Recently in Safety Category

Going North is not without its challenges and near misses. Here is Hamish Petrie on Ngak Ngak's experience of close encounters with Mother Earth in Coffs Harbour and Mooloolaba, while on their way to the Whitsundays. [updated 3 August]

LeavingCoffsMarina
Leaving Inner Harbour - Coffs Harbour

Green Book Draft Released

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As you might have read here or in the Yachtsman recently, Eoin Asker and the RPAYC On-Water Risk Management committee have been reviewing safety requirements for cruising events. They have just released a draft of the resulting "Green Book". Comments are welcome, either here or by contacting Eoin.
Here is the latest draft of the new Green Book. (PDF 3Mb)

The RPAYC Cruising Safety Working Group has been working on the production of a document that defines the standards and requirements for cruising events conducted under the auspices of the Club. The Working Group is a sub-committee of the Cruising Committee and was formed earlier this year under the chairmanship of the Club Commodore, Angus Gordon, to investigate why there was a reduction in the number of cruising boats complying with YA Special Regulations and then to identify and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures in the context of On-Water Risk Management.

Investigation into the reduced safety audit compliance numbers indicated a high level of dissatisfaction with the YA Special Regulations, otherwise known as the "Blue Book", and this, in the main, was attributable to a failure of the Blue Book to recognise the essential differences between racing and cruising risk profiles.

Safety Courses

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Sss_oct_2006_1 The club has been running safety courses this month both to re-certify those who've done it before and newcomers. At least one member is enjoying himself on this photo, taken during a one of the recent courses (click the photo to enlarge).  And if you hurry, there is still an opportunity for you to join a course, there's even a special course for non-blokes. Download the brochure here.

Phasing out HF radio?

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Hfradio In an article last week in BoatingOz, my attention was drawn to a paper by the National Marine Safety Committee,  proposing that:

"the monitoring of the HF (voice) distress and safety frequencies 4125, 6215 and 8291 kHz by the National Coast Radio Network, be phased out by the year 2010".

In a climate where there is some question about the viability of HF in emergencies (no one might be listening in the future), it is difficult to justify equipping new boats with HF radio to satisfy currently accepted safety standards. For Te Moana, currently considering a trip to Tasmania, renting or purchasing a satellite phone makes much more sense than installing a HF setup which might never see any use "in anger". Satellite phones have much broader application than HF radio and of course VHF radio can still be used in a local emergency setting.

Is this a case where we have a choice of desperately hanging on to something we used to have or should we accept that the world has changed and make the most of it. Any comments here? Also the form for formal comment is below.

Link to the NMSC Media release (pdf)
Link to the NMSC Discussion Paper (pdf)
Download the NMSC HF Public Comment form (Word)

Marius Coomans
Te Moana

Marine HF survey

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Storm06If you are a user of Australia's Marine HF radio services, you should participate in this survey by the Bureau of Meteorology. There have been various rumours of the demise of the HF weather service, so add your voice to the survey!

Cruising Nightmare

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Many of us reading the news this past weekend will have shuddered when they read about the man overboard accident on Xantippe while en route between Lord Howe and Pittwater. According to BoatingOz:

The 62-year-old was sailing with his wife and another couple on the Xanthippe from Lord Howe Island to Pittwater when he went overboard, about 100 nautical miles from Lord Howe on a 460 nautical mile voyage to Port Macquarie.

Despite the best efforts of his companions - all aged in their 60s - he could not be pulled back on board and was swept away.

He was not wearing a lifejacket.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman Greg Smith said how the man went overboard in 'benign' seas was a mystery.

It's every cruising couple's nightmare. There, but for the grace of god, go we...

Regulations feedback

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Via Ryan:
Yachting NSW has a webpage for inviting input  on  changes to the Yachting Australia Special Regulations for 2009. It sounds a while away, but now's the time to tell them what you think.