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Old 25 October 2010, 05:19   #11
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The Reason for 18+, was after an incident on the water when the safety boat pulled in an unconscious kid from water as the boat drifted away, the crew had nightmares & flash backs. It was decided if the person was younger it might had screwed there life by failing exams etc. I personally wanted to make age higher 21+ ...but I was the helm that day...The incident was not part of an club organised event, we had cancelled sailing for the day due to the conditions, we had to launch especially for him.
I see, very interesting.
Not a limitation I'd agree with (for obvious, incredibly biased, reasons)
But the aftermath isn't something I'd ever considered before, so thank you for bringing it up.
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 25 October 2010, 05:43   #12
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I've always been a bit surprised that the RYA didn't lay down a minimum standard that must be adhered to. I can see this may throw up all sorts of problems for clubs and that the standard required may be quite different at a shallow artificial inshore lake with good response times for the emergency services training in oppies from a club in the open sea waiting 30+ minutes for an ambulance, big waves being routine and high performance trapeze craft zipping about. The "risk assessment" should be different in each case and the club should expect different standards of skill/experience/manning.* I also buy into the argument that a certificate is not the be-all-and-end-all of competence assessment.

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Originally Posted by tompaddock
At our club, every member has to do 2 duties as rescue crew every year.
I know this is common, but this would worry me. The person who is very likely to be the first line of defence is saving club members lives is being treated like a chore - like cleaning the toilets or manning the "galley/bar". Quite simply, not every member of a sailing club is suited to this task - whether through physical fitness or their attitude some are probably more dangerous on the boat than leaving the helm alone!

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... be 18+, and be liked by the Cheif Cox (last 2 being the big problem for me!)
Arbitrary age limits, whether 16, 18 or 21 are not actually that useful, on your 18th birthday you don't suddenly become more responsible / mature overnight. However SPR flags up a real issue - whilst 99% of the time the safety boat are zipping about burning fuel and doing little of real value - you are expecting that in the 1% of the time when the shit really hits the fan that this person will act calmly, responsibly, and reliably in the face of probably the most life threatening situation they've ever encountered face to face. In that sense its not a job for children. SPR's approach seems to say - no matter what age you are if you fish a "dead" person our the water - its probably going to f**k you up for a bit for the first time; lets make sure that the club aren't responsible for f**king up their life by upsetting schooling etc.

In any case if you take away the age limit the importance of being considered acceptable to the person in control increases and he's likely to apply his own unofficial "age/maturity" assessment.

Here is what I would hope for as a parent, or expect if I were establishing a new club today:

Helms: PB2. Experience of rescue work in the type of craft being used. Ideally Safety boat qualified - but it could be an "inhouse" course that focusses on the relevant risks at that club for the type of craft used (this might be possible in 1 day on top of PB2). I'd expect some sort of refresher/update course every three years.

Crew: PB1, or for a particularly "safe" environment, an in-house course which ensures they can safely (a) get the boat back to the helm to retrieve him from the water if he MOBs (b) get the boat back ashore if the helm is tied up with the casualty. I'd expect them to have done some sort of in-house familiarisation workshop so they've got experience doing all the bits necessary for the type of craft used as a crew member, i.e. MOB, Capsize recovery, systems for counting people back ashore etc.

I'd expect someone on the boat to be trained in first aid (at least CPR & recovery position, hypothermia) - I suspect this is often the Helm, that might not be the best person. I'd expect someone at the club to have more first aid experience whenever there was on water activities - they might not need to be in a safety boat depending on the local "layout". If we were a long way from professional help and (especially if the club demographics justified it) then a defib and appropriately trained people may be justified.

I'd expect the club to have copies of the records, and for in-house training be able to define in detail the syllabus, who can/did instruct it, and how competence is assessed etc. I'd expect someone to be reviewing how appropriate and competent the club's capability is on at least an annual basis.

I think clubs face a difficult situation - if they set the bar too high they may end up cancelling sailing (e.g. what happens when a crew member doesn't turn up). In reality most of their membership don't want to be sitting on a rib either going dead slow and bored for the afternoon or wazzing around with some throttle happy idiot at the helm - they join to sail not to do safety cover. I think clubs may be missing a trick here: by specifically recruiting people for the role of safety boat and training and equipping them well I think they could attract people who would enjoy it and free up their members to sail.


----
* ironically an artificial lake in a built up area is likely to have significant local authority involvement - who probably meddle and force a higher standard of qualification.
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Old 25 October 2010, 06:44   #13
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Polwart, thank you for your reply.

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I've always been a bit surprised that the RYA didn't lay down a minimum standard that must be adhered to.
Yeah, me too: It's surprising that you can be an RYA affiliated venue whilsty still sending your Safety Boats out single crewed (by someone with in house "familiarisation") :O

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I know this is common, but this would worry me. The person who is very likely to be the first line of defence is saving club members lives is being treated like a chore - like cleaning the toilets or manning the "galley/bar". Quite simply, not every member of a sailing club is suited to this task - whether through physical fitness or their attitude some are probably more dangerous on the boat than leaving the helm alone!
Exactly my thoughts; fortunately at our club, there are also the volunteers on the comittee boat, so the Primary Cox. tends to swap the old/infirm/ill/irritating "volunteers" posted to rescue duty onto the comittee boat. And I agree: my cox. friends are always telling me of times when they've had to jump in because their crew refused (although conversely, yesterday, there was this chap who insisted on jumping in all the time :S)

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Arbitrary age limits, whether 16, 18 or 21 are not actually that useful, on your 18th birthday you don't suddenly become more responsible / mature overnight......
In any case if you take away the age limit the importance of being considered acceptable to the person in control increases and he's likely to apply his own unofficial "age/maturity" assessment.
I agree completely, and this is all I ask of the people I work with. I know there are lots of people my age who are really unsuitable to be let loose with75hp close to a dinghy fleet, but equally I know lots of 20-somethings who're just as unsuitable (not to mention one of our sailing coaches, who's 50, and she's got her safety boat, and frankly I don't think she deserves her PBII).
I think, as you say, it needs to be based on the matuity/suitability/responsibleness/competance of the person involved, and that's all that frustrates me. If you want to turn be down because you don't think my driving's up to scratch (i'm still working on the close quarters stuff, and I know i'm less than perfect in displacement boats), then that's fine, but there's nothing worse than being told i can't drive because of my age, and a less qualified, less competant person is allowed to (was recently crew () for someone who'd barely got their PBII. Prop awareness was so good they fouled themselves on a large yellow mooring buoy () )

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Helms: PB2. Experience of rescue work in the type of craft being used. Ideally Safety boat qualified - but it could be an "inhouse" course that focusses on the relevant risks at that club for the type of craft used (this might be possible in 1 day on top of PB2). I'd expect some sort of refresher/update course every three years.
I agree completely, although there's a little bit of me that really likes the Safety Boat, just because it's externally validated, so it's less awkward when the instructor has people who are under par, sometimes if it's in-house, there's pressure from the top not to fail anyone.

What about VHF: I know you don't need the ticket for M/M1, but "hellooo.....anyone out there....hellooooo?" is not a fantastic professional image to be presenting somethimes. Also, stops people from transmitting without callsigns ().
What are your views on this?

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Crew: PB1, or for a particularly "safe" environment, an in-house course which ensures they can safely (a) get the boat back to the helm to retrieve him from the water if he MOBs (b) get the boat back ashore if the helm is tied up with the casualty. I'd expect them to have done some sort of in-house familiarisation workshop so they've got experience doing all the bits necessary for the type of craft used as a crew member, i.e. MOB, Capsize recovery, systems for counting people back ashore etc.
I like the idea of PB1, often the crews end up driving (more often because the cox gets bored of driving than the cox having to save lives, if i'm honest).

I think, as you say, that teaching a crew how to recover a boat/person/.....
is probably not best done in anger. I think crews do need to be, at a minimum, trained in rescue techniques, as it were...

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I'd expect someone on the boat to be trained in first aid (at least CPR & recovery position, hypothermia) - I suspect this is often the Helm, that might not be the best person. I'd expect someone at the club to have more first aid experience whenever there was on water activities - they might not need to be in a safety boat depending on the local "layout". If we were a long way from professional help and (especially if the club demographics justified it) then a defib and appropriately trained people may be justified.
I think so. I think the crew should be trained in Basic Life Support (CPR etc), as a minimum. There are some things I can instruct and teach people to do at the time (pressure on the wound, recovery position, foil blankets, positioning for an heart attack) but I think CPR probably isn't one of them.

Definitely a good point about having First Aiders (Ie have done a proper first aid course, NOT a Basic Life support course ) on shore, as well as equipment.

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I think clubs face a difficult situation - if they set the bar too high they may end up cancelling sailing (e.g. what happens when a crew member doesn't turn up). In reality most of their membership don't want to be sitting on a rib either going dead slow and bored for the afternoon or wazzing around with some throttle happy idiot at the helm - they join to sail not to do safety cover. I think clubs may be missing a trick here: by specifically recruiting people for the role of safety boat and training and equipping them well I think they could attract people who would enjoy it and free up their members to sail.
Exactly, I think it's about the balance.
It's nice to force people to volunteer their time, keeps a nice atmosphere. after all, all our coxwains are volunteers (albeit highly trained volunteers).
But as you sau, it's a little dull for the ordinary member.

I think the issue is that people don't want to volunteer as crew freely; we have 50 or so coxwains who get certain perks for volunteering as such, but how many duties would you realistically do as crew in the middle of january?

I keep having mad ideas about a training weekend for all the members, to become rescue crew: PB1, Basic Life Support, a slice of laying and recovering marks, and rescue tecniques. Quite how the logistics of doing this for 1000 members would work, i don't really know, and i suspect the uptake would be quite low....
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Old 25 October 2010, 07:48   #14
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Hi,

At our club we dont have any set limits other than there needs to be at least 1 competant person over the age of 16 onboard. I think the 16 figure only appeared because of the insurance side of things and as we have a few younger people who regularly take part in the Honda Rib Challenge, and are good helms we have made the rule that they need a competent adult on with them. Who could take over helming if required and to aid recovery (Physical size issue).

Having said that for major events the manning lists are either done by myself or who ever else is safety leader and for that task we often need to balance the competence of the available helms with the crew competence and then combine that with their job and rib on the day. Generally the more experienced get the bigger ribs with more intensive jobs like mark laying.

Most of our helms either hold PB2 & Safety boat or have many years of experience and 99% are sailors themselves. Crews vary from experienced helms to complete novices.

This can get very complex when you have 130 dinghies and 13 ribs to manage. We always try to have a ratio of 1 rib per 10 dinghies and then usually have a few yachts as mother ships, better to have too many, than be found wanting.

General club racing is different, its done on a rota basis and every sailor has to do it a few times. I guess that we are lucky that a) we dont have that many dinghies racing regularly, so we only need 1 rib out and b) that most of out sailors are the same people we use for the major events, so all will have PB2 at a minimum. Most have more, and all can obviously sail.

Sorry its a be long winded, hope it helps.
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Old 25 October 2010, 07:52   #15
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Hi,
there needs to be at least 1 competant person over the age of 16 onboard.
Ed, thank you
How do you define a competent person?
Tom
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Old 25 October 2010, 08:05   #16
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If you had PB2, and were physically big enough to help someone in the boat and you werent likely to encourage the younger members to muck around, then that would be competent in my eyes. But, its generally done through experience of knowing the club members personally, not an exact science i know.
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Old 25 October 2010, 08:43   #17
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Actually, ed,
I think that being trusted by the ESO/Primary Cox/Chief Cox/Boatswain/someone else is actually a much more useful qualification than anything the RYA could ever chuck out!
After all, it's very easy to go on a course, without really learning much, and pass it, and get a bit of paper, but if you're actually competant at X can be very different (the woman on my VHF course, for example, still hadn't quite got the difference between a Mayday and a Mayday Relay () by the end of the course.)
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Old 25 October 2010, 09:30   #18
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Yeah, me too: It's surprising that you can be an RYA affiliated venue whilsty still sending your Safety Boats out single crewed (by someone with in house "familiarisation") :O
Tom, whilst I'm surprised they don't - I'm pleased they haven't felt it necessary to define their own internal training as the "only" route to competence, and I think it IS appropriate for clubs to define their own system based on their local knowledge and situation.

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I agree completely, and this is all I ask of the people I work with. I know there are lots of people my age who are really unsuitable to be let loose with75hp close to a dinghy fleet, but equally I know lots of 20-somethings who're just as unsuitable (not to mention one of our sailing coaches, who's 50, and she's got her safety boat, and frankly I don't think she deserves her PBII).
but provided age is not the single qualifying criterion then this shouldn't be a problem (in theory). I think you may have to accept that the club is going to put in place some arbitrary standards / hoops for people to jump through and being 18 is one of those. If you don't like it - there are other clubs around. If you have a situation where someone under 18 is at the helm and someone over 18 is the crew then who is in charge? who is responsible?

Quote:
but there's nothing worse than being told i can't drive because of my age, and a less qualified, less competant person is allowed to (was recently crew () for someone who'd barely got their PBII. Prop awareness was so good they fouled themselves on a large yellow mooring buoy () )
of course a more mature person might not be so quick to laugh at others misfortune or daft enough to assume they'll never accidentally entagle themselves in a mooring rope.



Quote:
I agree completely, although there's a little bit of me that really likes the Safety Boat, just because it's externally validated, so it's less awkward when the instructor has people who are under par, sometimes if it's in-house, there's pressure from the top not to fail anyone.
I'm not sure this is really the case - it can be run by the same people in house. If the instructor doesn't know how to deal with people who aren't up to scratch then he's a crap instructor whether he's issuing RYA certificates or an internal familiarisation course. Actually since the RYA standard may not be that high there's more scope for an inhouse course to demand "excellence" not mere competence.

Quote:
What about VHF: I know you don't need the ticket for M/M1, but "hellooo.....anyone out there....hellooooo?" is not a fantastic professional image to be presenting somethimes. Also, stops people from transmitting without callsigns ().
What are your views on this?
really? I don't think it stops this at all - it simply means you should know better. The key points can probably be covered in a 1 hour session for people who are just using M/M1.



I like the idea of PB1, often the crews end up driving (more often because the cox gets bored of driving than the cox having to save lives, if i'm honest).

I think, as you say, that teaching a crew how to recover a boat/person/.....
is probably not best done in anger. I think crews do need to be, at a minimum, trained in rescue techniques, as it were...

Quote:
I think the issue is that people don't want to volunteer as crew freely; we have 50 or so coxwains who get certain perks for volunteering as such, but how many duties would you realistically do as crew in the middle of january?
wow! Perks!?! The solution is to stop differentiating between cox and crew... they are giving up their time to sit doing essentially the same job. What's wrong with the middle of January? Seriously - if its because its cold and miserable then why not look after your people properly e.g. floatation suits are cheap; a flask costs less than a fiver.

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I keep having mad ideas about a training weekend for all the members, to become rescue crew: PB1, Basic Life Support, a slice of laying and recovering marks, and rescue tecniques. Quite how the logistics of doing this for 1000 members would work, i don't really know, and i suspect the uptake would be quite low....
Its not a mad idea except for the fact you've too many members. Do you really have 1000 people actively involved in dinghy sailing? I'd be looking for a smaller friendlier club! However you have 50 people who already give their time to safety boat work. Why not focus on building the skills of those 50 (along with another few who might want to join in) and using them regularly so their skills are not lost / they don't feel they are not really needed. The alternative, as one large club I know has done, is to stop using volunteers and employ a "professional" safety boat team.
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Old 25 October 2010, 09:55   #19
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We are only a small club with maybe a third of the members you have, and we try and run a weekend at the start of every season, open to all members.

At the weekend all the club ribs go out, and we try and cover what is needed. We generally get about 10 volunteers so that is 2 per rib plus instructor/demonstrator, and then we mould the weekend to the poeple who turn up. If they are novices its the basics, for others we do mark laying, we take a club wayfarer out and practise righting the dinghy, generally light hearted training.

It works as an informal training, good for people to learn and get themselves known if they want to help, also good at the start of the season to check the ribs over. We also then point out what is involved to get PB2 & Safety Boat.

Its been welcomed by newbies and the experienced people alike. Its suprising how our ribs all have different characteristics and until you jump directly from one to the other you cant tell.

We also have a launching tractor, mini lawn mower type so we train people up on that at the same time.
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Old 25 October 2010, 09:55   #20
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Tom, whilst I'm surprised they don't - I'm pleased they haven't felt it necessary to define their own internal training as the "only" route to competence, and I think it IS appropriate for clubs to define their own system based on their local knowledge and situation.
That is true, I suppose. I'm probably focusing only on the negative side of unstandardisation rather than the positives.

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but provided age is not the single qualifying criterion then this shouldn't be a problem (in theory). I think you may have to accept that the club is going to put in place some arbitrary standards / hoops for people to jump through and being 18 is one of those. If you don't like it - there are other clubs around. If you have a situation where someone under 18 is at the helm and someone over 18 is the crew then who is in charge? who is responsible?
That's true: Is there anything anywhere that stops under 18s from being in charge, or would it mainly be the social difficulties, in your opinion?

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of course a more mature person might not be so quick to laugh at others misfortune or daft enough to assume they'll never accidentally entagle themselves in a mooring rope.
This is true, and the only reason I am so quick to laugh at him was the manner in which he ponced around waving his PBII declaring himself to be the best driver since sliced bread!

Also, the lecture about Marine Law () and the club's insurance policy didn't help (I didn't want to ruin his fun by pointing out that I was covered, having been especially approved to be on it, or that I have my own personal insurance anyway, or indeed that he wasn't actually covered by the club's insurance anyway)

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I'm not sure this is really the case - it can be run by the same people in house. If the instructor doesn't know how to deal with people who aren't up to scratch then he's a crap instructor whether he's issuing RYA certificates or an internal familiarisation course. Actually since the RYA standard may not be that high there's more scope for an inhouse course to demand "excellence" not mere competence.
That's very true. I wasn't having a dig at in-house training, I just know I find it easier not to pass people on external courses, because you can hide behind losing your licence and stuff like that, whereas, in my experience (which is fairly limited) when you're working for an organisation delivering courses they've developed themselves to their own members, it can be a little daunting to try and fail someone, because the same organisation's above, below and to each side of you, as it were. However, I accept your point about excellence: I hadn't given that too much thought.

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really? I don't think it stops this at all - it simply means you should know better. The key points can probably be covered in a 1 hour session for people who are just using M/M1.
Again, very true. I suppose, as long as you can drill people out of saying "over and out" (AAAHHHHHHRRRGGGHHH!!!!!!), or rodger (nearly as bad), It doesn't matter how they're trained.

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wow! Perks!?! The solution is to stop differentiating between cox and crew... they are giving up their time to sit doing essentially the same job. What's wrong with the middle of January? Seriously - if its because its cold and miserable then why not look after your people properly e.g. floatation suits are cheap; a flask costs less than a fiver.
This is true, I suppose if we have 50 coxwains, recruiting 50 crews on similar terms might be an idea: then they could be trained, and given some perks (free meal tickets, reduced membership, free training etc).

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Its not a mad idea except for the fact you've too many members. Do you really have 1000 people actively involved in dinghy sailing? I'd be looking for a smaller friendlier club! However you have 50 people who already give their time to safety boat work. Why not focus on building the skills of those 50 (along with another few who might want to join in) and using them regularly so their skills are not lost / they don't feel they are not really needed. The alternative, as one large club I know has done, is to stop using volunteers and employ a "professional" safety boat team.
We have 1000 members in total. Sadly, the powers that be don't differenciate between "I'm only a member because my daughter likes sailing, and I sit in the bar", "I'm a cruiser sailor, and I don't know anything about dinghys", "I sail ever so occasionally and I've never raced", and "I'm a 6x World Gold Medal Winner" (I've had all those on a boat with me, come to think of it!), when they do the rosters. In a way, it's good, because it reduces the burden, but it would also make any training hell!

With regards to the 50, they're used surprisingly frequently, and they're all volunteers, so I guess asking them to do too many duties would be unkind. Also, we're surprisingly busy: Sunday racing every Sunday (1-2 Cox.), Thursday Night Racing, (1-2 Cox.) and 2 opens every 3 weekends (About 8 cox.), or so.

I do like the idea of training 50 or so crews in First Aid, PB1, Rescue Techniques though. Might suggest that one when I convince the boss to let me climb the ladder, as it were!

Would also like to get some mark layers trained to national standards to a) give me more training , b) take some pressure of the coxwains and c) to provide something for keen 16-> 18-21* year olds to do, scooping up the training needed for coxwainship, whilst still being allowed to get out there on the water.

(* There's no real lower age limit at our club, it depends entirely what the Cheif Cox. thinks in each individual case)
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