Taking your boat out with family, friends, colleagues, and even alone can be a fun, relaxing activity. You can appreciate and enjoy the spellbinding view of the water and the horizon. Plus, you can play games and have tasty treats too. Amongst all the fun, what if your boat capsizes? It happens, and taking safety precautions is a must. This is why we’ll discuss what you should do if your boat capsizes; carry on reading to learn more.

Why Causes the Boat To Capsize?

In simple words, capsize occurs when your boat rolls over onto its side or completely turns over. The most common reason behind a boat capsizing is instability. Hence, your but might capsizes or become unstable due to:

  • Bad weather
  • Water leaking
  • Unbalanced weight of crew and equipment

What to Do If Your Boat Capsizes?

If you find yourself in a boat that is capsizing, first of all: take a deep breath and gather yourself. Then, your priority should be to:

  1. Wear a life jacket
  2. Make sure no one is injured
  3. Do a headcount to ensure everyone is on the boat
  4. Stay on the boat if it is still afloat. This way, rescue guards and fellow boaters can save you.
  5. Look for distress signals, flares, and extra floatation devices to make a bigger target for anyone trying to rescue you.
  6. Release some items into the sea to create a debris field, allowing others to spot it and follow.
  7. Reduce exposure to water by climbing on the Hull if the boat is still floating.
  8. Huddle together with other passengers to stay warm and avoid hypothermia.
  9. Don’t swim to the shore if you’re 100 M or more away.

Prevention Tips

There are some things you can try to prevent the boat from capsizing. These include:

  • Stay centered and low in your boat
  • Always have three points of contact when you’re out and moving on your boat
  • Take corners when angles and speed are safe
  • Keep an eye out for other boaters’ wake.
  • Slow down the boat, especially if the weather is bad
  • Refrain from tying the anchor’s rode line to the stern of your boat

Steps for When a Passenger Falls Overboard

What if a passenger falls overboard? This can be a serious situation. In this case, you should:

  1. Slow down and stop the boat
  2. Throw a life jacket or something buoyant to the person who fell overboard
  3. Ask someone to keep an eye on the overboard person and point towards their location at all times.
  4. Carefully steer the vessel towards the person, making sure to keep them on the operator’s side.
  5. When close enough, throw a lifebuoy or something buoyant attached to the boat so the person can grab it.
  6. Gently pull the overboard person towards your boat.
  7. Use the boat’s boarding ladder to get the person back on board. You can use a makeshift chain or leather ladder too.
  8. Turn off your engine so the person can climb safely.


Now you know what to do if your boat capsizes or if a person falls overboard. It can be fun to take out your boat for a swim, especially with family and friends. But, at the same time, knowing the tips to deal with possibly dangerous situations can be useful. Bring your family to a yachting center like Watergate Marina Marina. Dial  (281) 334-1511 for more information!

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