Safety Moments

Anchoring Follies

Anchoring can be intimidating to sailors, especially if one has to anchor in front of an audience, or with an unfamiliar boat, or with an inexperienced crew. Chartering a boat in some gorgeous place can bring all three of these aspects together, for some rather unfortunate results. To prevent the inevitable shame from crushing some egos, all names and other identification has been removed from the following stories.

AIS Updates and Thoughts

After two major collisions with substantial loss of American lives between US Navy destroyers and merchant ships, many of us went to websites that provide histories of the movements of the ships in the area up to the minute of the collision. Using the AIS transponders that are on all of the commercial vessels, and some of the recreational vessels, you can clearly see the paths of the vessels heading in and out of some of the most constrained and confusing waterways in the world.

Themes from Incident Reports

When we think about boating safety, all of us can come up with a specific story, perhaps several, that previously taught us about the ocean, how sailboats perform, and how to avoid trouble. Frequently, these stories involved trouble of one sort or another, since the school of hard knocks provides a pretty effective education.

Life Jacket Changes Ahead

In the early 1970s, a new method of categorizing life jackets was introduced by the Coast Guard and Underwriter’s Laboratories, using five “types” and a new, strange name for life jackets: the Personal Flotation Device.

The five types fell into recognizable styles: Type I were for commercial use and had the most buoyancy; Type IIs were inexpensive “yoke” style; Type III were vests that were more comfortable, but had relatively low buoyancy; Type IV were “throwable devices” for man overboard; and Type V were anything that didn’t fit into the previous definitions.