Keeping Guests Safe While Sailing

Peter Bergstein is involved with a number of organizations in and around Lubbock, Texas, including the Lubbock Rotary Club and the First Methodist Church. Peter Bergstein enjoys skiing and boating in his free time and has sailed at the competitive level.

Staying safe on the water is the most important goal of all sailors, whether they are racing competitively or enjoying the water with family and friends. Issuing personal flotation devices (PFD) to each person on board is critical to a safe trip. While the law dictates that only children under 12 must wear a life jacket, it is advisable that every individual wears his or her PFD at all times. Safety guidelines should be explained in detail before setting sail, particularly in regards to an individual falling overboard. Everyone on board should know exactly what to do if someone falls off the boat.

Providing family members and friends with basic sailing information can also be very helpful in regards to safety, particularly if the captain is thrown overboard or otherwise incapacitated. Sailors likely will not have the time to fully educate each guest prior to a casual outing, but they should at least teach those on board how to bring down the main sheet and jib to stop the boat. Likewise, everyone on board should know where the fire extinguisher is located and how to radio for help in the event of an emergency.

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