Safety Products have no Value if the Crew doesn’t Know how to Properly Use Them

Justin Richard Edelman had to attend the safety at sea seminar in order for Volvo to let his tryout for the OBR job.

During the seminar Justin interviewed John Miller, USCG Merchant Marine Master with Sailing Endorsement

Justin: Why are more races pushing the SAS certificate?

John: It is a proven fact from data collected from World Sailing (formerly ISAF), RYA, US Sailing, USCG… Trained sailors have fewer accidents and when they do have an accident, the seriousness of the consequences are not as great as compared to those who have no training; simple logic.

World Sailing and RYA (Royal Yachting Association) have been leaders in the industry to push for both didactic and hands-on training for safety certification programs.  US Sailing has recently partnered with World Sailing to standardize safety programs globally.  

In addition, World Sailing and ORR (Offshore Racing Rules) have codified safety training requirements in racing rules; the basis for individual event NOR’s (Notice of Race).  Couple this with Marine insurers who have reviewed the data and are requiring compliance with NOR’s and you have a perfect storm.

Photo Justin Richard Photography

Justin: Was there any particular event that caused the program to be put in place?

John: Actually PacCup 2018 is requiring US Sailing 2 Day SAS with hands-on training or ISAF (equivalent program offered by World Sailing).  This is an upgrade from the requirement of 1 or 2 Day SAS for the owner, captain, all watch captains a minimum of 30% of crew; now accepting only the 2 Day SAS or ISAF.

On the Eastern Seaboard, ARC – World Cruising Club is requiring the 2 Day SAS OR ISAF for ALL crew.  Atlantic Cup is quickly moving to match ARC.  TransPac is discussing to standardize to the 2 Day SAS like PacCup.  Locally, the Newport to Ensenada Race (200 yachts) notified all registered vessels that they will be enforcing NOR requirements for safety training.

Putting it altogether, upgraded requirements coupled with stricter enforcement is driving the need for participants to certify, re-certify and take safety training seriously.

Photo Justin Richard Photography

Justin: In your words, why is it important to do SAS?

John: Being a USCG Merchant Marine Master with Sailing Endorsement, I am responsible for the safety and well being of every crew and passenger on my vessel.  Tropic Thunder exceeds minimum requirements of safety gear, policies and procedures.

Regardless, the best equipped, best designed and fastest vessel has no value without a trained and experienced crew.  The best safety products, equipment, policies and procedures have no value if the crew and passengers do not know how to properly use them.

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