A small group of sailors attended a safety seminar Wednesday night hosted by the Newport Ocean Sailing Association to help prepare them for upcoming races.
The NOSA safety seminar was created for sailors participating in overnight races including the 2013 Lexus Newport To Ensenada Yacht Race scheduled for April 26. Although the safety seminars are held at various times and locations throughout the year, last April's fatal Aegean yacht crash served as a reminder for the continued need for safety and preparation training for sailors.
NOSA officials said it is imperative for sailors to plan ahead and be well-prepared.
"There needs to be two or more crew on deck at all times," Jerry Moulton, NOSA's Vice Commodore, Race, said. "And it's a good idea to assign the most committed guys to the midnight shift."
Moulton also emphasized the need for sailors to maintain safety at night, reminding them of the need to wear a harness and red light for night vision. He also encouraged the sailors to prepare hot meals before dark, and to keep hot drinks and soup in a thermos to have during the night.
“Remember crew position before dinner and go back to the same spot after dinner," Moulton explained. "Review the watch schedule. Go down for rest and save your energy in order to be fresh at night."
Additional Safety Tips Provided:
-Always keep a lookout
-Monitor channel 16
-Keep the dodger down for better visibility
-No autopilot when the motors on
-Stay up all night and steer rather than put the boat on autopilot
-Know where you are at all times
-Set audible alarms
-Have all equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard
-Each crew should know exactly where safety equipment is located,
-Each sailor should know how to operate equipment, including the radio, GPS and engine.
Do you have any sailing safety tips to share? Tell us in the comments.