In Water Supervision, Safety & Rescue Procedures


How sharp are your in water supervision, safety and rescue procedures on board?



We are all aware of the regulations that require yacht crew to participate in tender driving courses, deck and safety at sea courses. What seems to be lacking in the industry are courses or programs that address in water activity supervision, safety and rescue procedures.


Over the past few months I have been asked by existing clients to address the somewhat overlooked area of in water safety on board luxury yachts. These yachts are over 60m and have a very busy, if not hectic, in water program throughout the summer with both owners and charter guests.


From these requests we have been internally discussing many raised questions. Subjects like can deck crew successfully manage a swimmer in distress? Do deck crew know the 3 signs of in water distress? To the extreme of surfacing an unresponsive person from shallow depths and performing in water rescue breathing. What basic rescue equipment is on hand on a daily basis and do all the deck crew know how to use it?


Having a long history of managing liveaboard dive vessels that visited extremely remote locations in the Coral Sea and being responsible for the safety of over 30 guests and 10 crew has given me a very rounded understanding of what is required to ensure the safety of crew and guests when participating in in-water activities. A critical aspect to doing this well was the implementation of rescue procedures, training and regular drills for my crew. Its this experience, along with the credibility from creating our Yacht Scuba Safety program, that has given our clients the confidence in us to fine tune the area of in water supervision, safety and rescue.


Ondine Diving has a small group of extremely experienced instructors that have all contributed to various aspects of our in water safety programs with the view of customizing each program to suit individual yachts requirements. It must be like this as all yachts are unique in how and what they offer for owners and guests in water.


It really is amazing to see how many activities are offered and how young deck crew are responsible for the supervision of swimming, snorkeling, diving, people on seabobs, jet skis, skis and wakeboards, flyboards, inflatable water parks and the list goes on!


I was told by one of our clients, a captain of a 60m charter vessel, that one of the reasons we are helping with their in water safety procedures is due to the “different perspective” we see in relation to what is required. Sometimes it takes someone who is not directly involved in operations to see if there are any gaps in procedures and to think of alternative additions to existing procedures.


What we are offering at this stage is a consultancy program that also includes in water rescue training, both managerial and hands on, plus first aid overviews and fine tuning existing in water procedures. We work directly with the deck crew and senior crew to add on to existing procedures rather than reinvent completely new ones. Its much more productive this way!


Being proactive with safety is the best prevention of accidents, but being ready to handle life-threatening situations with a professional attitude and fresh up to date skills may be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful rescue attempt.


For any further information on our in water supervision, safety and rescue program please do not hesitate to contact me.


Have a safe and busy summer folks!







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