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News

Dinghy Safety Report

Are you a dinghy sailor, a dinghy coach, have kids who sail dinghies?

This report could save a life:

“Tests of Sailor Retrieval, Capsize Recovery, and Entrapment”

by John Rousmaniere, September 18, 2012

In response to the 2011 death of Olivia Constants in a sailing accident in Annapolis, Maryland, members a group of volunteers organized a three-day on the water dinghy safety test in an effort to improve safety methods and equipment. The safety trials were conducted with 420s and powerboats at the State University of New York Maritime College, Ft. Schuyler, N.Y., and American Yacht Club, Rye, N.Y

Olivia was trapped underwater for several minutes after the Club 420 she was sailing capsized. The testing set out to investigate the causes of sailor entrapment, describing and evaluating each of the methods and equipment that were tested and offering recommendations for policies, rules, and further testing.

The tests were organized by Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, CA), Chair of US Sailing’s Safety-at-Sea Committee, and Timmy Larr (Oyster Bay, NY), member of US Sailing’s Training Committee National Faculty. John Rousmaniere (New York, NY), member of the Safety-at-Sea Committee and a safety seminar moderator, assisted and authored the report. Hawley, Larr, Rousmaniere and the 25 other volunteers participated as individuals and not in their official capacities.

Read the report and learn the hard data and preferences for these questions:
– What is the best way to rescue entrapped sailors?
– What is the minimum weight for bringing a 420 back from a turtle?
– How helpful is it to add buoyancy to the top of the mast?
– Which boat-righting methods work with different types of powerboats?
– How do we handle disabled or helpless sailors?

Read the report…