|Safety at Sea
The BC Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Course (Safety at Sea - Sea Survival) is for experienced sailors who are participating in distance and offshore races and passages. The course includes classroom and practical sessions. Topics covered include safety equipment, storm sails, weather forecasts, heavy weather, man overboard, emergency signals and communications. Practical sessions include inflating and using lifejackets, life rafts and other safety equipment in a pool environment. The course is Sail Canada-ISAF approved. Participants who successfully complete the course receive a BC Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Course certificate, valid for five years.
Sailors around the world take Safety at Sea - Sea Survival training to prepare themselves and their boats for distance and offshore sailing. Safety at Sea - Sea Survival programs are offered in many countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Some sailing event organizers recommend or require Safety at Sea - Sea Survival training for participating crews. The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) specifies personal survival training requirements in section 6 of the Offshore Special Regulations, and outlines a model course in Appendix G of those regulations.
In British Columbia, the Swiftsure International Yacht Race recommends Safety at Sea training, and the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race, the Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race, and the Southern Straits Race require it.
Before registering, please review the "Student Requirements and Advance Information", below.
The classes are popular and tend to fill up quickly. We use an online registration system and we announce (here, please check back periodically) the date and time when registration will open. Generally, advance registration opens about 60 days prior to a class, and general registration opens about 45 days prior to a class.
Advance registration: Through the skippers of boats that have entered in events that require this type of training, we offer advance registration. This includes Vic-Maui, Southern Straits, Van Isle 360. Please ask your skipper.
General registration: In every class, there is space available when general registration opens. Links to the online registration system will be provided here when general registration opens.
Classes are generally scheduled into the October – April time-frame in order to minimize schedule conflicts.
Early 2016 schedule:
Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
UBC Aquatic Centre
West Vancouver Yacht Club
West Vancouver Aquatic Centre
Royal Victoria Yacht Club - Cadboro Bay
University of Victoria - Strong building, room C108
University of Victoria - McKinnon building (pool)
Organization and Instructors
BC Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Course is offered by BC Sailing in association with local yacht clubs. The course was developed by the Safety at Sea Working Group, comprised of representatives of four distance races and their organizing authorities:
Student Requirements and Advance Information
Price & Registration
Testimonials (from participants in 2011-2014 classes)
"Thank you so much for the certificate and for running such an informative and professional course."
"I wanted to say thank you for the excellent course. I thought the course was extremely informative and was very impressed with the way it was presented."
"Just wanted to thank you and the other instructors for an excellent course. Really well-organized and communicated. The hands-on exercises (cutting rigging, flares) and time in the pool were particularly valuable... could be lifesavers!"
"Thanks again for the excellent course. I particularly found that the real life examples drove home some messages. … Up to that point in your course I had questioned the crotch strap concept a bit as my life jacket had not ridden up in the pool. That story really hit home."
"Regarding the differences between this training and STCW / MED training … it’s not just about 'safety at sea' but 'sailing safely at sea'." (commercial ship’s officer)
Registration is available online only (see the links in the Calendar section above).
For other information please contact:
BC Sailing Safety at Sea program
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