Tuesday was in essence a safety day for the fleet in Nanny Cay Marina. Andrew Bishop executed an excellent safety management seminar upstairs at Peg Legs with the majority of the skippers in attendance, providing his personal experiences of problems at sea to include fires, grounding, demasting, man overboard, and some serious injuries. After this long list, Andrew was sure that no crew would ever want to sail with him after that, but the truth is simply that he has had a lot of experience at sea over the years and has sailed under a wide variety of conditions.
Following on from the seminar, a safety flare demonstration was conducted on the breakwater in Nanny Cay to enable any crew that had not experienced the use of flares or seen them ignited before to get some hands on experience with these safety devices. Nick Martin spoke to the group about the three main types of flare:
Orange smoke – effective as a line of sight distress signal for daytime use only.
Red handheld – effective as line of sight distress signal by day and night, and very bright, with a good visibility range. These are very visible from an aircraft, and burn for up to
Red parachute or rocket – capable of attracting attention in daylight for up to 10 miles, with a night-time range of up to 40 miles. The rocket launches the flare up to 300m and the flare burns for 40–60 seconds as it slowly descends under the parachute.
Demonstrations of the safe ignition of the orange smoke and the red handheld flare were provided by Lyall Burgess who then proceeded to invite some participants to fire off some recently expired flares, a great practice exercise, as you never know what conditions you might be in when you have to do it for real!
After this safe pyrotechnic display on the waters edge, the group headed to the pool to cool down for a liferaft demonstration. It was a great exercise as many of the participants had not been in a liferaft before and had not seen one inflated before. Crew from 'Comocean', 'Asteroid' and 'Scolamanzi' all helped with the demonstration, attempting a dry and west boarding procedure. Kieran Higgs and Nick Martin then showed how to recover the liferaft from the capsized position.
Participants enjoyed the morning of safety information, and were very happy to have either their memory jogged on important safety issues or for some, learning some vital safety techniques for the first time.