NSW State Coroner's Findings on the Sydney Hobart
My recommendations apply to all Category One races which take place within the jurisdiction of this Court. The jurisdiction is, of course, wide so it is appropriate to address Recommendations 1 to 12 to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney and to the Australian Yachting Federation. These recommendations may be equally applicable to Category Zero and even Category Two races and the CYCA and AYF might consider them in that context. The remaining recommendations are made to Work Cover New South Wales and the NSW Minister for Fair Trading (Product Safety) respectively.
My formal recommendations are:-
1) THAT ALL CREW MEMBERS OF COMPETING YACHTS WEAR A PERSONAL EPIRB (EMERGENCY POSITION INDICATING RADIO BEACON) WHEN ON DECK IN ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS.
2) THAT ALL CREW MEMBERS OF COMPETING YACHTS BE TRAINED IN THE USE OF PERSONAL EPIRBS.
3) THAT ALL COMPETING YACHTS CARRY ON BOARD A 406 MHz EPIRB AND NOT A 121.5MHz EPIRB.
4) THAT ALL INFLATABLE LIFE RAFTS CARRIED ON BOARD COMPETING YACHTS SHOULD COMPLY WITH THE CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS OF REGULATION 15 OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE SAFETY OF LIVES AT SEA 1960 ("SOLAS").
5) THAT THE CONTENTS OF INFLATABLE LIFE RAFTS CARRIED BY COMPETING YACHTS BE AS FOLLOWS (I have underlined additions to the requirements recommended by the Australian Yachting Federation).
EACH RAFT SHALL HAVE AT LEAST THE FOLLOWING EQUIPMENT, PROPERLY STOWED AND SECURED SO AS TO BE AVAILABLE UNDAMAGED AFTER LAUNCHING AND INFLATING.
(a) One sea anchor or drogue (attachment line should not be less than 15M) attached so that the entry point to the raft is leeward (the NMI - Pattern with anti-tangle lines is recommended).
(b) One safety knife.
(c) One bellows or hand pump for hand inflation. ( That is of one piece, ready for use and does not require assembling ).
(d) One waterproof torch (signalling). ( Together with one spare set of batteries and one spare bulb in a waterproof container ).
(e) One heliograph.
(f) One bailer. ( Easily identifiable as a bailer ).
(g) One sponge per person.
(h) One repair outfit capable of repairing punctures in buoyancy compartments. ( When such buoyancy compartments are wet with salt or fresh water ).
(i) Six emergency buoyancy tube leak stopping plugs .
(j) One buoyant rescue quoit attached to at least 30 metres of buoyant line.
(k) Four red hand-flares and two smoke signals or combination of both.
(l) Two red parachute flares. ( Of an approved type capable of giving a bright red light at a high altitude ).
(m) One signalling whistle.
(n) Sufficient drinking water, giving 0.5 litres per person.
(o) One tin of emergency rations per person.
(p) Two tubes of sunburn cream.
(q) Five plastic bags, not less than 450 mm x 300 mm per person.
(r) An operational instruction card clearly legible on the life raft and its contents, waterproofed or stencilled on the inside of the canopy ( and on the inside of the buoyancy compartments ).
(s) A USL Coastal Pack First Aid Kit.
(t) A water maker is recommended for long Category 1 and 2 Races.
(u) Two conventional paddles.
(v) One set of fishing tackle.
(w) Six anti-seasickness tablets for each person the life raft is deemed to accommodate .
(x) One waterproof copy of the illustrated table of life-saving signals referred to in Regulation 16 of Chapter V of SOLAS .
(y) One waterproof copy on how to survive in the life raft .