Safety & Sea Survival Course (SSSC)


The Safety & Sea Survival Full Course is conducted over a period of at least sixteen hours, from 8.15am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday at Wesley College, St Kilda Road Campus, 577 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

If you have done this course before you may wish to consider the Safety & Sea Survival Refresher Course page here.


The popular, biennial Fastnet race, was first held in 1925 in the Irish Sea and is run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.  A severe storm during the 1979 race resulted in the deaths of seventeen competitors and the loss or abandonment of twenty-three yachts.  This led to a major overhaul of the rules and the equipment required for the competition.

In the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race of 1998, fierce storms and violent winds battered the fleet with the loss of six sailors and five yachts.  A total of fifty-five sailors were rescued and a subsequent coroner’s inquest made recommendations which have been adopted into the Australian Sailing Special Regulations.

 At least 50% of the crew, including the skipper when racing in a Category 1 and at least 30% for Category 2 shall hold a Safety & Sea Survival Course certificate of competence. The ORCV requires 50% for Category 2 events, though it is strongly recommended that for both categories of races all crew members undertake the course. This course is a prerequisite for ocean racing, not only to meet the safety requirements but to demonstrate an acceptance of your personal and team responsibilities for safety on board an ocean going boat.

All who are planning to spend time on a boat in open water will find this course stimulating and enlightening.  It is not only of interest to sailors but also helps shore crew to understand the safety requirements of offshore sailing and the search and rescue process in the event of an emergency.


 To assist offshore skippers and crews in developing awareness of respective responsibilities.
• To offer and discuss practical strategies for coping with emergencies at sea.
• To familiarise skippers and crews with safety and emergency equipment, its purpose, deployment, and use.

An SSSC certificate will be issued by Australian Sailing to successful candidates and will be valid for a period of five years.


Your fitness to be able to complete the wet drill and other activities is anticipated.

Safety & Sea Survival Course Content

The theory component of the syllabus comprises four sections.

1. Yacht preparation
2  Crew preparation
3. Racing & Weather 
4. Emergencies

It will be delivered over two days (16 hours).

The theory will cover the following elements:

    • Introduction - Causes of marine emergencies
    • Principles of survival
    • Personal lifesaving appliances
    • Areas of risk and emergencies
    • Abandoning ship
    • Search and rescue
    • Use of pyrotechnics
    • Fire prevention and fire fighting
    • Emergency communications
    • First aid and early management of injury or illness
    • Duty of care

The wet drill practical is held in a heated pool.  You will be in full wet weather gear and will work individually and as part of a team on the following:

    • Man overboard drill
    • Inflating personal flotation device (PFD)
    • Testing PFD
    • Swimming techniques
    • Conserving heat
    • Teamwork
    • Retrieving and donning a life jacket while in the water
    • Righting an upturned life raft
    • Entering a life raft unassisted
    • Contents of a survival kit
    • Retrieving crew with throwing line

The practical flare shoot will include igniting several different types of flares.


Theory Exam 80% pass mark; and
Practical competency (wet and flare drills)

Course Dates

Book Now Buttons 1 For Saturday 20 and Sunday 21st November 2021  


ORCV Members $395
Non-Members $495 
Youth (16-25) $195 

Places in this course are limited and cannot be reserved. The only way to ensure your place is to enrol and pay the correct fee at the time of registration. 

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Safety at Sea with ORCV1

What to Bring


• Notebook and pens.
2021-2024 Special Regulations Part 1 keelboats please save the PDF on your phone, tablet or computer or print it (try and save the planet if you can)
• Electronic Devices and adequate charging devices. 
 Examples of current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) used on vessels you have set to sea on, as well as experiences to share with other attendees.

Wet Drill (Sunday):

• Full three-layer ocean clothing (inner thermal layer, mid-layer and outer ocean wet weather gear layer) & sea boots, if you don't wear boots in the ocean bring what you wear instead
• Wash all clothing including wet weather gear beforehand and empty all pockets.
• PFD1 YA approved per Blue Book, check for currency and compliance with Standards.
• If inflating your PFD1 manually, please remove the gas bottle.
• Crotch strap.
• Towel.
• Please do NOT bring Dye Marker.
• From a safety aspect, it is highly recommended that you wear closed-toed shoes for the flare shoot and throughout the full course.

From a safety aspect, the instructors require you to wear closed shoes for the entire course, including during the flare shoot. We recommend that you prepare for this course as you would for an ocean voyage, and suggest you have an early night the day before and avoid alcohol consumption. A light lunch will be provided. Gloves and protective eyewear for the flare drill will be provided. 

Course Presenters

  • Robin Hewitt, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Simon Dryden, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Noel May, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Neville Rose, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Donald Fraser, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor
  • Martin Vaughan, Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore and SSSC Instructor

Location Information

The course is at the Wesley College Campus, St Kilda Road Campus here 

The course runs from the 1st floor on the Menzies Wing of the Middle School building.  Enter from Moubray Street (near Gate 1), the Menzies Wing of the Middle School is the first building and there are stairs near the Moubray Street side and another set of stairs in the middle of the building.   See the plan below of the campus.

We ask you to observe Wesley rules as below:

  • No food or drink is allowed in the classrooms
  • No alcohol is allowed on the premises

  • Smoking is not permitted on the premises either within the buildings or on the grounds

  • No parking on the grounds is possible (street parking or arrival by public transport is recommended)
  • Parking on the grass is strictly prohibited.

Contact the ORCV Office for any queries: (03) 9088 7210 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.