On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, our rowing group practiced Man-Overboard drills.

Quick Summary:

  • It is easier to get in the boat if the freeboard is as low as possible.  Therefore, it is good for everyone in the boat to get on the side closest to the person in the water when helping them in.
  • The inflatable PFDs are snug after they inflate.  Don’t tighten them too much or wear them any lower than where you would have a regular belt.
  • It is easiest to get in the boat by placing a foot over the gunwale and then getting people to help pull you in by one hand.


We always carry the necessary PFDs to comply with maritime law.  We sometimes wear either regular type II PFDs or inflatable PFDs, especially if we are rowing or sailing on “big water”.  However, we have not ever needed the flotation aids, nor has anyone gone out of the bateau accidentally.

We decided to conduct drills, so that rowers would know how hard it is to climb back into a boat from the water, how the regular or inflatable PFDs help, and how the inflatable PFDs are to deploy when in the water.

We had a total of 13 rowers turn out for the drills, though a few of them elected not to go in the water and to just help with rowing and helping people back into the bateaux.