Sailing is the epitome of leisure. A calm and relaxing cruise down a local canal, or even on the open seas, sailing is a pastime enjoyed by many at home and abroad. Sometimes though, accidents can happen when sailing and are a major cause of accidents on holiday.
According to statistics published by the Wilderness Medical Journal, the top 3 injuries for keel boats were leg contusions (11 per cent), hand lacerations (eight per cent), and arm contusions (six per cent), and in dinghies they were leg contusions (13 per cent), knee contusions (six per cent), and leg lacerations (six per cent). The most common mechanisms of injury were “trip/fall,” “hit by object,” and “caught in lines.” Tacking, heavy weather, and gibing were the most common factors contributing to injury.
Here are some of Accident Advice Helpline’s tips for safety when sailing:
- Always check the weather forecast before sailing
- Be aware of offshore winds
- Sail at a recognised club or launching location
- Check all equipment for reliability
- Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back
- Check local regulations and restricted areas
- Always wear a type two PFD
- Protect yourself from the elements with correct clothing and sunscreen
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
- Understand right of way rules and responsibilities between vessels
- Know how to lower or de-power sails in an emergency
- Always stay with the boat even after a capsize
- Understand internationally recognised distress signals
- Avoid the onset of hypothermia and know how to treat it
- Practice the ‘heave to’ position, and person overboard drill
- Carry appropriate safety equipment
If you’ve been injured within the last three years as a result of sailing, and it wasn’t your fault, then you may be able to claim for compensation, regardless of whether the accident was at home or abroad. Accident Advice Helpline have an extensive legal team across the UK who specialise in all areas of personal injury law. Contact us today. Our Freephone lines are open 24/7 where a friendly and professional adviser is waiting to take your call on 0800 689 0500. All claims are made on a 100% no-win, no-fee basis, and you are under no obligation to proceed with any claims. Alternatively, you can find out online whether or not you may qualify for compensation by taking our 30-second test.