Yesterday the World Cruising Club (WCC) team held a morning of safety demonstrations for the ARC Europe & Atlantic Cup fleet gathering at Nanny Cay. A safety flare demonstration was conducted on the breakwater to enable any crew that had not experienced the use of flares or seen them ignited before to get some hands on experience with these safety devices.

WCC’s Andy Schell spoke to the group about the three main types of flare:

  • Orange smoke – effective as a line of sight distress signal for daytime use only.
  • Red handheld – effective as line of sight distress signal by day and night, and very bright, with a good visibility range. These are very visible from an aircraft, and burn for up to 60 seconds.
  • Red parachute or rocket – capable of attracting attention in daylight for up to 10 miles, with a night-time range of up to 40 miles. The rocket launches the flare up to 300m and the flare burns for 40–60 seconds as it slowly descends under the parachute.

Demonstrations of the safe ignition of the orange smoke and the red handheld flare were provided by Lyall Burgess who then proceeded to invite some participants to fire off some recently expired flares, a great practice exercise, as you never know what conditions you might be in when you have to do it for real!

After this safe pyrotechnic display on the water’s edge, the group headed to the pool to cool down for a liferaft demonstration. It was a great exercise as many of the participants had not been in a liferaft before and had not seen one inflated before. Crew from Mad Fish, Easy Rider and Johanem all helped with the demonstration, attempting a dry and wet boarding procedure.

WCC’s Kieran Higgs then showed how to recover the liferaft from the capsized position. Participants enjoyed the morning of safety information, and were very happy to have either their memory jogged on important safety issues or for some, learning some vital safety techniques for the first time.