Planning for safety, on and off the water, is particularly vital to any event. Your particular venue will make certain safety measures important and it’s vital that you develop a plan and collect the resources to meet the conditions and location of your regatta. A meticulous troubleshooting walk around the event site and approaches by land and water will identify any potentially dangerous situations. Do this months ahead, so remedies can be implemented.
First and most importantly, create a Safety Plan. A safety plan is your best protection in case of an accident. IF you EVER have an accident, if you get into court, you will be asked to show your standard of care. IF you don’t have an emergency plan, you won’t have a formal standard of care and could be in trouble. 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 both from the water and off the water.
- Having the necessary life saving equipment both on the water and off. These include bolt cutters and rigging knives.
- 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.
There are checklists, waivers or releases and other forms for sailors under 18. For big boat racing, other requirements will need to be met. Learn more about US Sailing’s Safety at Sea training program.