Man Over Board

Many CYC members will have gone through the RYA’s hoops to get their Day Skipper tickets or higher. One of these is the ritual throwing overboard of a fender in benign condition followed by the, usually not too difficult, task of getting it back on board again.

The RYA is well aware that a fender, compared to even a small crew member, is a very different thing. Back in the days when I went long-distance, two-handed racing we used to be dismissive of the risks of crew going overboard – ‘what goes overboard, stays overboard so drown like a gentleman!’ summed up the attitude of many of us.

The other aspect of man-overboard, of which the RYA is also well aware, is that in Yachtmaster test conditions the boat will have a full crew of alert sailors bristling with recently acquired knowledge. Most of us go cruising as families or couples and often only the skipper has formal training – which begs a number of supplementary questions for another time.

This is why the our Commodore’s initiative to put on a day of man-overboard exercises based on club members’ own boats and regular crew, and involving a living casualty, is such an important event and deserves to be well supported.

No two boat/crew combinations are the same so there can be no single, perfect answer to getting a casualty back on board. Even, or perhaps especially, if you have devised your own recovery method, this exercise will give you a unique chance to put your drills to the test.

So get your boat signed up for Saturday 11 May – your crew will thank you for it.

- JJ

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