Guidance For Rescue Boat Crews

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. Suncream in summer…thermals, gloves drysuit 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

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.


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 eg All day on the water and numerous rescues - 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

Check equipment kept on each boat:

  1. First aid kit,
  2. Bucket,
  3. Oar/paddles,
  4. Throwing line,
  5. Towing Line
  6. Knife on float,
  7. Multi-tool
  8. Wreck marker tape
  9. Laminated Map
  10. Fire extinguisher
  11. Anchor with warp tied to boat
  12. Radio
  13. Spare kill cord attached to fuel can

Fetch radios from Race Office. Identify your Shore Based Person. Carry out a radio check. Radios should be set to Channel 1. Ensure each boat that is ready to be used has a radio on-board. See side panel for more information

Any Safety Boats that are not on the water should be tied up, but ready for use on the Pontoon directly opposite the Clubhouse.

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 or damage to boats they may be suffering from hypothermia
  4. continuous capsizing – hence taking too much Safety Resource
  5. Order individuals off the water for reasons of safety or damage to boats they may be suffering from hypothermia
  6. damaging Club Hire Boats
  7. Consult with the Duty Officer about abandoning racing and sailing in very poor conditions or if there is likelihood of a lightning storm.


  1. Safety boats are for RESCUE. People come FIRST, equipment after.
  2. Remain seated whilst driving. Crew should sit in-board
  3. Approach pontoon and other boats slowly.
  4. Each boat should carry a ‘spare ’kill cord.’

Entrapments are the most likely cause of a serious injury on the water. They must be dealt with promptly, and as a priority. The RYA advice is to ‘right the boat as quickly as possible’

End of the day:
Put everything away as you would like to find it. Check radios are all there, they should all be switched off and registered in their holders so that either a red or green light is displayed.

A Good Reminder