URGENT SAFETY ALERT
Published 21:12 on 2 Jul 2019
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued an urgent safety bulletin with regards to boats with retractable keels following an accident on June 12 at Windermere where a Venture Keel was heeled over and the keel retracted, the crewman was trapped under the inverted boat and unfortunately died.
It was found that the retractable keel restraining Velcro strap was not fitted allowing the keel to move in its housing. This follows a recommendation by the Irish Marine Casualty Investigation Board in 2015 following a fatality when a Drascombe Lugger capsized and inverted when the centreplate retracted.The recommendation is that ANY boat in which the keel/centreplate could retract during a capsize should have a means of locking it into place and this should be applied when sailing.
This applies to many boats including Dayboats, Sportboats, Cruisers etc.
Members should also consider if their boat has sufficient buoyancy and will float if swamped.
With many smaller cruisers the cockpit is not self-draining and if the cockpit becomes swamped then the easiest way for water to escape is into the cabin.
If anyone has any particular concerns, please contact me.
Rear Commodore Safety and Training