Safety & Sea Survival Course (SSSC)

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, the 23/24 May SSSC has been cancelled. ORCV are offering all participants who booked the option to have their booking transferred to our scheduled courses in September and November or provide you with a full refund. To organise either option, please contact Jen Benson at the ORCV office via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bookings continue to be available for additional SSSC courses currently scheduled for 19/20 September 2020 and 14/15 November 2020.

Book here for September Course.

Book here for November Course.

If you have done this course before, see the Safety & Sea Suvival Refresher Course page:


The popular, biennial Fastnet race, was first held in 1925 in the Irish Sea and is run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.  A severe storm during the 1979 race resulted in the deaths of 17 competitors and the loss or abandonment of 23 yachts.  This led to a major overhaul of the rules and the equipment required for the competition.

In the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race of 1998, fierce storms and violent winds battered the fleet with the loss of six sailors and five yachts.  A total of 55 sailors were rescued and a subsequent coroner’s inquest made recommendations which have been adopted into the Australian Sailing Special Regulations.

 At least 50% of the crew, including the skipper when racing in a Category 1 and at least 30% for Category 2 shall hold a Safety & Sea Survival Course certificate of competence. The ORCV requires 50% for Category 2 events, though it is strongly recommended that for both categories of races all crew members undertake the course. This course is a pre-requisite for ocean racing, not only to meet the safety requirements but to demonstrate an acceptance of your personal and team responsibilities for safety on board an ocean going boat.

All who are planning to spend time on a boat in open water will find this course stimulating and enlightening.  It is not only of interest to sailors but also helps shore crew to understand the safety requirements of offshore sailing and the search and rescue process in the event of an emergency.

The Safety & Sea Survival Full Course is conducted over a period of at least 16 hours, from 8.15am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday at Wesley College, St Kilda Road Campus, 577 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.


• To assist offshore skippers and crews in developing awareness of respective responsibilities.
• To offer and discuss practical strategies for coping with emergencies at sea.
To familiarise skippers and crews with safety and emergency equipment, its purpose, deployment, and use.

An SSSC certificate will be issued by Australian Sailing to successful candidates and will be valid for a period of 5 years.


Your fitness to be able to complete the wet drill and other activities is anticipated.

Safety & Sea Survival Course Content

The Theory component of the syllabus comprises four sections.

1. Yacht preparation
2  Crew preparation
3. Racing & Weather 
4. Emergencies

It will be delivered over two days (16 hours).
The theory component covers the following elements:
• Introduction - Causes of marine emergencies
• Principles of survival
• Personal lifesaving appliances
• Areas of risk and emergencies
• Abandoning ship
• Search and rescue
• Use of pyrotechnics
• Fire prevention and fire fighting
• Emergency communications
• First aid and early management of injury or illness
• Duty of care
The practical wet drill will be conducted in a heated pool.  Wearing your full wet weather gear you will complete a number of drills individually and within teams which include:

Man overboard drill
• Inflating personal flotation device (pfd)
• Testing pfd
• Swimming techniques
• Conserving heat
• Teamwork
• Retrieving and donning life jacket while in the water
• Righting an upturned liferaft
• Entering a liferaft unassisted
• Contents of survival kit
• Retrieving crew with throwing line

The practical flare shoot will include igniting several different types of flares.


Theory Exam 80% pass mark; and
Practical competency (wet and flare drills)

Course Registration Information


$365 for Financial ORCV members
$420.00 for non members and non-financial members.
$175 for youths (16 -25 years old), subsidised rate to encourage youth partipation in keelboat racing.

Places in these course are limited and cannot be reserved. The only way to ensure your place is to enrol and pay the correct fee at the time of registration. Please follow the links below to register. 

A Light lunch (salad rolls) will be provided. Please self-cater if you have special dietary requirements.
A Student Resource Pack will be provided.
Gloves and Protective Eyewear for the Flare Drill will be provided.

 Safety at Sea with ORCV1

What to Bring


• Notebook and pens.
2017-2020 AS Special Regulations Blue e-Book
• Laptop or Tablet
 Examples of current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) used on vessels you have set to sea on, as well as experiences to share with other attendees.

Wet Drill for all groups will be held on Sunday, so you must bring the following gear:

• Full 3 layer ocean clothing (inner thermal layer, mid layer and outer ocean wet weather gear layer) & sea boots.
• Wash all clothing including wet weather gear before hand and empty all pockets.
• PFD1 YA approved per Blue Book, check for currency and compliance with Standards.
• Remove gas bottle from inflatable PFD1 if inflating manually.
• Crotch strap.
• Towel.
• Do NOT bring Dye Marker.
• From a safety aspect, it is highly recommended that you wear closed toed shoes for the flare shoot.

We recommend that you prepare for this course as you would for an ocean voyage and suggest you have an early night the day before and avoid alcohol.

Additionally, the Instructors require you to wear closed shoes for the entire course, please.

Course Presenters

  • Robin Hewitt, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Simon Dryden, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Noel May, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Neville Rose, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Donald Fraser, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Martin Vaughan, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor

More Information

Safety & Sea Survival course outline

 We ask that you adhere to the guidelines requested of us by Wesley College:

Contact the ORCV Office for any queries: (03) 9088 7210 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.