I had a long-time GLSS sailor stop by earlier. We had a nice chat about safety equipment and protocols. He told of a sailor who died in an earlier race while being dragged on his tether after going over the side.
I’m still thinking through my equipment list and protocols for personal safety. I have a wireless remote control with the autopilot and will keep it tethered to me. Hopefully that can help to mitigate the risk of being dragged at speed. I need a harness and a couple of tethers. Jack lines will be easy on this boat. It’s a clear run from end to end.
If wearing a tether is a PFD necessary? I’ve been looking at combo devices. And what about all these other devices that people carry? I don’t strive to be the Techno Bill of sailing, but there are several attractive safety devices – PLBs that send a distress signal to SAR via satellite, hand held radios to call for help, AIS distress beacons. But strap it all on and add a knife and a flashlight and it seems a little much. I need to find the right balance, and cover risks beyond just racing. I want to be able to sail solo confidently and safely in any conditions I’m likely to encounter.