Originally Posted by kelson
Looks like fun, but every time I see one of these videos with RNLI boats zipping right past surfers in the water I have to wonder what the heck this has to do with safe boating? Here in CA you have to maintain at least a 100 yard separation from swimmers, surfers and other recreational users for good reason. It isn't easy to spot swimmers or surfers ducking under waves ahead of you!
Not that I haven't surfed my SIB, but it is definitely better to ride in over bars and through beach breaks with the boat positioned just behind the breaking wave. Not much fun though. Great to see that outboard start right up after the roll! Gives me some confidence I might be able to self rescue if I snag on kelp and get rolled by a wave. No rescue crews around where we chance it.
The RNLI boats in this instance provide a beach rescue service. This requires them to operate amongst other water users.
Whilst sitting on the back of the wave is a safer method for the boat, you are quite correct in stating that you cant see swimmers in the water. For this reason the boats in the video are sitting just in front of the wave, giving maximum forward visibility, minimising risk for swimmers, increasing risk for the boat.
It is unlikely that your outboard will restart as easily after a flip. RNLI engines are fitted with a variety of additional modifications. The outboard you seeing restarted has a post inversion restart system, but still requires some recovery actions by the crew. Other outboards used by RNLI have electrically operated solenoids that slam shut the air intakes once the boat starts to go over. Upon righting the engines can be started normally