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EMERGENCY PROTOCOLS AT THE NORTHEAST

HARBOR FLEET



SAILBOAT RACING IS INHERENT WITH RISK. IF YOU OR ANY MEMBER OF YOUR CREW ARE NOT COMFORTABLE, PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING AND BACK OFF THE THROTTLE BEFORE THINGS GO SOUTH. ALL COMPETITORS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE WHILE RACING. THERE ARE MANY NON-CG APPROVED VESTS WHICH SAILORS FIND SIGNIFICANTLY MORE COMFORTABLE AS THEY ARE LESS OBTRUSIVE AND ARE GENERALLY MADE WITH A SOFTER FOAM AND ARE LESS BULKY. THIS IS A WONDERFUL OPTION AND YOU MIGHT CONSIDER SOME MADE BY ZHIK AND SUCH. THEY ARE SOMETIMES LABELED AS A ‘SWIMMING ASSIST’ DEVICE. YOUR BOAT SHOULD STILL HAVE CG APPROVED LIFE JACKETS ON BOARD TO BE COMPLIANT WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS.

IF SOMETHING DOES HAPPEN ON BOARD SUCH AS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, THE BOAT BEGINS TO SINK, ANOTHER BOAT IS ENDANGERING YOU OR WE ARE ALL EXPERIENCING A SEVERE WEATHER SITUATION, PLEASE HAIL THE RACE COMMITTEE ON VHF 65.

OTHER SITUATIONS WHICH EVERY OTHER SAILBOAT ON THE RACE COURSE AND EVERY MOTORBOAT WHICH IS WATCHING THE RACING CAN ASSIST WITH ARE PEOPLE OVERBOARD. WHEN THIS HAPPENS, EVERYONE SHALL BE READY AND IS ANXIOUS TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE. 

THE RACE COMMITTEE IS ALSO HERE TO SERVE YOU AND CAN DIRECT ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY AS THEY HAVE A MUCH HIGHER ANTENNA AND THEIR CELL PHONES ARE DRY AND FUNCTIONAL. SHEARWATER IS ALSO EQUIPPED WITH AN AED.

SOME OPTIONS WHICH THE RC MIGHT ADDITIONALLY EMPLOY ARE:

RAISING CODE FLAG V- A RED CROSS ON A WHITE FIELD- THIS SHALL ALERT ALL BOATS THAT WE HAVE AN ONGOING EMERGENCY AND EVERYONE SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR VHF 65 FOR INSTRUCTIONS.

PERSON OVERBOARD-

KNOW HOW TO REACT- PRACTICE THIS AND MAKE SURE THAT ALL KNOW WHAT TO DO AS IT MIGHT BE THE CAPTAIN WHO GOES FOR AN UNINTENDED SWIM.

DOWNWIND WITH THE SPINNAKER UP- 

SHOUT MAN OR WOMAN OVERBOARD VERY LOUDLY. ALL BOATS AROUND YOU SHOULD ALSO HEAR YOUR HAILING.

ASSIGN SOMEONE BY SAYING THEIR NAME AND ASK THEM TO POINT AT THE VICTIM AND NOT TAKE THEIR EYES OFF OF THEM.

IMMEDIATELY TURN TO A BEAM REACH AND LET THE GUY RUN FREE. NEVER LET THE GUY AND SHEET GO AS YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET THE SAIL UNDER CONTROL. LET ALL SAILS LUFF AND DROP THE SPINNAKER HALYARD AND GATHER THE SPINNAKER SHEET AND SPINNAKER BEHIND THE MAINSAIL AND LOWER INTO THE WATER OR COCKPIT. DO NOT KEEP SAILING AWAY, LET THE BOAT STOP. 

ONCE GATHERED, TRIM THE MAINSAIL, GET SPEED TO TACK AND TACK BACK TOWARDS THE VICTIM. 

APPROACH SLOWLY WITH MANY SHEETS LOOSELY HANGING IN THE WATER ALL AROUND THE BOAT. 

PICK THE VICTIM UP ON THE WINDWARD SIDE OF THE BOAT AND GRAB ONTO THEIR LIFEE SHOULDER STRAPS. 

DEPLOY A SWIM LADDER RIGHT NEXT TO THEM AND HELP THEM BACK ONBOARD. THE BOAT SHOULD BE DEAD IN THE WATER WITH THE MAINSAIL RAGGING.

COMMUNICATE BY VHF RADIO TO ALL SAILORS AND RACE COMMITTEE THAT EVERYONE IS OK OR IF FURTHER ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED.


   UPWIND WHILE CLOSE HAULED- 

SHOUT MAN OR WOMAN OVERBOARD VERY LOUDLY. ALL BOATS AROUND YOU SHOULD ALSO HEAR YOUR HAILING.

ASSIGN SOMEONE BY SAYING THEIR NAME AND ASK THEM TO POINT AT THE VICTIM AND NOT TAKE THEIR EYES OFF OF THEM.

IMMEDIATELY TURN TO A BEAM REACH AND SAIL AWAY FOR ABOUT 4-5 BOAT LENGTHS.

JIBE BACK TOWARDS THE VICTIM. LET SAILS LUFF COMING OUT OF THE JIBE.

APPROACH SLOWLY FROM SLIGHTLY TO LEEWARD WITH BOTH SAILS FULLY LUFFING WITH MANY SHEETS LOOSELY HANGING IN THE WATER ALL AROUND THE BOAT. TRY TO GATHER THEM ON THE WINDWARD SIDE OF THE BOAT

PICK THE VICTIM UP OR GRAB ONTO THEIR LIFEE SHOULDER STRAPS. 

DEPLOY A SWIM LADDER RIGHT NEXT TO THEM AND HELP THEM BACK ONBOARD. THE BOAT SHOULD BE DEAD IN THE WATER WITH BOTH SAILS RAGGING.

COMMUNICATE BY VHF RADIO TO ALL SAILORS AND RACE COMMITTEE THAT EVERYONE IS OK OR IF FURTHER ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED.

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OTHER POTENTIAL ASSISTANCE IN AN EMERGENCY-

NORTHEAST HARBOR HARBORMASTER- VHF CHANNEL 16- MUCH FASTER BOATS AND KNOWS WHERE TO TAKE AN INJURED PERSON TO MEET AN AMBULANCE. WELL TIED IN WITH COMMUNICATION TO EMTS AND MDI HOSPITAL.

US COAST GUARD SOUTHWEST HARBOR-  CAN HELP WITH A GROUNDING, MISSING PERSON OR OTHER SERIOUS CALAMITY. BIG BOATS, DRY SUITED PERSONNEL AND CAN GET OUT IN THE ROUGHEST OF SEA CONDITIONS. DEFINITELY THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM.

FLEET LAUNCH DRIVERS- ALL ARE THOROUGHLY TRAINED IN CPR, FIRST AID AND USING AN AED. THEY HAVE AN AED AT CAPTAIN’S SHACK. BEST CALL ON VHF 65 IF YOU HAVE AN ISSUE IN OR NEAR THE MOORING FIELD AT GILPATRICK COVE.

POTENTIAL PICK UP SPOTS FOR EMERGENCY COORDINATION-

ABEL'S BOATYARD IF ON THE SOUND- 20 ABEL’SLANE, MT DESERT

THE TOWN MARINA IN NORTHEAST HARBOR- BASE OF SEA STREET IN NORTHEAST HARBOR

   3. SEAL HARBOR YACHT CLUB- 29 STEAMBOAT ROAD, SEAL HARBOR.

   4. THE FLEET HOUSE- 48 SOUTH SHORE ROAD, NEH- THIS IS NOT A VERY ACCESSIBLE LOCATION AS THE RAMP IS STEEPLY PITCHED, NARROW AND A LONG DISTANCE FROM THE ROAD. TRY TO USE THE TOWN MARINA.

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