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Sailing Crew Safety Tips
SAILING CREW SAFETY TIPS
(Courtesy of Traveltalkonline.com contributors)
No. 1 is where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them (including in the engine box).
No. 1 (yes, there are two #1s) is where the MOB button is on the GPS and related MOB procedures.
2. Know the purpose and location of electrical/light switches.
3. Know how to use the VHF and how to contact Virgin Island Search and Rescue (VISAR).
4. Know location and contents of the first aid kit.
5. Don't carry anything in or out of the boat. Always move yourself first, then the bag or whatever.
6. One hand for the boat, one for yourself while moving about the boat.
7. The lifelines are not meant to steady you as you move about the boat. Use shrouds or handholds instead.
8. Move slowly about the boat. Nothing really bad can happen then.
9. Close all hatches and through-hulls before leaving a mooring/anchor. Make sure everything is stowed securely.
10. Ginger snaps/crackers or drink are best if you are queasy.
11. Everyone should wear deck shoes or sandals for the first 2 or 3 days until they learn where all the toe assassins are lurking. There are many of them hiding around the deck, and a black toenail or a broken pinkie can put a big crimp in a 7-day cruise.
12. The BBQ can be hot, even if the lid is closed. Don’t lean on it.
13. Watch your head anywhere in, on, or around the boat.
1. Always have the tail end of any line running through a rope clutch on winch with several wraps and tension before releasing the clutch. Bad things can happen otherwise.
2. All crew should be aft of the blocks for the headsail when tacking. The sheets can whip wildly and cause nasty injuries or MOB. Same thing goes when furling.
3. When releasing main halyards either control the line with a winch or let it run free and keep hands and all body parts clear of the line!
4. If you are not sure what you are doing, ask the captain.
1. When picking up a mooring ball, if things go terribly wrong, let go of the pole. You won't be able to stop the boat with it! (see MOB drill)
2. It doesn't hurt anything to tie a light line to the boat hook handle and to the boat somewhere so you can retrieve if dropped.
3. Make sure everyone is aboard and accounted for before dropping a mooring or putting the boat in gear.
4. If the main is raised on a mooring, open the traveler and mainsheet and back off the mooring nose to wind. Anticipate the main powering up and the ability to safely avoid other yachts/people/dinks in the vicinity. (For some reason, I like to do this.)
1. Be wary of sea urchins.
2. Don't wear jewelry while swimming.
3. No night swimming.
4. Don’t touch the coral.
5. Don’t feed the fish.
6. Beware of jellyfish... http://www.allatsea.net/article/June_2005/Jellyfish_Season
1. Watch out for flying elbows when starting the dinghy engine.
2. Shorten dinghy painter when picking up a mooring or anchoring or entering/leaving the dock.
3. When beaching the dinghy, be aware that the water may be deeper than you think.
4. Never untie the dinghy from the boat until you have started the dinghy motor and let it run for a few minutes ensuring it will continue to run.
5. If your dinghy ever shuts off abruptly after running fine, you can count on a dislodged fuel line at the motor or at the tank. Make sure both are secure and start again.
6. Never leave the charter company dock until you're sure your dinghy motor will raise up and stay there. If it won't, you'll never be able to dink ashore to any beach... like White Bay, Sandy Spit or Sandy Cay!
7. Carry at least a flashlight when the dinghy is in operation at night.
8. USE said flashlight to watch for anchor lines when coming back from the bars at night.
9. Move the dink as far away as possible from the BBQ.
10. USE the dinghy kill switch lanyard!
11. Is there a pump for the dinghy in case it leaks?
Docking the boat...
1. When the boat comes up to the dock, do not use your leg as a fender.
2. Don’t put your fingers or hand between the boat and the dock.
3. Don’t shout helpful advice to the captain while he's in the process of docking. He has a great deal of experience doing this and despite the fact that his experience isn't helping, neither will your rookie advice.
1. Know how to use a marine toilet.
2. Take navy showers, and always turn the tap off when not in use anywhere on the boat.
3. If any crew are doing the stern shower and hair conditioner thing, be sure to follow with a deck brush, bucket and dish soap to remove the slippery slime the conditioner leaves on the swim step!
1. Always turn turn the gas off on on the electrical panel before turning off gas on the stove.
2. Be sure to turn the gas switch off on the electrical panel.
1. Have a knife handy if trolling. Any MOB, cut the lines!
LISTEN TO THE CAPTAIN!
1. The captain's always right and if he's not, he's the one with his name on the contract and bears that responsibility if he's not.
2. Don't be afraid to ask if you don't know, and always offer to help out.
3. If the captain asks you to go ashore for more ice, obey him. He's the captain, and plus running out of ice creates a very unsafe condition on board.
4. Do not keep asking the captain to adjust the white flappy things so they stop blocking your sun.
5. It is considered unsportsmanlike to stand around and laugh uproariously should the captain fall from the dinghy while attempting to disembark at Foxy's. Instead, the experienced seaman should be prepared to immediately throw the skipper a line and a cold beer, though not necessarily in that order.
6. It is helpful to tell the captain at least one good story each day to keep him in good humor.
Qualified Crew Member Course