Safety Considerations

Read Safety at Sea: Preparing for Emergencies first. Captivating article.

On Red Ranger we have the 5 F’s of safety:

  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Falling Overboard
  • First Aid
  • Fatigue
  • And Famine.

Okay. It’s six. But they’re the life-and-death essentials.

Here’s Alvah Simon’s list — based on real Coast Guard data.

Fire. Red Ranger has fire extinguishers under each ladder. We check them annually. They’ve started to age out — a few no longer showed acceptable pressure and were replaced.

Steering. We have a complete emergency tiller system in case the hydraulics fail. And we’ve played around with it to be sure we know how to install it. And we’ve practiced steering with the mizzen sail. It works pretty well.

Flooding. We have two electric bilge pumps and two manual pumps. We’re pretty confident we have this worked out for the simple cases. We have bronze through-hulls with massive valves which we lube and turn annually. We have foam (and wooden) plugs near the large openings. We have repair equipment include plywood for fixing things.

Grounding. We have multiple chart-plotters and a new depth-sounder. We’re reasonably cautious. We have kedge anchors. 

Dismasting. We have two masts. Plus a whisker pole that can be made into a third mast. We have a spare VHF antenna in case the mainmast is compromised.

Simon mentions falling overhead in passing. We’ve got a bunch of PFD’s, plus throwable rescue devices. Plus jacklines and tethers for operations at night or offshore.

It’s kind of fun to read an article like that and review our preparations. We have a number of ongoing chores regarding fire and flooding, and they’re near the top of each year’s pre-season jobs.

  © Steven Lott 2017