Capsize and abandoning ship

This page has important information about maximising your chances of survival and rescue if you have to abandon your vessel.

If your vessel capsizes and you are unable to right the vessel, abandon ship only as a last resort. Stay close to the vessel to improve your chances of being sighted by rescuers.

  • Wear your lifejacket
  • If you are in the water, stay close together or pull your knees to your chest if you're alone
  • Do not try to swim ashore unless it is very close and a suitable landing place exists. Distances can be deceptive
  • Try to get the your distress signals out of the capsized vessel and raise the alarm
  • Stay with your boat if you can. Make yourself as visible as possible to ships and aircraft
  • Put on more clothes if you are able to. They will help to keep you warm and may delay the onset of hypothermia

Learn about cold water immersion to minimise the risk of cold water shock and hypothermia.

Your boat's buoyancy and maintenance can reduce the risk of capsize.

This video explains what to do if your vessel does capsize.

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