Kill cords: can we do better?

We want to hear from you if you've got a better idea for a safety device

In the July issue of Motor Boat & Yachting we ask if there’s something better out there than kill cords in preventing the kind of tragedy that happened in Padstow in May when a father and daughter were killed when they, along with four other family members, were thrown from a RIB.

In that incident, the person at the helm was not wearing a kill cord, a preliminary report into the accident found, but could another safety device carried on board have prevented the RIB from circling and hitting the family in the water?

It’s not for MBY to speculate on the events that led to the family of six being thrown from their RIB, but what we can do is turn the focus on safety and ask you, the readers of the magazine, as well as those in the industry, if kill cords can be improved and whether there’s a better idea out there.

How about pressure points on the steering wheel that kill the engine if not depressed for a period, or a GPS device attached to the driver that cuts power if outside a certain range of the boat? Or perhaps the design of kill cords just needs to be altered to make them easier to wear?

One of the things the British marine industry does better than anyone is innovate, and we’re asking you to use those skills now to come up with a better idea to make sure accidents like the one in Padstow are made even rarer.

So if you’ve got an idea, we want to hear from you. Simply email your thoughts on the matter – even if you think kill cords are just fine – to We can help get your idea in front of the companies and organisations that lead in this area.

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