Safety Boat Service
Safety Boat Crew
Fowey Gallants safety boat crew provide a safety boat service to support all the racing events in and outside Fowey Harbour that are run by Fowey Sailing Committee. Fowey Sailing Committee is a joint entity comprising members of Royal Fowey Yacht Club and Fowey Gallants Sailing Club and is the public facing name of the Port Of Fowey Race Organising Committee (POFROC).
The safety boat crew are all volunteers, many with sailing and marine backgrounds, and others who just have a passion for getting involved with the racing and being out on the water.
Safety Boat activities
On race days, the crew assemble at Fowey Gallants sailing club and prepare for the day's events. After gathering and preparing all the kit required to take out on the water, the crew will head out to the safety boats to check and prepare them. The cox'ns will brief the crew and ensure that everyone is aware of weather and sea conditions and their roles for the day. They will then await instructions from the Race Officer as to what courses are planned and what marks need to be laid. After laying the marks, the crew are on standby to assist sailors if needed before the race, and to convey any information required. During racing, crews keep a watchful eye on all the boats, and are ready to respond should sailors get into difficulty or require assistance.
No two race days are the same and crew never quite know what to expect, so have to be prepared for all eventualities. Depending on the weather and sea conditions and the skill levels of competing sailors, there could be any number of incidents including capsizes, boats to be towed, upturned boats to upright, sailors to be pulled out of the water, equipment to be salvaged, and information to be relayed. Constant communication between the safety boats helms and the race office are important, particularly when racing takes place outside the harbour.
The crew may be asked to inform racers that a race is being abandoned or their course shortened, and the safety boats carry sets of flags that are used to communicate information such as this to the sailors. As Fowey is a busy working harbour, the safety crew also assist in informing sailors of race delays or safety information and monitoring boats when large shipping movements such as china clay boats or cruise liners enter or leave the harbour.
Once the racing is over, safety boats must remain on duty until all boats are accounted for and safely back on moorings. The crew can then lift the marks, and get the safety boats back on their moorings, secured and ready for the next race day. After filling in a race incident report and stowing all equipment away, its time for a well-earned beer or two and maybe a bite to eat in the Gallants club.
On non-race days, there is still plenty to be done, including boat maintenance, topping up fuel supplies, mending safety boat equipment cleaning equipment etc.
A lot of hard work also goes on behind the scenes with duty rotas to prepare, training courses and qualifications to organise, health and safety documentation to update, liaising with Fowey Sailing and Fowey Harbour authorities and planning crew activities and social events.
Join our Crew
Safety boat crews are an integral part of Fowey Sailing and we are always looking for volunteers who would like to get involved. You don't need any experience, just a willingness to learn. We provide on the water training with an experienced helm when on duty and once a month training on a Saturday morning during the winter. Plus the odd social get-together as well!! You would need to commit to be on duty twice a month (choose from Wednesday or Friday evening and Saturday afternoons). If you'd like to join our crew or have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last updated 14:50 on 27 March 2023