sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : Yacht Club reviews its safety - how does yours measure up?
Yacht Club reviews its safety - how does yours measure up?

'Yacht Club Safety - how does yours measure up?'    .

Every sailing club, no matter where in the world it operates, has a responsibility to its members, especially the juniors, to operate as safely as possible. Here Dan Cooney describes to US Sailing how his yacht club, the Beverly Yacht Club(BYC), undertook a review of its safety operations, and what resulted. How does your club measure up?

As the Associate Executive Director of US Sailing as well as Rear Commodore of the BYC, Dan Cooney sees safety issues through multiple lenses.

So he was also asking what more US Sailing can do to help clubs and sailors become more educated about the issues and what practical steps can his club take to leverage US Sailing resources. (This was the case when US Sailing organized an independent review panel to research a tragic accident that occurred on Severn River with a junior sailing program participant in 2011.)

Cooney took the US Sailing recommendations to the BYC with the goal of implementing new and revised procedures in safety planning. In this Q&A with US Sailing, Cooney discusses how the Beverly Yacht Club put these safety recommendations in motion.

US Sailing: What prompted Beverly Yacht Club to form a Safety Committee?

Dan Cooney: Two things were happening at the same time. Last summer, a couple of our more experienced PHRF racers, led by fellow member Barry Steinberg, were becoming increasingly uncomfortable about the lack of a formal process for determining whether our Wednesday and Thursday night racing should take place or not in the face of inclement weather. First and foremost our members’ safety was at stake, not to mention significant club and member property. Our PRO’s are volunteers with varying levels of experience and so having the right tools and process available for proper decision-making is key. Although we were initially concerned about our evening races, our club runs over 300 races per year so our work needed to address our entire program.

At the same time, I was following the investigations we were doing at US Sailing and the Severn Sailing incident report written in the fall by John Rousmaniere hit me like a ton of bricks. I had also been a PRO on a night where we just missed getting caught out and thought we could do better, for starters, than using my iPhone to track thunderstorms when there were 40 boats and 200 people on the water. Our club’s board agreed that we ought to have a safety review and our Commodore appointed a committee led by Barry.

US Sailing: What was your goal?

Dan Cooney: We eventually decided we wanted to review our club’s operations on and off the water and evaluate and improve our safety preparedness in each of these areas. There’s an important cultural piece here as well and we are trying to strike the right balance between organizational mindfulness and attention to safety issues while still embracing the joys of sailing and racing despite their inherent risks.

US Sailing: Did you have comprehensive written safety procedures in place before the committee started?

Dan Cooney: We had a lot of the pieces. We had a comprehensive Storm Preparation Plan and employee handbooks. We had a solid Race Guide, proper Sailing Instructions and we had good Junior Sailing documentation but it was incomplete and not tied up in the bow it deserved.

US Sailing: Who was on the Committee?

Dan Cooney: We brought together a broad cross-section of our membership – racers, cruisers, race managers and junior sailing volunteers. It turned out to be a good move to include a lawyer and a doctor who happened to represent one or more of these constituencies, and of course our General Manager.

US Sailing: What did you look at first?

Dan Cooney: The US Sailing investigation of the SSA tragedy put 420 trapeze harnesses at the top of our list. We also were committed to do something to support PRO decision-making on GO/NO-GO calls.

US Sailing: How did you end up on the harness issue?

Dan Cooney: Our Junior Sailing representatives on the Committee looked at all the options, but we ended up retrofitting 17 harnesses with a quick release hook system. We are also going to require every 420 sailor to go through drills where, under controlled circumstances, they will capsize to windward with their harnesses on. We will have US Sailing-certified instructors on scene and a rescue diver in the water that happens to be an MD. The idea is to simulate a situation that young sailors may encounter and to help them to understand how to self-rescue if necessary. The thing that got me personally about the SSA incident was that at first people were saying that this was a freak accident and what the investigation found out was that while the tragic consequence was rare, entrapment itself was not uncommon. I should have known that but I didn’t.

US Sailing: How did you improve the GO/NO-GO process?

Dan Cooney: We struggled with that because in the end we all know that you are relying on good judgment and common sense of the PRO’s to make sound decisions. You could probably find a reason not to race about half of the time for one reason or another but we were not looking to become risk-averse in the extreme. We ended up creating a document with the idea to make explicit some of the things an experienced PRO would think about when judging potential inclement conditions – who the PRO should consult before making the call, what weather resources are available to consider, what are the options for postponement and abandonment, how and when they should communicate decisions to the fleets – simple things all. We’ll refine the document as we go but it’s a start and it pushes us in a better direction. We also put an iPad on the signal boat which allows us a larger weather radar display and that’s an improvement on a phone’s small screen!

US Sailing: What else did the Committee do?

Dan Cooney: Barry and the committee did a great job of looking broadly at the problem. We’ve taken the excellent US Sailing Burgee Program/Gowrie safety manual templates for both the clubhouse and the Junior Sailing Program and customized them for our club. This moved our documentation level up several notches. We moved our AED to a more visible location and scheduled an OSHA/EPA expert to walk through our club to suggest improvements.

We’ve put together an 'Emergency Communications Card' and will place laminated copies in every support boat. The idea of the card is to breakdown very clearly who to call in an emergency with all the numbers immediately available in addition to the 911 call. We have met with our town’s Harbormaster and have included him on regular club emails so he and his staff are better informed about our activities. He met with our instructors during their boat prep week and the officers and our council (Board) have invited his entire staff over for a cook-out just to build relationships.

We ran a CPR/First-Aid training for the general membership and we were fortunate that two of our more experienced sailors were already planning to run one of the excellent CCA-developed 'Suddenly Alone' programs. I believe the Suddenly Alone program was originally conceived by Ron Trossbach, a member of US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee. Both educational programs were enthusiastically embraced by the membership.

After some discussion, the club committed to invest the resources to add a support boat to our regular racing program. In the past, a beloved past Commodore voluntarily patrolled our racing fleets and towed in or assisted too many boats to count over the years. When he retired from that service several years ago we never found another way to continue that coverage. This year we are staffing the support boat with a paid US Sailing-certified instructor with CPR training and we hope to add a volunteer rotation to the support boat program soon.

After the Full Crew Farallones tragedy off San Francisco this spring, there was a local Coast Guard communication reminding sailing organizations in our area to file for Marine Event Permits for all organized sailing activity. In the past, our club had only filed the permits for special events but this year we filed for our entire regularly scheduled program which includes racing five days a week. I think some might argue how much the permitting process enhances safety but it’s a regulation and it provides the Coast Guard the right people and cell phones to call if they need to reach us. We filed the permits so that it bundled multiple classes and racing series so the paperwork wasn’t overwhelming.

US Sailing: What’s next?

Dan Cooney: There’s plenty more to do, I’m confident other clubs have done more. I’m hopeful this Q&A opens up a dialog and draws out what other clubs are doing on this issue. One of the best things I think US Sailing does is increases collaboration among clubs and speeds the learning curve for volunteers tackling similar questions. I looked back at the April 2011 Yacht Club Summit presentation list and while many topics touched on safety, there wasn’t a single specifically focused panel on safety. Our sailing world has changed since then. You can bet that won’t be the case the next time around, and until then, I hope we learn a lot from each other.


About US Sailing:
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.


by Jake Fish/Sail-World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=99646

5:47 AM Fri 13 Jul 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

22 May 2012  Australia's Lake Eyre native title decision - but what of the sailing?
22 May 2012  Lake Eyre native title decision - but will sailing again be allowed?
20 May 2012  Att Sydney sailors: Anchoring threat to Quarantine and Manly Cove West
13 Mar 2012  How to stay sailing longer than 90 days in the Med
10 Mar 2012  Italy saw the light, but Greece drives visiting yachts away
03 Mar 2012  Italy rethinks! - no berthing tax for foreign yachts
21 Feb 2012  Greece and Italy tough on yachts but Bermuda makes it easier
28 Dec 2011  European inspectors focus on yacht safety
23 Dec 2011  Tax on anchoring: Cruising sailors must pay to 'Save Italy'
21 Dec 2011  RYA protests over eBorders for sailors
MORE STORIES ...






Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Michael Thurston, the owner of the Australian yacht Drina, sent us a message from Nome, Alaska, to inform us that he and his crew had reached the Pacific Ocean thus successfully completing a transit of the Northwest Passage. A late opening of the Bellot Strait allowed Drina to reach the central part of the Northwest Passage only by mid-September. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet departed the Cocos (Keeling) Islands this morning, embarking on the second longest sail of their circumnavigation; a 2350 nautical miles journey to Mauritius. Their stay in the tropical atoll has certainly been one to remember. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

World-wide the development of marine wind farms will grow. Britain's RYA is taking a proactive stance that can serve as an example for other yachting bodies. If wind farms could be an issue in your waters, its important to follow just what is happening in GBR. Speaking today Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager said 'The RYA will now be responding to those of the Panel’s questions that have bee ... [more]  

How to make a distance scale for faster navigation by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
If you are anything like me, sailing navigation can be a challenge when short- or single-handed sailing. But you still need to be able to plot fast and accurate positions for sailing safety. Here one little-known sailing tip used by the pros that will help you do just that! ... [more]  

The 14th edition of the Atlas also includes a new double page map of the Arctic Ocean, which highlights the dramatic long-term decline of Arctic sea ice cover. The sub-ice maps draw on bedrock data, provided by the British Antarctic Survey, to show physical features which are obscured by ice cover. ... [more]  

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteer crews from Flamborough and Bridlington launched the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 September, after a helicopter crashed close to Flamborough Head. Flamborough RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 1.45pm, followed soon after by Bridlington RNLI all-weather lifeboat. ... [more]  

On Monday 22 September the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea Doria, met the Chinese Navy ship, CNS Changbaishan, in the Gulf of Aden. ... [more]  

The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie creating a large, sheltered boating paradise of a harbour. With a string of well equipped marinas, a wealth of facilities and a very impressive yacht club, it has attractions for boaters that place it at the top of a cruising destination list. ... [more]  

Iridium have recently released the Iridium GO!, their latest product in the satellite communication market. It’s portable, battery powered, and creates a WiFi hotspot. www.predictwind.com!PredictWind!new have partnered with Iridium to put together a package catering specifically to the marine market. ... [more]  

In the early morning of Friday 19 September, EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra, came to the aid of a stricken yacht in the Gulf of Aden. The yacht had been detected on the warship’s radar in the early morning. ESPS Navarra’s Bridge team initially tried to hail the yacht via their VHF radio. ... [more]  

As their annual migration south approaches, sail and powerboat cruisers are stocking their boat’s lockers, checking systems and taking inventory of spare parts. But that’s not the only preparation these cruising 'snowbirds' will need to do, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). ... [more]  

Lost your rudder at sea? Michael Keyworth perfected a way to steer using drogues. To engineer this solution, he removed the rudder from his own boat(!), and experimented with different method, and has summarized his technique in this terrific article. ... [more]  

You scratched my seagrass! by Steven Katona, Newport, RI
Sailors for the Sea publishes monthly articles that translate the language of marine science into fascinating articles about ocean health. ... [more]  

Following a relatively short stopover in Christmas Island, eleven of the World ARC fleet have now arrived in their next paradise, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. From first settlement in 1826 by English merchant Alexander Hare, through decades of administration by the Clunies-Ross dynasty, most island inhabitants had little freedom or contact with the outside world. ... [more]  

Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood, from Wolverhampton and London, were in La Paz in Baja California when Hurricane Odile hit the Baja California peninsula last Sunday. It is thought their yacht overturned, and the couple have not been seen since. The couple is thought to have been living in La Paz for around a year. Mr Whitehouse is believed to be a scuba diving instructor in the city. ... [more]  

This might be the Texting and Facebook generation but boaters need to use VHF radio says volunteer rescuers from Weston-super-Mare's lifeboat station who rescued a yachtsman whose boat sank in the middle of the Bristol Channel and who then texted his girlfriend. ... [more]  

Earlier this year two men died in their bunks of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the highly toxic fumes given off from a poorly maintained butane gas cooker. The cooker which was located in the wheelhouse had been lit to heat the wheelhouse and sleeping area. A carbon monoxide alarm was not fitted. ... [more]  

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land and Arctic sea ice is the thin layer of frozen ocean water that forms and grows during the winter, and melts in the summer. Dr Jeremy Wilkinson from the British Antarctic Survey provides a scientist’s perspective on the trend for decreasing Arctic sea ice. ... [more]  

The Virgin Islands are an archipelago. That part, which is a British overseas territory, is commonly referred to as the BVI. About 30,000 people live in the BVI, most of which live on the island of Tortola. The BVI are comprised of about 50 islands the majority of which are not inhabited by humans. ... [more]  

Visitors to this year’s his year's Genoa International Boat Show will find the event 'renewed and more dynamic', adapting to the needs of an industry that is just beginning to see Spring at the end of a long hard Winter. Exhibitor numbers are up on last year, with sailing boats and small-to-medium sized motor boats leading the charge. The show will have a new layout ... [more]  

The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends
The Galley Guys hit the Vancouver International Boat Show running. All day long, we were checking out new boats, looking into ice lockers, peeking into storage compartments, seeing what’s new for gourmet cooking onboard and being forced to live on 'show food' by day. ... [more]  

Are you ready to enter that marina? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
Are you ready to enter that narrow canal or passage ahead that leads into the marina? Have you prepared your boat and crew for the unexpected? No matter if it's a brand new marina or the one you use as 'home base', docking preps will be the same each and every time. ... [more]  

Each summer, in a Canadian cruising tradition, thousands of Western Lake Ontario sailors join the annual summer migration to the Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands. ... [more]  

The RYA is working to improve its understanding of the number and spread of leisure boaters either using or not using AIS on board their vessels, in order to quality assure our data as we update the RYA’s Coastal Atlas of Recreational Boating. ... [more]  

Unlike an automobile, recreational boats have special safety needs when it comes to refueling. Stern drive or inboard powered boats have closed engine compartments where volatile gasoline vapors don’t easily dissipate, and older gasoline powered boats are the riskiest to refuel as their brittle fuel hoses can crack, leaving gas in the bilge after a fill-up. ... [more]  

For the next 72 hours the majority of the World ARC fleet will be moored in Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island. The crews will have been planning their 48 hours stopover here before leaving Bali so they can make the most of it. Christmas Island is one of the jewels of the Indian Ocean and has a lot to offer. 63% of its land mass is made of National Park which is home to many endemic species. ... [more]  

Three-time President of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Sang, and current mayor of Bora Bora, has written a strong letter of support for the Blue Planet Odyssey, assuring the fleet a warm Polynesian welcome when they arrive there in 2015. ... [more]  

Do you want to win a trip of a life time to any port of call along the Round the World Race in 2015? Great, because it is simple! All you have to do is design, scribble, write or draw a T-Shirt design and submit it online at www.ecsix.com/contest. 'You don’t have to be a designer to win, we are after the best creative idea that fits our brand' says ECsix’s Scott Vogel. ... [more]  

Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority
You might not be 'down under but here is a cautionary tale!- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is urging people to ensure they dispose of their obsolete and unwanted distress beacons correctly after emergency services spent more than six hours homing a beacon eventually found dumped in bushland on Queensland's Sunshine Coast over the weekend of 6-7 September. ... [more]  

Blue Planet Odyssey - We made landfall the morning of Saturday, September 13th at 0900 local time as we passed Race Point at the entrance into Cape Cod Bay. Since leaving St John’s less than one week ago we had covered 1109 miles, at an average of just under seven knots. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet made a great sight on September 14th as they sailed across the start line at the entrance to Benoa Harbour, Bali. Before leaving Bali International Marina, Arsa, a tour guide who had looked after the fleet during their week-long stay, visited yachts to perform a traditional Hindu blessing. It was a beautiful way to send off the fleet and a very special moment for many. ... [more]  

An international team of scientists, including the British Antarctic Survey, studied the geologic history of the area of the Antarctic Peninsula where the Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated, the portion of Antarctica that extends northwards toward South America. The new findings support the idea that such a dramatic collapse can be caused by surface warming. ... [more]  

Baltic 4 Nations - Next edition sets sail July 2015
BoatUS offers 'Boater's Guide To Winterizing'
Yachts prepare for second Atlantic Odyssey, departing this November
Thai drama with Phuket yacht clampdown
Marine Rescue volunteers in two searches on NSW northern waters
Sailing Rallies launch two new events at PSP Southampton Boat Show
World ARC crews in Bali
Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up?
Images of marine sunsets by Tripadvisor
Citizen science model proposed to fill fundamental ocean data gap
Africa-Europe Challenge - Three short harbor races to be organized
European Odyssey - Sardinhada in Lisbon for the fleet
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings
The Boat Cookbook
La Grace - Flagship of Africa-Europe Challenge in 2014
Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise to test readiness
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall at St John’s
18 anti-piracy weapons for ships to fight pirates
World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali
Governor’s Cup Yacht race - Great for cruisers and racers alike
Cowes Breakwater causes new tidal flow   
EU Naval flagship- frigate assist yacht twice maydays in pirate zone   
An offer a Galley Guy cannot refuse   
Dinghy Safety - More to think about   
World ARC fleet to enter Indian Ocean for the first time   
What can you do to prevent electrocution and ESD?   
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting   
Salty Dawg Rally Seminar Series planned October 8 in Annapolis   
Europe tightens up on skippers competency certification   
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail   
NOAA expedition discovers ship’s timepiece silent for nearly 200 years   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens   
A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6.0 now available   
BNS Leopold I to commence counter-piracy operations   
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'   
Wanted youth circumnavigators on a 'Voyage of Imagination'   
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a popular cruising destination in Canada   
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising   
Death by Dinghy   
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT