May 18, 2024

Safety at Sea - Friday, May 17

The Midwest Women's Sailing Conference is thrilled to offer the US Sailing International Safety at Sea, Hands-On Course. This is a separate event and separate registration from the conference itself. The course will be taught by women. Our US Sailing moderators will be Debbie Huntsman, Cheryl Lowry, and Lili Colby. Meet the moderators.

Where: Milwaukee Yacht Club
1700 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

When: Friday, May 17, 2024, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Fee: $275 for a single registration, $500 for a pair*

Registration Deadline: May 1, 2024 or when the class fills


Registration is full. To join the waitlist, contact Sarah Pederson:

Course Information

This course is designed to prepare you for survival offshore in on-the-water emergencies, whether cruising or racing. What you learn may save your life and the lives of others. If you are interested in the Race to Mackinac (Chicago-Mac), this course will meet the most recently posted requirements (2023). 

From the 2024 Race to Mackinac Notice of Race Section 4.i.4

Safety Training - At least 50% of a boat's crew (rounded up), including the IC and the Person-in-Charge (if other than the IC), all Watch Captains, and all minor crew (under age 18) must hold one (or more) of the following valid Safety at Sea Training Certificates at the start of The Race:

  1. U.S. Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate, or
  2. U.S. Sailing International Offshore Safety at Sea with Hands-on Training Certificate, or
  3. An equivalent valid Certificate issued by another World Sailing Member National Authority or
  4. A Story Trysail Club Junior Safety at Sea Certificate.

Step 1: Online Training Prerequisite

To receive a certification you MUST have completed US Sailing's Offshore Safety at Sea online course and provide their certificate of completion before attending. The prerequisite for most people is the "Offshore" course covering 14 topics (1-15) to receive the US Sailing International Safety at Sea with a hands-on training certificate.

***Please note, you must take your hands-on course within 365 days of completing the online course to receive your International Offshore Certificate. ***

US Sailing Members receive a discount on these courses by using the discount code found in your "My US Sailing: account number under Member Coupons.  

The online course covers a broad range of material. There is an examination after each of the topics and at the end of the course. A hard copy textbook that condenses the online course material will be available when you arrive for the hands-on day.

You must complete the online course at least 3 days before the in-person part of the course so it can be available in the US Sailing database as being completed. If not, you will not be able to attend the hands-on day. 

Register for the US Sailing Safety at Sea Course 1-15 here.

Step 2: Hands-On Training

The hands-on training is a full day, from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. You will be indoors and outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.

Major Topics Covered

  • Lessons Learned and Updates

  • Damage Control and Handling Leaks
  • Firefighting
  • Emergency and Safety Equipment
  • Emergency Signaling (Flares)
  • PFDs, Water Survival, and Life Rafts
    • You will be entering the water (pool) with your foul weather gear and PFD to experience the inflation and use of PFD. You will learn the best ways to work as a team and fight hypothermia.
    • You will practice righting, boarding, and working as a crew in a life raft.
  • Bring your inflatable device (PFD) and tether (These items are required for the course).

What to Bring

  • Set of foul weather gear (jacket, pants, boots/shoes)
  • A change of clothes
  • Bath towel
  • Duffle for your wet gear
  • Inflatable PFD (You can fly with your PFD - Guidelines available here.)

Showers will be available.

Registration Information and Costs

  • Primary registrant must be a woman. She can also register a guest of any gender.
  • Fee is $275 for a single registration, $500 for a pair
  • Space is limited to 50 participants
  • Lunch, coffee and beverages are included


7:30-8:00 am  Registration

8:00-8:20 am  Welcome and Introduction

8:20-9:05 am  SAR Organization

9:05-9:50 am  Emergency Communications

10:00-10:45 am  Hands-On Rotation 1

10:55-11:40 am  Hands-On Rotation 2

11:40 am-12:40 pm  Lunch

12:40-1:25 pm  Hands-On Rotation 3

1:35-2:20 pm  Hands-On Rotation 4: Fires and Flares

2:20-3:05 pm Crew Health: Hypothermia and Drowning

3:05-3:50 pm What's New

4:00-4:45 pm Crew Scenarios/Exam

4:45-5:00 pm Q&A, Comments and Wrap-Up

5:00 pm Conclusion


Tel: 414.522.7764

Midwest Women's Sailing Conference
P.O. Box 1099
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1099


Milwaukee Community Sailing Center
1450 N Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

lat/long: 43.045746, -87.886805

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