Georgia Boating Safety Course


RUNNING AGROUND PREVENTION AND RESPONSE

RUNNING AGROUNDwith the keel or bottom fast on the sea bottom. IS A COMMON OCCURRENCE AMONG BOATERS, THOUGH IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE. THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT RUNNING AGROUND IS TO FOLLOW GENERAL SAFE BOATING GUIDELINES:

Local charts
  • Obtain a nautical chart for new or unfamiliar waterways, or seek advice and knowledge from local marinas and boaters before heading out.
  • Keep a proper lookout; this includes keeping your eye out for shoalsmud flats or sandbars typically composed of sand, silt or small pebbles deposited by water currents. and sandbars.
  • Maintain a safe speed — a speed at which you can take necessary action to avoid grounding.
  • If you have no major structural damage, you may be able to pry yourself loose. Try shifting some weight to the opposite end of the boat, stop the engine, lift the outdrive, and try pushing off with paddles or oars.

IF YOU HAVE A DEPTH FINDER: SET YOUR FINDER TO SHALLOW-ALARM ALERT. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE BOTTOM VISUALLY AND WITH THE DEPTH FINDER. LOOK FOR ANY MARKER BUOYS INDICATING SHALLOW WATERS.

 

SHOULD YOU GROUND YOUR BOAT, FOLLOW THESE TIPS:

  • Survey and assess the situation: Is anyone hurt? If there are serious injuries, use distress signals to alert other boaters of your situation.
  • Is there damage to the hull? Check for leakage. If there is serious damage to the hull, STAY put rather than venturing to deeper water. Flag down a fellow boater and secure a tow, if practical.

The anchor line attached to the kedge is pulled to haul the grounded vessel off the shore.

  • Back off; if you are not grounded too deeply, you may be able to reverse the vessel off the mud or sand. Shift weight away from the point of impact and push off. If backing off isn’t an option, consider using a kedge anchor.
  • If you are aground on a sandbar, you may be able to get on the bar, lift the bow, or raise the motor and push the boat to deeper water.

Surprisingly, most accidents occur during calm, clear weather with light winds.

Running aground

KEEP A PROPER LOOKOUT FOR SHOALS AND SANDBARS.