Scaling Dam Sailing Club Safety Policy
(latest update Jan. 2019 )
This important Policy sets out to explain how the Club sets out to assist you with your water activities.
Club members and other users of the Club must take responsibility of their own safety, both afloat and ashore. The Club provides several different levels of safety cover, which are detailed below. The provision of safety cover does not remove the responsibility for water users to make appropriate decisions about their own safety. Acceptance of this policy is a condition of going afloat, and water users should make sure they are aware of the level of safety cover being provided before choosing whether or not to go afloat.
Safety cover is provided at several different levels:
Patrolling Safety Cover - A crewed Safety Boat will be afloat on the water, watching all water users. This will be the case during scheduled Club activities such as 'Social Sailing' & 'Racing' (to include novice racing, club racing & open meetings). At busy times, in addition to a Patrolling Safety Boat, a Responsive Safety Boat may also be made available.
Responsive Safety Cover - A Safety Boat will be available from the pontoon and a watch kept from the shore with safety response as necessary. This is typically the case during 'Casual Watersports', when the Club is open with no scheduled event or club activity afloat. Response may be slower at these times. (NB This does not prevent the Safety Boat from Patrolling on the water during Casual Watersports, it may change between the two levels of cover depending on the conditions and numbers afloat).
Buddy Sailing/Watersports - No Safety Boat is available. Members may go afloat in groups of 2 craft or more, taking extra consideration of their own ability, the suitability of their craft, and the weather conditions. Water users should be especially aware of the limitations of rescues whilst Buddy Sailing (eg a sailing dinghy would be unlikely to tow another sailing dinghy ashore in the event of gear failure). Members should be aware of their abilities and limitations to return other water users to shore (eg a windsurfer would be unlikely to be able to recover a person in the water and return them back to shore).
Open Water Swimming - This is allowed only during scheduled Open Water Swimming sessions, during which Safety Cover will be provided predominantly by Safety Kayakers, in line with the sessions safety ratios. Safety Kayakers may be substituted, with agreement of the Session Leader and/or Water Safety Manager, with suitable alternate types of craft considering the conditions and the ability of the Safety-boater (eg, an experienced Paddleboarder may be more capable of rescuing a swimmer from a board than a Kayak).
No Safety Cover/Solo Use - It is not permitted for anybody to use the water alone; even the most experienced crews may come into difficulty, from unexpected gear failure or sudden changes in the weather conditions. In the event of the Safety Boat becoming unexpectedly unavailable, for instance in the case of a breakdown, this will be signified (if at all possible) by a flashing yellow light from the Clubhouse. Water users may elect to remain afloat on a 'Buddy Sailing' basis with the other water users present, accepting that some may not know Safety Cover has become unavailable; any person becoming the only craft afloat must return ashore.
All water users have a duty both to themselves and to other water users to support water safety.
You can improve your own water safety by:
Staying where you can be easily observed, from the shore and/or by other water users
Not going out in conditions beyond your abilities or in craft not suited for the conditions
Taking and/or seeking advice from the Club's Professionals & Instructors
Your duties to other Club members include:
Providing or seeking help for other water users if/when they need it
Alerting the Water Safety Manager or Safety Boat Crew to any situation you observe that may need attention