2015 - Safety at Sea Symposium and Practical Training

University of Massachusetts, Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston MA 02125
March 21-22, 2015

See campus map.

Safety at Sea Symposium - March 21-22, 2015

Sponsored by the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race
In conjunction with the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race

Safety at Sea Symposium and Practical Training Course Times
Saturday SymposiumBreakouts
Sunday In-Water Skills/Emergency In-Water Skills/Emergency 
Note: Medical and Weather/Gulfstream have time conflicts with session #1 In-Water Skills/Emergency
Symposium Registration

There are other Symposiums scheduled.
See http://offshore.ussailing.org/SAS/Seminars/SAS_Calendar.htm for upcoming events.

Safety at Sea Symposium

The 2015 Safety at Sea Symposium is scheduled for March 21-22, 2015 and will be held at University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts (Google Map). This event is the result of the collaboration of efforts by a number of organizations interested in promoting safety at sea. It is sponsored by the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Association and organized by the Blue Water Sailing Club, one of the three sponsors of the Marion Bermuda Race along with the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dingy Club and the Beverly Yacht Club. The Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race also has participated in the planning of the event and has encouraged their members to attend.

The symposium is sanctioned by US Sailing. The agenda includes safety topics described in the 2006-2007 “International Sailing Federation Special Regulations” (ISAF) Handbook, section 6 - Training.

MBCYR Safety Requirements - Skills

4.3.1 Safety at Sea Training: At least 30% of those aboard the boat, but not fewer than two members of the crew, unless racing single-handed, including the person in charge, shall have attended a one-day or two-day US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar within the last 5 years, or other courses as accepted by US Sailing.

Note from Race Administration: We also recommend that the majority of your return crew, especially those who have never sailed offshore, attend. It is not required (currently) that return crew attend, but we strongly recommend it. Safety is just as important cruising home from Bermuda as it is racing to Bermuda.

This symposium features a very experienced group of speakers to address a series of topics which are of vital interest to all serious sailors. In addition to the safety topics there will be breakout sessions for the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race and the Marion Bermuda Race.

On-site registration will begin at 0700, March 21, 2015. The program begins promptly at 0730 and is scheduled to continue until 1600. Marion to Bermuda and Marblehead to Halifax breakout sessions will follow and end at 1800. A notebook and pen is recommended for all sessions and for the Sunday in-water session, a bathing suit and towel is needed.

Safety at Sea Symposium at University of Massachusetts Boston - Saturday 0730 to 1600 Campus Center (Main Ballroom)

Edward J. Stott - Chairman

Edward J. StottEd has logged over 60,000 ocean miles via numerous Caribbean deliveries on private yachts as well as his own Swan 44, cruising in the Caribbean and South Pacific, and racing offshore to Bermuda and Transatlantic. He has served in leadership positions as Skipper, Watch Captain and Navigator. Ed is knowledgeable in passage-making, preparation for an offshore voyage, mechanical repairs at sea as well as meteorology. He has authored articles about sailing preparation, safety and boat maintenance which have appeared in Cruising World and Blue Water Sailing magazines.

Ed is a member of the Blue Water Sailing Club, one of the sponsoring clubs to the Marion Bermuda Race, where he has served on the Board of Governors as the Offshore Chair and a member-at-large. Since 2010, Ed has served on the Safety at Sea committee and Marketing committee for the Marion Bermuda Race. Ed currently serves on the Marion Bermuda Race Executive Committee as the Safety at Sea Chairman.

He has spent his career in sales and marketing within the Insurance, Software Technology and Marine industries. Ed is currently the owner of Stott Marketing, a business to business marketing strategy and consulting company. Ed is also an accredited business counselor for SCORE.

John Rousmaniere - Moderator

John RousmaniereThe event will be sanctioned by US Sailing and moderated by John Rousmaniere. He is an acknowledged expert on safety at sea and has more than 40,000 miles of blue water behind him, including nine Newport Bermuda Races (with two second place finishes) and three Atlantic crossings. He wrote The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Fastnet, Force 10, the well-known account of the fatal 1979 Fastnet race storm (in which John sailed), and the history of the A Berth to Bermuda - Newport Bermuda Race. He has moderated or spoken at more than 100 safety and seamanship seminars. He co-organized and wrote the final report of the most recent crew overboard rescue trials.

Gail Greenwald - Crew Issues: Solution, Training & Shipboard Routines

Gail GreenwaldGail Greenwald and her husband Roy have logged over 30,000 offshore miles in their Valiant 42, Cordelia, including completing the Atlantic circle (Massachusetts-Azores-Canaries-Caribbean), several other Atlantic passages, and -- so far -- crossing half the Pacific. Cordelia is presently in French Polynesia, and Gail and Roy will resume the Pacific crossing in April. They have sailed the Marion-Bermuda race in the celestial division three times. Gail won the Navigator’s Trophy in 2003.

Bill Biewenga - Accident Scenarios & Solutions

Bill BiewengaBill Biewenga is an offshore sailor who has accumulated over 400,000 sea miles in virtually every ocean of the world. His experience includes 39 transatlantic crossings, several TransPacs, numerous record attempts, deliveries and races, as well as participation in four round the world races and multiple listings in the Guinness Book of Records. He has experience as skipper, navigator, weather analyst/router, watch captain, helmsman, deck hand, and project manager. He uses his extensive marine background as a photojournalist and weather routing consultant while continuing his participation aboard a variety of vessels in the world’s major offshore events. Bill also has offered educational weather seminars in cooperation with North U., and has presented a series of online seminars through his website at http://www.weather4sailors.com and provides other learning tools through his site at http://www.WxAdvantage.com. Currently, Bill is the Chief Operating Officer for Qv21 Technologies, LLC, which provides logistics support software, primarily to the Oil & Gas Industry. Information is available about that activity at http://www.Qv21.com.

Will Keene - President, Edson International

Will KeeneWill Keene has worked at Edson, designing and specifying steering systems for boat builders and naval architects from around the world, for the past 35 years. He has served as president for 25 of those years for the 155 year old marine manufacturer of sailboat steering systems, marine pumps, electronics mounts, and related marine products. Before starting at Edson in 1979, Will worked for Cape Dory Yachts as a manager in the quality control, customer service, and inventory control departments. Will has restored numerous classic sail and power boats, concentrating on creating functional, safe, yet elegant cruising vessels from boats that are otherwise “diamonds in the rough.” Will makes his home in South Dartmouth, MA and is an avid boater and salt water angler.

Chris McNally - Communications

Chris McNallyChristopher J. McNally Esg,- Lives in Newport RI, and is a member of the Cruising Club of America. He holds a USCG 500 Ton Ocean Masters license and a 200 Ton RYA Yacht Master upon Oceans certificate. Christopher is a practicing Maritime and Ocean and Coastal Law attorney at Sayer Regan & Thayer, LLP in Newport, RI.
Christopher has tens of thousands of ocean miles sailing on a multitude of vessels, many thousand of which came from his time as mate, captain and educator of the sailing school vessel GERONIMO, the sail training platform for St. George’s School. He also launched and developed a maritime training program in Southern California for Orange Coast College with the goal of bringing talented young men and women into the professional maritime industries.
Christopher is the Chair of Communications and Emergency Management for the Newport to Bermuda Race and remains active in the New England maritime community. He can be reached by email at cmcnally@srt-law.com.

Medical Seminar - Sunday, March 22, 2015 0800 to 1000

Michael Jacobs MD

Michael Jacobs, MDDirector, Annual MedSail Educational Conferences “Medicine for Mariners and Safety at Sea” 2003-present; U.S. Coast Guard licensed Captain 100 Ton; co-author of “A Comprehensive Guide To Marine Medicine,” author of chapter “Survival At Sea” in the textbook of Wilderness Medicine (past three editions). Speaker at “Safety At Sea” conferences and “Wilderness Medical Society” (WMS) conferences. Practicing physician on Martha’s Vineyard. Life long sailor with extensive ocean and coastal sailing experience. Winner of Multihull division Newport to Bermuda race aboard trimaran “Moxie.” Medical consultant to Adventure Medical Kits.

The two hour session will consist of presentations by Dr. Jacobs on topics that include sea sickness, hypothermia, dehydration, extremity injuries, head and neck injuries, surgical problems, medical conditions, the dangers of sun exposure, pain control and suggestions of appropriate medicines to have on board, followed by an open question and answer period. Handouts will be available.

  • Seasickness: cause, prevention, treatment
  • Health Maintenance at Sea - Discussion of the “Fearsome Five:”
    Food (Energy), Fluids (Dehydration), Fahrenheit (Sun exposure, hypothermia), Fatigue (sleep deprivation, watch schedules), Fitness (Illness and injury)
  • Marine Medical Kits - Discussion of some essential supplies, goals of on-board care, and discussion of common medical problems.
  • Telemedicine - Concept of telemedicine and how to report a medical problem.

Understanding Weather & the Gulf Stream - Sunday, March 22, 2015 1015 to 1300 Campus Center

Ken McKinley, Locus Weather, Camden, Maine

Ken McKinleyKen McKinley earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 1980, and did graduate work in meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. He has owned and operated Locus Weather, based in Camden, Maine, for 20 years. A significant portion of his meteorological consulting work involves providing custom weather forecast services to ocean voyaging yachts worldwide, both racers and cruisers. He has supported clients in the Marion Bermuda Race, the Newport Bermuda Race, the Marblehead Halifax Race, the Bermuda 1-2, the Chicago-Mackinac Race, the Caribbean 1500, and the Fastnet Race as well as other local and regional races. He is also involved in meteorological training and education, serving as a USCG certified instructor at professional maritime schools in Florida and Maryland. He has taught undergraduate meteorology courses at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ME. He has also presented several two day weather courses to recreational mariners. He has published several articles in Ocean Navigator and Ocean Voyager magazines.

Frank Bohlen, Professor of Oceanography Emeritus

Frank BolhlenFrank Bohlen is a Professor of Oceanography Emeritus in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. For the past forty years he has been studying ocean and near-shore currents and transport using a variety of field and laboratory techniques. He is currently part of the team maintaining the Long Island Sound observatory (MYSOUND.uconn.edu). In addition to his scientific work he is an experienced ocean sailor and navigator and has sailed transatlantic four times and participated in 16 Newport Bermuda races and 10 Marblehead-Halifax Races. He received the Mixter Trophy as navigator of the winning yacht in the 1986 Newport Bermuda Race (Puritan - IMS). Since 1998 he has been presenting Gulf Stream Tutorials for the Newport Bermuda Race. Past editions of these can be obtained at Bermudarace.com.

This session will be presented by Ken McKinley, a professional meteorologist specializing in forecasting for ocean voyaging yachts, both cruising and racing, and Frank Bohlen, an oceanographer, Marine Sciences professor at the University of Connecticut, and an experienced offshore racer/cruiser and navigator.

The weather portion of the session will start with an overview of some basic meteorological concepts, then will focus on the formation and development of mid-latitude lows and their fronts, the types of wind and weather they produce, and how they affect the coastal waters of the U.S. and Canada and the western Atlantic. Information about the weather charts which are available and how they can be used will be presented, and a discussion of typical weather patterns which prevail over the waters between New England, Atlantic Canada, and Bermuda will take place.

The Gulf Stream portion will include a discussion of the factors governing the Stream, and similar warm water ocean currents, its structure and dynamics, characteristic variability in space and time, and the use of a variety of satellite data for trip planning purposes.

For portions of the session, both presenters will be working together to present information about how weather systems and warm water currents, such as the Gulf Stream, interact and the conditions that can result.

In Water Training - Sunday, March 22, 2015 0830 to 1200 or 1330 to 1700 Clark Athletic Center

Dan O'Connor

Dan OConnor(2009) Dan has worked full time with Life Raft and Survival Equipment Inc. since graduation from college. He literally grew up in the company his father started in 1983, sweeping the floors since he was ten years old. He currently sits on the board of directors for the USMSA (United States Marine Safety Association). Prior to working for the family business he spent countless summers running junior sail training programs. Dan has also completed numerous offshore passages, including two double handed passages up the Southeast Passage of Alaska, across the Gulf of Alaska, and through Prince William Sound.

At LRSE, Dan oversees their service departments while actively creating, developing, and carrying out marine safety training programs for all types of mariners, ranging from the US Navy, to commercial fisherman, to offshore sailboat racers. He is a USCG approved marine safety instructor.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Emergency responses and seven steps to survival
  • Survival Kit necessities
  • Immediate and delayed onset emergencies
  • Cold water survival skills
  • PFD care and usage
  • Boarding a life raft
  • Abandon ship preparation
  • Proper release, righting, and boarding survival craft
  • Improving life raft stability

U. Mass. Campus Map

What hotels near U Mass/Boston do you recommend for those traveling a distance to attend the Safety at Sea?

Depending on your budget and amenities you desire, here is a good resource to help you plan: http://www.hotelplanner.com/Hotels/2058-NEAR-University-of-Massachusetts-Boston. The gentrified Seaport district, near the Boston Convention Center, is a fantastic area, complete with top notch hotels and nearby excellent restaurants, all within walking distance of each other and is probably only a 15 minute drive, max, to U Mass/Boston.

Parking and Directions for U Mass/Boston?


Thank You to Our Sponsors

Kingman Yacht Center
Cay Electronics
The Hinckley Company
Edson International
Headsync LLC
Landfall Navigation
Digicel Bermuda
North East Rigging Systems
Locus Weather
MacDougalls' Cape Cod Marine Service, Inc
Team One Newport
Life Raft + Survival Equipment
Ocean & Coastal Environmental Sensing
Quantum Sail Design Group (Thurston Sails)
Fairhaven Shipyard
Dock & Harbor Maine