Following reports of a few incidents or close calls involving safety boats and dinghies, the RYA has put together some guidance for clubs. Driving a club safety boat is vital to the safe running of dinghy racing and sail training within clubs. In an ideal world all safety boat drivers would be qualified, at the minimum, to RYA powerboat level 2 and RYA safety boat qualified. However, this is not always practical for a club and its volunteers so, wherever the club can reinforce best practice, prior to a duty, both to those who are powerboat qualified and those who are not, this is a good thing .Remind safety boat crews about your clubs policy whenever possible, safety boat crews should be reminded of the clubs policy for safety boat drivers. This could be as simple as a summary card reminding individuals of their duties as they sign out the key and kill cord. Some top tips for safety boat drivers
Above all maintain a good look out around your safety boat at all times!
Its worth bearing in mind that many safety boat drivers only take to the controls once or twice a season, so they can often be pretty rusty. One idea is to have a pre-season blowing the cobwebs away half day or evening followed by a BBQ or curry. Invite club members along and remind them about the clubs safety boating policy, advising them of any new procedures and refreshing on-water skills. How does your club tackle this? What refresher training do you organise? Let Club Room know and we'll include your tips in the November issue.
There are a number of good resources available to support safety boat driver training. Having a copy of the RYA's G14 The National Sailing Scheme Instructor Handbook and the RYA's G16 Safety Boat Handbook available for reference at your club is highly recommended.