One of the area's most valuable safety training opportunities, the annual Safety At Sea Seminar, is set for Saturday and next Sunday at the Naval Academy's Alumni Hall, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days.
Designed primarily for offshore cruising and racing sailors, and those with offshore ambitions, the seminar also is valuable for those who never plan to leave the bay, because emergency situations can occur just about anywhere there are boats and water in combination.
An offshoot of a program developed for midshipmen's training, the Safety At Sea Seminar is approved and supported by U.S. Sailing, and its completion qualifies participants for a certificate from that organization, which may be of value in obtaining favorable rates from some insurance carriers.
The Safety At Sea Seminar is co-sponsored by the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, Cruising World (magazine), and the Sail Annapolis Committee of the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce. This year's version, the 14th in Annapolis, is dedicated to the memory of America's premier long-distance ocean racer, Mike Plant, who taught at last year's seminar, and was lost at sea in October.
The event is broken down into a basic session on Saturday, and an advanced version on Sunday. At noon Saturday in front of the Robert Crown Sailing Center there will be on-the-water demonstrations of life-raft helicopter rescues, the Navy's own highly effective quick-stop maneuver and the use of life slings, flares and other emergency equipment. It is open to all seminar attendees.
The Saturday session is a formally slated series of lectures with Q&A; follow-up. The Sunday event, in which the bulk of time will be spent in seminar sessions with members of the panel of
experts, is suitable for offshore sailors of a higher level of experience, or as an enhancement to Saturday's session.
Moderator for the weekend is author/sailor John Rousmaniere, who has organized and lectured at 22 such seminars in 13 locations around the country since 1980, following his experience as a watch captain in the '79 Fastnet. He will be joined by a number of guest speakers for the technical presentations.
Saturday's schedule, following registration and coffee from 7:30 a.m. until the opening remarks at 8:15, begins with former Director of Navy Sailing Capt. Hal Sutphen on boat, crew and logistical preparation and damage control.
Next up, Lt. Cdr. Tim McGee of the Naval Observatory in Washington will discuss weather, forecasting and tropical storms, followed by a life-raft demonstration and discussion and an explanation of U.S. Coast Guard helicopter evacuation procedures and man-overboard techniques from moderator Rousmaniere.
At noon the on-water demonstrations will begin, followed by lunch at 1 p.m.
The afternoon session will open with Navy nurse Lt. Maryalice Morro, who also serves at the Baltimore Shock Trauma Center, discussing basic emergency medical considerations, including common offshore problems, first aid, sunburn, salt water infections, food poisoning, trauma and hypothermia.
Cruising World electronics editor Harvey Walters will speak on communications to enhance boat safety, weather reporting, emergency signaling, and choosing gear.
The final presentation of the day will be a slide show by veteran cruisers Frank and Jessie Snyder on their 11,000-mile voyage from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal to the Galapagos, Tonga and New Zealand, including a discussion of preparing for the voyage. Before the day ends there will be a summary Q&A; panel discussion period.
Sunday's format will include a morning recap of Saturday's topics starting at 8:30, followed by a design/safety discussion by yacht designer Bill Tripp, and in-depth seminars in the late morning and through the afternoon.
These seminars are designed to allow participants more of a one-on-one interaction as they discuss safety issues in greater detail.
They will take shape as open forum question-and-answer sessions. Participants will be divided into two groups, and each participant will be able to ask questions during each seminar's 90-minute run.
A number of safety-equipment manufacturers and representatives will display the latest as well as some of the most reliable stand-bys in the safety field, and there will be ample opportunity to visit these displays during several breaks in the seminar action each day.
Registration for either seminar is $40 in advance, or $70 for both. Fees include coffee and doughnuts and lunch.
,.5l Advance reservations are strongly encouraged by seminar organizers. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door, but these will cost $50 per day.
For reservations or more information, contact the Sail Annapolis Committee, Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce, One Annapolis St., Annapolis, Md. 21401, or call (410) 268-7676.
Advance tickets also are available at West Marine, 111 Hillsmere Drive in the shopping center at the corner of Bay Ridge and Forest Drive in Annapolis.