Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

WA sailors ahoy! - Sea Safety and Survival course -See the Video

by Bryan Thurstan on 27 Jun 2012
Sea Safety Survival - practising ’The Huddle’ heat preservation exercise (previous course participants) .. .
The Instructor looked over the yacht crews. The line up was a United Nations of WA sailing: Australian, English, German, Danish and Dutch. His blue eyes were piercing as he pointed at an average build sailor. 'Zee average survival time in zee cold vaters of zee southern ocean for you is zree hours!' He moved his gaze to one of the larger-built sailors. 'You vill last just a little longer!!'

Welcome to Manfred’s Sea Safety and Survival Course. This course is about sea Safety and survival – Avoiding the problem is preferable to overcoming it. The first day was intense discussion, learning, war stories and 'devils advocate' scenarios. Heavy weather preparation, maintaining navigation, warning signs for hypothermia, nothing was off limits. The line up of owners and crew was a United Nations of Western Australian sailing; Australian, English, German, Danish and Dutch. And a swarthy looking gentleman with a continental accent.

Liferafts and the Sydney to Hobart Race of 98 featured heavily. The German instructor blitzed the crew with different emergency situations. The Englishman fire back: 'A clear chain of command is critical'. 'Correct' boomed the instructor, 'We are not the United Nations on a yacht!!!' The Dutchman’s eyes narrowed.

Fire extinguishers, flares, heliographs and radios. 'When zee aircraft dives at you, and wriggles it’s wings, vot does this mean?' The young Australian foredeckie was exhausted from point duty, but he was mentally prepared. It looked like his head was about to explode with the volume of new knowledge. Damage control and flooding, defend the ship. The instructor commanded: 'A frightened crew with buckets is the best system for removing water from the boat' The Swarthy Gentlemen with the continental accent glanced towards the exit, but there had been no order to abandon ship. He thought it better to collaborate.

The first day wrapped up. 'It will be vet and vindy tomorrow for zee practical water drill. I will test you first, and accept nothing less than 80% correct. I trust you will not be found wanting'. The team cohesion was good, and the will to succeed undaunted. We are OK now, and we will be OK tomorrow.

The second day dawned with a Gale Warning. Cold, with gusts to 60kts, heavy chop, and a foot of water over the jetties at Freshie. The Teutonic Tutor struggled to contain his glee. He failed. He timed the crew donning their wet weather and safety gear. Zvei minuten, drei minuten….. 10 minutes! It takes a while to get all your gear on. And then you have to stay afloat.

The crew assembled on the jetty for a final role call, before they abandoned ship in a regimented drill. 'Vee have one injured crew – his shoulder is dislocated. You must watch out for him in the water, and be careful how you get him into zee life raft'. The painter was made fast and the liferaft deployed. It went off with a bang. The Dane looked uncertain.

The wind buffeted the crew. The rain hit like 9mm rounds. And then they hit the drink. Cold Shock!!! Life jacket inflated, stick together. Sound off. Where’s 9???!!! Pulled out early due to a faulty PFD zip. Into the life raft, deploy the cover and drogue, release the painter as the yacht sank. In water drills, stick together. Paddle for shore. A few cramps and a lot of mild hypothermia was being experienced. After 45 minutes, everyone was glad to be 'rescued'.

The Instructor beamed at his newly qualified crew. 'Well done everybody, time for a hot shower & some schnapps at the bar!!!' The coalition of sailors had proudly fulfilled their duty. And no-one had mentioned the war.

Sea Safety and Survival Courses are an essential part of training for Bluewater racing, and are highly recommended for inshore and cruising sailors. Courses are organised regularly by Yachting Western Australia and run at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, Fremantle and Hillarys.

NaiadBakewell-White Yacht DesignNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

France Blue, Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup favourite?
Calling form on Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is hard, as for team to be successful all three of its boats must perform Calling form on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is hard, as for a team to be successful, all three of its boats must perform. This, plus the event's week-long duration and diverse race format, make the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for Corinthian crews one of the pinnacle racing events internationally held under a rating rule.
Posted today at 5:24 am
ORC Worlds - Three new ORC World Champions crowned in Copenhagen
A light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on concluding day of 2016 ORC Worlds 2016 ORC Worlds - After an initial delay this morning due to no wind that threatened to keep everyone ashore like yesterday, a light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on the concluding day of the 2016 ORC World Championship, hosted by the Royal Danish YC and Egaa Sailing Club.
Posted today at 4:45 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo – Class40s sail into Saint-Malo
Twelve of the nineteen Class40s racing in the ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo 2016 Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Twelve of the nineteen Class40s racing in the ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis are now safely moored at the Quai Duguay-Trouin wharf in Saint-Malo at the foot of the ramparts as the sun prepares to go down over the Corsair City.
Posted today at 3:09 am
LVACWS Portsmouth 2016 – standing room only.
There are no half measures where English weather is concerned. There are no half measures where English weather is concerned. Happily, that means that when it’s good it very, very good. Blue skies, sunshine, 23 deg C, clean air, and the whole place looks as if has put on a party frock and got lit up. Wonderful.
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – More Day 1 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – Race Day 1 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – Sir Ben jumps into the lead in Portsmouth
Hot, sunny conditions and thousands of fans lining the Portsmouth seafront was the backdrop to crowd-pleasing action. The home team, Land Rover BAR, led by skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, recovered from a poor first race result to win the second two contests and complete the day at the top of the leaderboard, much to the delight of the tens of thousands of cheering fans lining the shorefront.
Posted on 23 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series 2016 – Poised to pounce for Super Sunday
Oracle Team USA showed determination and fightback in claiming two second place finishes from the first two races Unfortunately, in the third race, the team was pushed right to the back of the pack and couldn't recover. The results leave the team on equal points for third place with SoftBank Team Japan, just three points behind the leaders, Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France.
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – More action images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – Some action images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 23 Jul