VIDEO: Pitched off - Soundings Online

VIDEO: Pitched off

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We don’t know much about this short video we found on YouTube, but it’s well worth a few seconds of your time as a reminder of how fast things can go wrong on a boat.

A couple of young people are riding in an inflatable off New Zealand when the skipper meets a breaking wave and the woman at the bow is ejected from the boat.

We assume she wasn’t injured, as the person who posted the video made light of the incident with the title. However, she was very lucky. She could easily have been run over by the boat and struck by the prop.

She was wearing a PFD, so at least she was able to stay afloat.

She wisely holds a bow tether but could have also shifted her weight inboard and moved off the tube (while staying low) before the wave impact. Instead, her weight on the tube turned the RIB collar into a springboard when the boat ran into the wave.

The driver slows down — you can hear the engine decreasing power output — but not enough.

The incident reminds us of the importance of knowing your boat’s operating characteristics, operating at speeds that are safe for the conditions, being aware of your surroundings and keeping the safety of your crew in mind.