Safety Onboard

Accidents need never happen providing you and your crew take care. Follow these simple guideline to ensure you have a safer holiday!

Safety First


Life Jackets & Buoyancy Aids

ALWAYS wear a Life Jacket or Buoyancy Aid however competent a swimmer you may be..

Keep an eye on children at all times and make sure that they are safe on deck, or close to the waters' edge. Life Jackets or Buoyancy Aids are provided for each member of your party. Make sure that they fit properly and make sure that they wear them AT ALL TIMES.


The Lifebuoy

All boats have a lifebuoy which must be kept ready for use. Make sure that everyone knows where it is. Lifebuoy are there for your safety and should only be used in an emergency.


On Deck

  • Keep off the boat roof when underway.
  • Walkways on deck are often narrow and can be slippery so always use the grab rails when moving about the deck, particularly when the boat is moving.
  • Make sure that everyone wears shoes with non-slip soles when on board.
  • Always ensure that everyone in below cabin-top level when passing under bridges.
  • Do not dangle your arms or legs overboard, you could be hurt.
  • Do not mop down decks when the boat is in motion.
  • Take care when using the boat hook etc. from a moving craft; it is easy to be dragged over board.
  • All mooring ropes should be kept neatly coiled when not in use. Be careful not to stand on ropes when walking about on deck, as they can roll under your feet and throw you off balance. Take care also not to trap your fingers between the rope and the mooring post or ring.
  • Take particular care in winter conditions especially ice or snow.


Getting Aboard and Ashore 

  • Carefully step on board
  • Never jump off a moving boat; it may crush you if you slip or fall.
  • Do not leap the gap between the quay and the boat when mooring; you could slip between the gap. Pull the boat closer with a mooring rope.
  • Look out for hazards on waterside paths, banks, quays etc. and remember quay headings may be slippery when wet. Take special care after dark, always take a torch with you and leave a light on in the boat.
  • Do not use your hands, foot or legs to stop your boat from hitting the bank, a bridge or another boat; you could be seriously injured. Always use a fender. Do not use your feet to push off your boat inside a bridge.


Cruising Along

  • Remember that your boat has no brakes to stop it, you have to put it in reverse and it takes much longer to stop, so always think ahead.
  • Do not plan too long a journey in the time you have available.
  • Do take water and weather conditions into account when manoeuvring your boat. Always, when possible, approach a mooring against the tide, current or wind.
  • Do not approach anyone in the water astern (backwards) first; this is where the propeller is.
  • Do not cruise at night or in conditions of poor visibility.
  • Watch out for small craft. It is east to overlook small boats sitting low in the water, particularly when they are near but obscured by your boats superstructure, or when you are looking towards a low sun.
  • Do not drink and drive, it is essential to keep your wits about you while you are on the water. The Broads Authority recommends that the helmsman does not drink until the boat is moored up for the night.


Falling In

In the event that you do fall into the water please take note of the following guidelines to aid your rescue.

  • Shout to ensure the rest of the crew knows you are in the water.
  • Do not trash about; spread your arms sideways to help buoyancy.
  • Be ready to grab any buoyant material close by, or anything thrown to you.


Whoever first spots the person in the water should shout to advise all on-board and indicate the location of the person in the water to the driver of the boat. If the distance is not too great, throw a lifebuoy or other buoyant material near to the person.

The boats driver must immediately turn the boat towards the person (this takes the propeller away from the person in the water).

Approach slowly! The boat should be manoeuvred a few yards away at dead slow. Once in position, stop the engine or take it out of gear. When you are near enough throw a lifebuoy or rope, not at the person, but near enough for them to grab it.


Recovery from the Water

  • Pull the person aboard preferably from the side (i.e. well away from the propeller). A looped rope is the best method as the person can slip this over their shoulders.
  • Do not jump into the water yourself, unless the person in unconscious, or unable to help themselves and then only do so as a last resort when there are enough people left on the boat to ensure that you will be able to get out. Even then only one person should enter the water, wearing a buoyancy aid and secured to a rope held be another crew member.
  • It might be more practical to use a dinghy if one is available, in which case, recover the person over the back of the dinghy, not over the bows or the side.
  • Everyone engaged in the rescue should wear a buoyancy aid.
  • After recovery, remove wet clothing, keep the person warm and supply a het drink, if there are signs of injury call medical help.
  • For emergency medical assistance dial 999 or for non-emergencies contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647


Fire and Carbon Monoxide 

All Herbert Woods cruisers are fitted with a Carbon Monoxide detector and at least one smoke detector, depending on the size of the cruiser. In the event of a fire all cruisers are fitted with Fire Blankets and Fire Extinguishers.


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Registered Office: , Bridge Road, Potter Heigham, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR29 5JF. Telephone Number: 0800 144 4472.