Looper

Yacht Club Lifejacket Rules for Kids

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I'm actively working on a pitch to require youngsters of a certain age wear lifejackets on club grounds.  I'm looking for info from other clubs as to how this is handled.  If possible can you share your club's policy?  Bonus points if you share what club it came from.  Thanks!  MP

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Commonly this is limited to the club's sailing school because the club is in charge/responsible for the kids during that time.  Other than that, they were the in charge and the responsibility of their parents at all other times.  Good luck with that.

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I've heard of clubs requiring kids to wear PFDs while on the docks, but not the whole grounds. That seems a bit much.

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pretty easy policy, all juniors are required to wear pfd's while on the dock at all times at ryc. grounds are not required

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Our  Club Rules :

ALL children under the age of 13 MUST wear a pfd at all times on the docks and/or in all launches and tenders. ALL children under the age of 13 MUST be accompanied by an adult while on club docks or launches /tenders

ALL Junior sailors and Instructors MUST wear a PFD while on the Docks/ Chase Boats or Junior Progarm boats....

ALL Adults MUST Wear a PFD on the Docks and ALL Club Owned tenders and dinghys as per NYS law prior to May 1st and after Oct. 31st

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Sandusky Sailing Club requires kids (age 12 and under) on or near the docks to wear PFD's 

(suggest PFD's with crotch straps for smaller kids) 

Our members are pretty good about following this - in the past we have had small kids fall in the water, and 

that really got peoples' attention 

(We have pretty large grounds - it would not be reasonable to require kid pfd's everywhere 

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9 minutes ago, Glenn McCarthy said:

Commonly this is limited to the club's sailing school because the club is in charge/responsible for the kids during that time.  Other than that, they were the in charge and the responsibility of their parents at all other times.  Good luck with that.

 

7 minutes ago, Mark Set said:

I've heard of clubs requiring kids to wear PFDs while on the docks, but not the whole grounds. That seems a bit much.

 

6 minutes ago, ease hike trim said:

Dock is very common.  YC grounds sounds pretty unrealistic.

I should clarify that our club grounds are only present extremely close to the docks.  Stop being critical.

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ah, so that is where the joke came from when we were chilling on the patio with the newborn on Saturday. :ph34r:

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2 hours ago, dacapo said:

Our  Club Rules :

ALL children under the age of 13 MUST wear a pfd at all times on the docks and/or in all launches and tenders. ALL children under the age of 13 MUST be accompanied by an adult while on club docks or launches /tenders

ALL Junior sailors and Instructors MUST wear a PFD while on the Docks/ Chase Boats or Junior Progarm boats....

ALL Adults MUST Wear a PFD on the Docks and ALL Club Owned tenders and dinghys as per NYS law prior to May 1st and after Oct. 31st

Seriously you make adults wear PFD's on the dock??  That's a bit too much nanny state for me.

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In the Fifties Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club made us wear life jackets shore to shore  while sailing...

but

it was against the rules to swim wearing a life jacket.

lifejackets were considered to be safety equipment which MIGHT help save the life of an injured person. 

Lifejackets were not to be used to give poor swimmers the sort of unjustified confidence which could cause them to drown if the lifejacket came off. 

The summer junior program consisted of swimming lessons every morning and sailing after lunch. In the junior program my brother, sister, and I picked up every Red Cross certification from Beginner Swimmer through Advanced Swimmer and Lifesaving. 

As I see it, for those participating in our sport  swimming is much much much more important than sailing. CLYC had it right. I wish I had the personal resources to cause  a similar program at my own club. 

 

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2 hours ago, fan said:

Seriously you make adults wear PFD's on the dock??  That's a bit too much nanny state for me.

only on boats but you gotta have the pfd on before getting intot he boat..NYS  rules.  

  • ll vessels (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must have at least one USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (life jacket) for each person on board.
  • All persons on board a recreational vessel less than 21 feet in length (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must wear a USCG–approved PFD from November 1 to May 1.
  • In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer (except canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must have one USCG–approved Type IV (throwable) PFD on board.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and readily accessible. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
  • New York law requires that all children under 12 years of age wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD while on board any vessel less than 65 feet in length (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) unless they are in a fully enclosed cabin.
  • Each person riding on a PWC or being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD.
  • One Type V PFD may be substituted for any other type if it is specifically approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for the activity at hand. Type V PFDs may not be substituted on children weighing less than 90 lbs.

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how warm is the water in San Diego in April?  on the Hudson River it's approx. 45-49 degrees

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We require children to wear lifejackets on the docks and launches.  Net bags with spare lifejackets are hung at the heads of each dock ramp so they can be borrowed and put on if needed. After wearing a borrowed lifejacket, kids remember to bring & wear their own the next time. The Jr. Sailing program also requires all students and instructors to wear lifejackets on docks and in boats. When we take juniors out for Big-Boat practice, we wear lifejackets on deck along with them.   

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All children under the age of 11 must wear a pdf when on the club grounds.  The club grounds are fairly small a kid could get away pretty quick.

all members are cool with it.  It really no big deal.  

I am adding if inside club house no pfd

 

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Perhaps you could get them all to carry and continuously ring a bell, too

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I guess the obsessive safety culture is something you can get used to. But it sounds kind of depressing.

I wonder if my kids (and myself) would be as accomplished swimmers as they are now if we had that requirement then. 

 

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Amusing how many people assumed club grounds were large enough to make this rule silly. Children do have a habit of ‘forgetting’ in the excitement. These sorts of rules are very venue specific and need to be applied accordingly.

The UK’s RNLI had (maybe still has) a campaign & to paraphrase “A life jacket is only any use when worn”. Often these sort of messages are more effective if drummed into people, especially youngsters, rather than expecting them to blindly do something without explaining to them why.

I would say though it is wrong to knock or make fun of a club’s safety regime.  Better to be (too) safe than have an avoidable tragic incident

SS

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335mfp.jpg

 

Hit meme 1.jpg

Hit meme 2.jpg

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10 hours ago, Looper said:

I'm actively working on a pitch to require youngsters of a certain age wear lifejackets on club grounds.  I'm looking for info from other clubs as to how this is handled.  If possible can you share your club's policy?  Bonus points if you share what club it came from.  Thanks!  MP

Boooo. You suck.

How about teach the kids to swim.

This nanny state shit is why kids fall into the water in the first place. 

If you baby everyone so much no one is taught the dangers of anything, so no one is cautious, which increases the chances people die.

It's like helmets snowboarding, more people die when wearing helmets than not, because when you put a helmet on them, they are instinctively more dangerous. It's why no resort mandates safety equipment, and all the ones that did once, stopped very quickly. 

Also it'll reduce interest in the sport with children, it makes being around the boatyard more boring and monotonous, so all the kids who are barely interested already will be less interested in sailing, and more likely to stop. Therefor already reducing our dwindling numbers. Like mandated helmet wearing on cyclists, less cyclists died by like 5%, but the total kilometres cycled by people dropped by 10%, so per kilometre cycled more peopke died and less kilometres were cycled, a double negative.

9 hours ago, dacapo said:

Our  Club Rules :

ALL children under the age of 13 MUST wear a pfd at all times on the docks and/or in all launches and tenders. ALL children under the age of 13 MUST be accompanied by an adult while on club docks or launches /tenders

ALL Junior sailors and Instructors MUST wear a PFD while on the Docks/ Chase Boats or Junior Progarm boats....

ALL Adults MUST Wear a PFD on the Docks and ALL Club Owned tenders and dinghys as per NYS law prior to May 1st and after Oct. 31st

Is this a fucking joke?!

That's more pathetic than a blog I read about a guy who lets other guys fuck his wife whenever she wants.

9 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Sandusky Sailing Club requires kids (age 12 and under) on or near the docks to wear PFD's 

(suggest PFD's with crotch straps for smaller kids) 

Our members are pretty good about following this - in the past we have had small kids fall in the water, and 

that really got peoples' attention 

(We have pretty large grounds - it would not be reasonable to require kid pfd's everywhere 

Do the kids not swim?

I don't see why in an area with kids being around sailing doesnt teach then to swim and would therefor have no requirement to need life jackets.

3 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Amusing how many people assumed club grounds were large enough to make this rule silly. Children do have a habit of ‘forgetting’ in the excitement. These sorts of rules are very venue specific and need to be applied accordingly.

The UK’s RNLI had (maybe still has) a campaign & to paraphrase “A life jacket is only any use when worn”. Often these sort of messages are more effective if drummed into people, especially youngsters, rather than expecting them to blindly do something without explaining to them why.

I would say though it is wrong to knock or make fun of a club’s safety regime.  Better to be (too) safe than have an avoidable tragic incident

SS

Ill make fun of them every day of the week. If you take your kids sailing, they are old enough to swim, and it should be expected that kids in that situation who are left unsupervised have been taught to swim. Kids don't forget how to swim.

Why don't we just ban everything, and live in plastic bubbles at home and not do anything with our lives, lest an avoidable tragic accident happen. Hell a friend died in a car crash a little while ago, should we just reduce the speed limit on all roads to 5kmph and install 6 foot thick foam padding around all cars?

How about, if someone wants to wear a life jacket, we just fucking let them decide for themselves, and for little children then let the parents decide. It's their choice to be near the water, its their right to look after themselves.

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2 minutes ago, darth reapius said:

Boooo. You suck.

How about teach the kids to swim.

This nanny state shit is why kids fall into the water in the first place. 

Que Idiota ! 

Yeah, the Reich is all about personal responsibility for three years olds. 

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1 minute ago, AJ Oliver said:

Que Idiota

Yeah, the Reich is all about personal responsibility for three years olds. 

I could say the exact same about you.

You are a fucking moron if you let a 3 year old run around unsupervised near hazards.

It is the parent or guardians responsibility in the case of children too young to look after themselves to either, to maintain their safety.

If you let your 3 year old run around near the water, then you should be right there with them.

If you let your child of any age around near water, you should fucking teach them to swim. If you don't, then you should put a life-jacket on them and not let them outside of your sight, but that should be on the guardian NOT THE CLUB OR OTHERS, and should not impact others.

Lets just make life shittier for 99% of people because 1% of people are fucking retarded and have no concept of judging hazards.

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2 minutes ago, darth reapius said:

I could say the exact same about you.



Sure you could, but you'd still be an idiot. 

Ever taken on a position of responsibility at a boating club ? 

Tell us all about the Libertard freedoms you brought to the unwashed masses. 

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At our scout boat shed we have "a feet in the water, pfd on" policy.

We don't really have space to swim, so not generally an issue, however, the kids do love just floating about in a PFD. So do I. Yes I'm lazy. Yes I'm OK with that.

Key here is we say it applies to all ages. Adults and older youth helpers set the example for the younger kids. Also important to note outside our "staff" group, most kids who come to the shed have little boating experience. Scouts don't believe in bubble wrap. In fact part of the Water Safety/Activities badge is being able to swim with clothes on and be able to take them off in the water. However, when boating, PFDs get worn.

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The main club I belong to occupies an entire small island with moorings all the way round , children under 12 have had to wear lifejackets for many years, when on the island.

I visited another club last week, as you leave the dinghy park toward the slipway, moorings  and club, there's a sign saying under 12's must wear a lifejacket Beyond that point.

Oh and of course they must wear life jackets when sailing, the minimum age for sailing and being on the helm being aged 8 on the Broads.

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45 minutes ago, AJ Oliver said:

Sure you could, *but you'd still be an idiot*. 

Ever taken on a position of responsibility at a boating club ? 

Tell us all about the Libertard freedoms you brought to the unwashed masses. 

*In your opinion*, which given your socio political stance, I do not care for.

Yes I have, I am not so old as to do the boring office jobs, but skipper the safety boat regularly at club days and events when it doesn't interfere with events or days I am competing.

Thank you for pointing out the fact I am clearly libertarian, at least I have some thought people can fucking (and should have the right to) think for themselves, go move to China or something and participate in whatever restrictive bullshit you Authoritarians love, like tracking peoples movements and taking away freedoms from people and pretending it's for the "greater good" all while making the world a shittier place.

It's bullshit like this which is why junior sailing participation is dying. Congratulations on being the reason people choose to watch netflix all day on weekends and get fat instead of going sailing. You make shit hard, boring, and come up with these rules, and make it such an effort to do anything that people just don't bother anymore. It's no wonder 70 percent of people are fat.

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We have over 80 kids learning to sail at a small club out in the countryside, very Thursday afternoon / evening all wearing life jackets, participation isn't dying because of life jackets.

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1 minute ago, The Q said:

We have over 80 kids learning to sail at a small club out in the countryside, very Thursday afternoon / evening all wearing life jackets, participation isn't dying because of life jackets.

Cool, it isn't specifically the life jackets, it the ever growing rules and boring shit that kids have no interest in that is aiding to the decline. My point is that if we bring 20 new kids in a season into the club, 10 of them are going to stop before the season is over (because they never were interested), 5 of them are hooked and will be back next year, and the other 5 are on the fence... Those 5 may not continue on account of all the silly rules. A kid who was... "meh, I'll go again next season, dad", when a confident swimmer and forced to wear a jacket may become a "nah, can I play football next season dad". It's like when people say here in Aus, "oh look at that, we reduced cyclists deaths by 5% when we enforced helmet wearing on cyclists" but disregard the fact they reduced the total participation in cycling by 10%, meaning less people died, but more people died per participant.

Now the reason I say all this, the club I sail at has at most, 20 junior boats at it per week, when I was a junior 15-25 years ago that number was easily over 50.

All three clubs I sail from have such a low numbers of junior members and young adults joining, they all offer massive discounts like almost free junior membership, and reduced adult member rates (at 28 yo it's 50% off!).

Also our city has also doubled in population in that time.

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5 hours ago, darth reapius said:

 

Ill make fun of them every day of the week. If you take your kids sailing, they are old enough to swim, and it should be expected that kids in that situation who are left unsupervised have been taught to swim. Kids don't forget how to swim.

Why don't we just ban everything, and live in plastic bubbles at home and not do anything with our lives, lest an avoidable tragic accident happen. Hell a friend died in a car crash a little while ago, should we just reduce the speed limit on all roads to 5kmph and install 6 foot thick foam padding around all cars?

How about, if someone wants to wear a life jacket, we just fucking let them decide for themselves, and for little children then let the parents decide. It's their choice to be near the water, its their right to look after themselves.

Did you not notice how many of the clubs quoted has specific winter rules? Have you never heard of cold shock? So much so that the latest RNLI campaign centres on that first gasping breath as you hit the cold water.  It can disable even the finest swimmer. Perhaps a couple of days on the Safety & Survival at Sea Course might enhance your knowledge.

Where I sail now, tropical and sub-tropical Asia - not a problem but where I learned to sail on the Scottish North Sea it literally took your breath away.

As I said earlier, rules can be very venue specific, geography, age and experience, weather or climate, all sorts of factors.

I really don't think a response of "he was old enough and should have been able to swim so I didn't get him to wear a PFD your honour" would go down too well with a judge at an inquest, especially if you had a duty of care over the deceased - do you?

At my old club my daughter ran around the marina with 'the gang', all wearing the same multi coloured PFDs, kind of like maritime biker's club colours. Nobody (the kids that is)thought they were sissy. Make it the norm, you will be surprised how easy it is to get kids to accept it.

Try telling a grieving parent that "we just fucking let them decide for themselves" and see how far you get!

SS 

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So you want little Timmy to wear a pfd while eating a cheese burger at the snack shack? Not going to happen.We want kids to want to sail not play video games

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6 hours ago, darth reapius said:

Lets just make life shittier for 99% of people because 1% of people are fucking retarded and have no concept of judging hazards.

You vastly underestimate the number of people who are "fucking retarded" and have no concept of judging hazards. Then, too, you must add the number of parents who "just don't give a shit", "are totally fucking oblivious", "have zero situational awareness" and "don't sprint as fast as their 8-year-old."

All included, that's going to be a fraction that is much, much higher than 1%.

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worn while on the dock at all times for kids under 12.  We also put the onus on the parents as we are not babysitters nor are we lifeguards 

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1 hour ago, Xharlie said:

You vastly underestimate the number of people who are "fucking retarded" and have no concept of judging hazards. Then, too, you must add the number of parents who "just don't give a shit", "are totally fucking oblivious", "have zero situational awareness" and "don't sprint as fast as their 8-year-old."

All included, that's going to be a fraction that is much, much higher than 1%.

In NZ where far more regular kids participate in youth sailing than in the US, wearing a helmet and PFD will not get you a second look in youth sailing. 

The same noise being made now reminds me of when UCI made the professionals wear helmets at UCI level events. In a span of a few years it stopped the "nanny sissy" garbage when ppl survived accidents that have previously killed. 

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Coached for years and ran a program in the past.  Rule was kids (and coaches) wear LJ's when near the h20, when on the crash boats and when they were actually sailing.  Never had any issues.  But a YC requiring them everywhere??  Why??  Seems unenforceable and opens the club up to lawsuits down the road, something clubs are running very quickly away from these days. 

No need to have a hissy fit there Darth, this has been discussed and poked and prodded and then discussed again here over the years.  General consensus is on the docks and in the boats = fine and makes sense, otherwise, it's an overreach.  

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Thanks to all of you who replied.  In typical SA form, I fully expected the range of responses I received and appreciate the constructive responses.  For those of you that sent the less than helpful responses or tried portray me as the yachting Fuhrer, thanks, but no thanks.

What used to be a "barely getting by - walking dead" type club has grown to a membership of over 600 in the 10 years that I've been a member.  Many of those 600 are young families and we now have a youth program that has over 110 kids registered for sailing offerings.  In summary the place is crawling with kids.

What I can say is that the club in question sits in a very urban setting with very limited "grounds".  We have an outdoor patio that faces out to our lawn which is directly adjacent to the water.  Kids love to play on the lawn (soccer, freeze tag, squirt guns, dry humping, etc).  As such this fosters a fantastic atmosphere that translates to people using the club.  The Parents get to eat, drink and socialize with each other while the kids get to play on the lawn independently within ear and eye shot of adults without the need for parents to helicopter over them.  Many of our members entertain guests who also bring kids who often don't have water experience.

With the design being such that the kids play is between the grown-ups and the water, its very difficult for the parents to stop a kid that takes off running for the 18-20ft deep drink.  So that puts us at a bit of a conundrum.  We can:

1. Do nothing.  Eventually a kid will walk off the seawall when a soccer ball goes in the water and drown.

2. Hover over the kids and be the water police because none of them are wearing PFDs.  No fun for the adults - people stop hanging out at the club.

3. Teach the kids a little bit about water safety, have them strap on a little foam flotation and know that if they do fall in the water they will float and scream, instead of cough and sink.

Finally, for those of you old farts out there that keep bringing up the nanny-sissy rhetoric...just remember, these kids that we are keeping an eye on are the ones that will pay for your health care and social security. You should only hope that we keep as many of them alive as we can.

For the record, the rule that i'm going to push at tonight's board meeting reads, "All children age eight or younger shall wear an appropriately sized US Coast Guard Approved Personal Flotation Device while outdoors on club grounds. In the event there is a question whether a PFD is required, common sense shall prevail."

 

Thanks for playing along.  See you out there!  -MP

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So what do you do about kids running round public spaces near the water edge before they get to the club premises? 

There are miles of areas where kids can fall in around yacht clubs around the world. 

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It only took 20 posts for a discussion on PFDs to hit Godwin's Law. I love this place!

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Lots of opinions based on many assumptions. 

My club requires lifejackets to be worn by all kids under a certain age.  What is the age?  I do not know.  The reason I do not know is that the age lines up with what is a reasonable approach to simple safety for children.  This isn't about 3 year olds as much as it is about the 5+ year olds that can run free all over the club grounds. 

Children do not always understand that their actions might be risky.  The might screw up, survive and learn a lesson.  Or they might not survive.  

My club is a peninsula surrounded by riprap.  Riprap that can be tippy (waves can displace heavy things you know) or slippery (ever hear of moss and algae?).  From the interior of the club grounds, this riprap is hidden from view by trees, landscaping, boats, etc.  The surface area of the harbor far outweighs the area of the club dry land.  The club has multiple dock areas completely separated from one another.  There is one set of bathrooms that is no where near some of the docks. 

The club is a sailing club; not a yacht club.  There is no pool, playground, snack shack.  We sail.  We bring our families sailing.  We bring our friends sailing,  We have lessens open to the public.  We believe that the children should be able to run free on the grounds without adult supervision (generally, within reason, so don't make stupid assumptions you idiots).  The entire club is a wonderful playground for children and adults alike. 

Requiring lifejackets to be worn by children of a certain age allows them to run free without constant adult supervision.  There is a huge difference between a nanny state, and not being afraid to take reasonable steps toward simple safety.

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21 minutes ago, mad said:

So what do you do about kids running round public spaces near the water edge before they get to the club premises? 

There are miles of areas where kids can fall in around yacht clubs around the world. 

If my kids are playing by the water (with the depth over their head) independently (meaning I'm watching from a distance enough to verify they still have vitals, but i'm not hovering like a psycho parent), you better believe my kids have PFDs on.  This is 100% non-negotiable regardless of their swimming abilities-my kids are good swimmers.  You do what you want with yours, but know that one day when my kids are wrestling with your kids close to the water and they end up in the drink, know that my kid has strong odds that they will float to the surface.  I can't guarantee the same for yours.

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49 minutes ago, Looper said:

but know that one day when my kids are wrestling with your kids close to the water and they end up in the drink, know that my kid has strong odds that they will float to the surface.  I can't guarantee the same for yours.

This just got super dark...

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I still believe that all this stems from a lack of personal responsibility of parents with regards to your kids.  My kids, all 3, had their first swim  lessons at 3 years old and swam ever since including additional lessons to imporve.  Why? because we are water people and it is my responsibility to ensure that if my kids fall in water (at the club, at the pool, in the ocean, at a lake) they can save themselves.  If you have not taken the time and/or expense to teach your kids how to save themselves if they fall in then it is you who are failing.  Putting rules in place to require kids to wear lifejackets on all club grounds is an attempt transfer responsibility.  When people don't take personal responsibility we end up with a nanny state dictating our day to day lives.  My kids having to wear a lifejacket to play soccer on the grass because you are too fucking lazy to teach your kid to swim is bullshit.  My 4 year old can swim and I make him wear the lifejacket on the dock. My 12 year old twins wear them any time they are on the water and they are on a swim team training 5 days a week and do Jr Guards 5 weeks every summer hell they are better swimmers then me.  On the dock and on the water yes I get that as there are other things that can happen leaving you unable to save yourself on the club ground absolutely not.

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1 hour ago, Looper said:

Thanks to all of you who replied.  In typical SA form, I fully expected the range of responses I received and appreciate the constructive responses.  For those of you that sent the less than helpful responses or tried portray me as the yachting Fuhrer, thanks, but no thanks.

What used to be a "barely getting by - walking dead" type club has grown to a membership of over 600 in the 10 years that I've been a member.  Many of those 600 are young families and we now have a youth program that has over 110 kids registered for sailing offerings.  In summary the place is crawling with kids.

What I can say is that the club in question sits in a very urban setting with very limited "grounds".  We have an outdoor patio that faces out to our lawn which is directly adjacent to the water.  Kids love to play on the lawn (soccer, freeze tag, squirt guns, dry humping, etc).  As such this fosters a fantastic atmosphere that translates to people using the club.  The Parents get to eat, drink and socialize with each other while the kids get to play on the lawn independently within ear and eye shot of adults without the need for parents to helicopter over them.  Many of our members entertain guests who also bring kids who often don't have water experience.

With the design being such that the kids play is between the grown-ups and the water, its very difficult for the parents to stop a kid that takes off running for the 18-20ft deep drink.  So that puts us at a bit of a conundrum.  We can:

1. Do nothing.  Eventually a kid will walk off the seawall when a soccer ball goes in the water and drown.

2. Hover over the kids and be the water police because none of them are wearing PFDs.  No fun for the adults - people stop hanging out at the club.

3. Teach the kids a little bit about water safety, have them strap on a little foam flotation and know that if they do fall in the water they will float and scream, instead of cough and sink.

Finally, for those of you old farts out there that keep bringing up the nanny-sissy rhetoric...just remember, these kids that we are keeping an eye on are the ones that will pay for your health care and social security. You should only hope that we keep as many of them alive as we can.

For the record, the rule that i'm going to push at tonight's board meeting reads, "All children age eight or younger shall wear an appropriately sized US Coast Guard Approved Personal Flotation Device while outdoors on club grounds. In the event there is a question whether a PFD is required, common sense shall prevail."

 

Thanks for playing along.  See you out there!  -MP

Thanks for the context; your perspective seems reasonable given the nature of the grounds.

One question I had: if safety is a real concern, and the lawn ends abruptly at a seawall, what's preventing the club from placing a small railing, berm, or both along the seawall?  It seems that drunk adults falling off at 1am could be as much, if not more, of a concern than kids running around playing various lawn games.  And a low berm would also help prevent soccer balls from going over the side. 

I am all for PFDs around the water, but the kid in me says that my desire to play soccer or tag would probably go down somewhat were I required to wear a bulky piece of foam on my chest.  The result is that maybe I'd just spend more time on the docks or in the water, where the PFD makes sense but I am now out of sight of my parents and in actual greater danger than I was just kicking a ball on the lawn.

I assume your club has considered a berm or fence as well, but I just wanted to be sure, given that you did not mention it in your very helpful note here.

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8 minutes ago, jewingiv said:

Thanks for the context; your perspective seems reasonable given the nature of the grounds.

One question I had: if safety is a real concern, and the lawn ends abruptly at a seawall, what's preventing the club from placing a small railing, berm, or both along the seawall?  It seems that drunk adults falling off at 1am could be as much, if not more, of a concern than kids running around playing various lawn games.  And a low berm would also help prevent soccer balls from going over the side. 

I am all for PFDs around the water, but the kid in me says that my desire to play soccer or tag would probably go down somewhat were I required to wear a bulky piece of foam on my chest.  The result is that maybe I'd just spend more time on the docks or in the water, where the PFD makes sense but I am now out of sight of my parents and in actual greater danger than I was just kicking a ball on the lawn.

I assume your club has considered a berm or fence as well, but I just wanted to be sure, given that you did not mention it in your very helpful note here.

It's complicated.  What i left out is that there is a small public promenade in between the lawn and the actual seawall and it's our only reasonable access to the docks for our boats.  The promenade, wall and docks are controlled by the public harbor system, not the YC.  Where our lawn ends and the promenade begins we do have a short fence to somewhat contain soccer balls and kids, however it's open at the ends as there are public sidewalks that flank our lawn to the parking lots behind our facility.  

Short answer, yes we have considered every physical barrier.  The alternative to PFDs are cages for the kids.  We've all seen how that ends...  

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32 minutes ago, ROADKILL666 said:

What about the club pool?

Ours is open 24/7 lifeguard or not. Swim at your own risk is an insurance thing.

Looper, get your club to hire a lifeguard for cocktail hour.

Rapius, I feel your pain.

I grew up sailing on cold water. The very first thing we were taught is to self right the boat. In a dirty lagoon. We dreaded the test, but if you didn’t get past it, you didn’t sail. Period.

At a certain point, kids have to learn self reliance. It should be taught and encouraged as much as possible.

That said, there’s a wide range of where kids are at.  No skydiving age limit in NZ and my buddy sent his kid for a drop at 10. There could also be kids messing around who aren’t familiar w the water. For that, responsibility is with the parent.

On my boat, any kid below age 12 wears a jacket. No questions. As for the club grounds?

NMFP(Not my fucking problem)

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Great rule.  Allows parents to get shit-faced in the club while their kids are 'safe'.  I was at Great Lakes about 20yrs ago and watched a mama duck herd her ducklings, and in midstream, mama started to squawk, finally, the two missing ducklings waddled in.  Why is a duck acting on instinct a better mother?

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I get it, but JFC your rules book is going to be issued to new members like a fucking encyclopedia Britannica if you try to create a rule for everything.

I remember growing up 11 yrs old or so, we had a golf cart to run errands on the grounds of our marina, no brakes. My dad would regularly say "Go get me _____ from the truck, and hurry but remember....no brakes." and his tip for if I couldn't stop in time? "Aim for the empty slips."

Never once wore a lifejacket on docks or grounds. Never once fell in.

At some point, it's the, wait for it......parent's responsibility.

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I would prefer to see a few racks of PFD's made available to parents in an obvious place (near the hazard) with signage that explains the hazard. Nothing more. What if my kid isn't off playing and is just sitting with us on the patio? Rules have a way of painting with broad brushes.

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47 minutes ago, OutofOffice said:

I get it, but JFC your rules book is going to be issued to new members like a fucking encyclopedia Britannica if you try to create a rule for everything.

I remember growing up 11 yrs old or so, we had a golf cart to run errands on the grounds of our marina, no brakes. My dad would regularly say "Go get me _____ from the truck, and hurry but remember....no brakes." and his tip for if I couldn't stop in time? "Aim for the empty slips."

Never once wore a lifejacket on docks or grounds. Never once fell in.

At some point, it's the, wait for it......parent's responsibility.

 

1 hour ago, ROADKILL666 said:

Fuck it don't bring the kids to the club problem solved

I can totally understand that this has resonated with quite a few on this board and I get it.  Safety always gets people fired up around here.  The reality is, each situation is unique and we have to make calls based on the circumstances.  My topic clearly stated that I was curious about the rules at other clubs as this was for comparison's sake.  Clearly some of you thought the topic was, "I'm a member at a YC.  Share with me your child-rearing philosophies."  If that was true then you all would be on the money.  Thanks for the continued discussion.  I'm stepping out.

Cheers.  -MP

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18 minutes ago, Looper said:

Clearly some of you thought the topic was, "I'm a member at a YC.  Share with me your child-rearing philosophies."  If that was true then you all would be on the money.  Thanks for the continued discussion.  I'm stepping out.

It's SA. You're going to get people's unfiltered opinions and philosophies.

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2 hours ago, jewingiv said:

It seems that drunk adults falling off at 1am could be as much, if not more, of a concern than kids running around playing various lawn games. 

they've already paid into social security so it's ok.

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So for a kid to fall in they would have to run to the end of the lawn hop a fence run across a promenade to a seawall that likely has some other undisclosed barrier on it and then fall in?  Sounds like a real problem.

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5 hours ago, Sisu3360 said:

It only took 20 posts for a discussion on PFDs to hit Godwin's Law. I love this place!

LB can always be relied on. 

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5 hours ago, Looper said:

If my kids are playing by the water (with the depth over their head) independently (meaning I'm watching from a distance enough to verify they still have vitals, but i'm not hovering like a psycho parent), you better believe my kids have PFDs on.  This is 100% non-negotiable regardless of their swimming abilities-my kids are good swimmers.  You do what you want with yours, but know that one day when my kids are wrestling with your kids close to the water and they end up in the drink, know that my kid has strong odds that they will float to the surface.  I can't guarantee the same for yours.

First question, how old are your kids? 

Secondly, you’re making some mighty assumptions in the last bit of your post!  What the fuck is with the bit about the kids and which one is likely to drown!! 

There are thousands of miles of seafront, riverfront and docksides around with no or few barriers, and I’m sure far more kids and adults drown there. What’s next, stop them climbing trees? 

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13 minutes ago, mad said:

First question, how old are your kids? 

Secondly, you’re making some mighty assumptions in the last bit of your post!  What the fuck is with the bit about the kids and which one is likely to drown!! 

There are thousands of miles of seafront, riverfront and docksides around with no or few barriers, and I’m sure far more kids and adults drown there. What’s next, stop them climbing trees? 

Didn't they kill that in the first Busch administration along with dodgeball??  What's next??  Will they take away beer pong and snipe hunting??

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4 hours ago, Looper said:

It's complicated.  What i left out is that there is a small public promenade in between the lawn and the actual seawall and it's our only reasonable access to the docks for our boats.  The promenade, wall and docks are controlled by the public harbor system, not the YC.  Where our lawn ends and the promenade begins we do have a short fence to somewhat contain soccer balls and kids, however it's open at the ends as there are public sidewalks that flank our lawn to the parking lots behind our facility.  

Short answer, yes we have considered every physical barrier.  The alternative to PFDs are cages for the kids.  We've all seen how that ends...  

What part of North Korea is your club located? I guess the dangers of cold water as well as mindless unquestioning obedience are important lessons children can learn from the sport of sailboating. 

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3 hours ago, Looper said:

  Thanks for the continued discussion.  I'm stepping out.

Cheers.  -MP

Make sure you are dressed head to foot in hi vis reflective clothing before stepping onto that dangerous footpath...

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I hope there are no overhead power lines!  

What would you do then? Build a cage around them, or just block the path underneath by 2 feet either side? 

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8 hours ago, Looper said:

  You do what you want with yours, 

Easy to say, but your actions are the exact opposite. PFD’s, when involved in club run activities, no problem. Club is assuming guardianship and needs to be covered. Playing on the lawn, when they have to leave the area and cross a public space. Not so much. Parents, or whoever brought them along, needs to make the decision. To do otherwise is just being a control freak who wishes to force their fears on others. It will always be couched as a doing it for the good of all, but it is all about being a control asshole forcing your behavioural ideas on others. 

Even docks are in the same category. Kids on the dock for a club run thing, go for PFD compliance. Otherwise it is a decision of the parents. If I want to walk down the dock with my kid, probably no PFD. Kid wants to go play with his/her mates and watch the action, different decision. Will depend on lots of parameters, temp of air and water, number of people, ability if their mates and so on.

My kids spent a lot of years on various docks in various conditions and countries. Still do. Miles of sailing. PFD’s or life jackets worn sometimes, always with a talk about why now. It helps with their own decision making when alone. But in the end it should be my call. My responsibility as the parent. Unfortunately, responsibility seems to become so last century these days. 

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Quick bit of research around drownings (here in WA) showed some interesting statistics.

Around 30 people per year drown in our state. The last years stats below...

0 children between 5-15 years of age.

3 children between 15-18 years of age, who drowned while evading police when they tried to swim across part of the Swan River.

4 aged < 5 drowned in their home pools.

The remainder of drownings were adults, spread between rock fishing and boating accidents, most of which were wearing life jackets (aside from a car crash where a car ended up in a body of water).

The only incident involving a boating club was 3 years ago which I could find was where a 16 year old dived head first off a jetty (which had clearly no swimming and diving signs posted every 10 feet) and broke his neck in the shallow water below.

The key notes from the WA premier in avoiding drownings was; improving level of swimming ability as the most important way to save lives and that 8/10 deaths involving adults also involved alcohol. WA being a literal beach is literally a state where 95% of the population live extremely close to the beach having one of the highest rates of water sports participation per capita in the world.

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^^^ This is the point. Of the hundreds of thousands of people who visit marinas/clubs each year, very few are killed by falling in and drowning and to create rules that affect the 99.8% to mitigate the risks to the .2% is asinine. There's probably a bigger risk of electrocution once they fall in than there is of actually drowning. Take the seawall out of the equation. I assume you have a pool at the club, sans a fence would you create this same rule?

 

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1 minute ago, OutofOffice said:

^.... I assume you have a pool at the club, ...

   Interesting... is that a fair assumption? Seems a bit odd to me... Why would a sailing club have a pool?

Cheers,

              W.

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10 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

   Interesting... is that a fair assumption? Seems a bit odd to me... Why would a sailing club have a pool?

Cheers,

              W.

It is a PFD testing and certification zone where each kid can receive their "Bubble Wrap License"...

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14 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

   Interesting... is that a fair assumption? Seems a bit odd to me... Why would a sailing club have a pool?

Cheers,

              W.

To go swimming?

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unfortunately if something happens it is not the parents fault, it is the clubs fault and they will be sued. it sucks, but that is life, especially in the states

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32 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

   Interesting... is that a fair assumption? Seems a bit odd to me... Why would a sailing club have a pool?

Cheers,

              W.

I only assumed that because most every club around me has one, but then again I'm in Texas. It's freaking hot, so perhaps that the reason.

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Our lot have no problem wearing lifejackets and bouyancy aids, no pool they just jump in the Dyke behind them.

 

yandy81813[1].jpg

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2 minutes ago, The Q said:

Our lot have no problem wearing lifejackets and bouyancy aids, no pool they just jump in the Dyke behind them.

 

yandy81813[1].jpg

There is a few with out them in the picture.

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37 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

   Interesting... is that a fair assumption? Seems a bit odd to me... Why would a sailing club have a pool?

Cheers,

              W.

Just about every club in Florida has a pool or two.

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I want to be clear.

I absolutely think we should encourage people to wear PFD's and that we should create a culture that can identify and address risks.

I just don't think a rule mandating it is the same thing.

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On 6/10/2019 at 5:02 PM, fan said:

Seriously you make adults wear PFD's on the dock??  That's a bit too much nanny state for me.

looks like they're saying they need to wear them on the docks in the winter (prior to May, after November, etc), which is at least a logical rule - even if it's one I wouldn't want to follow, either.

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Just curious as to the number of incidents that may have happened at the Club that would cause the question. As there is a hedge, low fence, public way and railing along the harbour wall, that a kid could slip under, for sure, and the open area to the water is the wide dingy launch that, incidentally, I have fond memories of playing on as a kid... not trying to poke holes in the idea, just curious as to where the impetus is arising from. Sure more kids more concern, but...

Do the other clubs in our area have similar rules. Curious what the policy of the two clubs down the Drive are as they are literal boats. 

FWIW - I grew up sailing out of the harbour in question and, perhaps my parents were trying to rid themselves of us, but pfd's were optional until the breeze kicked up. I love that our club is filled to the brim with urchins especially as we have one of our own now.  

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1 hour ago, ROADKILL666 said:

There is a few with out them in the picture.

They can be 12 or over and not have to wear lifejackets, but still in the junior group (till 16) which is that picture. I couldn't find a picture of under 12s only as there isn't a sailing class of that definition at our club.

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Stepping back in to add a few comments to close this out.  I think we've beat this one to death.

1. I'm not the safety police, and I don't believe everyone needs to be wrapped in bubble wrap and screwed to the ground.  I have, however, been directly affected by enough drownings in my 36 years of boating to know that water is not to be fucked with - in any form.   Anyone can PM me and I will share with you my stories.

2. I appreciate the personal stories about how the folks here handle their own situations and can agree that we probably all grew up not wearing life-jackets as much as folks do now.  I can also feel for you all that say things like, "me and my kids know when to put ours on."  Of course you all do.  My targets here aren't the common everyday boater or their kids.  Our club is crawling with folks that joined for the social atmosphere or are just getting into boating.  Many more are just guests of members.  Most of them don't have the practical knowledge that you or I have.

3. My targets here are the kids 8 and under, not the 16 year old sailing school 29er sailor.  I've witnessed dozens of times where 2 and 3 year olds walk around the fence that's at the end of the grass and across the promenade (that doesn't actually have railings as 12345 accounts) chasing after a goose or soccer ball.  Watching their parents jump from their table and sprint down to catch them on time is a very stressful moment for me and others that see the risk, and some of us are just tired of witnessing it.  It's only matter of time before a parent doesn't get there in time.

This really boils down to the fact that the kids want to play and the parents want to relax.  I'm trying to propose a solution that allows both groups to do so while keeping exposed risk to a minimum.  Nobody wants to be on the news for something that was totally avoidable.

Thanks to everyone for playing along.

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On 6/11/2019 at 2:22 AM, darth reapius said:

Thank you for pointing out the fact I am clearly libertarian, at least I have some thought people can fucking (and should have the right to) think for themselves, go move to China or something and participate in whatever restrictive bullshit you Authoritarians love, 

And how was it that I was able to discern your Ayn Randist Objectivist stupidity so quickly ? 

Well, it's mostly because your Elk display a characteristic and toxic mix of rudeness and arrogance - and though you have some decent ideas at times, your manner is off putting, to put it mildly. 

And how about you hie your Reich-wing ass off to Somalia, the libertard paradise where there are no rules ? (And damn few PFD's even) 

(With apologies to the people of Somalia, who deserve better than rule by the gun)  

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29 minutes ago, Looper said:

I'm trying to propose a solution that allows both groups to do so while keeping exposed risk to a minimum

What is your view on the club providing lifejackets on the patio (or where ever is most visible) and putting up a simple sign that explains the hazard and that the lifejackets are free to use should the parents choose. Something along the lines of "The seawall is X feet away from here and is X feet deep. Soccer balls and toys have a tendency to fall in. If your kid is likely to follow, use one of these complimentary of the club." Run it through the lawyer language machine and there ya go.

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43 minutes ago, OutofOffice said:

What is your view on the club providing lifejackets on the patio (or where ever is most visible) and putting up a simple sign that explains the hazard and that the lifejackets are free to use should the parents choose. Something along the lines of "The seawall is X feet away from here and is X feet deep. Soccer balls and toys have a tendency to fall in. If your kid is likely to follow, use one of these complimentary of the club." Run it through the lawyer language machine and there ya go.

I think the problem here is once the Clube admits there is risk and provides a means to reduce that risk they become responsible.  You hung a lifejacket but did not explain properly how to use it???? He put his legs through the arm holes and drowned when he fell in and couldn't get his head above water despite being a swimmer. For shame.  You provided lifejacket but not instructions on how pick the right size?? He wore one two sizes to big and jumped in the water even though he couldn't swim because he had on a lifejacket he slipped out and drowned.  For shame.  Someone fell off the dock and hot their head because their normal movement was restricted by your life jacket??? No he fell in because he was drunk For shame.  The problem with idiot proofing anything is you always underestimate the idiot and like it or not once you take responsibility for idiot proofing you end with responsibility for the idiot

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40 minutes ago, fan said:

The problem with idiot proofing anything is you always underestimate the idiot and like it or not once you take responsibility for idiot proofing you end with responsibility for the idiot

Welp. Screw 'em then.

Darwin will take it from here. Reminds me of the Louis CK bit "of course, but maybe"

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Neither libertarian nor conservative so don't engage in a pissing match.   Best treatise I ever read on the topic, written almost 40 years ago, includes this excerpt about kids and learning to sail:  

"What they're mostly not the least bit interested in is being taught how to be safe.  They know how to be safe; just leave the boat at the dock, climb into bed at home, and pull the covers over the head.  There may be a few middle-aged folks--and they've got to be a damned sight more middle-aged than I am--who feel that it's their duty to their families and insurance companies to learn "boating safety" the way it's customarily taught.  The young ones, of all ages, just want to learn boating, period.... Hardly any kid wants to hear any more about safety these days (a prejudice shared by some adults--well, I can name at least one). He's had safety for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since he was a captive audience too young to get up and walk away from it.  It's the great, hysterical, modern crusade ashore and afloat.  He's had it with safety up to here... What he really wants to learn, once he discovers boating, is something totally different, something he knows instinctively will keep him far safer on the water than all the "safety" rules and lectures, as well as showing him the way to far more boating pleasure: that wonderful, ancient discipline known as seamanship."

Hamilton, Donald, (1980). Cruises with Kathleen.  Appendix E, pp. 243-247.  David McKay Company, Inc.:  NY, NY.

Totally anecdotal, but seamanship skill often appears to be conspicuously absent from the loudest adherents of licensing, mandatory PFDs, helmets, etc..   And here's the facts on the topic:  

https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

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14 hours ago, The Q said:

Our lot have no problem wearing lifejackets and bouyancy aids, no pool they just jump in the Dyke behind them.

 

yandy81813[1].jpg

I've raced on Hickling. Not unusual (or effective) for cruiser skippers to issue the 'Get out and push!' order. 

Have also raced most if not all of the other Norfolk/Suffolk races you mention. Back in the eighties, when lifejackets were basically completely unknown. Don't ever recall a drowning.

Smuggler 145. Thanks for your input, Q.

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7 hours ago, Looper said:

 

3. My targets here are the kids 8 and under, not the 16 year old sailing school 29er sailor.  I've witnessed dozens of times where 2 and 3 year olds walk around the fence that's at the end of the grass and across the promenade (that doesn't actually have railings as 12345 accounts) chasing after a goose or soccer ball.  Watching their parents jump from their table and sprint down to catch them on time is a very stressful moment for me and others that see the risk, and some of us are just tired of witnessing it.  It's only matter of time before a parent doesn't get there in time.

For my first year of school at age 5, it was mandatory to do swimming lessons as part of the curriculum and we did that every year progressing through the levels. I'm not talking Olympic trials, it was all about survival strokes, floating techniques and retrieving people. When it came to sailing, our club wouldn't let me sail unless they could see me swim a certain distance, fully clothed and without buoyancy aids. Yes we raced with life jackets, but that was an aid, not a substitute for lack of swimming skills. No swim = no sail.

I know when my daughter was in this age group I would watch her like a hawk around the water. My parents put myself and siblings in a pool before we could even walk. We did the same with my daughter, to me it was no different than teaching her to brush her teeth or wipe her own ass, another life skill. I think she was 3 or 4 when we started swimming lessons for her. Again it wasn't about creating an Olympic swimmer, it was about survival, getting to that soccer ball and using it as flotation etc. If we are going to be around the water I needed to be confident that she won't sink like a stone and fully understand the consequences, otherwise I'm not putting her in that situation. That is 100% my responsibility. 

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What's really important about swimming? For me, the most important and confidence-building lesson was that we FLOAT pretty damn well. Roll over onto your back, tilt your head back, relax. Breathe. There you go. Could do it all day once the water's not too cold.

Having never been a 'strong' with regard to stamina I sometimes wonder if prioritising learning to swim over 'knowing how to float' is the best approach. As a fairly weak swimmer, I've found it useful to be able to take a rest in this mode. No idea if these days, 45-50 years on from my kiddy swimming lessons, this is demonstrated or encouraged.

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