Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Boaters University has just announced its latest online course, Safety & Rescue at Sea, taught by Mario Vittone, whose name you might recognize from the pages of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine and his Lifelines blog.

Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer, whose career choice led him to become a national expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. During his career he was awarded the "Distinguished Flying Cross" for extraordinary heroism, was named as the Coast Guard's "Enlisted Person of the Year" and he also received the Alex Haley Award for Journalism. Vittone, who retired in 2013 after four years as a vessel inspector and accident investigator, now lives and works in Apollo Beach, Florida. 

(The appearance of Department of Defense (DoD) visual information in the video below does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.)

Safety & Rescue at Sea

Overview

“Being found is about being seen,” drowing is silent,” “two is one and one is none” and “a novice on a boat is a dangerous thing”—all are truisms from retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Mario Vittone, instructor for an upcoming online course at boatersuniversity.com called “Safety and Rescue at Sea.”

“The sea doesn’t care where you work. It doesn’t care if you are underway for the money or for the fun. When things go wrong out there, the difference between life and death is almost always about preparation,” Vittone says. “Your family and crew deserve to know as much as they can about how to be safe out there and what to do in an emergency.”

This goal of “Safety and Rescue at Sea” is to prepare captains to be as safe as possible when heading offshore. To be sure, there are plenty of specific tips, but the real value of the course is the philosophy of safety and risk that it imparts. Vittone doesn’t just teach what to think about safety but how to think about it and how to parse risk. This is a course for novices and experienced skippers alike.

Course syllabus

  1. Course Introduction – Not Your Average Safety Course
  2. How Safe Gets That Way – What Professionals Do Differently
  3. Hazard Awareness - What Goes Wrong on Vessels
  4. Understanding the Environment – What is Dangerous and What Isn’t
  5. Understanding Search and Rescue - The Truth About Being Found
  6. Being Prepared – Plans, Procedures, and Checklists
  7. Staying Safe Underway – Best Practices for Long Trips
  8. Training and Drills – Practicing for the Worst
  9. Personal Survival Equipment – PFD set-up, Immersion Suits, and Signaling Devices
  10. Ship's Survival Equipment - Flares, Ring Buoys, EPIRBs, AIS, and Radios
  11. Life Rafts – The Truth about Sea Survival
  12. Handling Bad Days – Making it Through a Mayday Situation

Instructor bio

Mario Vittone is a made-for-Hollywood American hero. He is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer, whose career choice lead him to become a national expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea.

Vittone is a regular contributor to Soundings magazine and his writing has appeared in Yachting, SaltWater Sportsman and Reader’s Digest. During his career he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary heroism, was named as the Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year and received the Alex Haley Award for Journalism.

Vittone, who retired in 2013 after four years as a vessel inspector and accident investigator, now lives and works in Apollo Beach, Florida.

Vittone is assisted in the course by retired Warrant Officer Michael Carr, whose career included diving for the Coast Guard, piloting vessels for the Army and serving in the merchant marine. Vittone says he is one of the saltiest individuals he has ever known.

What you will learn

“Safety and Rescue at Sea” is replete with practical tips for dealing with emergencies on the water, but the most valuable insights it offers are about preparation and evaluating risk. Knowing how to prepare and how to parse danger create a boating environment in which crises are far less likely to happen, and if disaster does strike, the course will have prepared you to cope more effectively.

The course is scheduled to launch May 21st at BoatersUniversity.com. You can preregister here for this much anticipated course on Safety & Rescue at Sea.

April 2018

Related

ASA-2048

Get out and Sail: Virtually

Just because you’re stuck at home self-quarantining, that’s no reason you can’t still hone your skills or teach someone else you know about boathandling with the American Sailing Association’s online Sailing Challenge game. Created in cooperation with Nolan Bushnell, a longtime ...read more

200324-VirtualSailing-2048

Time to Try Virtual Sailboat Racing?

Stuck at home self-quarantining? How about giving on-line sailboat racing a try? Begun in 2010 and now working in partnership with sailing’s international governing body, World Sailing, Virtual Regatta has long allowed fans to take an active part in everything from the Vendée ...read more

2003-ICW

How Risky is the ICW with Covid-19?

Being a cruising sailor, one is already practicing a kind of social distancing. But coastal cruisers, and those transiting the Intracoastal Waterway, in particular, still have to return to land for re-provisioning and things like water, fuel, and pump-outs. When you dock in a ...read more

05-Q&A-190826-11HRT-AMO-team-announcement-113

A Chat with Charlie Enright

Rhode Island native Charlie Enright, 35, has competed in not one but two Volvo Ocean Races (VOR), with Team Alvimedica in 2014-15 and Vestas 11th Hour Racing 2017-18. More recently, Enright and 11th Hour Racing have announced they plan to compete in The Ocean Race, the successor ...read more

06-Smoke-on-the-waterways,-SC

Cruising: a Long Haul North

There are many mantras experienced cruisers like to pass on to those less experienced. First and foremost among these is: “Never sail to a schedule.” After that comes: “Choose your weather window carefully.” Unfortunately, this past spring, my husband, Brian, and I violated both ...read more

The-Solent's-rough-seas-and-harsh-weahter-teach-valuable-skills-for-any-serious-sailor-(by-Eric-Vohr)

How to Become a Yacht Master

Learning to sail is an organic process. Often we’re introduced to the sport by a family member or good friend who loves sailing and wants to share their passion. As such, one learns in bits and pieces. The problem is you can end up with lots of missing bits, and thus many ...read more

IMG_2012

Experience: Threading the Needle in a Thick Fog

It was a dark night, utterly black. Any light was blanketed by the fog. My chartplotter was night-blinding me. I looked at the Navionics map on my phone, waited half a second for my eyes to adjust and then looked at the depthsounder. After that, I looked ahead to where Laura was ...read more

01a-LEAD-Franctional-rig-X-yachts-X-4.9-20180313-MICK-4845

Know-how: Modern Rigs 101

I pretty much took rigs for granted when I first started sailing on other people’s boats. After all, unlike exciting, moving, tweakable things like sails and running rigging, masts and booms were just there—a part of the structure of the boat. I took no part in their maintenance ...read more