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What safety equipment for RIB boats?

What safety equipment for RIB boats?

If an outing in a semi-rigid boat remains above all a pleasure, you must not forget the safety rules! 

Whether you are sailing in fresh water or at sea, it is indeed necessary (and compulsory!) to bring all the appropriate safety and rescue equipment.

Today, Orca Retail looks at the equipment you need to take on board your boat to make sure you don't forget anything!

The first thing you need to know is that the safety equipment rules will depend on the area you are sailing in.


Safety equipment for boats at sea

For navigation at sea, the compulsory equipment depends on the distance from the shore (or more precisely, the distance from a "shelter"), according to 4 distinct zones:

  • Basic: less than 2 nautical miles from a shelter (less than 3.7 km)
  • Coastal: between 2 and 6 miles (3.7 km - 11.1 km)
  • Semi-highland: between 6 and 60 miles (11.1km to 111km)
  • Offshore: beyond 60 miles (over 111km)

The following safety checklist is applicable to all boats under 24m in length: 

Basic Coastal Semi-h. Offshore
Personal flotation equipment
(PFD) per person on board

Lighting device

Mobile firefighting equipment

Dewatering device

Towing device

Mooring line

Tide directory

National flag
(outside territorial waters)

Locating device and
for assisting a person at sea

3 red lights
with hand signal

Magnetic compass
(or coastal GPS)

Official nautical charts

International Regulations for
preventing collisions at sea

Description of the system

Life raft

Material for
take stock

Light book


Device for receiving
weather reports

Harness and lanyard by
ship for non-sailors

Harness and lanyard per person
for sailing boats

First aid kit

Luminous device for the
search and the location at night

Radio beacon for locating
of disasters

Fixed VHF

Portable VHF

Source: Order of November 23, 1987 on ship safety


Inland waterway boat safety equipment

As far as freshwater/inland water navigation is concerned, there are 3 categories:

  • Sheltered inland waters: these are all bodies of water except those listed below.
  • Exposed inland waters: more dangerous, these areas are subject to a separate regulation, and are listed inAnnex 1 of the Order of February 10, 2016. Examples: rivers or sections of rivers (Rhine, Seine, Rhone, Loire), rivers or sections of rivers (Dordogne, Gironde, Somme), lakes (Annecy, Lacanau, Bourget), canals (Calais canal).
  • Lake Geneva: only applicable to the transboundary lake.

The following safety checklist is applicable to all boats from 2.5 to 20m in length: 

Sheltered Exposed Lake Geneva
Personal flotation devices
per person on board

Dewatering device (fixed or mobile)

Fire fighting device

Towing and mooring device

Appropriate mooring line

Waterproof flashlight
or lighted means of identification
individual worn at all times
(1 per person on board)

3 red lights
with hand signal

Sound signaling means

Magnetic compass
waterproof (ISO standard)

Navigation map
of the frequented area

Source: Order of February 10, 2016 on the armament and safety equipment of pleasure boats navigating or stationing on inland waters 


Medical kit

boat medical kit

Your medical supply kit is also precisely regulated. According tosection 240-2.16 of the Maritime Code, it must include at least the following items:



Self-adhesive strip (10cm)

1 roll of 4 m (Width 10 cm)

Crepe band

1 roll of 4 m (Width 10 cm)

Sterile gauze swabs

1 pack of 5(Medium size)

Sterile waterproof adhesive dressings

1 box(3 sizes assortment)

Hemostatic cushion

1 unit(Type CHUT)


1 roll

Non-sterile examination gloves

1 box(Size M & L)

Hydroalcoholic gel

1 bottle 75 ml

Survival blanket

1 unit


Local solution - 5 ml at 0.05%.



Life jackets (personal flotation devices)

zodiac lifejacket

The EIF are also regulated and must be adapted to the morphology of each person on board, as well as to the navigated area: 

  • Up to 2 miles from a shelter : buoyancy aid of at least 50 newtons 
  • Up to 6 miles from a shelter : Lifejacket of at least 100 newtons
  • All areas : Lifejacket of at least 150 newtons
  • Children under 30 kg : Lifejacket of at least 100 newtons, regardless of the distance from a shelter.



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Read more about the world of RIBs :

Previous article The best semi-rigid lake and river trips in France
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