Bay Safety and Always Being Prepared

Safety and preparedness are key components of TISC programs. Our kids learn importance of teamwork, and sailing safe. Tuesday night’s return sail reminded us how fast San Francisco Bay can turn dangerous from gorgeous and to always be prepared.

safety logisticsTISC summer programs are now under full sail on Clipper Cove.  Our instructors work with small groups of students to provide safety orientation first thing as part of each class.  Lifejackets are of course required at all times on and off the water.  Students are never without a partner or close-by safety boat.

single handed sailingDepending on the level of sailing skills and lessons being taught students may sail solo or in teams of two.  Solo sailing stresses independence and goal setting.  Sailing with a partner requires communications and teamwork.  double handed sailing

 

Safety boats on the water keep a watchful eye over students as they head out to the cove where they work on sailing skills.fleet prep

 

Whether its folding sails on a J/24 or putting Optis and Bugs back on the racks, kids learn the importance of team work (have you ever tried to roll up a sail by yourself ?).teamwork

Just back from a week on Nantucket Sound with family last week, we took friends sailing for the day leaving TI just before noon.   The Louis Vuitton series opens July 4th with racing scheduled to start July 7th and the AC72s were out as we sailed past Alcatraz toward Tiburon. Seeing these 13,000 pound boats up on foil is always a thrill.Oracle Foiling 130611After late lunch and walk about Tiburon, we headed back to TI around 5pm.  As we crossed through “windy alley” between Angel Island and Treasure Island around six thirty the wind was its typical 15-20 with higher gusts.  The tide was ebbing which created a moderate chop.  Fun sailing down the waves.

As we were capturing pictures of a gorgeous day on the bay we saw a lone wave-rider bite the dust followed by a huge splash. While not an unusual occurrence, it was late with waves building and the Bay empty so we watched carefully.

jet ski hits wave

At first the rider started to slowly catch up to his now-drifting craft.  Then the distance settled and started to increase.  With one set of eyes on the person in the water we came about and headed over to investigate.  As the distance between driver and wave-rider continued to increase, we deployed our life ring on a line and dropped the jib.

After circling around, we snagged the driver and with him hanging on the back of Skippers’ Gift ran downwind to the wave-rider, now four boat lengths to leeward.  He climbed aboard his craft and continued on his way to Emeryville.

Continuing on our way to Clipper Cove we discussed several “what ifs” and pondered the drivers fate if we had not been there.  A rather sobering experience and another reminder of the importance of life vests, sailing in pairs, staying aware and always being prepared.

From On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

I’ve heard a number of “50/50/50 rules”, including “An average adult has a 50% chance of surviving a 50 yd swim in 50o water”, “a person in 50o water for 50 minutes has a 50% better chance of survival if wearing a life jacket”, and “a person in 50o water for 50 minutes has a 50% chance of survival”.

Without our help this hapless driver would have been in a tough, perhaps fatal, situation.