Skip to main content

Safety Boat Guidance


(Published January 2015, last reviewed 2021 with no updates)

This is guidance and is not compulsory but is designed to help those who wish to operate safety craft in support of water activities. It is the responsibility of the Permit Holder to ensure appropriate safety cover is in place for the activity they are going to deliver.

Your safety boat requirements should be determined by the risk assessment for the activity you are undertaking and may vary depending on the conditions. Safety boats can be powered or manual, it is important that an appropriate craft is chosen for the role it needs to undertake. For some activities it may be appropriate to be in the same craft as those in the session, for example in Kayaking or Canoeing, carrying additional equipment (such as a tow line) to help ensure the safety of the activity. In other activities it may be appropriate to have a separate powered craft with its own dedicated crew. Safety craft in this context are those in addition to any craft being used by the activity leader for the activity. 

Key considerations are identified below: