The International Sailing Federation begins their Offshore Special Regulations with a call to action for the person in charge of the vessel: “The safety of a yacht and her crew is the sole and inescapable responsibility of the person in charge who must do his best to ensure that the yacht is fully found, thoroughly seaworthy and manned by an experienced crew who have undergone appropriate training and are physically fit to face bad weather. He must be satisfied as to the soundness of hull, spars, rigging, sails and all gear. He must ensure that all safety equipment is properly maintained and stowed and that the crew knows where it is kept and how it is to be used. He shall also nominate a person to take over the responsibilities of the Person in Charge in the event of his incapacitation.”
I echo the same responsibility of the Captain in my "standing orders' (available as a page on this blog.) I take my responsibility seriously and Reboot has been outfitted with extensive safety equipment.
This is all well and good. But what is your responsibility as a crew member? I suggest you have two objectives:
- To assure yourself that the boat is safe,
- To know where the safety equipment is located and how to use it.