Emergency Procedures for Burnham Week
In the event of an incident that involves personal injury or severe illness, or where the boat is in danger and needs assistance, crews should contact the Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 (or by telephone via 999/112). The Coastguard will then initiate the appropriate action.
Emergency Landing: Vessels should land casualties at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club pontoon unless otherwise directed. This location provides easy access for emergency vehicles.
Basic First Aid Facilities are located at Burnham Week Office. In addition to the normal national 999 telephone number, there is a free number for urgent but non-emergency calls to the NHS, this being 111. This number gets you through to the same call-centre as does a 999 call, but initiates a more detailed Q&A to determine the level and type of support that is required.
SKIPPER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO THEIR CREW
The safety of the boat and crew is the responsibility of both the skipper and the crew. Skippers have a duty of care to their crew and need to sail and race within the capabilities of crew and boat. For some, especially those with less experienced crew, this might on occasion mean that a cautious approach needs to be taken. For example, it might not be sensible for such a boat to carry their spinnaker downwind, especially in wind against tide conditions. There may also be occasions when a skipper decides that the conditions are too tough for them and that they should not race, even though other boats in their class are still competing.
Sometimes the Race Committee will fly flag ‘Y’ for one or more classes to indicate that flotation devices must be worn by all crew members. However, it is often sensible for crew members to wear their flotation devices regardless of whether the flag is flying or not, particularly when sailing dayboats without inherent buoyancy or when working on the foredeck. If flag Y is flying then competitors must wear the type of flotation device required.
As the RNLI slogan says, “lifejackets are useless unless worn”.
It is a primary and absolute responsibility to go to the assistance of any other craft or crew which is in danger. This is included in the Racing Rules of Sailing as the very first rule (1.1). We have heard of occasions when a boat has been swamped and sunk, with others in her fleet sailing by as if nothing had happened. This is unacceptable. Again, if you do go to the assistance of another boat in trouble (whether or not they are racing), you will normally be able to claim redress for reasonable time lost. If you pick up a person who has fallen into the water from another boat then you will not be penalised for having too many crew.
SHARING IN SAFETY
The Crouch – Roach Rivers are in Crouch Harbour Authority Port area. Controlled by the Harbour Master. As a result, the river sees various sizes of vessel and it is vital that they are able navigate up the Crouch safely while causing the minimum disruption to regatta competitors.
During the regatta, the Harbour Master will assist the Race Officer by communicating shipping movements to help with race planning and escorting ships through the race areas. Throughout the year the Crouch Harbour Authorities work closely with yacht clubs to plan for the regatta. The CHA website will contain details of current and expected ship movements of vessels.
If you have a problem (such as being becalmed in the navigation channel with no alternative means of propulsion) then it is fine to make a quick contact either with CHA on channel 11 or Committee boat on CH72 as appropriate, to let them know of your situation. It is clear that there is a lack of understanding, even by many experienced sailors, as to the likely tracks of these large ships at different states of the tide. The Race Committee the HM and the pilots on board the ships will all offer assistance.
When operationally possible, the CHA’s Harbour Master’s Patrol Launch (VHF Call Sign ‘’Watchful ’’ monitoring VHF Channel 11) will precede all vessels proceeding to Baltic Wharf