Health & Safety

As a responsible club, we have a number of guidelines to promote safe sailing and the safety of our members engaging with such activities. Any questions regarding this section should be addressed to a flag officer – see the who’s who page for their contact details.

Club Sailing Events

The person best able to evaluate the capabilites of the crew, the abilities of the boat and the challenges that he/she and the crew are able and willing to accept, is the skipper of each vessel.

As such the fundamental principle in all boating events (with the limited exception of novices under training and children where they are in charge of the boat) is that it is the responsibility of the skipper of each craft to decide whether to start or continue an event, in the light of his or her competence, the ability of the crew and the suitability of the craft for the conditions likely to be encountered.

Cruising in Company

A ‘Cruise in Company’ is defined as a cruise of two or more boats which during their passage from one location to another do so while being in communication with each other, by prior arrangement.

Each participating skipper should be familiar with any conditions of a ‘Cruise in Company’ available on this page of our site.


Yacht racing can be dangerous. For safety advice/requirements, skippers and their crews should read the Notice of Race and/or Sailing Instructions for the event being entered.


Falling on the slipway has been identified as one of the highest risks within the club. The likelihood of slipping is considerably reduced when wearing treaded footwear rather than sailing boots or deck shoes. Equally, if you walk sideways you will be less likely to hit your head in a fall.

Dinghies should not be left unattended on the slipway when there is the likelihood that they may start sliding and collide with somebody.

When manoeuvering your dinghy into and out of the rack please make sure that the area is clear in case the dinghy falls.

When not in use, all dinghies should be locked to prevent children from ‘borrowing’ them and putting themselves at risk.

If you find yourself stuck in the mud, lie down  to spread your weight and swim over the mud.

You are more at risk from drowning in a tender that on a yacht, so use a lifejacket.

On transit to or from Chapel Pill, contact Bristol VTS. on Ch12 for traffic advice. At night, carry a white light and a means of giving an audible signal, e.g. a whistle. Carry at least one oar in case the outboard fails.

Occasionally ships still make passage up the River Avon, so if you need to anchor in the river please advise Bristol VTS on Ch12.

When approaching a blind bend in the river (e.g. Horseshoe bend) give one log blast (or equivalent sound signal) as a warning.

Work Parties

As a not-for-profit venture, the club relies on its members to assist with certain activities for the benefit of the club. Working parties are a regular fixture to ensure maintenance of the clubs facilities and follow some basic guidelines to ensure member safety.

  • No electrical work is to be undertaken unless carried out by a qualified electrician and with permission from the Rear Commodore.
  • No club member is to work on the club’s premises alone, unless permission has been granted by the Rear Commodore.
  • Any work requiring lifting should be assessed for safety beforehand – only lift within your capabilities.
  • Ladders should not be used except where their use has been assessed by the Rear Commodore.
  • The mud contains hidden sharps. When working on the moorings always wear suitable Personal Protective Equipment.
  • If not familiar with working on moorings, then contact the Rear Commodore for advice before joining any such work party