Ocean Racing Club of Victoria
Steb Fisher

Safety & Sea Survival Course (SSSC)

The Safety & Sea Survival Full Course is conducted over a period of at least sixteen hours, with theory delivered via the ORCV self paced eLearning platform and one day in person for your practicals and balance on theory content.  The in-person sessions run on Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm at Wesley College - St Kilda Campus as below.

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

To be certified by the ORCV Instructors, participants must complete both the theory and practicals prepared and delivered by the ORCV trainers. On our in-person day encompasses some instructor led discussions and is a mix of theory and practicals.

Course Dates

To be certified by the ORCV Instructors, participants must complete both the ORCV theory and attending the in person day.  All theory and practicals are prepared and delivered by the ORCV trainers. Our in-person day encompasses some instructor led discussions and is a mix of theory and practicals.

The following are proposed course in person dates for 2024 (Sunday 18th Feb, 2nd June, 8th Sept, 1st Dec).  Once the dates are confirmed with the venue, bookings will be open.  The courses are popular and do book out.  Add yourself to our waitlist and be the first to know that the courses are open for booking.

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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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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 SSS 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

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)

Safety at Sea with ORCV1

What to Bring


• Notebook and pens.
2021-2024 Special Regulations Part 1 keelboatsplease 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. 

Life Jacket Hire

Should you not have a life jacket, we do have a small number that can be hired.  Please note, there is a charge which is non refundable (should you not attend) which covers replacement of our loan gear. 

Book and show your ticket at the course.  There is a limited number so reservations are required here https://www.trybooking.com/CHCMP  

Location Information

Sunday Practicals is at the Wesley College Campus, St Kilda Road Campus here 

The registration desk will be located in the middle school  (in the Menzie building near item 11 on the campus map).  There is no parking on site, please park in Moubray Street.   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

  • Please bring your own water bottles.
  • 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.

More information and maps of Wesley can be found here 

orcv logo reversed

3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park VIC 3206 Ph. 0493 102 744 E. orcv@orcv.org.au