. The three crew onboard the RIB were not wearing life jackets and did not have any to hand. They made a 999 call after running out of fuel in the Solent. Without being given an accurate location it took searchers two hours and 45 minutes to locate the vessel at 02:56 BST. Solent Coastguard has urged boat-owners to ensure they know basic navigation.
Audrey Pedersen, from the coastguard, said: “We always tell people to be well prepared at sea with life jacket, flares, VHF marine radio and a mobile phone as a back up.
“Not to do so lacks common sense. You wouldn’t get into a car and drive aimlessly without knowing where you’re going, without sat nav or a map. “If sailors have no idea where they are, or what the weather conditions are, they are putting their life and others at risk.”
Happy Boating and be safe on the water!