One of the biggest dangers to sailors everywhere is falling or being knocked overboard. Getting someone back to the boat and onto the deck is a much more difficult task than many people realize. Lifting even an average size adult the height of a boat’s freeboard takes more strength than many people have. The best method of retrieving an overboard victim and getting the victim onto the boat is the LifeSling.
The LifeSling is a somewhat complicated looking device, but actually is easy to use with proper instruction. As part of its instructional program, SSSS offers an annual LifeSling clinic to give its members hands-on experience with this important piece of rescue equipment.
The program includes classroom instruction with a step-by-step explanation of how to use the LifeSling and an actual on-the-water rescue carried out by each participant. Basic sailing ability is required. The length of the clinic varies with the wind, but usually goes from mid-morning until late afternoon.
Skippers are encouraged to bring their boat and crew so they all can learn how to use the LifeSling as it is set up on the boat they usually sail. There is also opportunity to participate on someone else’s boat, so it is not necessary to have a boat or be part of a crew to participate.
Space is limited, so as to provide each participant with the necessary hands-on experience. Frequently we have to turn away some sailors who want to take the class. Please watch the Ship-to-Shore for registration information. There will be a nominal fee for the class. The LifeSling Clinic is normally scheduled for the first weekend in June. Check the Calendar for the specific date. If you have any questions about the class or registration, please contact one of the officers.