The water can be a powerful enemy for many sailors, and even those who have trained and studied meticulously are not free from danger.
National Safe Boating Week is promoted to enhance the experience of those that spend time out on the water sailing. It aims to highlight the dangers and help to teach sailors that doing things safely enhances their sailing experience.
To kick-start the week, sailors in cities around the globe gathered to try and set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflated.
On the fifth annual ‘Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day’, safety on the water was top of the agenda in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of the sea.
The National Safe Boating Council backed the event, as it has the whole week, in a bid to encourage the voluntary wearing of life jackets when sailing.
In 2013, 5,774 gathered at 185 events across the world to set the new world record, meaning that more than 13,000 people have participated since it began in 2010.
That figure will have risen yet further in the wake of the latest event and led to rising participation levels in sailing and boating, both in the UK and globally.
Due to the dangers related to sailing – weather conditions can change in an instant for example – safety is of prime importance, as is knowing how to cope with an emergency.
From knowing what to do should the boat capsize or if a man goes overboard to how to give medical assistance to those in need – all aspects are covered.
Survival courses will go into even greater detail and will ensure that all aspects of recovery are understood so that people can act quickly should something go wrong.
An emergency situation will always be unexpected and while it is virtually impossible to reduce the risks related to sailing, they can at least be mitigated.
Avoiding the seven deadly sailing sins is one such way of doing this, as this promotes safety and will ultimately encourage a more enjoyable overall sailing experience.
Sailing courses are a further way to boost how enjoyable a boating experience is, as knowing how to do the essentials will mean sailors do not feel left out at any point.
Basic courses will teach the absolute essentials, while those wanting to go a step further can consider advanced courses and ultimately day skipper courses.
These teach the aspects of navigation and prepare people for the prospect of skippering vessels on their own – although a lot of time and dedication is required.
However, this develops experience and ultimately, time on the water will be what turns a novice into an experienced boatman – although there is always room for improvement.
Another safety aspect to consider when sailing is the general state of the vessel being used – small issues can quickly become major problems if left unchecked.
When purchasing a second hand boat there are a number of factors that should be considered and many of these will relate to the condition that the boat is in.
In order to enjoy a fulfilling yet safe sailing experience, care should always be taken to ensure that there are as few risks as possible.
Those doing this can then go sailing, safe in the knowledge that they have done all they can to protect themselves.