Responding To An Emergency Quiz

Responding to an Emergency Quiz

Although sailing is often laid back good times, we can never underestimate the power of Mother Nature or unforeseen circumstances and must always be prepared for emergencies at sea. Here’s a helpful little quiz to test your knowledge using just a few instances that could happen while out for a sail.

  • Should a backstay fail while sailing you should:
    1. Turn upwind and sheet the mainsail in hard.Yes!
    2. Turn the boat downwind and let out all the sails.No. Think that through…
    3. Turn upwind and let out the sails.No, but you’re close.
    4. Get on a beam reach and stage all crew on the leeward side of the boat.No, there is better logic to be had…
  • If the boat unfortunately dismasts one thing you should do is:
    1. Start the motor and immediately drive away from the wreckage.Actually that is what you should NOT do.
    2. Maneuver the boat to a downwind position.That could cause more problems.
    3. Maneuver the boat to windward.Yes, if you can that is the best place to try and regain order.
    4. Do not attempt to maneuver the boat, it will only make things worse.No, there is a better option.
  • When towing another boat, a good place to place the towline is:
    1. The stern-mounted lifeline stanchions (with bridle).this is only a good idea if you want to snap off your stanchions.
    2. The wheel pedestal (no bridle).There are better ideas.
    3. The farthest aft end of the boom (no bridle).Kudos for your very out of the box thinking but no!
    4. Primary winches (with bridle).Yes, this is a very strong place on a sailboat.
  • Which is the LEAST effective call to make in an emergency at sea?
    1. VHF channel 16.Incorrect answer – getting on channel 16 is a good idea.
    2. 911 via cellphone.Correct – they are probably the least effective as they have to re-route your call, but they would still be able to help if all the other options are unavailable.
    3. Cell phone call directly to Coast Guard.Incorrect answer – that’s a good choice if the number is handy.
    4. Professional towing company via phone or radio (for non life threatening situations).Incorrect answer – if you can call the towing company directly without calling upon other agencies that is best.
  • If a person onboard is suffering with medium hypothermia you should NOT:
    1. Warm the trunk of the body first.Incorrect answer – This is what you SHOULD do.
    2. Wrap them in a blanket WITH a non-hypothermic person.Incorrect answer – this is a good idea and should be done.
    3. Massage their arms and legs.That’s right. It’s a bad idea to massage arms and legs first – warm the trunk of the body first.
    4. Remove their clothing.Incorrect answer. Taking off wet clothes is the right thing to do.
  • In a man overboard situation, a more immediate threat than hypothermia is something called:
    1. Endothermia.Nope. Endothermic is the absorption of heat but there’s no threatening condition called Endothermia.
    2. Cold Shock.Correct. If someone suddenly falls in very cold water it can cause a sudden intake of breath, acceleration of the heart rate and increase in blood pressure. Danger of drowning does exist.
    3. Hydro-fibrosis.We made that one up…
    4. Isothermia.Nah, Isothermic means a constant heat but isothermia is not a condition. Admit it, you were just guessing…
  • If you haven’t actually hit something, the most common place where a substantial leak can occur is:
    1. Keel bolts.Incorrect, that is not common, but if they are leaking get it checked out soon – you have an issue.
    2. Chainplate fittings.They do leak but that wouldn’t be “substantial.”
    3. Stemhead fitting.No, think below the waterline
    4. Through hulls.But of course! Close the sea cocks if things are leaking – hopefully that will work!
Click on an answer above to start!
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