Helm Safety is Security Underway.

I would advise all of Rescue Water Craft crews, teams and operators to never strap anything down on top of the Rescue Water Craft handlebars (helm) that places direct and consistent pressure against the helm station.

Rescue Water Craft helms do not have the structural strength in storage or transport to maintain a weight load placed up against them, let alone any ratchet cargo straps pressing down.

Disregarding the structural strength of the helm and over bearing a significant weight load against it could lead to a catastrophic failure of the helm.

Resulting in a serious mishap, injury or fatality.

Also to note that the rear stern re-boarding handle is also plastic and can suffer damage as well.

A rule of thumb? If you capsize your Rescue Water Craft and it heels over upside down in shallow waters, when you right it, check the re-boarding handle, rear seats and helm, forward cowling, turn the helm and pull back throttle and inspect the steering nozzle before you start the craft.

This typically happens because of a lack of education regarding the care and maintenance of the overall craft itself. A simple solution would be to have every member of your team read the Owner's Manual warnings and cautions of the Make, Model and Year of Production of your Rescue Water Craft.

Sheared off Helm


Not all of the steering column necks are not metal fabrication unless you have an afermarket one designed for race builds. Construction can be a combination plastic and metal and both can receive stress fractures from objects that produce repetitive movement, such as air pushing against an IRB and creating a bounce affect with a downward force towards the Rescue Water Craft.

This could also be caused by a poorly maintained trailer where the trailer bunks are failing or the axle, tires and wheels are overloaded with more weight than their rating or the tongue weight is incorrect.

1. Protect the helm
2. Protect the handlebar grips to not cause rotation which can result in wrist flexion
3. Protect the throttle lever and clutch lever (port/starboard helm sides)

The only way you can inspect the helm after a transport such as this showed in the header photo is to remove the shroud and inspect the entire steering assembly closely and even then, maybe not.

First care is to protect the helm and the water jet pump because of their relationship values, inspect your throttle lever and don't allow any lines near it, that could be a fatal mistake.

You don't want to be underway and have your helm shear off when hand hold forces are applied and it let's go, loss of steerage and stopping distance to fixed objects or other crews cannot be controlled at this point, and the operator and or crew could be ejected.

This could become a serious situation if ignored due to not understanding the craft, not knowing its construction design and not having enough storage for ancillary gear.

Remember, you are a mariner, not a rescuer!

Don't get it backwards! Repeat after me: I am a mariner.

Know your boat as a prudent mariner and care for them as you care for yourself; rescue is an application of our maritime community. It is one facet of operations. If you consider yourself a rescuer first you are going to experience many mishaps and chronic failures of your Rescue Water Craft Program.

Recommendation: Deflate the hypalon tubes for the IRB and set your gear up on site instead, don't compromise your boats. Don't strap anything above the helm station. Take a RWC maintenance course, check ours out!

Ask me how I know? lol


Posted: 9.14.2018

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Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.



Maintain your trailer jack for safety and for economy.

Yes, they need your attention! There is something wrong with this picture? Do you see it! LOL

When it gets this bad, something is missing. There is no respect for the program. If there is no respect for the transport device, imagine what is going wrong with the Rescue Water Craft and the safety of personnel?

How much is your life worth? Don’t think trailer maintenance is not important. Getting on the road, a damaged trailer can kill others, your driver or you.

When I see items like this, I know my work is cut our and probably there will not be much I can do. It is up to the students to take 100% responsibility for their education towards capability.

When a trailer jack gets to this point, expect associated costs to soar for repairs.

When a trailer jack cannot be moved, that means the physics of the device are wasted and humans will literally bear the burden.

Back damage, trailer potential to fall on a foot and crush it, medical costs, time off duty and a lifetime of aches and pains. Is it worth it?

Get out your trailer check list and starting giving it some of your attention. #donotdothis

1. Grease Gun with marine grease (for the handle zerc fitting)
2. Anti rust product such as Naval Jelly
3. Fresh water rinse the trailer immediately after every use in salt water conditions (buy a galvanized trailer not powder coated)
4. Inspect the crank handle and spray down with silicone spray after every use
5. Make sure your wheel jack is compatible with the weight load of the trailer and that the tongue weight of the trailer is accurate.

Trailer Jack

Shawn Alladio – 5.30.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.


Unfortunately Rescue Boards (TAD-Towable Accessory Device) do more damage to our Rescue Water Craft astern due to vessel designs changing but the Rescue Boards designs are not adapting to the newer models. Do Rescue Boards work? Absolutely.

However, the use of these (TAD) Towable Accessory Devices have assisted in the recovery of many persons in distress and we are thankful for their utility.  Let’s take a look at considerations of repair and contact points.

Inflatable type designed rescue boards/sleds are not approved for Rescue Water Craft (RWC) safety use due to stability and connectivity.  This discussion refers to fixed core rescue boards that cannot be deflated.

It takes a lot of effort to maintain your Rescue Water Craft and Rescue Board. This requires of Public Safety Agencies to have effective training and proper inspection lists to note when Rescue Boards or RWC’s need to be removed from service due to safety maintenance or repairs.

Some models of Personal Water Craft (PWC) interface to the various Rescue Boards or Towable Accessory Devices (TAD) do not interface well with the variety of Rescue Water Craft (RWC) hulls from year of production, makes and models.

Please refer to the Rescue Water Craft Association recommended RWC’s for 2018:

Approved 2018 Rescue Water Craft

It is not an easy interface for sure!  Make sure you are watching the attachment points from each use and inspect your hull for wear through the top deck. This requires your RWC Operators to understand what to look for, why it is important and how to inspect and maintain their equipment before a mishap occurs from negligence.

This is especially true for NanoXcel hulls in comparison to fiberglass/gelcoat hulls. These lighter hulls tend to have more flex and the newer models have a concave top deck astern. This is also true for some Sea Doo models.


Will this cause harm to your Rescue Water Craft? What should you be concerned about?

The center load bearing pressure point and the pivot from port to starboard along with how the Rescue Board is designed oftentimes do not have a complimentary fit. Problems may occur from compression indentations against the Rescue Board.  Remember, we are not permitted to drill only holes through the RWC hull and we cannot add any metal fittings on the top deck due to safety risk and liability.

Also take note of any entrapment from extension on port/starboard connector points of the Rescue Board, catch points and flexion caused by poor handle placement. These all lead up to contributing factors of friction and Rescue Board contact points to the RWC.

Think one word exclusively: PHYSICS

This means the pressure points from a rescue board are going to be pressed downward at the port/starboard sides and can wear completely through the top deck. This can result in a wear hole through the top deck surface


Bondline Molding damage and damage to contact point of the TAD Point of Contact

Remember: These are recreational Power Water Craft. They are not designed for Search and Rescue or Patrol work. They are designed for recreational activity use. (With the exception of the AlumaSki, Sea Doo SAR and RescueRunner which are occupational manufactured craft).

When you employ the use of a Rescue Board it will require of your agency effective ‘use, inspection and care‘ guidelines for liability and for safety underway. Failure to do so can result in loss of the Rescue Board, damage that cannot be repaired and budgetary needs for RWC maintenance and care. This can also lead up to agency liability issues.

Is this in your annual budget? Do you have maintenance repair items in stock ready to go?

K38 can help your agency set up your RWC program through professional consultation.


Friction points caused by the forces of action and unequal distribution of load, contact, drag or movement against he rescue board and the bond line or top stern deck.  Make sure inspections are thorough and replacement parts a readily available in your cache load maintenance gear.

Rescue Board

You may need to alter the material on the stern deck to raise up the void between the two substrates. Refer to your warranty first before you proceed on any modifications and adhere to the guidelines and rules of the warranty.

1.  Rescue boards can also pull off or damage the rail bond line or molding exposing the rivets. This can result in a safety hazard. Remove the RWC from service immediately if this happens.

2. Friction and impact can affect or damage the stern top deck or removable stern compartment covers on some models of RWC.

3. Re-boarding steps can be damaged or damage the underside of a Rescue board or cause a slight shock loading effect if the step makes contact on the underside of the rescue board and slides forward or back, this can result in issues with the center load bearing connector point.

4. Rescue Board friction pads or covers can splinter, break of fracture. They can even be ripped off the Rescue Board.
There are so many variables that come into play with physics and the actual weight load on the Rescue Board. Primarily it is the connective interface between the RWC and the Rescue Board that is most important.


Is your rigging causing harm or creating a solution? What are you willing to give up to gain?

There is no defining interface for rescue board use. It depends upon the make, model and year of production of RWC you have.

One thing is for sure, take some time to study the contact points, friction and how the Rescue Board is hooked up to the RWC to try to reduce the impending damage your RWC will suffer.

Shawn Alladio – 2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

Become a member today of the Rescue Water Craft Association: JOIN THE RWCA

5 Ways to Ruin Your Rescue Water Craft without Even Riding

Know Your Boat

Do you have an owner’s manual for your Rescue Water Craft? Where is it?  When did you last pierce its pages of infinite wisdom to remind yourself how great a caretaker you are? How important is your mission? If you can read, you can maintain and every program needs a matching Original Equipment Manufacturer owner’s manual to the:

  1. Make
  2. Model
  3. Year of Production


Your Rescue Water Craft needs a drink too, it’s called a fresh water rinse. You need to wash the interior compartments (yes the engine compartment) and the exterior.

Then you most into the guts, the belly of the beast and it’s time to flush the water cooling exhaust system. You need a garden hose, perhaps some Salt Away® or Dawn Detergent drops and a few minutes of your time.

Corrosion can result from saltwater, brackish water from a lack of flushing the exhaust system. The salt crystals that remain when the water dries out can collect around fittings and elbow brass turns for the water lines and clog, reduce or restrict water flow. This can result in engine overheating or engine damage.

Fresh water engine exhaust flushing is just as important due to sediment or debris having the same negative effect internally.
So flush away and refer to your owner’s manual!

What can you do to comply?

  1. Review all of your log books.
  2. Be familiar with the checklists and complete all form fields.
  3. Make sure you understand how the checklists apply to the equipment you are using so your reviews are effective and not just a habit to fill in the blank.
  4. Inspect your PPE and remove it from service if needed.
  5. Be fearless in removing any gear or equipment from operational use with the control measures in place by your protocols and procedures.


There is a time not to go. You may discover that you will have to take a RWC out of service and that coverage will be significantly reduced. Have a backup plan for downed equipment and make sure you have the budget to maintain efficient operations.
Checklist help insure your program. They are reminders of requirements that rely upon your mental and physical action. Practicing effective basics of the fundamentals will allow you to have the capability to catch mistakes before they become mishaps.

As if water wasn’t enough, you need to spray down all metal components of the interior of your craft with the recommended Original Equipment Manufacturer’s anti-corrosion spray. Don’t grab any item, some of them can ruin your bank account, or take your life!

Rubber can only have certain rust inhibitors spray on their surface otherwise they face cracking or blowing off under pressure from their connecting points resulting in a sunk Personal Water Craft. Boo Hoo! You don’t want to go to that party!

RWC Inspections

USMC 1996 Water Craft Preventative Maintenance

It'a all About Prevention for Rescue Water Craft Safety

Yes, rust and corrosion is looking for a place to set anchor. You need to know the periodic grease points that are required for your particular Rescue Water Craft. Use the recommended Marine Grade grease and follow up the hourly maintenance schedule on key points to keep your boat functional underway. Items that are moving parts are under a lot of stress, and even more stress when we use a Towable Aquaplane Device (TAD) known as a Rescue Board. The original trim design of Personal Water Craft are significantly offset in some use situations, so be good to your boat and it will be good to you!

Do you know what you are looking at? Do you have a complimentary post operations Rescue Water Craft check list you can evaluate the needs of your boat? Or are you just checking the little boxes so you can go home and close the doors?

Inspection means safety. Knowing what to look for, when to take a boat out of service for repair can stop the liability dragon.

When your program has no policy on preventative maintenance schedule, it’s only a matter of time! The chain reaction of causation is waiting to raise its hand. Your Rescue Water Craft Owner’s Manual should look worn and torn from repeated referencing. If its’ not, then you have problems and if you don’t have one, why not?

Feed the hand that feeds you. If your Rescue Water Craft program is lacking just these 5 simple steps, you do not have a marine unit, you have a disaster in the making.

• Grow your program by first securing an owner’s manual.
• Revise your checklist
• Ensure mandatory records are kept
• Adhere to the maintenance schedule
• Take a boat out of service when problems arise or are suspected

Shawn Alladio – 1.12.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.