Following the publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s Safety Bulletin 1/2013 today the RYA is reminding everyone driving powerboats and RIBs to wear a kill cord.


In its bulletin the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) says that the RIB involved in the tragic accident in Padstow over the May Bank Holiday was fitted with a kill cord but that it was not attached to the driver at the time.


The RYA echoes the MAIB’s safety bulletin message and reminds all owners and operators of such vessels fitted with a kill cord to:


  • Test them regularly to ensure that the engine      stops when the kill cord mechanism is operated
  • Make sure that the cord is in good condition
  • Always attach the cord to the driver, ideally      before the engine is started, but certainly before the engine  is put      in gear
  • When      changing drivers it is strongly recommended that you should turn the      engine off before transferring the kill cord from one driver to the other.      The engine should only be restarted when the kill cord has been securely      attached to the new driver.


Richard Falk, RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner said: “The kill cord serves only one vital purpose, to stop the engine when the driver moves away from the controls for whatever reason.”


“No one wants a repeat of this tragic accident and so the RYA is urging everyone driving a powerboat, RIB or personal watercraft to make sure that they attach the kill cord around their leg before they switch on their engine.”


“RYA safety guidance and training advocates the wearing of a kill cord. In this type of boat it is just as important as wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Both are there to protect you”.


For more information on using a kill cord and how to attach it properly go to www.rya.org.uk/go/killcord.


You can read the MAIB Safety Bulletin 1/2013 on the MAIB website at www.maib.gov.uk/home.


The purpose of an MAIB Safety Bulletin is to communicate any safety lessons that have been identified from an incident prior to the full report on an investigation being published.