Safety Policy

Safety is an essential part of our sport.  Hunters Hill Sailing Club has an excellent reputation for providing young sailors with a safe and instructive learning environment. Observing and encouraging safety is the responsibility of all members, regardless of experience and competence.

If you observe or are involved in any incident or activity that results in injury or damage to people or property or there was a real risk of injury or damage to people ot property please report this to a member of the committee as soon possible. An incident can be registered online via  

Please note the following points for a safe and successful season:

Rigging your boat

  • Boats are heavy and awkward to lift. To prevent injury to yourself or damage to other people’s property, ensure you have adequate assistance to remove your boat from its rack, trailer or car rooftop.
  • Check for children prior to lifting boats or backing trailers.
  •  Rig your boat in the designated area for your class and ensure that the passages through the rigging area are clear at all times.
  • Give yourself adequate time to rig your boat. Do a “walk-around”. Is the boat ready for sailing and all equipment in workable condition?  Don’t assume your boat and rig are seaworthy this week just because they were last week.

Launching your boat

  • Be aware of what is happening on the launching ramp. Even on calm days, ferry wash can make launching conditions difficult. Be ready to assist others - particularly less experienced sailors.
  • Clear the ramp promptly both in and out of the water. Remember to drain all seawater before returning to the grassed area.

On the water

  • You must wear an approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD) - lifejacket.
  • Maintain a good lookout for ferries and other vessels at all times - not just your fellow competitors. Members involved with training and instructing junior sailors should convey the importance of maintaining a constant lookout and the risks and dangers of a collision.
  • A good understanding of current racing rules makes for safer and more enjoyable racing.
  • In the event of a capsize, stay with your boat at all times. If you cannot right your boat due to the wind velocity or because you are exhausted, stay with your boat until a support boat can assist you.

Support and chase boats

  • Any club member operating a club motorboat must hold a NSW Maritime’s license and must have undergone HHSC instruction on boat usage. Operators rostered on to the HHSC Response RIBS should have completed the Sailing Australia Safety Boat Operators course. 
  • You must wear an approved PFD (lifejacket) when operating any of the support or chase boats and be in radio contact with the sailing club - typically the club operates on VHF Channel 73 - check before heading out.
  • Alcohol is not to be consumed in the period eight hours prior to, or during, the operation of any of the Club’s motor boats or any private boats that are involved in the sailing or racing programs.
  • Smoking is not permitted on any of the Club’s boats.

Clubhouse and boat storage area

  • Smoking is not permitted in any part of the clubhouse.
  • The Boat storage area is UNSAFE as a children’s play area. Children may not play upstairs unsupervised.
  • The boat storage area floor has been painted with a non-slip surface. However, care should still be taken when the surface is wet.

For parents of young sailors

  • Check that your child is wearing an approved PFD (life jacket) correctly and that the life jacket is the correct size. Crutch straps are recommended.
  • Check that your child is wearing suitable clothing for the expected conditions and that sunscreen has been liberally applied.

First aid

  • First aid kits are located in the canteen and in the boat storage area near the stairwell door during events. A telephone is available in the Committee Room.
  • Members involved in the training of junior sailors are encouraged to obtain senior first aid training and certification - this is a requirement for Sailing Australia certified Instructors.
  • In the event of an injury please complete an incident report via this link so that measures can be taken to prevent it from happening again. 

Sailing from the club on non-race days

Safety is the most important consideration - the sailors’ safety, the safety of the club and its equipment and the safety of other member’s equipment. For groups or individuals organizing sailing days outside the HHSC race calendar the following is recommended:

  • Except in the event of an emergency, you may not use club equipment without the prior express consent of the Commodore or his delegate.

  • Have a properly thought out rescue plan. Get advice from a member of the sailing committee if you are in any doubt as to its adequacy.

  • All equipment is to be washed down and returned to the racks or trolleys in good order. Motors are to be flushed and stored vertically.
  • Safety regulations on life jackets, radios, driver licensing etc. apply to non-race days and race days alike.
  • Before leaving check that all doors are locked, no gear is left out, the place left tidy and all taps and lights are turned off.



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