CVLSC Safety Policy
In accordance with bye-laws 1.2 and 8, MEMBERS AND OTHER USERS OF OUR LAKE MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY BOTH AFLOAT AND ASHORE. THE CLUB WILL USE ITS BEST ENDEAVOURS TO PROVIDE ON-WATER SAFETY COVER, BUT THAT DOES NOT ALTER THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL USERS OF THE LAKE. ACCEPTANCE OF THIS POLICY IS A CONDITION OF GOING AFLOAT AT CHEW VALLEY LAKE.
THIS STATEMENT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT EXPLAINS HOW THE CLUB SETS OUT TO ASSIST YOU WITH YOUR SAFETY ON THE WATER. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ IT.
The Club will arrange safety cover for those afloat as follows:-
Two safety boats should always be launched, and at least two “qualified” helms will be in attendance.
The duty team will have a collective responsibility for decisions about safety boat provision and sailing restrictions throughout the day unless they decide to appoint a safety co-ordinator who will take on this role. At the start of any sailing day the OOD should convene a brief meeting of the duty team, any race officers or event organisers and perform a risk assessment relating to safety boat provision. (See appendix for a risk assessment for general sailing use. More detailed risk assessments will be needed for events and formal training.) This assessment will have to take into account wind and gust strength. If the wind has any degree of west in it, wind strength should be assessed well out in the middle of the lake near mark B. Following this assessment decisions should be made about the number of safety boats on the water, their manning and tactical positioning. Liaison with the whole team should continue throughout the day, reviewing the changing conditions and responding accordingly.
- Safety boats should at all times be manned by two people, who should be appropriately dressed and prepared to stay out on the water for long periods and at least the crew should be prepared to go in the water.
- Unless the conditions are benign there should always be at least two safety boats each crewed with 2 people. Therefore the club will now be rostering 3 safety boat helms and 2 OOD’s at weekends. The safety boat helms should have at least power boat level 2, or 3 years equivalent experience. The rostered safety boat helms will split between the RIBs, taking their crew from the OOD’s, any volunteers or the backup fleet. All the OOD’s and safety boat helms should come to the club with clothing suitable for manning a safety boat and going into the water. Wet suits are a minimum, but dry suits are usually more appropriate and buoyancy aids shall always be worn.
- On Wednesdays and Thursdays, when no OOD is rostered the safety helms also act as Officers of the Day.
- A safety boat should be out on the water at all times when there is any sailing underway as there is the risk of undue delay in attending an entrapment if the safety crew are on the balcony.
- A watch from the balcony should be kept at all times (by OOD on Saturdays and Sundays relaying relevant information to the safety boats with a hand held radio).
- We are introducing a “Code Red” radio procedure, similar to Mayday. This would only be used in the event of a serious injury or life threatening emergency. On calling “Code Red” all the available club powered boats should be ready to help the emergency. The safety co-ordinator should take control of the radio traffic, continuing to use channel 37a or M1, and only radio calls related to the emergency are allowed until the crisis is over. The likelihood is that any races in progress will have to be abandoned.
As a Club member or visitor, you have a duty to both yourself and to other lake users as regards safety. This duty means acting responsibly whilst on Club premises, including in the use of the boat park and winches and in the supervision of your children. You can improve your own on-water safety by adopting the following: –
- Check the information board at the main entrance.
- Remain in the sailing area designated for the day.
- Less confident sailors – stay in an area where you can be easily seen and quickly reached.
- Do not sail in a boat or in weather conditions that are beyond your competence.
- If in doubt – ask the rescue helms to watch out for you or your child.
Your duty to other members and visitors includes: –
- Providing help or seeking help for anyone you see needing it on the water.
- Alerting the rescue helms to any situation that you observe that may need their attention.