Background- drowning deaths from watercraft in Australia
In Australia, about 49 people (10 in Victoria) a year drowned while participating in sailing for the 16 years ending 30 June 2018. This represents 8.7% of all boating-related drowning deaths. In sailing, the greatest risk of downing comes from falling over the side of the boatman overboard “MOB”.
According to the report cited above, in that period, there are no cases recorded of lifejackets being worn. More widely for all boating-related drownings, 92% of people who drowned were not wearing a lifejacket. In Victoria, lifejackets are legally required to be worn in cases of heightened risk. The Race Officer can also enforce life jacket wearing during racing by flying code flag Y.
RMYS offers free MOB training periodically.
Man Overboard: falling in the water from a vessel unintentionally.
Regular skipper: The person who is listed as the skipper for a racing series and/ or the person who regularly helms the boat. This can be different from the owner. A person who skippers more than 6 times a year is considered regular
The policy covers sailing vessels on the RMYS register that participate in racing. It does not cover
• motor vessels
• Sailing boats that do not race
• Sailing boats that are on other sailing clubs register
Note to above:
There is no legal instrument that can comply with these vessels to conduct MOB training. The club can enforce the requirement for training for those boats who race through the Notice Of Race.
The MOB policy is that the person who most commonly skippers the boat is required complete man overboard training at least annually. This could be
• Attend a man overboard training session and/or
• Practice a man overboard, ideally with the man overboard dummy
Where there are multiple regular skippers (for example, one on Wednesday, the other on Saturday) both need to complete the declaration.
An additional form will be added to the annual safety declaration confirming that this has been done.
New boats to RMYS will have the lessor of six months or the first available training session to complete the MOB requirements.
Crew members are strongly encouraged to attend and participate in training, but they are not compelled to do so. Doing so would prevent crew members from other clubs, or guests, from participating. This needs to be considered in light of the low risk. Skippers should brief their crew members and/ or practice their man overboard procedure