Emergency Situation

5.1 Safe Boating


After completing this section you will be able to:

  1. Explain the proper procedure for Anchoring.
  2. Understand Emergency Signals available to Small Craft Operators and how to use them effectively.
  3. Understand the importance of having safety procedures in place and how they can prepare you to respond to emergencies on the water.
  4. Understand how to prevent, identify and treat Hypothermia.
  5. Understand when and where to file an accident report.


Anchoring is not just an activity to help enjoy a pleasant day on the water. Anchoring is also a safety technique in cases of severe weather and / or breakdown.

It is important to know how to set an anchor properly.

Rode is line or chain that joins an anchor to a boat. One end must be firmly attached to the anchor and the other, the bitter end, must be firmly attached to a strong point on the bow.

Never attach the anchor to the stern of a pleasure craft. Boats have been swamped by waves breaking over the blunt-shaped, low stern.

The bow is designed to break the waves.

Anchoring Procedure

  • Ensure one end of the rode is connected to the anchor and the other end, the bitter end, is attached to the boat.
  • Select anchorage. Make sure the bottom is suitable holding ground for your type of anchor.
  • The first boat into an anchorage has right of swing. Remember that different boats swing at different rates, generally boats with deeper keels will swing more slowly.
  • Lower, never throw, the anchor over the bow. Make sure the rode is not wrapped around your feet or legs. Boaters have drowned because they were pulled overboard by the anchor and rode.
  • Operate the boat astern until the total amount of rode that has been released is seven to 10 times the distance from the bow chock to the bottom. A small anchor with lots of rode will hold better than a large anchor with a short amount of rode.
  • Note two landmarks.
  • Check occasionally to ensure the anchor is not dragging.
  • If you are anchoring overnight, turn on your all-round white, anchor light.
Next Page: 5.2 Distress Signal