News ISAF Approved Sea Survival Training Course a must do for offshore and coastal sailors

11 Oct 2013

Here at Doyle we fully support and endorse the ISAF Approved Sea Survival Training Course, run by Alan Gwyer. We think it's a must do for any coastal or offshore sailors. 

Yachting New Zealand has approved Alan, one of Yachting New Zealandʼs preferred training providers, through SWBENZ to produce and deliver a new Advanced Sea Survival syllabus. Coming from a professional boating background Alan identified that the ISAF Course offered in New Zealand was much too generic and did not cater for the fast evolving technology and the different types of boats and crews that are moving off our coastline.

Alan Gwyer 2012 AK BoatShow2

Alanʼs own method of presentation creates an open and vibrant forum of discussion. His approach is not to dictate what one must do in the presence of adverse situations; rather he lets the participants work through the ISAF syllabus. In this way better building the knowledge and self confidence of participants.

His courses are minimal in numbers, allowing for a personal approach on ideas, product deployment and the wet drill itself. Alan openly comments that “many attendees feel because they have completed a sea survival course and have a certificate that they are safe, even ʻbullet proofʼ in a situation that may turn catastrophic or already is”. Generally professionals in our sport have no issue completing the course, due to ever changing nature of safety products and technical aspectsʼ, interestingly the more amateur candidates believe otherwise. A lot of people think the course is about achieving a certificate, but this is not so!

On the arrival of the Volvo Ocean boats in Auckland, Race Director Jack Lloyd advised competitors that, “the incoming crew must attend a refresher course,” through Alan.

The last recent training session had the following happen: 80% failure of lifejackets; a Dan buoy failed to deploy and simply sank. Two life rafts were deployed; one liferaft failed completely requiring the crew to manually inflate the raft in the water and the second did deploy but became stuck in its bag to deploy upside down.

Alan reiterates that the course is not just for racing crews; the amount of knowledge conveyed is very surprising with all attendees gaining valuable information and experience - including cruising people.

Gavin Brady. Sea Survival. Beau Geste.

I talked with Al Gwyer today regarding his SAS course. Having been involved in these courses in USA and Europe, Al Gwyer runs the most up to date and relevant course for racing yachts and the situations we can see. I would like to bring down our owner and his Hong Kong friends that sail on Beau Geste to Auckland for a course with Al. That is how much I rate the course and the atmosphere he creates in the room and pool session. I just want to voice my experience on this issue.

For further information on safety discussions or safety training offered, contact Alan. or call on 021 976713.