Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Heard a BBC Radio Programme based around a comment "have you considered that the lust for certainty could be a sin" It strikes me that the same applies to safety. The lust for absolute safety is definitely, in my book, a sin.

This was prompted by a comment that most operating procedures fail to state how a you should deal with a man overboard. - SORRY!

Man Overboard is part of the basic training for Level 2 Powerboat and Sailing Certificates. The level of basic competence. Most centres Operating Procedures will require these certificatres, or higher before people are allowed off in charge of boats, ipso facto, man overboard is dealt with.

I suspect that what was really meant is that most centres have not considered how they would deal with a spinally injured man overboard. (This was an issue in a recent accident) Such an occurrance is in my experience extremely rare. If it happens some sort of spinal board is very useful. But then, by the time it is fetched, the casualty will probably be hypothermic. Just one of the unintended consequences which may occur. Perhaps all boats should be equipped with a spinal board, or something that could be used to imobilise a patient but would it be maintained?

Perhaps the issue could be dealt with by good safety procedures reducing the risk of such an injury. We could then accept that, should it happen we do our best but we cannot plan for everything. I find it very difficult when asked to guarantee safety. I usually ask for a guarantee that the student will not have a road traffic accident on the way to sailing. I know, I'm a pedant, but life is a risk, you are not safe anywhere - why should be different?