This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online Skipper Course, a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn how to sail large sailboats 26 ft (8m) and above. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to also master maneuvering under power and docking!

You can learn to sail and improve your sailing with NauticEd, the international leader in sailing education.

Sailing Safety Introduction

Emergencies at sea extend from simple and almost funny episodes to major challenges that are extremely serious. When sailing goes well, life is good and we wish it would continue that way indefinitely. However, things can go wrong and when they do sailors must be prepared—including calling for help.

The best strategy is to try to prevent emergencies from happening. This translates into the following:

  • Practice safety. Safe behavior is insurance against an emergency.
  • Learn the established rules. This is also a legal issue.
  • Know your vessel and its capabilities thoroughly.
  • Know your boat’s equipment, how to use it, and maintain it.
  • Know yourself and your crew. This requires honesty, tact, and finesse.
  • Prepare for possible problems. Have backup plans.
  • Learn how to read weather forecasts. Get a forecast every time you go out.
  • Use common sense, also known as good seamanship (you know what that is).
  • Be patient, courteous, and always prudent.

Safe practices and emergencies have much in common. Violating safety practices and the probability of emergencies increases dramatically.  Rules for the proper use of vessels and behaviors have been established and agreed upon; when followed, emergencies are less likely to happen.

The U. S. Coast Guard has established safety and emergency procedures that work globally. They have a variety of detailed publications and bulletins accessible 

You can learn more in the Skipper Course....

Knowledge and theory for longer distances and overnight sailing in diverse conditions. The Skipper Course is a comprehensive sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors wanting to learn how to sail larger sailboats 26ft to 56ft. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to also master maneuvering under power and docking!

Source: Skipper
Topic: Safety and Emergencies
Authors: Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.