Darwin Sailing Club

News from the Darwin Sailing Club

Sail, socalise and dine in the heart of Darwin

Posted on 22 June, 2017

SSSC course closes soon.

SSSC course closes soon.

DSC will be conducting a Safety & Sea Survival course July 1st & 2nd. The course is a requirement for at least 30% of crew in a Category 2 race and highly recommended for all offshore cruising and racing participants. This will be the only course in Darwin before the upcoming races to Indonesia and Timor Leste. Numbers are limited, so early enrolment is advised.


The popular, biennial Fastnet race, was first held in 1925 in the Irish Sea and is run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. A severe storm during the 1979 race resulted in the deaths of 17 competitors and the loss or abandonment of 23 yachts. This led to a major overhaul of the rules and the equipment required for the competition.

In the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race of 1998, fierce storms and violent winds battered the fleet with the loss of six sailors and five yachts. A total of 55 sailors were rescued and a subsequent coroner’s inquest made recommendations which have been adopted into the Yachting Australia Special Regulations.

At least 50% of the crew, including the skipper when racing in a Category 1 and at least 30% for Category 2 shall hold a Safety and Sea Survival Course certificate of competence. This course is a pre-requisite for ocean racing, not only to meet the safety requirements but to demonstrate an acceptance of your personal and team responsibilities for safety on board an ocean going boat.

All who are planning to spend time on a boat in open water will find this course stimulating and enlightening. It is not only of interest to sailors but also helps shore crew to understand the safety requirements of offshore sailing and the search and rescue process in the event of an emergency.


  • To assist offshore skippers and crews in developing awareness of respective responsibilities.
  • To offer and discuss practical strategies for coping with emergencies at sea.
  • To familiarise skippers and crews with safety and emergency equipment, its purpose, deployment, and use.
  • An SSSC certificate will be issued by Australian Sailing to successful candidates and will be valid for a period of 5 years.

    Pre-requisites: Your fitness to be able to complete the wet drill and other activities is anticipated.

    Course Outline: The Theory component of the syllabus comprises four sections.

    1. Yacht preparation

    2. Crew preparation

    3. Racing & Weather

    4. Emergencies

    It will be delivered over two days (approximately 16 hours).

    The theory component covers the following elements:

  • Introduction - Causes of marine emergencies
  • Principles of survival
  • Personal lifesaving appliances
  • Areas of risk and emergencies
  • Abandoning ship
  • Search and rescue
  • Use of pyrotechnics
  • Fire prevention and fire fighting
  • Emergency communications
  • First aid and early management of injury or illness
  • Duty of care
  • The practical wet drill will be conducted in a pool. Wearing your full wet weather gear you will complete a number of drills individually and within teams which include:
  • Man overboard drillSSSC_Sep2005-LargeGroupHuddles
    • Inflating personal flotation device (pfd)
    • Testing pfd
    • Swimming techniques
    • Conserving heat
    • Teamwork
    • Retrieving and donning life jacket while in the water
    • Righting an upturned liferaft
    • Entering a liferaft unassisted
    • Contents of survival kit
    • Retrieving crew with throwing line
  • The practical flare shoot will include igniting several different types of flares.


    • Theory Exam 80% pass mark; and
    • Practical competency (wet and flare drills)

    What to Bring


    Notebook and pens.

    2017-20 AS Special Regulations. Not mandatory but useful to have with you: You can view/download an electronic version of these regulations at: http://www.sailing.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/170601-Special-Regulations-Part-1-Keelboats-1.pdf

    Examples of current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) used on vessels you have set to sea on, as well as experiences to share with other attendees.

    Wet Drill will be held on Sunday, so you must bring the following gear:

  • Full ocean clothing (inner thermal layer, mid layer and outer ocean wet weather gear layer preferred) & sea boots.
    • Wash all clothing including wet weather gear beforehand and empty all pockets. (Don’t use detergent as it destroys the waterproofing)
    • PFD1 AS approved per Blue Book, check for currency and compliance with Standards.
    • Remove gas bottle from inflatable PFD1 if inflating manually.
    • Crotch strap.
    • Towel.
    • Do NOT bring Dye Marker.
    • From a safety aspect, it is highly recommended that you wear closed toed shoes for the flare shoot.
  • We recommend that you prepare for this course as you would for an ocean voyage and suggest you have an early night the day.

    Footwear must be worn for this course

    Enrol HERE http://www.yachtingaustralia.com.au/Entry/?EID=81019

    Thanks to supporters of the Darwin Sailing Club