World Sailing – Safety and Sea Survival SSSC

SSS Certificate

The certificate awarded meets the eligibility requirements of section 6.01 of the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations for Category 0, 1 and some Category 2 offshore races.

Course Synopsis

This course assists owners and/or their representatives to understand their responsibilities, and helps skippers and crew develop and practice strategies and procedures to prevent and address emergencies at sea. The course was developed by Australian Sailing (Yachting Australia) to provide survival training for Offshore Sailors. It is mandatory for 50% of crew in Category 1 Offshore Races and is highly recommended for sailors in Category 2 events. Blue water cruisers will also benefit greatly from the training. If you are considering competing in any Category 1 or 2 yacht races, you should consider this course as a standard component of your on-going skills development.
"The safety of a boat and her crew is the sole and inescapable responsibility of the owner, or owner's representative who must do their best to ensure that the boat is fully found, thoroughly seaworthy and manned by an experienced crew who are physically fit to face bad weather. He must be satisfied as to the soundness of hull, spars, rigging, sails and all gear. He must ensure that all safety equipment is properly maintained and stowed and that the crew know where it is kept and how it is to be used."
YA Special Regulations, Addendum A.1, Section 1, Regulation 1.02 (a) OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY.   Course dates for 2018: 
  • February 24th + 25th
  • April 28th + 29th
  • May 12th + 19th
  • June 2nd + 3rd
  • August 11th + 12th
  • October 14th + 21st
  • November 18th + 25th
  • December 2nd + 9th
  • December 15th + 16th

Note: Updates are available on each course. Private courses available on demand for 6 or more people.


What you will learn:

  • 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 familiarize skippers and crews with safety and emergency equipment, its purpose, deployment, and use.
  • The Safety and Sea Survival course is a practical and theoretical course which should be completed over a period of at least 16 hours (2 full days).
  • The course is taught by Pacific Sailing School's  qualified instructors.
  • All course participants undergo both theory and practical assessment. You will need to show your skill or "competence" in certain practical aspects of the syllabus as well as pass a written theory examination.
Australian Sailing  issues Certificates of Competence, valid for 5 years, to students who successfully complete the course. Your details will be added to the national website database which can searched by owners and skippers to find and validate crew eligibility.

Syllabus Overview

  • Introduction
  • Causes of Marine Emergencies
  • Principles of Survival
  • Principles of survival at sea for the boat and crew
  • General precautions
  • Damage Prevention
  • Planning
  • Equipment
  • Crew briefs
  • Emergency instructions and standard procedures
  • Care and maintenance of safety equipment
  • Personal Lifesaving Appliances
  • Lifebuoys
  • PFDs
  • Harnesses and Tethers
  • Personal clothing
  • Personal EPIRBs
  • Personal lights/strobes
  • Other items
  • Areas of Risk and Emergencies
  • Preparation for rough weather
  • Rough and severe weather strategies including:
  • Boat handling
  • Assessment options
  • Crew routines
  • Damage prevention, control and repair
  • Use of storm equipment including:
  • Drogues
  • Storm sails
  • Galley operations
  • Emergencies and strategies to address:
  • Disabled vessel/severe damage
  • Loss of mast
  • Loss of rudder/steering
  • Loss of keel
  • Fire
  • Man overboard
  • Flooding
  • Capsize/knock-down
  • Giving assistance to other craft
  • Abandoning Ship (Liferafts) - Preparation & planning for "The Last Resort"
  • Decision to abandon ship as last resort
  • Personal preparation (including donning of PFD, clothing, harness)
  • Crew duties - Procedures and responsibilities
  • Grab bags and extra items
  • Launching of survival craft
  • Boarding survival craft from vessel and water
  • Entering the water wearing a PFD
  • Survival techniques in the water
  • Life raft construction, function, standards, and recommended equipment
  • Initial actions upon on boarding life raft
  • Deployment of drogue
  • Assisting injured persons and survivors into the liferaft
  • Deploying EPIRB
  • Dangers to survivors
  • Best use of liferaft facilities
  • Righting an inverted liferaft
  • Manoeuvring liferaft
  • Need to maintain watch
  • Psychology of survival
  • Physiology of survival
  • Search and Rescue
  • Search and Rescue authorities and agencies
  • Communications -air rescue, sea rescue
  • Need to assist rescue -flares, warnings about their use, EPIRBs, distress signals, smoke, communication
  • Search procedures and patterns
  • Overhead rescue from vessel/raft/water
  • Rescue by surface vessels
  • Use of Pyrotechnics
  • Types and purposes
  • Firing/ignition mechanisms
  • Hazards & dangers of use
  • Weather Forecasts and Meteorology
  • Sources of weather forecasts
  • Terms and definitions used in forecasts
  • Wind & sea state scales
  • Weather systems and sea conditions
  • Instruments for onboard observation -barometer
  • Visual monitoring of atmospheric changes and sea state for local forecasting
  • Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting
  • Fire Theory
  • Prevention
  • Equipment - fire extinguishers, fire blankets, serviced, tested, maintained
  • Methods
  • Emergency Communications
  • Marine Radio Certificate -2 members of crew
  • VHF -listening watch, handhelds
  • GMDSS
  • Satcom
  • First Aid and Early Management of Injury or Illness
  • Senior First Aid -2 members of crew
  • Injury or illness
  • Hypothermia
  • Seasickness
  • Medical assistance -medical kit, extra medication, waterproof containers
  • Duty of Care
  • Duty of Care of Owners/Skippers
  • Occupational Health and Safety Legislation
  • Employee/employer responsibilities
  • Importance of keeping records
  • Training and periodic practice - long overnight races in preparation
Please call 02 9326 2399 or email info@pacificsailingschool.com.au to book.  DOWNLOADS

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