Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

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

Waterlines

The Power of Sails

I suppose it isn’t merely a coincidence that I’ve made significant changes to the sailplans of the last three cruising boats I’ve owned. The first project was the biggest. My old Golden Hind 31, Sophie, had lots of charm and character, but her sloop rig was laughably small. ...read more

01-LEAD-BahiaCobre

Charter the Sea of Cortez

Chartering and the notion of going “off the beaten path” may sound self-contradictory. Charter companies tend to put bases where demand is high and they can turn a profit, so if you’re lucky enough to find an outfit and a destination that gets away from the typical—say yes. To ...read more

22D6FB6F-AA49-4784-A3A8-960F5A7CE330

Cruising: Anchoring Skills

Watching charterers make a run for the last mooring in a cove is fun—and weird. I always wonder why so many would rather try to catch a mooring than drop the hook. Maybe charterers don’t trust their anchoring skills, but it’s harder to drive up and grab a buoy than most people ...read more

BD-TJV21_Malama_063

11th Hour Breakdown in the TJV

11th Hour Racing’s Mālama kicked off the second week of the Transat Jaques Vabre with keel problems, forcing co-skippers Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry to adjust for a more conservative approach to the race’s remaining 2000 miles. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of ...read more

2021-rolex-y-of-y-email-graphic

Rolex Nominations Open

Award season is upon us, and US Sailing is looking for the next Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex since 1980, the annual Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize individual male and female sailors ...read more

04-IMG_3448

Buying a New Main Sail

I’ve always known the importance of having good sails. As a low-budget boat punk, I prioritize making sure I can get where I’m going with the help of the wind, as opposed to under power. It isn’t necessarily my goal to be engineless, or basically engineless. It just happens that ...read more

WAC

VIDEO: Protocol and Class Rules of the Next America’s Cup

The Defender, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and Challenger of the Record, INEOS Britannia, have announced the protocol and class rules for the 37th America’s Cup. According to team CEO Grant Dalton, “As the oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup maintains ...read more

Chartwork

Are You Ready to Bareboat Charter?

Judging your own readiness is never easy. That goes double for chartering and running a yacht on vacation. What I hear most often from first-time charter guests is that they’ve been sailing for decades, so how different can it be to charter? The truth is it’s very different ...read more