Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

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.

North Technology - Southern SparsMackay BoatsAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - From Conrad Colman this evening
I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. Indeed, never have I worked so hard to go so slowly! The problem is that I am sailing upwind in light winds which is never a recipe for breathless speed and certainly not now! Going downwind on a slow boat, the wind pushes against the windward side of the sail
Posted today at 4:34 am
SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Sam Heck and Robert Marcus in action
Sam Heck and Merry Cheers decided that just having bought a new Farr 40 race boat, Viva La Vida, wasn’t quite enough. Sam Heck and Merry Cheers decided that just having bought a new Farr 40 race boat, Viva La Vida, wasn’t quite enough. They wanted to race it, right away. So they entered the 2017 SCYA Midwinter Regatta through Long Beach Yacht Club, which hosted their class, and won in the first racing sailboat that they have ever owned.
Posted today at 4:05 am
Overall winner crowned at Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in St. Petersburg
The first event of 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on Sunday. The first event of the 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on Sunday. After a weekend of close competition in the Lightning division, the class winner — Steve Hayden, 49, of Lake Mary, Fla. — was awarded the regatta’s overall prize.
Posted today at 2:41 am
RORC Caribbean 600 race kicks off tomorrow
The light air forecast is not good news for the Italian ocean racing trimaran which is designed for much stronger winds. Soldini’s men have been monitoring the weather situation closely after the formation of a low-pressure storm system far to the north of Antigua disrupted the normal strong trade wind conditions.
Posted on 19 Feb
Vendée Globe – Roura to finish Monday morning with Super Superbigou
Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race. Seven solo racers were still at sea this Sunday afternoon. Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race.
Posted on 19 Feb
Spectacular opening for the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600
The highly acclaimed Antigua Band 1761 took to the stage and lit the blue touch paper. Sailors enjoyed a traditional Caribbean welcome with the Panache Steel Orchestra opening the musical entertainment, complimentary drinks and fine Caribbean fayre.
Posted on 19 Feb
H.H NOOD Regatta - Local sailors make waves on Tampa Bay during Day 2
Michael Zonnenberg, of the Lightning division, is currently one of only two local skippers leading a class. With sailors from across the country and beyond in town for the annual Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta this weekend, stand-out local skippers were a highlight of Saturday's competition. Michael Zonnenberg, of the Lightning division, is currently one of only two local skippers leading a class.
Posted on 19 Feb
Krabi waters deliver a spectacular Day 3 of the Bay Regatta 2017
Opting for just two starts each day – monohulls / multihulls – has proven a successful strategy for 2017 The Bay Regatta Opting for just two starts each day – monohulls and multihulls – has proven a successful strategy for the 2017 The Bay Regatta, getting the boats off early and enjoying the good breeze and eye-candy that is the Andaman triangle of Phuket-Phang Nga-Krabi.
Posted on 18 Feb
Amedeo writes his own Vendée Globe story
Parisian political journalist turned solo ocean race Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place when he crossed the finish line Parisian political journalist turned solo ocean race Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place when he crossed the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne at 09 hrs 03 m UTC this morning Saturday 18th February.
Posted on 18 Feb
Vendee Globe - Under a square head jury rig and storm jib - Day 104
Conrad Colman updates from the Atlantic as he makes 6.2kts under Jury Rig with 488nm remaining to sail Conrad Colman updates from the Atlantic as he makes 6.2kts under Jury Rig with 488nm remaining to sail to reach the finish line of the Vendee Globe. The single handed sailor is attempting to become the first competitor in the eight editions of the solo non-stop round the world race to complete the course using only natural energy. He has 200nm under the makeshift rig
Posted on 18 Feb