Shoreseeker is about enabling people from all walks of life to take on challenges that they couldn't or wouldn't dream of doing on their own. Safety is a vital part of this and, whilst you don't want to become dependent on safety, it is nice to know it has been thought through...
Providing the very best safety equipment and support around you is one thing. Ensuring that you know what it is, how it works and what to do when you need it, is another thing entirely. By the time you have finished your training with us, you will gain new skills in how to use a vast array of equipment, a large part of this will be linked to maximizing your safety. We will never leave you on your journey but you are capable of more than you think.
Our boats and operation are approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who are the regulator for all British registered companies with British registered vessels, who wish to operate commercially anywhere in the world. This approval is your peace of mind that the company you are trusting you life with is operating as it should. Gaining support from the MCA is no easy task, with their standards for safety being unyieldingly high.
Our training is all about safety. Yes, you need to learn how to row, manoeuvre and live aboard an ocean rowing boat, but it is all about doing this as safely as possible. You will find that during your training you will do lots of drills to simulate scenarios that could happen during one of the challenges (or the training). While we do everything we can to minimise the chances of injury or harm to all crews, we have no control over the elements, so it all comes down to your preparation.
A big part of your safety comes from the support boat. This team is able to get to you quickly and provide assistance when you need it. They are the team that you don't want to call on, but like to know are there.
Safety on each boat
- Life-raft - one of the biggest pieces of safety equipment is your life-raft. In the unlikely event that you need to abandon your boat, then the life-raft will provide a safe haven for you while help is on its way.
- EPIRB - this is a GPS emergency device that when activated will communicate with the rescue authorities, which will then trigger a search and rescue of the crew.
- AIS - Automatic Identification System - this system works on VHF radio frequency and calculates whether any vessels in your vicinity (using their speed and course) pose a collision threat to you (using your speed and course). It quietly works away in the background and notifies you when a vessel could be a problem.
- Flares - a range of flares are on-board each boat which can be used to attract attention when you are in distress. Something that you will learn all about during your Sea Survival training.
- VHF radio - this piece of equipment is your means of communicating with other nearby vessels whilst at sea. You may need to ask a tanker to alter course to avoid passing too close to you or you might need to communicate with a search and rescue operation. It's also a nice way to communicate with the other crews.
- Satellite phone - you will quickly find that you will lose signal on your mobile phone as you head out to sea, so any communication with the race support team or further afield will need to be done via the boat's satellite phone.
- Personal AIS device - working in the same way as the boat's AIS system, in the very unlikely event that a crew member ends up being disconnected from their boat, then their personal AIS device (which is nestled in your lifejacket) can be activated, which will then raise an alarm on all nearby AIS systems. Your boat can then use this information to work its way back to the crew member and recover them on-board.
- Self-righting - the boats are designed and built to automatically self-right in the extremely unlikely event of the boat capsizing.