We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

These licences are exclusively for boats owned and operated by the statutory Emergency Services or voluntary organisations nominated by them to carry out emergency rescue procedures.

Safety Boats associated with waterway maintenance or construction works should apply for a Maintenance Workboat Licence.

Safety Boats used to supervise or monitor club activities should be licensed as club boats.

Boats used for animal welfare purposes are not eligible for this licence.  They should apply for a Roving Traders Licence.

Key considerations

The boat will need to be removed from the waterway when not in use or have a [permanent mooring] where it can be kept. We offer no concessions on mooring fees. 

You must ensure that everyone using your Safety Boat is appropriately trained and qualified.  As a minimum all skippers must hold a Boat Masters Licence (BML) or equivalent.

Please provide us with an Operating proposal of what you intend to do so that we can assess your proposals. We may ask you to restrict training at above the local speed limit to certain areas or times of the year to prevent damage to nesting birds, waders and feeding grounds.

Regulations

Insurance

You will need a commercial insurance policy that provides cover to a value of £2m for damage or injury caused by you, your boats or your staff.

Boat Safety Scheme Certificate

You will need a Boat Safety Scheme certificate. If your boat has only an outboard motor, please provide a Boat Safety Scheme Exemption Declaration instead.

Boatmaster’s Licence

You must ensure that everyone using your Safety Boat is appropriately trained and qualified.  As a minimum all skippers must hold a Boat Masters Licence (BML) or equivalent.

Other regulations

Other regulations may apply to your business. Please read our General Guidance section and make your own independent enquiries to ensure that you understand and comply with all the regulations relevant to your proposed operation.

A copy of the Regulations checklist for each sector can be downloaded here.

Boat Licence

A safety boat will require a business licence.  There is no charge for this licence.

When the Business Boating Manager has confirmed that your Operating Proposal is acceptable, he/she will forward you a licence application form with the details completed for you to review and return.

Operating Proposal

Please submit an Operating Proposal if you wish to proceed.  Upon receipt of your proposal, we will write and confirm receipt and aim to give you an in principle decision within 6 weeks.  Please note that you may need to obtain planning permission and negotiate agreements for using our property which could take much longer to finalise.

Do not commit financially to your proposed business before receiving our ‘in principle’ approval.

Useful Downloads

Last date edited: 19 October 2015