HSCA Safety and Communications Plan

Safety is of paramount concern, in addition to HSCA rules concerning the construction and water evacuation equipment, there is a safety meeting prior to the start of each race/cultural event that all sailing canoe captains, escort/safety boat captains, and shore support personnel must attend. At the meeting, the course is outlined, weather conditions and concerns, routine man overboard procedures, towing procedures, as well as additional concerns that may be particular to the day or location are addressed. Usually water changes do not occur, in the unlikely event persons are placed into and recovered from the ocean, hand signals and voice commands are used to indicate that the motors are in neutral and it is safe to either enter the water or come aboard the safety vessel. The commands are repeated by the persons deploying or being recovered.

All canoes have:


• Flares

• VHF radio monitoring 16 and coms on 72

• Cell phone in water resistant case

• PFDs for all crew, as well as additional floatation; including solid foam core ama and removable foam decking

• All crew are capable swimmers in rough ocean conditions

• At least one of each crew is CPR and First Aid certified

• Self-Bailers and Gusher hand pump

Motorized Escort/safety vessels:

• Are capable of towing all canoes and carrying all personnel

• Have GPS, EPIRB, PFDs for all persons aboard, flares, and towing bridal

• VHF radio monitoring 16 and coms on 72

• Cell phone in water resistant case

Part of safety is communication; standard coms are on VHF channel 72 between all canoes and motorized escort/safety vessels. There is also a designated shore side person for each race/cultural event that is to be contacted at the start and finish of the event, where all vessels and personnel are accounted for. The designated person will also be contacted in the event of any emergency situation that may arise; the designated person will then take the appropriate action if needed to aid in rectifying the situation.

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