When you have prepared well and got everything on board, have your boat checked and the tackle box packed with all that you may need, then you have no reason to be scared. However, even with such preparedness, emergencies do happen and thus you need to be prepared in case. One of the things that a sailor like you must have is courage- sailing is not a game for the faint-hearted, nope, it is for the serious ones. Get everything set before you begin your move; ensure your weather forecast app is on and keenly follow updates that would tell you the weather and other conditions offshore.
Your preparedness guarantees you minimal chances of emergencies and in case there are, find below some tips on how to deal with such.
The towing procedure
Sometimes you are sailing smoothly in the deep sea and all-of-a-sudden, your boat engine stops. At that time, you need rescue and usually, there is a Lifeboat onsite. They’ll throw you a tow line; the best way is to tie it around the bowline or the mast. Then, steer alongside the safety boat and pay attention to is so that if it stops, you should be ready to steer alongside to avoid crashing into it.
Thunderstorms are very dangerous in that they usher lightening and oftentimes followed by strong winds. Your eyes should always alternate on the notice board and the Marine forecast app for weather updates which will help you adjust accordingly and get ready. Cumulonimbus clouds which are dark and anvil-shaped are usually an indication of a coming storm. If the notice board predicts such weather, then you should be careful to follow the instructions. Sometimes, it would mean that you cut short your voyage to avoid dangerous weather or an upcoming storm. You also should have your cell phone ready so that in case of an update, you can receive messages and calls.
Most of the accidents and emergencies that most sailors come across while cruising is due to lack of preparedness or carelessness. Before leaving the doc, you need to check your vessel well. Check if the ring dings are in intact on the shrouds and stay; confirm that the gooseneck, boom vang and mainsheet blocks are perfect. Do not ignore the updates on your sailing app- you need them to get you ready for the sail and avoid frustrations.
It could be the backstay, forestay or shroud that is broken. If the backstay is broken, head into the wind and if the forestay, head into the wind. Drop your sails immediately and call for a rescue tow. Most sailors feel like they can still move on sailing even with a broken part and this is very dangerous- respond to the behavior of your boat-head to the shore immediately and get it repaired. If the forestay is broken, you should keep the jib up to support the mast. You can also replace the forestay with a spinnaker halyard and tie it to the bowline.
Sailing I such an interesting and enjoyable activity so that if you get used to it, it becomes part of your routine. However, there are emergencies offshore and these could scare you especially if it’s your first time and this should not scare you. Be prepared with the right information and know who to call-the rescue team-in case of an emergency.