Thursday, July 19, 2012

Race to Mackinac Personal Safety Equipment

Sailing in the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac is a yearly ritual for many people, a once in a lifetime event for yet many more people, and a dream for others.  The reality is personal safety is something that must be taken seriously.  As last year's race illustrated, things can quickly go wrong while sailing on Lake Michigan or any large body of water.

The above picture illustrates what equipment Donnybrook's skipper and crew will wear to prepare themselves for the worst possible scenario, starting with the inflatable PFD and safety tether, crotch strap to keep the PFD from riding up and your head above water, personal safety knife, light, PFD refill kit, spare bobbins (they do expire), and a handheld VHF radio.

Sailing is one of the safer sports there is as long as you stay on the boat (see US Coast Guard 2011 statistics).  Falling overboard and getting seperated from the boat, especially at night or in bad weather, is not good and puts the boat's crew at serious risk.

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