Some of the biggest names in racing underwent intensive safety training with Ocean Safety in preparation for the Volvo Race, one of the world’s most prestigious round-the-world races, which starts on October 11th.
Ocean Safety worked with the Volvo Ocean Race crews during the third week of August at South Shield Marine School’s state of the art survival training centre.
“Everyone is attentive to this training course,” commented Sam Davies, of Team SCA, who participated with her crew. “It’s critical that we’re aware of the safety equipment on the boats and we know how to use the kit.”
Ocean Safety, the UK’s largest independent safety supplier, has provided the majority of all the necessary lifesaving equipment to the seven yachts taking part in the gruelling 37,000 mile race, including lifejackets, liferafts, man overboard recovery systems and other vital onboard equipment. The company’s General Manager, Alistair Hackett, has been working with the crew members to ensure that they are all aware of the equipment onboard and familiar with how to use it.
“Although many are veteran Volvo racers and ocean sailors who have seen Ocean Safety’s demonstrations before (this is the fourth consecutive event that the company has been involved in) it is always important to check that their skills and safety knowledge is current and up to date,” comments Alistair.
Sam Davies agrees. “We need to be self-sufficient out there,” she says. “Safety is a performance aspect of racing, since we would have to slow down and resolve the situation if someone is hurt or something is broken. I would like to hope that this safety course acts as a preventative measure, reminding us that we aren’t invincible and things can happen.”
Ian Walker, Skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing goes one step further when he says, “We come away with practical ideas in terms of ways we might change equipment or how we’re going to organise ourselves if certain situations should arise. The course provokes thought and discussion, as well as self improvement.”
Ocean Safety’s involvement doesn’t stop there. The safety equipment on all the yachts will be checked and serviced before the yachts go to Alicante, and then further final checks will be made in the days before the start. Ocean Safety will also have a presence in Auckland to inspect the kit half way around.
Charlie Mill, Managing Director of Ocean Safety, says “We are all very aware right now of how important it is to make sure that boats are safe for ocean crossings. Preparing for the unexpected by making sure the best products are on board and the best information on how to use them has been given, is extremely important.”
– Ocean Safety Media