Rescue Boat Guide

Responsibilites — Duty Cover — Personnel Check — The Weather — Geting Ready — Boat sheds — Rescue Kit — Virago Tender

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

  • Order all boats off the water e.g. if too many boats are capsizing or imminent thunder storm.
  • Insist on addition safety cover before sailing is allowed.
  • Cancel or postpone racing.
  • Recommend children/novices do not sail.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Make arrangements for cover when safety boat crews are ‘off the water’ and boats are still out sailing.

Be vigilant....and give priority rescues to....

  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)

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 16.30
  4. Tuesday and Thursday 17:00 approx. until dusk

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

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!
  • Not having a RYA Safety boat certificate does not stop you from being a duty boat officer - we would like you though to have done the course!

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.

Getting Ready

Filling the fuel tanks
  • Take the fuel tank outside to fill.
  • Use gloves and googles provided.
  • The stainless steel cans have the nozzle on the reverse side of the cap.
  • Remember to unscrew bleeder valve (screw) to allow air in as petrol flows out
  • 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, and you will find you will probably need to re-fill!
  • The tiller steering boats need one killcord to operate.
  • RIBS with our Tohatsui engines need two plus a key
  • RIBS with our Honda engines need one plus a key
  • An extra spare kill cord must remain attached to every fuel can for use in emergency. (The 'spare' killcord should be in a plastic pouch on the can).
  • Complete a radio check
  • Speak to your ABO an discuss their experience and what you expect them to do.
Honda Engines

News update - Our engines are gradually being replace and we are leasing the new engines.

  • With our new engines comes new petrol cans - the 'air value' is permanently open.
  • RIB keys - attach the bungee cord as image and this keeps the key in place.
  • RIBS with our Honda engines need one killcord for use and one in a pouch for emergency use- plus a key!

Boats & Boatsheds

Getting the boats out

Lowering the engine first will make the job easier!
  1. Unclip carabiners from the stern hoops and place on hoops on boat sheds.
  2. Unclip carabiner on the main pulling rope near the apex of the boat shed. Throw it into the boat.
  3. Pull powerboat out of shed. Load the boat with your equipment - petrol, radios etc.
  4. Unclip carabiner hook from the cleat at front of boat. Attach it to the rear metal eye near apex of the shed, ready for the return of the powerboat.

Putting the boats away

Raising the engine last will make the job easier!
  1. Attach main 'pull-in' rope with the carabiner to the cleat on the front of the boat.
  2. Unload your equipment into the tender.
  3. Pull boat into shed and step on to the tender, clip the main rope carabiner to metal eye to the hoop near the apex rear of boat shed.
  4. Attach rear carabiner hooks to the hoops on both sides of the boats stern.
  5. Raise the engine

Rescues and kit

Each safety boat should have the following equipment on board:
  • Anchor
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tool Kit
  • Safety knife
  • Two paddles
  • Tow Ropes
  • Throw bag
  • Mooring lines
  • Kill cord (in place)
  • Spare kill cord
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Fuel Tank (with sufficient fuel)
  • Laminated HSC Map and kit list

drone shot

Reporting Faults

  • Check the white board in the vestibule as to boat availability.
  • If you find a problem with a powerboat please ensure it is recorded in the Bosun’s log.
  • Serious and dangerous faults - as above and disable boat

Virago Tender

  • Lives on a hand trolley in the log cabin.
  • Launch and recover from the main concrete slipway.
  • Make sure engine is in the 'UP' position when putting in or taking out of the water.
  • Helm sits on the 'starboard' side (marked 'sit-here') and crew must be positioned appropriately to balance the boat.
  • Leave berthed during the day on the powerboat pontoon near the shore, ready to 'go'.
The Engine
  • Manual tilt UP - With the lever in forward or reverse gear position, fully tilt the motor up toward you by holding the tilt handle provided at the rear of the top cowl. Then slightly lower the motor for locking into position
  • Manual tilt DOWN - With the lever in forward or reverse gear position, slightly lift higher and access the tilt lever mechanism holding the engine up. Release the engine and lower into working position.
Starting Procedure (cold start)
  • Ensure fuel-line is 'primed' and engine is in neutral.
  • Pull out choke knob (half-way)
  • Set the throttle to 'START' position.
  • With one hand on the engine and the other on the pull-cord give it a firm pull outwards. DO CHECK YOUR ELBOW IS NOT GOING TO HIT SOMEONE IN THE FACE!
  • When engine starts play with throttle, but do not over-rev.
  • As engine warns-up slowly push throttle in (on very cold days this may take 5 mins).
  • Do not be tempted to release from the pontoon and move off without pushing choke in and the engine running smoothly. You will almost certainly stall the engine when you put it in gear and it may not start as you would have 'flooded' the engine.
Warm Start
  • Problems arise because petrol runs back down fuel-line when the boat has been standing idle for sometime, therefore ensure 'prime pump' is used before reverting to the choke.
  • Choke is not necessary when the engine is warm. Set the throttle grip to 'RE-START'.