Safety Boat Volunteers

For those returning members and our new members whom we haven’t had the opportunity to talk to in person, read the following carefully. This is part of our continual updating of the club documentation and procedures for 2020 and beyond.



As an individual considering either racing or assisting with the race management you must do a personal risk assessment and accept all responsibility that goes with it. If you have the slightest doubt or worry then the only solution is do not take part. The dinghy fleet is where the Covid restrictions will have the most effect due to the size of the boats.
RWYC has a very good safety record and I am keen to maintain this, in these strange times we are all being asked to do our bit and not add extra pressure on to our emergency services. While I acknowledge the good work done over previous years by club members, to achieve what is being asked of us now we must raise our own standards even higher. Prior to the Covid outbreak several members had already requested to be withdrawn from Safety Boat Duty but would happily help on the Committee Boat. This was due to the potential physical requirements should a situation arise.

In previous years there has been a rota posted with names already allocated to dates, however this year this is not practical to do due to the COVID19 Government restrictions. This year it will be on a volunteer basis only, please read the following information carefully before considering volunteering.


ALL SAFETY BOATS MUST HAVE A CREW OF TWO (HELM AND ASSISTANT) NO EXCEPTIONS, this means either two from the same household, a social bubble or two individuals who acknowledge the risk but are willing to work together on the Safety Boat.



The safety boat is potentially the most physically demanding and yet can give the best view of the racing.
NB The physical demands are at the highest when you need to retrieve a sailor from the water.
You must do a personal risk assessment and accept all responsibility that goes with it. If you have the slightest doubt or worry then DO NOT volunteer.
While the Safety Boat (RIB) has space to allow 1 metre distancing, it will generally not be practical due to the nature of the tasks that may be undertaken for example:

  1. assisting another boat that is in distress, this may include a boat that has turned upside down.
  2. helping a sailor who has sustained an injury.
  3. lifting aboard a sailor from the water (they may not be able to help)

The Race Officer will brief the Safety Boat crew prior to going on the water.
Safety Boat Helm
This person requires a minimum of Power Boat Level 2 (PB2), ideally also Safety Boat certificate and first aid knowledge.
Safety Boat Crew
This person does not require a PB2 but would be useful as a backup, ideally they will also have first aid knowledge. Primary role is to assist the helm in observing the race for potential problems.

As we expect to have an increased turnout due to the limited race days at present, especially on the days when the F15 and Dinghies will be racing. There will be the opportunity to crew a second Safety Boat this must still have a crew of TWO with the driver having PB2. This is to enable those wishing to gain further experience on the water, the primary role of this boat will be observe, report and assist as required. However should there be multiple incidents then it will require this boat to assist to best of their ability.

For further information please got to

Here are a couple of videos to show the type of incidents you may encounter, these are trained people who have practiced these techniques for real. Treat with caution as the nice calm water is not what you would generally have to deal with.
Man Overboard
Assisting a dinghy which has not fully capsized
The committee boat primary role is the race management, however it will assist the safety boat if required.
Retriever is a large enough boat to allow a minimum of 1 metre distancing between 2 people, however should the weather become inclement and both crew wish to use the cabin then the 1 metre distance may become an issue.
Race Officer (RO) responsible for the race management
RWYC is lucky in the respect of having Steve Bewsher as Bosun and Race Officer, Steve has offered to continue this role for 2020.
Assistant Race Officer primary role is to record the race details and assist the RO as directed.
For further information please got to

Having read all of the above and understand the risks that go with this, if you still wish to volunteer then go to the SCM Portal login and volunteer

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to seeing you out on the water, should you have any questions please contact me.
Thank you
Ian Bertram
Hon Sailing Secretary