Ogston Sailing Club



Winter Safety Duty


As the weather turns colder, when you are on safety duty, it is your responsibility to ensure sailors are safe - you need to be prepared to make the decision to remove someone from the water for their own safety.
Please also remember that you are at risk of hypothermia as well make sure you layer up before going on the water and top off with water/wind proof layer.  You must also be prepared to enter the water so a dry suit is ideal but if wearing a wetsuit layer up over the wetsuit
Hypothermia signs and symptoms
1. Hypothermia is when the core body temperature falls to below 35 degrees C (2 below normal body temperature).
2. Initial signs are someone feels cold and starts to shiver.
3. Next stages are cold pale skin, speech becomes slurred.
4. It then moves on to confusion (may say they are feeling warm and start taking layers off, behaving out of character, unable to make sound judgement)
1. If at the feeling cold and shivering  stage - move somewhere warm, change clothing to warm dryclothing  Many thin layers are better than 1 or 2 thick, (don't forget hat gloves as well).  Do not use a shower to warm them (it takes blood away from vital organs to the skin and can make condition worse), someone will need to help then get dressed - When drying do not rub the towel pat the skin to dry (rubbing stimulates circulation and has the same effect as a warm shower give warm drinks to sip, and high energy foods to help self warming.  Recommend that when they feel warm at home (it may take several hours) to have a warm bath to continue the warming process,
2. If beyond above (slurred speech or worse), then change into warm clothing as before but an ambulance needs to be called this is a serious condition.
A reminder that at Ogston we have a local agreement that during winter months assistance may be provided to sailors who have capsized without penalty, they may continue racing.  Consider going to the mast head in the first instance to prevent inversion and when sailor is at the centre / dagger board flick the mast up or walk down the mast lifting as you go.  Alternatively go to the bow and take hold of the forestay lift up that way and walk to the mast before lifting the the mast up as before.