2019 Annapolis Safety at Sea Seminar

Ken Read, John Kretschmer and Steve D’Antonio are among the presenters at the 40th annual Annapolis Safety at Sea Seminar, March 30-31. Space is still available in the Advanced Cruising track.

2019 Safety at Sea SeminarMark Pillsbury

On Saturday, March 30th and Sunday, March 31st, 2019 the Marine Trades Association of Maryland and Navy Sailing will present the 40th annual Annapolis Safety-at-Sea Seminar. Nationally sponsored by Cruising World and Sailing World magazines and US Sailing this event takes place in Alumni Hall at the U. S. Naval Academy.

The Safety-at-Sea seminar provides an opportunity for two days of learning. Moderator Chuck Hawley will lead a team of sailors and industry experts on Saturday, who will address safety issues that include crew overboard recovery, hypothermia, weather forecasting, search and rescue options, and the maintenance of safety equipment.

There will also be the exciting live demonstrations of crew overboard recoveries by Midshipmen, a helicopter search and rescue swimmer demonstration, life raft boarding and pyrotechnic signal flares. The day concludes with an opportunity to visit with the presenters at the evening reception. Participation in the first day of the seminar will qualify registrants for a US Sailing certificate.

Two-time Volvo Ocean Race skipper and president of North Sails Ken Read will present the keynote address on Saturday morning. Ken is a three-time College All American, College Sailor of the Year in 1999 and nine-time World Champion. He sailed aboard Ericsson in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race and was Skipper of the Puma Ocean Racing Team in 2011-2012. Puma was dismasted 2,150 miles from Cape Town South Africa. Under jury rig they proceeded to safety and reentered the race with a new mast. He skippered Comanche to victory in the 2015 Sydney to Hobart Race.

"I'm not the first to cross the vast and isolated runway known as the Southern Ocean, and there are many tales far more harrowing than mine," Read said in the June 2012 issue of Sailing World. "Racer, voyager, explorer — each before me has his or her own Southern Ocean tale, but all accounts bear the same truth: the place is cold, wet, gray, nasty and unforgiving. And let me add, relentless."

While Sunday’s World Sailing Certification session is sold out, the Advanced Cruising track still has space available. There will be in-depth presentations on communications and electronics, navigation, cruise preparation, and ocean currents with wind/wave dynamics. The Advanced Cruising Track offers offshore sailors the option to participate in hands-on training in the pool with safety gear or small group discussions with the experts.

Also featured this year will be presentations from Cruising World contributor Steve D'Antonio on damage prevention and control. Capt. J. K. Louttit (Kip), USCG (Ret) will discuss and demonstrate care and maintenance of safety equipment. Navy Sailing Varsity Coach Jahn Tihansky will discuss the details of crew overboard rescues. Back by popular demand, the seminar will again offer an afternoon weather seminar featuring Joe Sienkiewicz from NOAA and Dr. Gina Henderson from the Naval Academy. Dr. Michael Jacobs will present emergency medical care and hypothermia on Saturday. He will discuss questions ranging from how to treat contusions to why it's important to understand the dire implications of hypothermia. Sunday will feature offshore cruiser and instructor John Kretschmer who will present the cruise preparation segment of the program. This year's seminar will address the needs of offshore racers and cruisers as well as provide important safety tips for those whose boating interests remain much closer to home.

Tickets are available online at mtam.org for $175 for Saturday only, which includes an evening reception with the speakers and $225 for the two day advanced cruising session. Refreshments and a box lunch will be provided each day as part of the ticket price. Ticket and event information may be obtained through the Marine Trades Association of Maryland P.O. Box 3148, Annapolis MD 21403 on the web or by telephone at (410) 269-0741.

Endorsed by the U. S. Coast Guard and originally designed for Academy Midshipmen 40 years ago following the tragic 1979 Fastnet Race, the popular Safety-at-Sea Program has been credited with saving countless lives. Lifesaving know-how is useful not only for those who have never ventured offshore, but for those who make offshore passages regularly. The national Safety-at-Sea programs have become required attendance for those planning to participate in the Annapolis to Newport, and the Annapolis to Bermuda race. Whether racing or cruising, power or sail the Safety-at-Sea program heightens the importance of safety training for everyone on the water.

Can't make it to Annapolis? Not to worry! Find the schedule of upcoming Safety-at-Sea Seminars throughout the US at US Sailing's website