Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The BC Sailing Safety at Sea program offered its inaugural course this past weekend, April 2-3.
The two day course started Saturday, at the West Vancouver Yacht Club, where the sold-out class of twenty-four experienced sailors were immersed in topics including care and maintenance of safety equipment, storm sail, heavy weather, damage control, hypothermia and man overboard. Instructors accredited by BC Sailing and CYA divided the class into breakout groups which faced emergency scenarios, developed action plans and received feedback from the whole class. Sunday, the course moved to BCIT's Marine Campus where professional instructors led the class through sessions on fire, emergency communications and signaling. The class completed a full set of in-the-water survival training drills, clothed in wet weather gear, with and without lifejackets and crotch straps, using individual and group survival techniques, and deploying, boarding and righting life rafts. Participants emerged from the training tank wet, cold, tired, and raving about the lessons learned.
BC Sailing's Offshore Personal Survival Course is "CYA - ISAF Approved", meeting training requirements specified by the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, with participants receiving an internationally portable certificate valid for five years. Race organizers from Southern Straits, Swiftsure, Vic-Maui and Van Isle 360, along with the West Vancouver Yacht Club, Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club and Van Isle 360 Marine have been involved in developing this course. Supporters include DBC Marine Safety Systems, Blast Performance Sailing, Pro-Tech Yacht Rigging.
The next course, April 16-17, is sold out. Further courses are being scheduled for the Fall of 2011. For more information, see the BC Sailing website at http://www.bcsailing.bc.ca/Content/SAS.asp.