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ID: 324 Title: Safety Gear for Pacific Crossing Replis: 5 Read: 4080 Author: 6  Page:[1]  2  
Name: Kitty_cupp  Posts: 1  **  Vancouver Time: 2006-1-10_14:1:46 Quote    Reply
Hi- I am planning to crew on a boat crossing the Pacific to the Marquesas and beyond. I have corresponded with a number of boats, all with different safety gear. As a novice, what items should I make sure the boat I crew with has? I know a dingy will not cut it if you go down in the ocean, although some Skipppers think that is okay. Any advice on the "must haves" to ensure my safety? Thanks, Kitty
Name: Bret Diamond  Posts: 25  **  Vancouver Time: 2006-1-10_15:2:32 Quote    Reply
Hi Kitty, I would definitely NOT do an open-ocean crossing on any vessel that did not have the following:

1. An offshore-rated liferaft of suitable size for the number of crew on board.
2. Make sure the liferaft's certification is current/up to date.
3. A single sideband (SSB) radio and/or working SAT (sattelite) phone for making contact beyond the
25 mile +/- range of the standard VHF radio in case of an emergency.
4. A 406 EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon) preferably GPS integrated.
5. A quality inflatable lifevest/safety harness and tether per crew (get your own if not sure)
6. Suitably rated and properly installed/maintained jacklines for the safety tethers.

And last, but certainly not least, the single most important safety consideration:

A qualified captain and crew!

Ask for references, and take the time to check them out!
Sadly, there are more than a few cases of captains and crew using forged licenses and/or fake references (including a few examples on this forum!).
You will literally be putting your life in these people's hands (and theirs in yours!) In addition to
work references, ask the owners/captain for references from other crew that have worked for them.
All the right safety equipment won't do squat if the people in charge don't know how to use them!

Unscrupulous owner's/captains will prey on the uniformed--don't let that happen to you! Take your time
and carefully check out the people involved--your life may depend upon it! Scammers count on your
enthusiasm, excitement, and fear of loosing your crew position to someone else as leverage to get you
not dig too deep if they are hiding something, don't fall victim to this!

The vast majority of boat owner's/captains are terrific people who take their and your safety VERY
seriously--make sure you take the time to find them!!!

Good luck!!!
Name: OCEAN SAILOR  Posts: 171  **  Vancouver Time: 2006-1-11_13:20:22 Quote    Reply
Hi, Suggest you read my guide to offshore passae makers further down the list. Cheers.
Name: JAX Ashby  Posts: 14    Vancouver Time: 2006-1-21_4:30:18 Quote    Reply
I have been well offshore on passages without any one of those six items, and never felt the least bit uncomfortable. On the other hand, I walked off a boat before it sailed because I didn't trust the captain.
Name: Sailor  Posts: 2    Vancouver Time: 2006-2-2_7:5:57 Quote    Reply
The Six items are all well in theory and sounds good...First priority should need not be said "good seamanship". Second, hold at least one fire drill and abandon boat drill between ports to insure an "Automatic response" to emergencies...before they get out of hand. Precious time may be waisted fiddling with a single sideband...Besides in a serious emergency, electrical systems probably will go down. The Captain in charge of EPIRB A and VHF radios...Personally I'm relying on 2 deck mounted dinghys, deployed quickly,..along with raft...other crew members in charge of gathering emergency food and water.. and readying deployment of dingys. "Maybe set it up between long passages beforehand"..Time is of the essence. File a sail plan with authorities and others.Routes and ETA's...Enquire if any vessels will be departing similarly. Keep in touch as much as possible with other vessels to and fro. A VHF has a range of 25 miles..this is your best source from main radio (Get into good radio practice) plus your emergency hand helds. Would not suggest anything less than an EPIRB "A",with GPS interface. Price has come a way down on System A ". Again preparation with basic equipment is the key..Keep it simple.
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