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Sailing might not be the first pastime that comes to mind when you think of extreme sports, but that’s not to say risks don’t abound. The Cruising Club of America tackles many of them head-on in their newly released guide for skippers, Creating a Culture of Safety: The Skipper’s Responsibility. “We wrote the paper because of our concern about the number of sailing safety incidents over the last few years that resulted in loss of life and near losses—all of which appeared preventable with appropriate preparation, training and decision making at sea,” says John Robinson, chair of the CCA’s Safety and Seamanship Committee.

The guide includes recommendations for skippers, as the first line of defense and an example for their crew, with best practices in leadership, boat preparation and crew training. “We felt that the highest level of advice should start with the skipper, before setting sail, and should draw attention to the broad scope of issues that their leadership role requires,” Robinson said. But more than just a guide for the boss of a boat, the paper also discusses further efforts to bring safety training to sailors, including classroom, on the water and online options, a collaborative effort from several major U.S. boating organizations. Whether you’re looking to start your safety education or you’re a seasoned pro in need of a checklist just to be sure, the CCA’s guidelines will prove useful to keeping you and your crew protected on the water.

For more information or to view the CCA’s guidelines, visit them at cruisingclub.org/article/safety-culture

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