The RNLI are urging motorboaters to carry out safety checks before they go back on the water this season in a bid to reduce the number of avoidable emergency call-outs.

The RNLI are urging motorboaters to carry out safety checks before they go back on the water this season in a bid to reduce the number of avoidable emergency call-outs.

Last year, RNLI lifeboats launched 1,242 times to vessels out of fuel or with engine failure.

They say in many cases, the call-out could have been avoided if simple checks had been carried out before setting forth.

RNLI leisure boat safety manager Rick Raeburn encouraged boaters to perform the following checks:

* Run the engine, give it a visual check

* Check the oil, hydraulic fluid and fuel lines

* On outboards, check the kill cord

* Make sure the fuel tank is secured

* Check you have enough fuel for the voyage, plus a bit extra.

Raeburn said: “It’s not only checking your boat to prevent the need for rescue that is important. It is also essential to check emergency equipment that you will need should the worst happen. Wearing lifejackets and having a useable liferaft can give you – and our lifeboat crews – vital minutes should anything go wrong.”

For free advice from the RNLI on sea safety, or a free SEA Check on your craft, contact the RNLI. Tel: 0800 328 0600.