Racing Sailors, Cruisers, and Boating Couples Invited to Safety at Sea Seminar at USNA

Safety at Sea Seminar at USNA April 1-2 Offers Wide Range of Courses for Racers, Cruisers, and Cruising Couples

Gain knowledge and confidence and learn boating safety during the 2023 Safety-at-Sea Seminars at the US Naval Academy, April 1-2. Part of the seminar is a requirement for racing sailors, and the course offerings expanded years ago to include beneficial safety lessons for any mariner.

helicopter rescue demoThe parts of the seminar intended for the general boating public, the Cruising Course, includes presentations by some of the foremost personnel in the field, who collectively have operated vessels for thousands of miles on waters around the globe and share lessons and real-life experiences on such topics as voyage preparation, crew health, and emergency medicine, marine weather, safety gear, man-overboard prevention/recovery, and electronic navigation.

On the second day of the seminar, attendees may choose either hands-on training with liferafts, tethers, and other practical safety tools in the pool on campus, or they can attend a presentation created for couples by the Cruising Club of America (CCA) entitled “Safety for Cruising Couples" (see the various tracks offered at bottom of Safety at Sea page).

Past CCA Commodore Sheila McCurdy teaches the course for couples or people who plan to go boating with family or friends, where one person has more experience than others. It’s designed to be taken by both the more- and less-experienced, to work together as a team. The course expands on communications and navigation topics taught in the morning and focuses on other basics, such as starting the engine, turning off the autopilot, furling/dropping sails (or slowing down for power-boaters), making a call on VHF 16, determining the vessel’s position, and personal safety tips.

Saturday highlights include a helicopter rescue demonstration by the United States Coast Guard, and a man overboard simulation performed by Midshipman. This presentation will be held on Saturday from 11:50 a.m. - 12:50 p.m. in the Severn River adjacent to the Glen Warner Soccer Facility near Santee Basin. These demonstrations are open to the public for free.

man overboard demo photoThis Safety-at-Sea seminar offers some of the very best training available in the region. Several groups will attend, including people seeking offshore sailing and mandatory ocean race certification, as well as members of the Naval Academy Varsity Offshore Sailing Team and beginning to advanced cruisers.

For those interested in the two-day Cruising Course, the cost is $320 per couple. The seminar begins in Alumni Hall and is hosted by the Marine Trades Association of Maryland and Navy Sailing. For registration and information, visit or call (410) 269-0741.

Background: Originally designed for Academy Midshipmen 41 years ago following the tragic 1979 Fastnet Race, the popular Safety-at-Sea Program has been credited with saving countless lives. The US Sailing Safety-at-Sea programs have become required attendance for those participating in ocean races. Whether racing or cruising, power or sail, the Safety-at-Sea program is helpful training to anyone spending time on boats.

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