Tuesday blog part two: addressing some safety aspects

20 12 2011

Part two of today’s blog, yes, Ross is asleep again. He did think I was napping in the back of the boat yesterday covered in hydraulic oil.

After my last blog a few people have raised concerns for safety in these conditions, rightly so. We take our safety very seriously. There are pretty stringent rules on what we must carry on board, some argue that a lot of this gear is unnecessary as it is impractical and will not get used under any circumstances, but some bureaucratic committee of armchair (ex?) sailors has figured otherwise. I personally am on the fence about many items, many a lively debate has been had with regards to where to draw the line. For example the requirement to wear lifejackets at certain times of day or in certain conditions – an absurd rule as on many occasions this hinders your mobility and ability to work safely and fast. Things like this should be left to the individual person or person in charge, but many organisations feel they have to legislate against stupidity.

We have a couple of devices that would be invaluable in case of a MOB situation, both carried at all times on our person. A Kannad safelink solo personal 406 EPIRB to let the world know you are in strife (a similar device was the only EPIRB signal received when Rambler lost her keel in this year’s Fastnet and saved many lives) and a Kannad Safelink R10 AIS transmitter to let anyone in the near vicinity know your EXACT location. Both are very small units and fit in pockets and you don’t even know they are there. Neither of these are required to be carried but after consulting with Charlie at our suppliers Ocean Safety we decided these were the best solution to a MOB emergency. In my humble opinion, such small and cost effective devices should be carried by everyone, no excuses. I hope to never have to use either units, or to respond to any.

Of course you could simply not have a MOB situation, but s*** happens and there is risk in everything we do and both Ross and I are aware of that. If you want to completely avoid this risk then the only solution is to go and sit under a tree. But then there will be some safety executive that will insist that you wear a hard hat and safety goggles in case an apple falls out and hits you on the head and you may want to sue the person who planted the tree, or the person who didn’t put the sign up saying this apple tree may contain apples, or Newton for not letting you know that the laws of gravity apply to you too.