Welcome to KillCords.com
Kill Cords, also known as a Safety Lanyard Cord, are simple marine safety devices for motorboats, RIBs, jet skis or other water craft using a powered motor.
They ensure that should the helmsman fall overboard the craft’s engine will stop, allowing them to easy swim back to the craft and ensure that the craft is not running lose in the water.
They are primarily designed for solo or short handed craft, for larger motorised watercraft or sailing boats the use of a wireless kill cord or wireless man overboard system is advised.
How do Kill Cords work?
A marine kill cord is usually a strong plastic coated cable or coiled lanyard red in colour, with a core made of either wire or thin rope. One end has a quick release fitting that clips to the water craft’s kill switch, forcing it into the on position.
The opposite end of the cord is a spiral ending in a small karabina, this end is then lopped around and secured to the helmsman’s leg, wrist or flotation device.
If the helmsman of the water craft is thrown from the craft the kill cord would be pulled from the kill switch thereby cutting power to the engine stopping the craft.
The RYA recommends that all students should be given the practice of removing the kill cord and reattaching it both to themselves but also to the kill switch itself.
Why should you use a Kill Cord?
In the below clip, the pilot of his RIB was thrown from it and rescued by a passing yacht who filmed the scene. The pilot of the RIB was not wearing a kill cord and the RIB becomes a runaway, only stopped when it was rammed and boarded by a local RNLI crew.
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Best Practice Tips
- Never extend the kill cord past the manufactures length
- Protect the kill cord from the elements, UV rays can cause the cord to break in the middle
- Always keep a spare kill cord on-board and ensure that all crew are training on how to use it
- Ensure your new kill cord has a strengthening cord running though it
- Replace any fabric kill cords that have lost their spiral tension as the inner cord may have been damaged