What should you do if your small open boat capsizes
If you find yourself in a situation where your small open boat capsizes, what should you do? The best thing to do is stay calm. If there are any life jackets on board, put one on. Turn the boat so it’s upright and uses the oars or paddles if they’re available to help get back into shore. If there are no oars or paddles, try using anything that floats as a paddle or oar such as an extra shirt or jacket.
1. Stay calm and try to keep your head above water
Remember, staying calm is the key to survival. If you panic and start thrashing around then you’ll end up swallowing water instead of breathing it.
If you can, grab anything that floats and use it as an oar. If there are any life jackets on board, put one on. Turn the boat so it’s upright and use the oars or paddles if they’re available to help get back into shore.
Otherwise, try using something else that floats like a jacket or shirt for your paddle or oar. Do whatever you need to do to stay afloat until someone comes by who will rescue you!
Don’t wait around in cold water too long because hypothermia may set in quickly which will make swimming impossible and could lead to death before anyone realizes what happened unless another person is with them at all times during this emergency situation waiting for help.
2. If you are wearing a life jacket, inflate it by pulling the cord on the back of the jacket
If you’re wearing a life jacket, inflate it by pulling the cord on the back of the jacket. This will help make sure your head stays above water and also keep your body afloat when things get rough!
Do not wear heavy clothing after getting into cold water because this can cause hypothermia to set in quickly which could lead to death before anyone realizes what happened unless another person is with them at all times during this emergency situation waiting for help!
Don’t wait around too long either because swimming may become impossible due to hypothermia while waiting for someone else to come rescue them. This makes it important for everyone on board an open boat – even if they are wearing a life jacket.
3. Use any buoyant items in your boat to help stay afloat
If your boat capsizes, get out of the boat and try to float on your back. If you can’t swim, cross your arms over your chest so that they are touching behind you at all times. If there is anything buoyant in the boat, such as a life jacket or buoyant cushion from where you are sitting in the boat, use it to help keep your head out of water.
If you have anyone with you onboard who is wearing a life jacket and can swim well enough to be able to save themselves while also helping those less capable than they are (such as children), then perhaps that person could climb back into the overturned boat and make sure everyone else stays afloat until help arrives.
If not, try floating off of one side of the small craft so that there is more surface area exposed below water level for any debris or other material like seaweed which might provide something buoyant for people’s heads – if someone does this by flipping their body upside down when capsizing, it will also make them less likely to swallow any water.
If you have a life jacket on, try to stay calm and use your legs as much as possible for movement in the water so that they don’t tire too quickly – this means moving around slowly through the water rather than kicking hard at it or trying to swim far distances with what little energy is left. If people are not wearing life jackets then their best bet would be to keep still in the water and hope someone comes by who can help before exhaustion sets in.
4. Try to grab onto something that will support your weight (rocks, logs, etc.)
Grab onto something that will support your weight. You can also try to use your arms and legs to keep you afloat. Stay as still as possible in the water so that they don’t tire too quickly – this means moving around slowly through the water rather than kicking hard at it or trying to swim far distances with what little energy is left.
If people are not wearing life jackets then their best bet would be to keep still in the water and hope someone comes by who can help before exhaustion sets in.
People should avoid panicking if possible because panic leads into fatigue which could be dangerous and end up drowning.
If there are no life jackets then people should try to keep still in the water and hope someone comes by who can help before exhaustion sets in.
It is important that a person stay as calm as possible so that they conserve their energy for when it matters most – namely when trying to swim out of the overturned boat or using your arms and legs to float on top of the water’s surface. Stay near enough to one side of the boat so you don’t get pushed away from it and towards shore (this will happen with time) but not too close since this might allow waves tossed around from other boats going by to send you over the side of your boat.
5. If possible, swim towards shore or another boat for assistance
If you are unable to reach shore, swim towards the nearest boat for assistance. If possible, use your emergency whistle and arm or signal with your arms to call for help.
If you have children with you, keep them as safe and dry as possible. The next step would be to find your emergency whistle (if there is one available) so that if the boat capsizes again or someone has already come by for rescue, you can use it. It’s also a good idea to bring along items such as flares just in case they are needed during an emergency situation.
If possible swim towards the shore where help might arrive quicker than from another boat which may take time before spotting what happened and coming back around to offer assistance; even better yet- avoid getting into this situation altogether! Keep your eyes peeled on other boats while at sea since some of those sailors could end up being your savior.
6. The Bottom Line
If you find yourself in a situation where your small open boat capsizes, the best thing to do is stay calm. Turn the boat so it’s upright and use any available oars or paddles if they’re on board. If there are none, try using anything that floats as an oar such as an extra shirt or jacket. To make sure this never happens to you again, we recommend always having life jackets with you when boating!