Pacific Cup: Farallons Tragedy a Wake-up Call for Safety

Pacific Cup: Farallons Tragedy a Wake-up Call for Safety

Wake-up Call

All involved with the Pacific Cup have been brought low by the events of this recent weekend. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are offered to the family and friends of the crew of Low Speed Chase.

The tragedy of Pac Cup vet Low Speed Chase (2008 Pac Cup) and her avid and capable crew has reawoken many of us to the need for vigilance and attention to safety basics. More than one skipper has sheepishly confessed to not having jacklines deployed or tethers in use.

Over the next few weeks, more details will no doubt emerge as to factors that led to four crew being swept overboard, and then the remainder meeting disaster, and no doubt there will be official and unofficial responses, as happened following the 1979 Fastnet disaster, leading to our current Offshore Special Regulations.

That document governs our race, and contains mandatory and suggested precautions designed to keep sailing safer, and to reduce an incentive to trade safety for performance. Safety gear like jacklines, lifelines, pfds and tethers, and even anchors all take up space and weight, and are absolutely required to participate in our race.

The OSRs anticipate a range of emergent situations, and strive to equip a race boat with the gear needed to cope with them while maintaining fair and competitive racing.

Training - Safety at Sea

One of the many requirements of the Offfshore Special Regulations, is attendance at a USSailing or ISAF Safety at Sea seminar. May 12 is the one we have arranged. Many of us have taken this course many times, and insist on full crew participation. It's good to have all crew on the same page, dialled in to the same procedures, and focused on the overwhelming priority of safety.

Safety-At-Sea Seminar, May 12, 2012

This is our version of the 'mandatory' seminar required for the skipper and a share of the crew. At California Maritime Academy in Vallejo

This all-day event will cover the range of required, and some advisable, topics for safety. Subject to availability, this may also include Coast Guard rescue demo.

Medical Seminar

Also, our friends at the SSS Transpac invite you to attend their prep seminar series. Wednesday April 18 will be Medical and Provisioning. These are two rather important topics.