With the sailing season now drawing in those hardy enough to sail in the cold and windy conditions that Autumn and Winter bring we will blog a few reminders so members can refresh themselves on some of the rules of the road and of the club. The first is a reminder that all club members need to turn up on their assigned duty date to ensure safe sailing. If people do not attend then it is the OODs decision as to whether to sail and he or she may request further volunteers on the day if the conditions require it or may close the water if this is not possible.
Here is a guide that was put out for Tuesday and Wednesday sailing in the summer which is equally applicable at the weekends - please support all safety aspects of the club as it is priority number 1.
- Responsible person.
The Officer of the Day (OOD) is responsible for deciding whether they have adequate safety cover on the water for the prevailing and forecast conditions.
Sailors are responsible for evaluating the conditions and sign on at their own risk and judgement based on prevailing conditions and their sailing ability. If in doubt don’t go out.
- Safety Cover.
It is the OOD’s responsibility to ensure that safety cover on the water is adequate to manage the risk. Risk increases relative to:
- Wind Speed: higher wind = Higher risk
- Age: Juniors / Over 65 = Higher risk (less strength / risk of health complications)
- Experience: Novices = Higher risk
- Quantity of Boats: More boats = Higher risk
A combination of the above factors can result in a significant increase in risk. It is the OODs responsibility to ensure they are satisfied that sufficient cover has been provided for the risk factors evident on the day. If in doubt put another safety boat and crew out on the water (from those available on the day) or if this is not possible close the gates.
For info the RYA provides guidelines for Junior sailors of 1 safety boat for 15 sailing boats. There is no guideline for general sailing.
The minimum requirement at the club is 1 Safety boat on the water at all times. When in motion as a safety boat it must have 2 crew (1 driver, 1 assistant) to ensure recovery can be administered safely.
- Responsibility to assist a boat in trouble.
Sailors are reminded that vessels in the vicinity of a boat / crew in trouble have a duty to assist. This may be just a quick check to confirm the crew of a capsized boat are in control of their situation, or in extreme circumstances may require active rescue to recover the crew of the vessel in trouble.
We all capsize from time to time and even the most experienced can get into escallating difficulty when a number of contributing factors combine - please respect the decisions of the OOD when they make a call on the grounds of safety, and please, please, please keep to your commitment when signing up to do your rescue duty.
Bartley Sailing Committee