Reduce The Risk Of Cold Water Shock With These RYA Courses

2,369 views  |   May 29th, 2018 

RYA Sea Survival Course Stops Cold Water Shock


There is nothing better than jumping off a yacht in a bay and enjoying a swim in crystal clear blue seas. However, as much of the UK’s coastal water isn’t as warm as you’d expect (even in the summer) you have to be aware of the potentials dangers.

The RNLI’s recent campaign is highlighting ‘Cold Water Shock’ and offering some very good advice for sailors of all abilities. Below are also some great courses for you to help protect yourself and fellow sailors.

As the RNLI points out:

“Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement, so the risk is significant most of the year. Average UK and Ireland sea temperatures are just 12°C. Rivers such as the Thames are colder – even in the summer.”

And their advice if you do fall in:

  • Take a minute. The initial effects of cold water pass in less than a minute so don’t try to swim straight away.
  • Relax and float on your back to catch your breath. Try to get hold of something that will help you float.
  • Keep calm then call for help or swim for safety if you’re able.

When you are with First Class Sailing there shouldn’t be any reason for you to be unexpectedly in the water. Our skippers are very well trained, with many years of experience and every aspect of safety is covered.

Having said that, our aim is to get you up to the level where you take the helm and charter your own yacht. During that process, you should consider learning about best practices and at least take two of these one-day safety courses.

RYA Sea Survival Course

RYA Sea Survival Course

This is a one day course held in a classroom and a swimming pool. You will learn about and handle safety equipment. You will learn how to use it in an emergency.

An important part of the course is a practical session in a swimming pool where you get to experience first hand the problems of entering an uncooperative liferaft and assisting others whilst fully clothed and with a lifejacket on. Full details here:

RYA First Aid at Sea

In the unlikely event of a medical emergency at sea, prompt action and a little first aid knowledge can save lives.

The one day RYA First Aid at Sea Course provides a working knowledge of First Aid for people using small craft, and support to skippers of yachts and small craft working within 60 nautical miles of a safe haven.

The RYA First Aid Course is approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The certificate is valid for three years. More details here:


RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety Course

RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety Course


The aim of the 1 day RYA / ISAF Offshore Safety Course is to provide skippers and crews of yachts taking part in offshore races with the necessary skills and knowledge to deal with an emergency.

The course will give you a good knowledge of the safety equipment carried on small boats and the seamanship techniques needed to survive at sea in heavy weather.

To get the RYA / ISAF Offshore Safety Course certificate you must do this Offshore Safety course and the Sea Survival Course. The two courses may be taken in any order. If you have attended the RYA Sea Survival Course within the last five years then you need only attend this RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety Course. Full details here:

If you have any questions please call the office on 0203 006 3717 and our friendly team will point you in the right direction.

Find out more about the RNLI’s campaign here:

Posted by: First Class Sailing


Post a Comment