Safety of participants is an important objective of the Dieppe Dash organisers. The event has been used by a number of skippers and boats for their first crossing of the English Channel and we aim to make it as safe as we can.
There are a number of elements to the safety features including the items mentioned below.
…is everything! We will do our bit and you must do yours. Make sure your boat and crew are as prepared as possible.
Each year we have held an evening event a few weeks before the Dieppe Dash at which skippers and crew can meet the organisers and other boat crews to discuss the event and ask questions. It is particularly useful for first-time channel crossers to get a better idea of what it entails. It is also useful to meet the other crews participating and to sort out boats you might like to travel in convoy with.
A Skipper’s Briefing will be held on Thursday, 28th April 2016 commencing 19:30hrs (the evening before departure). It is essential that the Person-in-Charge of each boat, or their Surrogate, attends this briefing in order to confirm all is in place before making passage.
The person-in-charge of the individual boat must submit shore side contact details no later than the skippers’ briefing – it is recommended your shoreside contact has name, address and next-of-kin details for each person on-board – The organisers will not require these details.
General advice and last minute information will be offered at the skippers’ briefing including predicted weather conditions and any maritime notices; ultimately it will be the responsibility of the person-in-charge of the individual boat to make the decision whether to put to sea aligned to prevailing conditions and the experience of individual crew members.
Safety at Sea is primarily about preparing for the unknown; this includes ensuring the boat is fully found and seaworthy in terms of Construction and Maintenance; also that the equipment carried on-board is of a correct type and serviceable.
As part of the Dieppe Dash Sea Safety Procedures, the organisers encourage Cruising boats to adopt the same Safety procedures that are mandatory for Racing Boats – Guidance can be downloaded from the Documents page.
The RNLI offer a free Sea Safety check for all pleasure craft users, we would recommend you take advantage of this advice; to arrange a check for your vessel please call the RNLI Freephone on 0800 3280600.
Notifying the Coastguard
It is recommended that each boat be registered on the Coastguard Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme (CG66). Registration is free and can be completed online (https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/public/cg66).
The CG66 relies on boat owners voluntarily giving their details to the Coastguard so that in the event of an incident at sea HM Coastguard can identify the boat, access any passage information it may have submitted and contact the nominated shore side contact.
During the Event
Travelling in Convoy
Boats in the rally section are advised to consider travelling in convoy to increase safety and to keep a watch out for each other. For this purpose, rally boats are advised to cluster their departure times, such as on the hour, so that several boats leave together and montior each other. Where notified to the organisers, clustered start times will be posted on the Dieppe Dash website front page.
Sign-On, Stand-Down and Abandon Safe (SOSDAS)
Dieppe Dash is an organised event; it is imperative that the organisers know who is taking part, who has finished and who has decided to turn back or head for an alternative port of safety.
All boats MUST follow the SOSDAS procedure as part of the Dieppe Dash Sea Safety assessment; details of all boats participating together with numbers of adults on board, numbers of persons under 18 years of age on board and shore side contact details for each boat will be passed to HM Coastguard prior to departure.
The Dieppe Dash shore side contact team will be on duty throughout the time boats are at sea and will notify the relevant authorities in France or UK (as appropriate) in the event a boat appears to be missing at sea.
The SOSDAS instructions can be downloaded from the Documents page.
Maintain Radio Contact
Event Organisers – Brighton and Dieppe (and Race control) VHF Ch77 (Call Sign – Dieppe Dash Control);
All Boats – Boat to Boat communication during the event shall be via VHF Ch77.
All boats must monitor VHF Ch16 whilst at sea (Dual watch).
All boats shall observe all instructions given by the emergency services regarding use of VHF Ch16.
All Boats – Dieppe Dash Berthing Master contact via VHF Ch72 (Call Sign Dieppe Dash Berthing).
Crossing the Shipping Lanes safely
The main navigational hazard on a cross channel passage is crossing the shipping lanes. On route from Brighton to Dieppe you will be crossing the Dover Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) which you are required to cross on a heading as near to 90 degrees as practicable to the direction of traffic using the shipping lanes.
Care must be exercised when approaching a large vessel in the TSS and discretion exercised before taking action with intention of avoiding a collision at sea – At all times International Regulations for Prevention of Collision at Sea (IRPCS) takes precedence.
After Each Passage
Don’t forgot to complete the Stand Down procedure as per the SOSDAS instructions – or we may notify the Coastguard that you are missing!