It doesn’t matter if your crew is experienced or not, be sure to give a safety briefing on the yacht before going to sea. The briefing covers the issues of leaving the vessel on a liferaft, the rules for using life jackets and insurance, using gas, fire extinguishing equipment, protection from the sun and sea sickness, using an tuzik.
Safety when sailing on a yacht, procedures for leaving a yacht on a liferaft, lifejackets and harnesses on a yacht.
Find where the Liferaft is located on the yacht. Make sure that it is not cluttered with anything and that it will be easy to deliver to the board. The liferaft can be quite heavy from 25 to 75 kg, so think ahead of time who will lift it. This may require two people. Before going to sea, according to the instructions drawn on the packaging of the raft, carefully understand how to put it into action.
Before leaving the ship, use the stationary VHF radio station to signal Mayday and activate EPIRB. Only leave the ship if it is inevitable and near death. There are cases when crews left yachts and died, while their ships were then found afloat.
At the 1979 Fastnet race, an 11-point storm erupted. Of the 24 yachts whose crews left their boats, only 5 actually sank. Stay on the yacht and fight for its buoyancy until the very last opportunity. The best liferaft is your yacht..
Procedure for leaving a yacht on a liferaft.
Securely attach a sling to the duck that holds the liferaft near the yacht and activates the raft inflation mechanism with compressed carbon dioxide.
Throw the liferaft overboard on the leeward side to cover it from the wind and make crew easier.
To inflate a liferaft, choose a sling, usually its length is 8-10 meters. When the line is selected, pull it sharply. The raft inflation mechanism will be activated. It takes 30 to 60 seconds to inflate a liferaft.
Tighten the raft immediately, do not let it drift off the yacht. In a strong wind it will be very difficult to pull it back.
An experienced and heavy crew member should be the first to descend into the liferaft, it will stabilize the raft on the wave and help everyone else to go down.
On all crew members, life jackets should be worn over warm clothes. If there is no time to dress, each crew member should take warm clothes with him. Overcooling is the most common cause of death at sea. Try to stay dry and not jump into the water, but directly into the liferaft.
You must take it with you to the liferaft.
Manual VHF Radio.
Emergency Beacon EPIRB.
SART Radar Responder Beacon.
Handheld GPS chartplotter.
Distress Alert Kit.
First aid kit, including pills for motion sickness.
Passports, money, credit cards, mobile phones.
Stock of food, preferably carbohydrate. The breakdown of protein foods (meat, fish) will require a lot of water.
Most of these things can and should be prepared in advance and put in a special emergency waterproof bag (Dry Bag or Grab Bag). After loading all crew members it is necessary to cut the sling. The Safety Knife for trimming the sling is located on the cutters outside the entrance to the liferaft.
Using oars, row away from the yacht so that you are not damaged by the mast or, in case of fire, fire. Give the floating anchor. He turns the raft with the entrance to the leeward side, so you will be protected from wind and waves. Close the entrance. Take pills for motion sickness. Every half hour, try to ventilate the raft.
Lifejackets and harnesses (Lifejackets and Harnesses) on a yacht.
Before you start sailing, check for lifejackets and harnesses for each crew member. For children there should be special children’s vests. All crew members should try on their vest in advance and adjust all the straps and fasteners for themselves. It is not necessary to keep life jackets and insurance on a heap. Each crew member must put his vest closer to himself in order to be able to quickly put on without confusing with someone else’s.
Life jackets should always be worn when there is an increased risk of being left overboard..
On a yacht outside the cockpit or on deck on crew members who cannot sail.
On all crew members outside the cabin in conditions of limited visibility (fog, heavy rain, etc.).
On all crew members outside the cabin at night.
On all crew members when leaving an emergency ship.
On all crew members outside the cabin with a wind gain of more than 15-20 knots. Life vests are put on at the same time as taking the 1st reef.
On all crew members, regardless of where the boat is in the storm.
On children near water in the cockpit, on the deck of a yacht or on a pontoon (pier).
On all crew members in an ace.
Immediately under any conditions by order of the captain.
Any crew member has every right to put on a life jacket in any conditions on the yacht, if he will feel more comfortable.
Harnesses should be worn at the same time as the lifejacket. There is no reason to be in the cockpit and on the deck in a life jacket and insurance and not be fastened. The safety ends must be fastened to the reliable structural elements of the yacht (cables, rods, rods). Do not use a railing for this. The racks of the railing are fixed in the hull very weakly.
Based on the book “The Yacht Captain. Training manual for owners of sailing and motor yachts “.