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 Safe Sailing

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Measures can be taken to prevent injuries or accidents when sailing, and it is very important that these tips are heeded. The sport can prove dangerous, especially since sailors are usually offshore or at least a reasonable distance away from medical aid.

Here are some useful pointers for sailing safely:


As part of the rules, all vessels have to carry sufficient safety equipment for every crew member aboard the boat. Every sailor on board should wear a life-saving device as well. Ideally, the life vest should also include a mirror and whistle, so that the sailor can attract attention if he find himself in the water.

Other personal equipment include safety harnesses, hiking aids, as well as any items that sailors may use to keep warm, dry, and protected. Safety harnesses are particularly useful in bad weather conditions or when sailing solo, as they ensure that the sailor is anchored to the boat at all times. Footwear that provides a good grip is essential as well, as the boat can get very slippery during the race. Sailors should also wear gloves as their palms can get injured from rope burns when handling riggings and ropes on the vessel.


Weather plays a very crucial role in sailing, as the speed and tactics employed by sailors are wholly dependant on the wind’s effects on the sail. Care should be taken to check all relevant weather conditions, as well as tides and water current strength before a race, in order to be fully prepared.

While sailing, sailors should also constantly be on the lookout for changing weather patterns, such as approaching dark clouds that signify an impending storm. However, while choppy waters and thunderstorms pose a threat to safety, calm conditions can also lull many sailors into taking a more relaxed attitude. Sailors are likely to be more alert when conditions are not optimal, and tend to let their guard down when the waters are calm.

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