Safety first priority management


New member
15 Mar 2007
Paris France
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Priority management is a key safety issue. It is already true with a crew but more difficult and important with limited ressources.
When I first crossed the channel, in September, last year. I was inside dealing with navigation issues when I heard a cargo horn. I jumped outside to see a blue wall. I had no time to reeact. Hopefully it was the rear of the cargo. I was near anouth to see easilly the "ass hole" hand gesture from the captain. I was concentrating on navigation and forgot the watch. that time, I had the oportunity to learn the lesson... /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

A Figaro single handed lost his mast during the Transquadra transatlantic race. He is a very experience single handed sailor. He went on deck and collected the bits and parts. 20 mn latter when he went down inside, he found water at knees level. He run the engine but it was too late it ingested water...
Finally the boat sunk and he was rescued a few hours latter from his life-raft afew hours latter. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
He succeed as he saved his crew, but he told me that, next time, he would have a watch any watter flood on a shorter recurence.

So when single handed sailong, be attentive not to focus on anything and always ask yourself "what is the most security relative task now!".
To help, I use a watch timer that dozzle smoothly every quarter. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif


20 Jul 2001
Southampton, UK
Great advice, Eric.

I remember a delivery skipper telling me he noticed a small puddle on the carpet by the (closed) loo door. Nothing in the bilges, and nothing to indicate where it had come from. He mopped it up, and found it was salty.

An hour or so later, the puddle was there again. He decided to leave it for a while, and opened the loo door to have a pee. Next second, he was deluged in water! Someone had left the loo window open when they left harbour, and the compartment had half filled with the tops of Med waves!

A small amount had escaped, which gave the tell-tale puddle outside the door!