The normal reaction when I tell people I am planning to row across the Atlantic is , “Are you Crazy?”! This is quickly followed by questions regarding safety. The question of, “Will there be a support boat?” regularly crops up, the answer is no, this is an unsupported expedition!
This post will be the first of many which will outline some of the steps we are taking to make sure that the voyage is as safe as possible.
Obviously the safest thing to do would be to stay at home, I know that, but I’m afraid it is not in my nature.
During the sea trials we looked at some of the safety equipment on board Sara G and also practiced and discussed some of the procedures and protocols for both everyday safety and emergencies.
The 1st rule on board is, if you are on deck you should be clipped in. We will each have a harness and safety line, when rowing we will be clipped to a sliding deck fitting and when we are moving around we clip to a wire which runs the length of the boat. This means in the event of somebody falling overboard they should always be attached to the boat. If we all stick rigidly to this rule we should never have a man or woman overboard situation.
A key piece of safety kit on board will be our EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon). This will only be used in an emergency situation, it is a portable device and once activated will send our GPS position via satellite to a rescue centre. They will then be able to dispatch any available rescue services and inform nearby ships of our emergency. The diagram shows how the system works.
Check back for more info on safety and I will explain about how our communication and identification systems work.