Sailors can learn from the crash of flight 8303. We can, on occasion, get into a situation that gets more and more difficult from which to recover. This can be caused by ego, or by a sudden change in the expected circumstances, or a lack of “forehandedness”, which was one of the late Capt. John Bonds’s favorite words to throw out at Safety At Sea students. Forehandedness, he’d lecture, was the ability to anticipate possible changes in the current situation and to be ready for them, much as our parents would admonish us to “drive defensively” when we were learning to drive.
This article suggests how the principles of handling emergencies on large ship can be applied to smaller private yachts – yachts capable of being cruised comfortably by two people. The principles can be easily extended to crews of more than two people, larger yachts, and professionally crewed vessels.