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Safety at Sea 2004 27-28 March, Annapolis, MD Slide 1 Risk Management in Sailing Prof. Paul H. Miller, D.Eng., P.E. Naval Architecture Program United States.

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Presentation on theme: "Safety at Sea 2004 27-28 March, Annapolis, MD Slide 1 Risk Management in Sailing Prof. Paul H. Miller, D.Eng., P.E. Naval Architecture Program United States."— Presentation transcript:

1 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 1 Risk Management in Sailing Prof. Paul H. Miller, D.Eng., P.E. Naval Architecture Program United States Naval Academy

2 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 2 Goals 1.To get sailors thinking about how risky sailing is 2.To identify the major risk factors in sailing 3.To assess risk and manage it 4.To think through a risk management scenario

3 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 3 What is Bad Risk Management? Letting something surprise you because you were not prepared!Letting something surprise you because you were not prepared!

4 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 4 Another Bad Example!

5 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 5 And Another!

6 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 6 How Risky Is Sailing*? Riding in a car (30)Riding in a car (30) SCUBA diving (2)SCUBA diving (2) Flying in a small plane or commercial aviation (1 or 0.04)Flying in a small plane or commercial aviation (1 or 0.04) Cheerleading (0.4)Cheerleading (0.4) Canoeing (0.12)Canoeing (0.12) Riding a bike (0.09)Riding a bike (0.09) Riding a PWC (0.06)Riding a PWC (0.06) Walking to work (0.025) Riding the Bus(0.02) Riding a Ferry (0.01) Riding a Train (0.01) Riding a Horse (0.01) Cabin motorboats (0.0002) *All types, as reported in CDC and USCG statistics ( ) Sailing Risk is 0.03 fatalities per 100,000 participants normalized to average hours of participation per participant Sailing is less risky than…And is more risky than… “Ocean Racing” is 0.35 (UK) Note: take these, like all, statistics with a grain of salt!

7 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 7 Injuries to Fatalities Ratio (requiring professional medical assistance) Football = 65,000 injuries/fatalityFootball = 65,000 injuries/fatality Golf = 33,000Golf = 33,000 Sailing = 200Sailing = 200 Caving/Rock Climbing = 16Caving/Rock Climbing = 16 Aviation = 2Aviation = 2

8 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 8 What is “Risk”? It is clearly associated with both the likelihood of the event occurring,It is clearly associated with both the likelihood of the event occurring, And the severity of the consequenceAnd the severity of the consequence Risk = Probability of Occurrence X Cost of Event’s Occurrence A simple example: Which carries more risk? A broken batten or a broken rudder?

9 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 9 The Supreme Court noted that, “all activities have risk… safe does not mean the absence of risk.”

10 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 10 Current Risk Philosophy If the fatality rate is greater than 1/100,000If the fatality rate is greater than 1/100,000 Or, the cost is greater than about $5,000Or, the cost is greater than about $5,000 Then insurance companies believe it is “risky” and require special policies or premiums.Then insurance companies believe it is “risky” and require special policies or premiums. “Society” has similar values, but yours may be different!“Society” has similar values, but yours may be different! Sailing is a gray area!Sailing is a gray area!

11 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 11 What is “Safety”? The Reduction of Risk by either reducing the likelihood of occurrence or the cost of consequence.The Reduction of Risk by either reducing the likelihood of occurrence or the cost of consequence. Examples:Examples: –Avoiding stormy locations (lower loads) –Redundancy (spares) –Choosing the correct time to reef –Inspecting your rig

12 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 12 Everyday Risk Skydiver?Skydiver? Motorcycle rider?Motorcycle rider? Smoker?Smoker? Cell phone user?Cell phone user? Cross the path of a black cat?Cross the path of a black cat? “Too Cautious”“Too Risky” Most Folks Do you consider yourself a “risk taker”? The “attitude factor”!

13 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 13 How Much Risk Will You (Personally!) Accept? Is this your acceptable level? Or, is this? Risk Risk Mitigators

14 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 14 Risk Mitigators in Sailing Boating EducationBoating Education Boating ExperienceBoating Experience Preparation (equipment condition and expertise)Preparation (equipment condition and expertise) AttitudeAttitude Most mitigators focus on the crew, not the equipment as 89% of recreational marine accidents are operator error!

15 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 15 More USCG Statistics Boating Education Boaters who took a boating education class in the last three years were 466 times less likely to be involved in an accident!Boaters who took a boating education class in the last three years were 466 times less likely to be involved in an accident!

16 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 16 Boating Experience Boaters with less than 100 hours experience were twice as likely to have an accident as those with hours and were 30,000 times more likely to have an accident than those with greater than 500 hours!Boaters with less than 100 hours experience were twice as likely to have an accident as those with hours and were 30,000 times more likely to have an accident than those with greater than 500 hours! An average (US) boater accumulates about 240 hours per year. (MD is about 150 hours.)An average (US) boater accumulates about 240 hours per year. (MD is about 150 hours.)

17 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 17 The Big 5 Risks in Sailing Requiring Medical Attention (USCG 2001) 1.Collision 62% 2.Grounding 9% 3.Capsize 8% 4.Fall Overboard 4% 5.Fire 4%

18 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 18 Four Steps to Managing Risk 1.Assess Overall Risk 2.Assess Increased Risk 3.Identify Risk vs Reward 4.Reduce or Accept Risk

19 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 19 Basic Sailing Risk A nice dayA nice day –Light to moderate winds –Water above 60 degrees –Boat in good condition –Regular crew –Local area Equals LOW RISK!Equals LOW RISK!

20 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 20 Increased Risks Heavy WeatherHeavy Weather Crew (experience, familiarity with boat and each other, physical condition)Crew (experience, familiarity with boat and each other, physical condition) Equipment (have it, it works, and the crew knows how to use it)Equipment (have it, it works, and the crew knows how to use it) Racing (pushing the limit)Racing (pushing the limit) “Get home-itis”“Get home-itis”

21 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 21 Example Risk Management Case Beer Can Race in Annapolis in August Winds ~6 kts, ~80 degWinds ~6 kts, ~80 deg DoublehandedDoublehanded TS warningTS warning TS cell seen approachingTS cell seen approaching PFDs put onPFDs put on

22 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 22 Example Risk Management Case Jib and mizzen dropped, main reefedJib and mizzen dropped, main reefed Other boats dropped sails, used OB, headed inOther boats dropped sails, used OB, headed in Hove-to through knot breezeHove-to through knot breeze Resumed race & won!Resumed race & won! Noticed grounded boats on the way in.Noticed grounded boats on the way in.

23 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 23 An Exercise in Risk Mgt! First race/second sail of the season (mid-April) (first sail in 5 kts) Forecast from day before is for with slowly falling temp, cloudy and wind going to the NW from NE First doublehanded race! Crew arrives and complains about hangover Assess and Manage? Based on a true story. The names have been changed…

24 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 24 An Exercise in Risk Mgt! Arrive at the start. Wind is Radio and cell phones inop. Choose #3 due to stability & visibility. Around leeward mark the starboard jib lead breaks. Quickly tacks. Jib Change to #1? Assess and Manage?

25 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 25 An Exercise in Risk Mgt! PFD on, #1 goes up, crew back on rail.PFD on, #1 goes up, crew back on rail. Coming in on port layline…Coming in on port layline… “Starboard!”“Starboard!” Quick tack & splash!Quick tack & splash! Singlehanded recovery. Crew goes below to change.Singlehanded recovery. Crew goes below to change. Assess and Manage?Assess and Manage?

26 Safety at Sea March, Annapolis, MD Slide 26 Final Thoughts Sailing does not have to be very risky.Sailing does not have to be very risky. Sailing risks can change rapidly and must be constantly assessed.Sailing risks can change rapidly and must be constantly assessed. Know that collisions, grounding, capsizing, falling overboard and fires are the most common problems.Know that collisions, grounding, capsizing, falling overboard and fires are the most common problems. Education and Experience (& practice!) are strong mitigators of risk.Education and Experience (& practice!) are strong mitigators of risk.


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