Safety Advice on the use of Kill Cords in RHIBs

Following the publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch's Safety Bulletin 1/2013 on 17 May the RYA is reminding everyone driving powerboats and RIBs to wear a kill cord.

In its bulletin the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) says that the RIB involved in the tragic accident in Padstow over the May Bank Holiday was fitted with a kill cord but that it was not attached to the driver at the time.

Always attach the kill cord to the driver.

All owners and operators of such vessels fitted with a kill cord should:

  1.     Test them regularly to ensure that the engine stops when the kill cord mechanism is operated
  2.     Make sure that the cord is in good condition
  3.     Always attach the cord to the driver, ideally before the engine is started, but certainly before the engine is put in gear
  4.     When changing drivers it is strongly recommended that you should turn the engine off before transferring the kill cord from one driver to the other. The engine should only be restarted when the kill cord has been securely attached to the new driver.

It's there to protect you!!


Richard Falk, RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner said: "The kill cord serves only one vital purpose, to stop the engine when the driver moves away from the controls for whatever reason."

"No one wants a repeat of this tragic accident and so the RYA is urging everyone driving a powerboat, RIB or personal watercraft to make sure that they attach the kill cord around their leg before they switch on their engine."

"In this type of boat a kill cord is just as important as wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Both are there to protect you".

Click here to read RYA Safety Advice.

Click here to watch a YouTube video.

Click here to read the MAIB Report.