Five Rules for Avoiding Injury
Landing Without Injury
Rule #1- Before each
docking maneuver, make sure everyone understands what he or she will be doing.
The corollary to Rule 1 is that you should be aware of where your crew is and
what each is doing.
A woman in California was securing a springline to a cleat when the skipper suddenly
backed down hard with
his two 200 HP engines and she got her fingers crushed.
Another man was standing on the dock holding onto
a trawler's bow pulpit when
the skipper gunned the engine and yanked him into the water. In both instances
(and many others) the skipper and crew were acting independently.
Rule #2 - Don't
encourage your crew to make Olympian leaps onto the dock. This is one of the
types of accidents. A California man, to cite one example, broke both his heals when he landed on the dock
jumping from the bow of a large sailboat.
Whenever possible, hand docklines to someone on the dock. If that isn't
possible, wait until the boat is safely
alongside the pier before instructing
someone to step ashore. Your crew shouldn't have to make daring leaps
across open water to make up for your sloppy boat handling.
Rule #3 - Keep fingers
and limbs inboard! As a boats gets close to a dock, passengers tend to gravitate
toward the rail and drape fingers, legs and arms over the side of the boat. If
the boat suddenly swings
into a dock or piling, the consequences can be painful.
A woman in lost a finger when a passing boat's wake slammed her boat into a piling,
and pinched her hand
between the piling and the boat.
Rule #4 - Make sure
everyone is seated or has something to hold onto. The owner of a 20' runabout
his inexperienced nephew to jump onto the dock with a bowline. The young
man eagerly climbed out of his
seat and stood precariously on the bow as the
boat was approaching the dock.
seconds later the boat glanced off of a piling, only slightly, but without a
handhold the nephew lost his
balance and fractured his elbow.
Rule #5 - Don't use
bodies to stop the boat. A Florida man suffered a separated shoulder when he
keep a 38' Sportfisherman from backing into a piling. Slow down and use