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