Safety boat

Water safety

Safety tips for all boat users

Powered boats:

  • If you're in charge of a boat, ensure you keep inside speed limits of different lake areas.
  • Make sure you are aware of the byelaws for the lake you are on.
  • If your boat has an engine it’s classed as powered and power gives way to sail.
  • All vessels give way to commercial pleasure craft.
  • Powered craft must be registered for use on Windermere.
  • Kill cords save lives – clip it to kill it.

All boats:

  • Make sure your life jacket or buoyancy aid is CE approved.
  • Wear your life jacket when you’re near or on the water.
  • Fit a carbon monoxide and smoke detector to your boat - it could save a life.

All boats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards:

  • Wind direction can change suddenly, be prepared, it can make paddling much harder.
  • Look out for large boats turning, they need plenty of room!
  • Always pass two ferry lengths to the rear of the car ferry.
  • Canoe, kayak/paddleboard with someone else or hire a guide, stay close to shore.

Keep clear of swimmers:

  • Watch out for blue and white flags, swimmers and divers are in the water and can be hard to spot.
  • Keep as far away from swimmers and their support boats as possible.
  • Remember boats supporting swimmers can not move out of your way.
  • In an emergency, if you do get too close to a swimmer, turn off your engine to stop injury from propellers.

See our Swimming guide for which lakes are best to swim in, and how to stay safe in cold water and around other lake users

Our Lake Rangers are here to keep everyone safe and happy on the water. Their advice videos will help you make the most of your experience.

Carbon monoxide safety on boats

If you have your own boat please make sure that you have installed a carbon monoxide detector. These can be bought from Ferry Nab or any hardware store.

Kill cords on boats

If you are driving a boat that is fitted with a motor please make sure you are wearing a kill cord at all times.  Our Lake Ranger explains how to wear one appropriately.

Life jacket checks

Life jackets should be worn during any water sport activity. Make sure you know how to care for yours.

Life jackets should be worn during any water sport activity. Make sure you know how to care for yours.

Swimming tow floats

If you are thinking about swimming in the Lakes from your boat or shore then please make sure you follow the advice from our Lake Rangers about being visible to boat users.