Keep the boat well bailed; if necessary, throw out
heavy items (not people) to lighten the craft.
In swift current, do not grab for trees or bushes
along the bank to slow up.
If your boat capsizes or swamps, try to keep calm.
Most small boats support several people even
though filled with water. A swamped boat, right
side up, will support about as many persons as it
is designed to carry when afloat.
If you can manage it, sit in the swamped boat. Do
not try to swim for shore even if you think you
can do it easily. Instead, paddle or row for shore
or wait for help.
In rough or cold water, maintain a firm hold on
the boat with a belt or rope.
TIPS IN CASE SOMEONE FALLS OVER-
BOARD. If someone falls overboard, grab the person
quickly and hang on if possible. Get the person back into
the boat as fast as you can. If the person tries to climb
over the side in a panic, balance the boat until he or she
gets in or quiets down. Throw a life preserver, cushion,
or rope to a person who is some distance from the boat
instead of going into the water after him or her.
Bring the person aboard over the stern if it is square;
bring the person aboard near either the bow or stern if
the stern is not square. Rescuers should keep low in the
boat; that allows them to have one hand free, most of the
time, to hang onto the boat.
Water skiing is one of the most
sports. Spectacular as it appears, it is
thrilling of water
among the easiest
to learn. Many people, particularly children, master the
basics within an hour. Even though it seems easy, you
still must take precautions and know various factors
before you ski.
To water-ski safely requires three people: the skier,
the boat operator, and an observer who knows all the
proper hand signals. It is not surprising that showing off
is the chief cause of water-skiing mishaps.
Before you even think about strapping on a pair of
water skis, learn correct and safe water-skiing tech-
niques from a qualified instructor. The instructor will
teach you how to hold the towline, how to get up on
skis while keeping your balance, and how to control
A thumbs-up gesture
A thumbs-down gesture
Thumb and forefinger in
shape of an
Circle finger overhead and
point in direction of turn
Raise hand with fingers spread Stop
Slap thigh with hand
Return to dock or
Draw hand or finger across
Point in direction you wish to Go that way
go, then point to yourself
Clasp hands overhead while
treading water (after fall)
Figure 11-3.Water-skiing signals.
Before you water-ski, check your equipment,
making sure the personal flotation device (PFD) you
wear fits properly and is secure. Some states require a
rearview mirror for the boat driver. Pay close attention
to the tightness of the ski binders or runners.
Know the different water-skiing signals you must
use to communicate with the boat operator and the
observer (fig. 11-3). You only need to know two audible
signals. When you are in the starting position and want
the boat operator to take up the slack in your towline,
shout In gear, When the line becomes taut, your ski
tips are up, and you are ready to begin skiing, shout Hit
it for your boat operator to open the throttle.
Relax when you ski. Holding the towline too tight
and becoming tense are bad habits. A relaxed skier
learns fast and takes few spills while learning. Dont try
stunts beyond your ability. Learn each stunt progres-
sively. Leave the fancy skiing to the professionals.
NEVER wrap the towrope around any portion of
your body or place your arms or legs through the bridle.
Always ski in water that is deep enough. How do you
know if the water is deep enough? Your skis should not
touch bottom. Make sure the water is free of floating
objects and other obstructions.