Adult Sailing

Safety at Sea Courses

Education, both in-person and online, to prepare you for offshore sailing

Why take a US Sailing Safety at Sea Course

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

A US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea Course will help you answer these questions and more!

Safety at Sea Course facts:

  • The certificates are valid for five years from the date of issue.
  • Moderated and taught by experienced, lifelong sailors who include some of the top names in sailing and safety.
  • Online courses developed with the support of Cruising Club of America, New York Yacht Club, The Sailing Foundation, and Storm Trysail Foundation.
                                           
  • Appropriate for a wide range of boats and experience levels — small, big, monohulls, multihulls (and powerboats, too) — that are sailed and operated anywhere — nearshore and offshore.
  • Sanctioned with the approved curriculum by US Sailing, with special attention to conditions and challenges of the host organization’s sailing area.
  • More than 2,500 sailors attend safety courses around North America every year and many bring their families and crews.
  • Coastal and Offshore courses are offered in either in-person or online formats.
  • Safety at Sea: Offshore (Units 1-15). This online course is the MOST RECOMMENDED course to take. It is hosted on US Sailing's online learning portal www.firsttack.org

COURSE OFFERINGS

COASTAL COURSES

Coastal Safety at Sea

This course is for Inland and Coastal Racers and Cruisers.  It is designed to provide you with essential safety information that you can use immediately on the water.  It is appropriate for anyone who sails, boats, cruises or races on both inland and coastal waters.

The Coastal Course course, either online or in-person, DOES NOT FULFILL the requirements to obtain an International Offshore Safety at Sea certificate.

Safety at Sea: Coastal (In-person)

Topics
The Coastal In-person covers: Giving Assistance, Personal Safety Gear, Crew Overboard Rescue, Emergency Communication, Search and Rescue.  This course satisfies the requirements for Coastal Races being sailed under the United States Special Equipment Regulations 4.3.2.

Duration - 4 hours

Approximate cost - $50.00 - $60.00/pp

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Safety at Sea: Coastal (Online Course)

Topics
Coastal Online covers: Giving Assistance, Personal Safety Gear, Crew Overboard Rescue, Emergency Communication, Search and Rescue.  This course satisfies the requirements for Coastal Races being sailed under the United States Special Equipment Regulations 4.3.2.

Duration - Approximately 4 - 5 hours. You may log in and out to complete the course at your convenience.

Cost of the Course
US Sailing Members, $45.00  (discount code found in your "My US Sailing" account under Member Coupons and Benefits).
Non-members, $50.00

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OFFSHORE COURSES

Offshore Safety at Sea

This Course is for
Crew members of offshore races, long-distance cruisers, any sailor wanting to improve his/her sailing skills. This course is also the first step for crew members of long-distance and international offshore races, long-distance cruisers, or persons requiring the International Offshore certificate that complies with World Sailing guidelines for Personal Safety (World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations Appendix G compliant).

Safety at Sea: Offshore (In-person)

Topics
Typically the in-person course covers 8-10 topics listed in Appendix G of the OSRs, from Giving Assistance, Personal Safety Gear, Care and Maintenance of Safety Gear, Fire Safety, Crew Overboard, Cold Exposure, Crew Health, Marine Weather, Heavy Weather, Storm Sails, and Reefing, Damage Control, Search and Rescue, Signals, Emergency Communications, and Life Rafts.

Duration - 8 hours

Approximate cost - $125.00-$175.00/pp

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Safety at Sea: Offshore (Online course)

Topics
Covers all 15 topics from Giving Assistance, Personal Safety Gear, Care and Maintenance of Safety Gear, Fire Safety, Crew Overboard, Cold Exposure, Crew Health, Marine Weather, Heavy Weather, Storm Sails and Reefing, Damage Control, Search and Rescue, Signals, Emergency Communications, and Life Rafts. This is the most comprehensive training in preparation for the Hands-On course which is required for the International Offshore certificate (World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations Appendix G compliant).

Duration - Approximately 12-13hours. You can log in and out at your convenience to complete the course.

Cost of the Course
US Sailing Members, $125.00  (discount code found in your "My US Sailing" account under Member Coupons and Benefits).
Non-members, $150.00.

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Obtaining an International Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate

If you have taken an Offshore course (either online or in-person), you are eligible to take a Hands-On course within 365 days to receive the International Offshore certificate. You are expected to have completed your Offshore in-person or your Offshore online course PRIOR to attending the Hands-On course.

Due to cancellations or postponements of Safety at Sea courses during the current COVID-19 health crisis, any sailor that took either an Offshore Online or Offshore In-Person course in 2019 or 2020 and will miss the 365-day window to take a Hands-On course for the International Offshore Certificate will have until December 31, 2022, to complete their Hands-On course. Please note that must complete Online units 11-15 if you haven't already done so prior to attending the Hands-On course. This is required as of January 1, 2021.

Click here
to view a chart of the different ways you can obtain an International Offshore Safety at Sea certificate.

International Offshore with Hands-on Training

International Offshore Safety at Sea with Hands-on Training (In-person)

This Course is for
Crew members of long-distance and international offshore races, long-distance cruisers, or persons requiring the International Offshore certificate that complies with World Sailing guidelines for Personal Safety (World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations Appendix G compliant).

Topics
Typically covers 8-10 topics from Giving Assistance, Personal Safety Gear, Care and Maintenance of Safety Gear, Fire Safety, Crew Overboard, Cold Exposure, Crew Health, Marine Weather, Heavy Weather, Storm Sails and Reefing, Damage Control, Search and Rescue, Signals, Emergency Communications, and Life Rafts plus hands-on training that includes topics such as boarding a life raft (in a pool), working with inflatable life jackets, pyrotechnics, firefighting, etc.  Some courses may include race-specific information.

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Junior Safety at Sea

Storm Trysail Foundation (STF) created and conducted, inspired by safety programs for ocean racers, Junior Safety-at-Sea stresses fun, hands-on practice, communication, teamwork, and the anticipation of trouble before it happens. Click here to find out more.

Host a Safety at Sea Course

Here are a few tips on how to get started:

  1. Review the Safety at Sea Planning Guide.
  2. Form a small committee and consider what dates would work for your area and your facility.
    Note: It is recommended that you dedicate three to six months of preparation to organize a course.
  3. Review the Safety at Sea Course options listed in the Planning Guide and make a determination on what type of course(s) you wish to host.
  4. Set your date and secure a moderator.
  5. To get your course approved and on the calendar, please fill out our online Safety at Sea Host Agreement and you are on your way!