Mudeford Sailing Club is a not for profit organisation providing dinghy sailing recreation including racing and sail training for its members.  The club owns an area of seabed adjacent to Strides boatyard within Christchurch harbour over which it has a clubhouse, jetty, pontoon and trot line moorings.  The club has a safety boat, committee boat and some dinghies available for members to use.  The clubhouse is a barge, permanently moored alongside the jetty.  The barge is used for storage of equipment associated with race management and barge maintenance, provision of simple galley facilities and as a base from which to organise sailing programmes.


The club is managed by volunteers and has no paid employees.  The club has an Executive Committee chaired by the Club Commodore.  In addition to their routine duties, some members are appointed as Trustees for particular legal aspects. The principal documents used in the management of the club are listed at Annex A to this policy statement.

Overall Safety Policy

The overall safety policy seeks to prevent accidents or ill health to club members and visitors whilst present on the club premises or participating in sailing activity associated with club membership, through adequate control of health and safety risks arising from use of the club facilities.  The responsibility for health and safety is vested in the Committee with the Commodore being ultimately responsible for management and control of the club safety arrangements.  Those arrangements are underpinned by a risk assessment and management process that is subject to regular review.  Particular aspects of H&S policy are undertaken by other members of the committee and the regulation of those aspects covered in other documents eg club sailing instructions.

Personal Responsibility when Racing

The principal responsibility for safety whilst undergoing water sports is a personal one, especially in single handed craft.  Indeed, Rule 4 of the Racing Rules of Sailing states:-
“The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone”.  
Sailing is by its nature an unpredictable sport and therefore inherently involves an element of risk.
By taking part in an event, each competitor agrees and acknowledges that:-

  • They are aware of the inherent element of risk involved in the sport and accept responsibility for the exposure of themselves, their crew and their boat to such inherent risk whilst taking part in the event;
  • They are responsible for the safety of themselves, their crew, their boat and their other property whether afloat or ashore.
  • They accept responsibility for any injury, damage or loss to the extent caused by their own actions or omissions.
  • Their boat is in good order, equipped to sail in the event and they are fit to participate.
  • The provision of a race management team, patrol boats and other officials and volunteers by the club does not relieve them of their own responsibilities.
  • The provision of patrol boat cover is limited to such assistance, particularly in extreme weather conditions, as can be practically provided in the circumstances.
  • Their boat is adequately insured, with cover of at least £2M against third party claims; “

Personal Responsibility on Training Days

The following Risk Acceptance statement is brought to the attention of those participating in Training Days:
It must be recognised that boating is by its nature an unpredictable sport and therefore inherently involves an element of risk. By taking part in the event, you agree and acknowledge that:

  • You are aware of the inherent element of risk involved in the sport and you accept responsibility exposing yourself to such inherent risk whilst taking part in the Training Day;
  • You will comply at all times with the instructions of the organiser particularly with regard to handling of boats, wearing of buoyancy aids and the wearing of suitable clothing for the conditions;
  • You accept responsibility for any injury, damage or loss to the extent caused by your own negligence;
  • You will not participate in the training whilst your ability to skipper a boat is impaired by alcohol, drugs or whilst otherwise unfit to participate;
  • The provision of patrol boat cover is limited to such assistance, as can be practically provided in the circumstances;
  • [For advanced training courses] You have satisfied yourself as to your [suitability]/[eligibility] for the course you are attending

Particular Aspects

The safety policy embraces the following aspects of the club’s operations:

  • Sailing.  The club has an annual race programme and encourages members to participate in non racing recreational sailing.  The club is affiliated to the RYA and follows the general guidelines of the RYA for race management.  The club’s Sailing Instructions are published on the website and are available in the Clubhouse barge. All competitors are expected to read the Sailing Instructions prior to racing.  Overall management of the Racing Programme is vested in the Sailing Secretary.
  • Training.  The club has dinghies that can be borrowed by club members and runs an annual training programme managed by the Training Captain.  External training providers may also be used in which case they will be contracted to comply with this safety policy.  The number of trainers/instructors shall be sufficient to ensure that any  Children aged under 18 are supervised at all times.  The club dinghies are subject to routine maintenance.  Pre-use inspections are the responsibility of the user. 
  • Food Safety.  The club has basic galley facilities and provides refreshments at most weekend and regatta events.  The food is provided and served by volunteers.  The galley service has been inspected by the Local Authority and the club follows the guidelines issued by the authority.  The galley procedures are published in the document folder in the barge and a galley volunteer training programme is held regularly.
  • Committee Boat and Safety Boat Operation.   The Club publishes Operating Instructions for the 2 powered boats that it uses for race management purposes.  The boats are manned by crews drawn from a core of well trained and experienced operators, assisted by club members rostered for duty.  Familiarisation training is given by the core crew members. 
  • Barge Maintenance.  The club has a published maintenance policy for the barge.
  • Child Protection.  Normally, minors on club premises or participating in club activities will be under parental or guardian control, but exceptionally, unaccompanied minors may take part in racing or formal race training.  The club includes the risk of inappropriate behaviour with minors in its annual risk review.  The child protection policy is in the document folder in the barge.
  • General First Aid.  Some club members have first aid qualifications and permit their names to be included in a list of First Aiders.  A first aid kit is provided in the clubhouse, and a First Aid Manual is available there.
  • Emergency Procedures.  Escape routes are marked. See Annex B for major incident procedure.
  • Safety Notice Board. This will display a safety checklist/summary including diagram with location of safety equipment and exits; stating that lifejackets are to be worn while sailing; walking along barge side-decks is to be avoided; procedure in case of emergency; list of 1st aiders and trained safety crew; location of electrical isolation switch.
  • Accident book. An accident book for recording accidents will be provided in the safety document folder.

Induction Policy

New and Temporary members are “sponsored” by an existing club member who is responsible for introducing the new member to the club and bringing to their notice how the club operates, its procedures and this safety policy. 


This Safety Policy is reviewed annually before the start of the Race Programme.

Annex A:  Listing of  Principal Documents used in Club Management.

  • Club Constitution
  • Minutes of Committee Meetings
  • Club Accounts
  • Safety Policy Statement
  • Sailing Instructions
  • Race Officer’s Little Red Book
  • Operation Guidelines for Powered Craft (This is not the craft handbook)
  • Operation Guidelines for Management Radios
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Food handling Procedures
  • Annual Racing and Training calendar
  • Arrangements for use of club dinghies.
  • Maintenance Policy and Schedule
  • Club Forms:
  • Membership Application
  • MW Entry Form
  • Open Event Entry Form
  • Galley Tab
  • Race Management Forms: Signing on and lap recording.
  • Risk assessment
  • First Aid Manual

Annex B: Dealing with a Major Incident.

For example: Serious accident or injury requiring hospital treatment, including unconsciousness, broken limbs, hypothermia, severe bleeding, trauma etc.

1. Safety boat and race officials will try to sustain life and summon emergency services.
2. Contact Emergency Services via Channel 16 (Marine VHF) or telephone 999.
The Lat/Long location of the club is:         50° 43.6’ North    1° 45.2’ West
3. Transport casualty to rendezvous point arranged with Emergency Services.
4. During the incident, care must also be taken not to endanger the remaining sailors.
5. In the event of an accident, the Race Officer should inform the Flag Officers / Sailing Secretary as soon as possible after the event.
6. Ensure the accident book (held in the clubhouse) is updated with relevant details.
7. No-one should contact or speak to the press or media except the Flag Officers or Sailing Secretary. If necessary, contact will be made with the Health and Safety Executive – 08453 450055 or report under RIDDOR – (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995).