Every skipper has both a legal and moral responsibility for everyone aboard
It is an offence to operate any boat in a dangerous manner. The skipper must also ensure compliance with all Maritime Rules.
The best way to ensure you know what you’re doing on the water is to complete a Coastguard Boating Education course. Courses cover all the things you need to know as a responsible skipper, including appropriate safety checks, how to correctly operate your boat and equipment, what safety gear you need and how to use it, what to do in an emergency, navigation, reading charts, understanding buoys and beacons, and much more.
The maritime rules govern how all boats and ships must behave, including give way rules and the correct use of light and sound signals. There are also national laws written to help improve boating safety.
Buoys and beacons act as sign posts on the sea, indicating where safe water is. You should however always consult a local chart to identify potential hazards lurking below the water. A boating course will help you learn how to interpret these.