Skip to main content

Sailing safety

The majority of sailing accidents involving electricity happen when boats make contact with overhead lines while being rigged or moved on dry land.

In recent years, people have been fatally or seriously injured by electricity while rigging or moving boats in car parks, on their driveways and in the road outside their homes.

Anyone touching a boat where the mast or rigging is in contact with an overhead line is at risk of being killed. Masts, rigging, strings, rope and water all conduct electricity.

Cartoon illustration of two people in a boat under an electricity pylon

Top 5 tips on sailing safety


1. Unpack, set up and put away your boat at the water’s edge or away from overhead power lines.

2. Take extra care when moving a boat with the mast erected.

3. Look out for overhead power line warning notices and exclusion zone signs and obey any instructions.

4. Tell the site owner or club secretary of any dangerous situation or near miss that you see.

5. Always assume a power line is live. If your boat comes into contact with an electrical wire, stay away and call 105, our emergency number. If someone is on the boat, they must stay on the boat. Climbing out could be fatal.

Reference Guide

Quick Links

To view our other safety pages please use our quick links below:

Angling safety
Ballooning safety
Camping safety
Drone safety
Farming safety