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Safe Boating Tips

A Harbor Emergency Rescue Drill helps ensure a summer of safe boating


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Quite possibly one of the most important ‘drills’ of the summer recently occurred just beyond the entrance to Southport Harbor. In a collaborated team effort, the Pequot Yacht Club, Vice Chairman of the Fairfield Harbor Management Commission Hugh Smith, Fairfield Marine Police, Fairfield Fire Department and a medical response ambulatory unit, performed a representative nautical emergency. This second annual vital drill is a precautionary practice run, allowing this team an opportunity to perfect protocol, in the event of a real emergency. This mock emergency practice was initiated by the Pequot Yacht Club (PYC) in June of 2013, after learning neighboring yacht clubs hosted such drills.

“We took the initiative and put this together because we have so many kids out on the water,” said Martha Murphy, Chair of the Junior Sailing Program. “We contacted the authorities last year and our drill went really well.”  PYC’s junior sailing instructors were also those among participating, as instructor Pearson Potts simulated the victim in distress as an ‘unresponsive 12-year old male with a head injury’ in a 9-foot Opti sailing vessel on Long Island Sound. 

PYC Manager Jeff Engborg explained often times these instructors are the first responders and are therefore well trained (are certified in CPR, for injuries and lacerations, defribulator use and more) in the event any type of accident occurs.

We caught up with participant Officer James Wiltsie of the Fairfield Police Departments Marine Unit and Captain aboard the 33-foot SAFE (secure all around flotation equipped) boat vessel to get some safety tips involving common mishaps!

There are six types of Coast Guard Approved, Certified Equipment, which are required aboard each recreational vessel. Read on to find out what they are...

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