The summer sailing season is upon us, and perhaps no other topic is more vital to sailing organizations than safety. Most community sailing centers, yacht clubs and sailing schools have their own on-water Emergency Action Plan (EAP) unique to their own venue, facility, sailing area and environment.
A carefully drafted and vetted EAP is a valuable resource for accident protocol. You will be required to present your standard of care in the case of an accident that leads to litigation. Your plan, at a minimum, should include:
- How you will manage an accident on and off the water.
- How you will communicate to emergency services from the water and off the water.
- Having the necessary life saving equipment both on and off the water.
- Identifying where you will keep medical forms, so they can be immediately accessed in the event of an emergency.
- There should be no risk that a mast hit a powerline.
More Safety Resources
- Learn more about US Sailing’s Safety at Sea programming.
- The US Olympic Committee has an excellent awareness training program for working with children.
- The Burgee Insurance Program by Gowrie Group offers a comprehensive group of safety materials and resources including a Emergency Action Planning Template, Junior Sailing Safety Guide, and a Yacht Club Safety Manual. Access these resources.
- There are checklists, waivers or releases and other forms for sailors under 18.
- Check out this detailed EAP from Mentor Harbor Yacht Club who drafted this for their USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival.
- Learn more about preparing your safety boat.
- Implementing an Offshore Safety and Preparedness Plan by Chuck Hawley and Sally Lindsay Honey
- Case Study: An Emergency Action Plan Report from OCSC by Rich Jepsen and Steve Saul
- Head injury: Information and customizable templates about concussions can be found on the CDC website. Your state may have additional requirements that you will need to follow.
- Crew Overboard Prevention: How to Remain Aboard
- Weather Forecasting: Thunderstorms and Squalls by Stan Honey and Ken Campbell
- WATCH: Club 420 safety video