SoPYC Emergency Response Plan

  • Although SoPYC is not equipped to provide extensive emergency response the South of Perth Yacht Club (ERP) provides a systematic approach to responding to an incident occurring during an event conducted by the Club
  • Do you have the SoPYC On Water Emergency Phone Numbers displayed on board?
  • SoPYC will pass on any emergency call to the WA Water Police and assist in coordinating external medical assistance and other assistance when a vessel or her crew is in grave and imminent danger

Notification of incident

  • When a boat needs emergency assistance, it should use all available means to attract attention
  • Do you have flares, marine radio, mobile phone, or other communications onboard?
  • In the event a vessel is seriously damaged rendering it unsafe or unseaworthy and/or a person is seriously injured have you notified the Department of Transport as required?
  • Where a yacht requires emergency response the yacht should use the standard marine emergency call procedures (MAY DAY or PAN PAN)
  • MAY DAY  – Only used if a vessel or person is in grave or imminent danger and requires immediate assistance
  • PAN PAN – Used when a May Day distress call is not fully justified – urgent message concerning the safety of the vessel or person
  • If the incident does not merit a May Day or Pan Pan call, but assistance is required, contact Race Control  0421 704 945  or on VHF ch.69

Responsibility of the Skipper

  • The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone.
  • Are you aware of the YA special regulations YASR 1.01 and 1.02 pages 185 and 186 in the Racing Rules of Sailing?
  • Have you complied with the Racing Rules of Sailing 1.2 – one PFD available for immediate use?
  • Do you have the latest weather forecast and charts for the area?
  • Is the vessel well found and adequate for the conditions?
  • Are the crew appropriately experienced to cope with reasonably anticipated conditions?
  • Do the event entry rules specify special safety requirements?
  • Is all safety equipment: maintained, easily accessible at all times and conforms to appropriate Marine standards?

Responsibility of the Crew

  • Each competitor is individually responsible for wearing a personal flotation device adequate for the conditions.
  • Are crew members briefed on their individual role on the boat?
  • Are the crew familiar with the vessel’s Person-Over-Board procedures and location of the equipment?
  • Has the crew been engaged in a practical Person-Over-Board exercise?
  • Is there at least one other crew member, in addition to the Skipper, capable of handling the vessel in all conditions?

Safety Briefing

  • A boat shall carry adequate life-saving equipment for all persons on board.
  • Has the Skipper provided a safety briefing; where it is stowed, how to use it and when to use it?
  • Does someone onboard have a Senior First Aid Certificate?
  • Have the likely dangers of participating been discussed with the crew?
  • What equipment is available for use in the event of a collision between boats or a person-over-board?
  • Are all on board familiar with the use of flares, marine radio etc in event the skipper or usual operator is incapacitated?


  • Skippers should ensure that the capabilities of all crew and passengers, as well as their own, are not adversely affected by the consumption of alcohol prior to or during any race or cruise. Aside from obvious dangers involved, the Water Police are paying increasing attention to the consumption of alcohol on private vessels and penalties can be severe.
  • Is there a policy on your vessel concerning if, when and how alcohol might be consumed?

Medical Emergency

  • For Hypothermia refer to the Advisory Appendix D in the 2009-2012 YA Blue Book Page 270
  • If urgent outside assistance is required an vessel should:
    • Transmit a PAN PAN on VHF Ch. 16
    • Contact SoPYC Race Control 0421 704 945 or on VHF ch.69
    • What is the nature of the injury or complaint?
    • Is an ambulance required, if so, at what location?


  • Refer to the Advisory Appendix C in the 2009-2012 YA Blue Book Page 264
  • Have the crew carried out Person-Over-Board exercises under all conditions of sailing?
  • If the vessel:  becomes disabled, is unable to retrieve the Person-Over-Board and/or loses sight of the Person-Over-Board she should immediately issue an urgency call and make contact with the SoPYC Race Control

Heavy Weather Sailing

  • Refer to the Advisory Appendix E in the 2009-2012 YA Blue Book Page 274
  • Be aware of the heavy load a sea places on deck fittings
  • Have you considered “heaving-to” (jib aback, main sheeted in tight and rudder steering to windward)?

Sea Sickness

  • Loss of fluids induces dehydration, encourage water intake in sips
  • Secure and position person in lowest motion part of vessel (usually the stern), face in the wind, with sight of horizon
  • Avoid alcohol and greasy foods before voyage, consider heaving-to in serious cases

Capsize and/or Sinking

  • Is anyone injured?
  • Use all available means to notify another vessel, Race Control or other responsible person of the situation
  • Stay with the vessel (unless it sinks out of sight)
  • Right the vessel if possible
  • Do everything possible to conserve core body heat


  • Assess damage and potential danger
  • Unless taking on excessive water make every effort to refloat the vessel before requesting outside assistance
  • The decision to render assistance is at the discretion of those coming to your aid

Collision resulting in Severe Damage

  • If the vessel is disabled she should immediately issue a PAN PAN on VHF Ch. 16 or phone Race Control

Toxic Spills

  • Contact the Department of Transport Oil Pollution Reporting section listed in the On Water Emergency Phone Section of your Red Book

Fire onboard

  • Most important consideration is human life, the boat is secondary
  • Prevention is preferable to fire fighting
  • Correct installation and good house-keeping, regular maintenance and fire prevention is necessary
  • If possible make a PAN PAN call
  • Was the use and location of a fire blanket and/or extinguisher covered in the safety equipment briefing?

South of Perth Yacht Club’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) provides a systematic approach to responding to an incident occurring during an event conducted by the club.

Emergency Response

SoPYC is not equipped to provide extensive emergency response. WA Water Police (or AusSAR, depending of the incident location) will coordinate emergency response for boats requiring external medical assistance or assistance when there is grave or imminent danger to the safety of boat or crew.

SoPYC will pass on any such call for assistance to WA Water Police whilst continuing to assist.

Pre Event Preparation by the Skipper and Crew

  • Ensure that all required Safety Equipment is on board and in good working condition.
  • Have sufficient crew, appropriately experienced, able to cope with the conditions likely to be experienced.
  • Brief the crew on emergency response in the case of an incident including locations of safety equipment, their emergency roles and procedures to be followed.
  • Ensure the crew is familiar with the boat’s Man Overboard (MOB) procedures. SoPYC recommends that the procedure is practiced before and during the sailing season.  Review the Man Overboard procedure here
  • Have crew on board with a Senior First Aid Certificate (recommended for all events).
  • Have crew on Board with a Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency
  • (recommended for Offshore Races.)
  • Check event entry rules and be aware of any special safety requirements.

Notification of Incident

When a boat needs emergency assistance, it should use the standard marine emergency call procedures – including PAN PAN or MAY DAY when required.

  • Contact Club    Use when assistance is required but an emergency has not yet arisen. Call the Club Emergency Response numbers.
  • PAN PAN           Use when an urgent safety message concerning safety of the boat or person is required but a May Day call is not fully justified.
  • MAY DAY          Use only when a boat or person is in grave or imminent danger and requires immediate assistance.

Emergency Response Numbers

  • Call “South of Perth Race Control” VHF Ch 69
  • Race Control Mobile 0421 704 945
  • Sailing Administrator 0412 745 944
  • General Manager 0422 418 143