Safety at Sea Seminars

Why Take a US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar?

  • Ever wonder what you would do if someone fell overboard from your boat?
  • Do you have a plan to deal with heavy weather if you can’t reach a safe harbor?
  • Interested in selecting the right emergency communications equipment or storm sails, but you’re not sure what to buy?

If so, a US Sailing Certified Safety at Sea (SAS) Seminar is for you.

Safety at Sea Seminar Facts:

  • Moderated and taught by experienced, lifelong sailors who include some of the top names in sailing and safety.
  • Designed for sailors of all types and levels — cruisers and racers, novices and experts.
  • Appropriate for a wide range of boats — small, big, monohulls, multihulls (and powerboats, too) — that are sailed anywhere — near shore and offshore.
  • Curriculum is certified by US Sailing, with special attention to conditions and challenges of the host organization’s sailing area.
  • More than 1,000 sailors attend safety seminars around North America every year and many bring their families and crews.
  • The certifications are good for five years.

US Sailing offers three distinct courses aimed at preparing sailors for offshore sailing conditions:

1. Coastal Safety at Sea Seminars

These seminars are intended for sailors who participate in coastal races (or for coastal cruisers). Seminars are led by US Sailing Certified Moderators who assist host organizations in planning and delivering quality presentations. Seminars are typically four hours and include the following topics:

  • Emergency communications
  • Personal safety gear
  • Man overboard
  • Search and Rescue procedures
  • An incremental topic(s) that meets the needs of the race conditions, e.g.

- Reduced visibility
- Large vessel traffic
- Heavy weather
- Breaking seas

2. Safety at Sea Seminar – Theoretical classroom sessions

A day long US Sailing Sanctioned SAS Seminar follows a core curriculum consisting of required topics plus optional topics tailored to the local area and event(s) being supported. Attendees receive a US Sailing Certificate of Attendance, valid for five years, that meets the training requirements of most races conducted in the U.S.

3. Safety at Sea Seminar - Practical, Hands-On Training Seminars

An optional second day of training includes:

  • Theory review & exam
  • In-the-water exercises with and without lifejackets and in-the-water inflation & boarding of a liferaft including righting an overturned raft.
  • Additional in-the-water drills are held with throw ropes, Lifeslings, signal mirrors and other signaling devices.
  • Hypothermia exercises
  • Students learn to use fire extinguishers, send emergency communications, including MAYDAY messages and EPIRB deployment and fire all types of flares.

These seminars are conducted by U.S. Coast Guard certified instructors following a US-modified ISAF curriculum. Learn more about this seminar, including the training syllabus.


These certificates are issued to all who attend both Safety at Sea Theoretical and Hands-On Training seminar sessions in the same calendar year. Attendees are also required to pass the written exam for hands-on training. 

  • Valid for five years 
  • Required by some U.S. races and most Category 1 and 2 races held outside the U.S. 
  • Issued by US Sailing’s representative to the ISAF Member National Authority (NMA) 

Organize a Seminar in your area

Are you looking for a US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar in your area?

  • US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars provide sailors who compete in your area with the required level of safety training.
  • These seminars will improve the safety culture and best practices through proven curriculum and instructed by experienced, life-long sailors.
  • Most offshore race organizing authorities require completion of one of these courses for 30% of the crew taking part in the race.
  • US Sailing archives all participation records for attendees.

Seminar hosts accept the responsibility of organizing and running these seminars. A US Sailing Safety at Sea Moderator is present at all seminars to ensure the consistency and quality of the information. The moderator will work with other safety experts to present the topics.