Ten junior sailors from Western Michigan and Chicago attended a Storm Trysail Junior Safety at Sea class held at Macatawa Bay Yacht Club (Holland, MI)(https://mbyc.com/) on May 29, 2021.
Lead by a volunteer team of experienced offshore sailors, the attendees learned about big boat safety and how to be a useful, safe crew member on a racing or cruising sailboat offshore. Lessons included the use of inflatable PFDs, deploying and entering a life raft, crew overboard prevention and recovery. The junior sailors got to learn in a hands-on way how to use and care for safety equipment on board. Highlights of the day included a visit from the US Coast Guard's small response boat stationed just across Lake Macatawa, as well as learning and practicing the proper use of VHF and other distress communications devices.
This was the first Junior Safety at Sea class held at MBYC and was brought about by the leadership of Brendan Hagman, a board member at MBYC, a member of the Storm Trysail Club, and an active offshore racing sailor. Several MBYC members including Don Condit and Mark and Bethany Beckman took the junior sailors out for an afternoon of practice on their offshore boats. It was a beautiful day on the lake, with flat seas and good wind conditions in which to practice crew overboard recovery.
Special thanks go out to Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation (http://www.lmsrf.org/) and Wolverine Inflatables (http://www.wolverineinflatables.com/) for supplying the inflatable raft and MOM-8 unit used by the participants. Thanks also to the US Coast Guard station Holland MI for joining us.