Boat Officer Guidance

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Boat Officer

The safe operation of the Club is designated to the Duty Officer and Boat Officer who perfectly within their right to:

  1. Order all boats off the water e.g. if too many boats are capsizing / there looks to be imminent thunder storm with lightning.
  2. Insist on addition safety cover before sailing is allowed
  3. Cancel or postpone racing
  4. Recommend children/novices do not sail
  5. Order individuals off the water

The Boat Officer.....
  • WILL ATTEND EVERY capsize. Your priorities are entrapments/vulnerable people FIRST. Remind your helm about engines OFF when approaching people in the water. ACTION: Boat Officer
  • Have a ‘spare’ rescue boat ‘ready to go’ i.e. with fuel and radio. Complete your boat equipment checklist. Ensure you have enough fuel for the day. ACTION: Boat Officer
  • What arrangements have you made for cover when safety boat crews are ‘off the water’ and boats are still out sailing? DO/BO ACTION: Boat Officer

Duty Cover

Safety Boat cover is to be provided during the programmed sailing times:-

  1. Saturdays 13:30 until 18:00
  2. Sundays & BH Mondays 10:30 until 18:00
  3. Sundays (Nov & Dec) 10:30 until 15.30
  4. Tuesday and Thursday 17:00 approx. until dusk

REMEMBER: You are covering the times identified, not just the racing.

Personnel Check

Driver must have a minimum RYA Powerboat level 2 qualification and if aged between 16 and 18, the crew must be aged 18 or older. If the driver is over 18, the minimum age for the crew is 16.

The crew must be physically able to assist with a rescue, and one member of the team must be dressed to enter the water. Make sure you are appropriately dressed for long periods on the water. Sun cream in summer…thermals, gloves dry-suit in winter.

Duty Officers have a checklist of things to discuss BEFORE sailing. A copy is attached to the rear of the race clipboard. PLEASE DO USE IT!

The Weather

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Discuss the forecast with the Duty Officer and look at the weather to determine how many safety boats may be required. Use the following guidelines:

  1. Wind greater than Force 3 (7-10 Knots) and 15 or more craft out then 2 safety boats should be considered.
  2. Wind greater than Force 4 (11-16 Knots) and 15 or more craft out then 2 safety boats should be in place.
  3. If more boats on the water or conditions dictate get more boats ready.

Setting Up

Fetch fuel cans with kill cords from petrol store. The tiller steering boats need 1 kill cord to operate. The RIBs need 2 kill cords PLUS KEY. An extra spare kill cord must remain attached to every fuel can for use in emergency. Fuel tank must be secured to the boat whilst in use.

Ensure you have enough petrol. For example -all day on the water in windy conditions - you will find you will probably need to re-fill! Make life a bit easier for yourself - undo the air screw on the tank before tipping-up to fill the powerboat cannisters

Fetch radios from Race Office. Identify your Shore Based Person. Carry out a radio check. Ensure each boat that is ready to be used has a radio on-board.

On The Water

Keep vigilant. It is often best for Driver and Crew to face in opposite directions. You may have to prioritise the order of the rescue. As examples you may need to raise the priority for:

  1. Any boat with the potential for an entrapment.
  2. Any boat where they cannot see a person in the water or on top of their boat
  3. Children or frail adults where periods in the water can lead to hypothermia

Similarly the following may be de-prioritised:

  1. Anyone sitting on top of their boat (and safe)
  2. Anyone who has made it to shore (and safe)

You are responsible for Safety and so do not be afraid to:

  1. Insist on additional safety cover before sailing continues
  2. Recommend that children/ novices do not sail
  3. Order individuals off the water for reasons of safety - they may be suffering from hypothermia
  4. Continuous capsizing – hence taking too much Safety Resource
  5. Damaging Club Hire Boats
  6. Consult with the Duty Officer about abandoning racing and sailing in very poor conditions or if there is likelihood of a lightning storm.

A Good Reminder

Parbuckle - A Reminder

Our workhorse craft that provide our main rescue cover. Find here a reminder of how to look after them. How to set-up for the day and putting them to bed!
Mainly a training instructors resource with good observation seating for helm. Good manoeuvrability and simple controls.
Our tender for getting to the boat sheds. Look after this boat and it will make your job a lot easier.
Rescue Boat
Briefing reminders, equipment list, setting up, rescue reminders ... and more!
Committee Boat
A big beast of a thing. You really, really should know what you are doing before jumping in the deep-end! Start here!
Safety Boat Equipment
Pictorial page relating to the MUST HAVE equipment for a Hollowell Safety Boat.