Safe Passenger Transport on RIBs: 7 Essentials

Safe Passenger Transport @ RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat
Our Spinlocks – for my wife and me + 1 reserve

Safe Passenger Transport Needs Some Measures

Transporting passengers aboard a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) promises excitement and picturesque journeys, yet prioritising passenger safety stands paramount.

Prioritise safety: Assess weather, wind, wave height, depth, and trip duration before deciding to head out.

At times, prioritizing safe passenger transport may necessitate the decision to say “no”.

Whether orchestrating leisurely outings with loved ones or conducting commercial tours, integrating essential safety measures is imperative. Here are 7 precautions to uphold.

Remember to always clip the kill cord on your leg before leaving the harbour.

1. Life Jackets Provision

Prioritise the availability of adequately fitting life jackets for each passenger before embarking.

Irrespective of local regulations, life jackets should be mandatory for everyone on board, including the skipper, as falling overboard poses a significant hazard.

We use the very solid and quality life jackets from Spinlock.

My wife and I consistently wear these life jackets, keeping one reserve on board at all times.

Standing nearly 2 meters tall and weighing 95 kg, it worked flawless keeping me afloat with ease.

2. Comprehensive Safety Briefing

Conduct a meticulous pre-departure safety briefing.

Orient passengers with safety equipment locations, emergency protocols, and life jacket application techniques.

Fostering familiarity with onboard safety provisions is pivotal.

3. Weather Monitoring

Vigilantly monitor weather forecasts pre-departure.

Steer clear of unfavourable conditions such as high winds, storms, or fog, remaining flexible to reschedule if weather conditions pose risks.

Al all times focus on safe passenger transport.

4. Adherence to Capacity Limits

Respect the RIB’s designated passenger capacity as specified by the manufacturer when it comes to safe passenger transport.

A child and an adult are the same when it comes to defining passengers.

A pet on board needs some extra measures as well.

Overloading compromises stability and manoeuvrability, heightening accident susceptibility.

5. Vessel Integrity Assessment

Thoroughly inspect the RIB’s structural integrity and mechanical functionality before departure.

Address any indications of damage, leaks, or mechanical faults. Ensure operational readiness of safety apparatus such as navigation lights and distress signals.

6. Navigation Competency

Acquaint yourself with local navigation regulations and waterway protocols.

Maintain a safe cruising speed and exercise vigilance for potential hazards, including other vessels and swimmers.

7. Emergency Preparedness!

Equip your RIB with a well-provisioned first aid kit as I described in this article and proficiency in administering basic medical aid.

In unforeseen emergencies, maintain composure and execute established emergency procedures.

Possess reliable communication means such as VHF radios, fixed and portable.

Learn the essential emergency communication frequency (Channel 16) and how to request assistance (Mayday, Pan-Pan or Sécurité).

Find details on this page by Nautinstruct. That must be ready knowledge for safe passenger transport.

A cellular device can summon assistance by connecting with someone on land, particularly if you’re close to the coastline.


By meticulously observing these foundational safety measures, you cultivate a secure and gratifying RIB experience for all passengers.

Remember, as a skipper, you’re responsible for everything and everyone on board your well-maintained boat.

Safe passenger transport requires serious preparations.

Remember, safety remains non-negotiable, underscoring a harmonious blend of adventure and precaution.

2 Thoughts to “Safe Passenger Transport on RIBs: 7 Essentials”

  1. Eddy

    Hi Karel

    What about :
    Fire extinghuisers ?
    Flares ?

    Kind regards


    1. Karel Overlaet, RIB Advocate

      Hi Eddy

      Thank you for your insightful feedback. I truly value your input. You’re right of course.

      Currently, I’m diligently crafting another piece titled “What Safety Equipment is Essential for RIBs?” which will seamlessly connect to our ongoing series.

      This instalment, along with its counterparts, aims to provide comprehensive coverage of essential topics.

      Looking ahead, once the series is finalized, I envision compiling it into an e-book for easy access and reference.

      Kind regards

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