Rescue Duty Fact Sheet
What is rescue duty?
A condition of membership is that every member does a rescue duty. Club members over the age of 18 will be part of a team responsible for rescuing any person in difficulty on the water on the day of their duty. On days where sailing races take place they will be asked to assist with the race management of those races.
What time do I need to be there?
Turn up at 9.30 and expect to finish at 16.30
What do I do on the day?
Go to the Race Office (hut by the water with large flag pole) and ask for the Officer of the Day (OOD). The OOD will advise as to what they want you to do throughout the day.
What are the roles of the crew?
Officer of the Day or Race Officer responsible for the racing and safety on the water. They make the call as to whether it is safe to go out and organise the crew for the day.
Rescue Boat Helm Responsible for driving the rescue boat. They should be RYA Power Boat Level 2 trained.
Rescue Boat Crew The crew in the rescue boat. They will assist in any rescue or dropping / lifting buoys. No qualifications required, but all members should get PD2 certified a soon a possible after joining the club on one of the Andrew Simpson Centre courses.
I can't do the date allocated what do I do?
Log into the website and go to the 'Duty' link in blue on the list on the right-hand side. Select people with dates you could swap with and ask for a swap. Confirm a date that is offered by a swap request that you can do. Note: Only request a swap for the same duty type e.g. if you are listed as Rescue boat crew only swap request for Rescue boat crew.
What can I expect on the day?
Rescue Boat Helms and Crews can expect to spend most of the day on the water either rescuing, patrolling, or helping with race management (OOD will give full instructions). On windy days expect to be very busy and expect to get wet from spray. On calm days expect there to be less to do.
What should I wear?
It is always colder on the water, and you won't be expending any energy so bring lots of layers so you can regulate your temperature. It could rain, or there could be lots of spray so waterproof trousers and jackets are recommended. Wetsuits are not windproof so if you decide to wear one make sure you have windproof clothing over the top.
In winter either a drysuit or lots of warm layers (ski salopettes etc. with waterproofs over the top work very well but if you don't have them then thermals, sweaters, gloves, woolly hats, scarves, basically bring all your warm clothes as you can always take things off, but once you are cold you won't easily get warm). Wellington boots are also a good choice in the rescue boat.
In summer, dress for the day, but remember that the sun reflects off the water so factor 50 sunscreen and caps / sunglasses are a must. Remember to drink lots of fluids too.
Buoyancy aids are a requirement of entry to the water don't forget yours!
What will I be rescuing?
Everyone gets into trouble from time to time. The rescue crew must get to a person in trouble as fast as possible. Don't hold back go full throttle to a craft in trouble and then evaluate the situation. If there are multiple issues due to a sudden squall for example then check every craft to make sure all crew are accounted for. Then go back and assist any that are struggling to recover their craft.
If there is a casualty in the water then always bring them to shore and leave their craft it is insured and can be repaired and replaced, they can't be. If there are casualties in the water remember to cut your engine when approaching so that there is no risk of them getting injured by your propellor during the recovery.
How do I know who is in trouble?
Look out for sailing boats that have capsized (on their side) or turned turtle (upside-down). Priority is a turtled boat as there is a risk that the crew could be trapped under the boat and drown. Go swiftly to turtled boats and check all crew are clear then move onto capsized boats.
Windsurfs are often up and down in the water. Count them and watch them to make sure there is always a person moving with the board. Go immediately to someone sitting on their board or on the bank waving their arms / blowing a whistle.
SUPS are easy to see when standing up paddling, again, count them and watch them and go immediately to someone sitting on their board waving their arms / blowing a whistle. At the end of the day check the SUP tally board to ensure everyone is off the water before closing the gates.
Listen out for shouts or bangs on the water, it could be other water users attracting you to a person with a sudden medical condition, or a bang could be a collision or a knock to the head.
Last updated 22:46 on 20 September 2023