In at the deep end – Newbury Yacht Club survives Sea Survival

Sailors are used to getting wet, but members of Newbury Yacht Club experienced more than they bargained for whilst simulating a dire abandon ship situation.

Brendan McGarvey said “I think it’s one of the best courses I’ve ever done; it makes you think about what can go wrong, and especially how quickly, when on a yacht.”

Lis Holmes agreed “Doing the First Aid at Sea and then this course really shows you how tricky it can be to manage in an emergency situation when you are off shore in a small yacht and there’s no other help around. It’s very important for everyone who messes about on boats”, she emphasised, “It reminds you not to take safety for granted!”

Brendan added “I didn’t know what to expect, everyone says it’s a great course, but it really brings it home to you how much you wouldn’t want to use a life-raft for real, unless you had absolutely no other option. It was certainly an eye-opener.”

Lis is a former Welsh water-polo champion but still found it tough: “I thought I’d be quite good at the bits in the water, but I actually found it quite challenging, trying to swim about in heavy wet weather gear and a fully inflated lifejacket, trying to get an injured crew-mate up and into a heaving slippery life-raft. I’d never want to do it for real.”

“Lots of people don’t own their own boats but have opportunities to crew or charter with others, and having the knowledge and skills gained from these courses makes me a good person to have on board in an emergency.”

Nick Handy said “As a boat owner, it makes me think about where my liferaft is located and, if I was seriously injured or had been lost overboard, how easy would it be for someone else to deploy? It’s certainly something I will be adding to my next crew briefings!”

“These courses are really important,” said Oliver May, Newbury Yacht Club Training Officer, “and the club puts a lot of time and effort into organising relevant, interesting and fun training.”

Non-members can also attend and in this case we were joined by 3 members of the Royal Berkshire Yacht Club on the day. We are always open to running joint courses with other groups and organisations.

6th October 2018