Boat and water sport safety

Ensure your safety while participating in boating or water sports by following proper safety advice.

Boat and water sport safety

If you take part in boating or water sports activities, follow the advice below to stay safe.

Boat safety

We encourage boat owners to make regular safety checks and understand the risks of fire and carbon monoxide. The Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) provides comprehensive guidance.

Always follow your engine and appliance operating guidelines to help protect you and your passengers.

The SFRS Fire Safety on Boats leaflet provides tips on how to protect your boat and your crew from fire, as well as what to do if a fire breaks out.

The BSS have published guidance Carbon Monoxide Safety on Boats and top 10 tips to keep you safe from carbon monoxide. Leaflets on carbon monoxide safety on boats will also be available at boatyards and marinas.

Water sport safety

Visit Water Safety Scotland for safety guidance on paddle-boarding, canoeing and kayaking. You should take this into account before entering water.

Always follow the guidance below, regardless of ages and experience levels.

  • If you can, always go with a friend. It’s more fun, and they can help you if you get into difficulty.
  • If you are going out alone, always tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back.
  • Don't leave the house without a mobile phone or communication device and keep it in a waterproof pouch.
  • Always wear a suitable personal flotation device.
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times before you set out. Be aware, conditions can change quickly.
  • Avoid offshore winds.
  • Always use a paddleboard with an appropriate leash.
  • Consider buying spare paddles.
  • Always wear a wetsuit.