Safety appeal to Cruisers, please butt in!

After I got off the sailboat I was on, I had the opportunity to see or speak with five sets of cruisers who had known me. Three of those couples said they were relieved that I was out of that situation and told me that they were concerned for me. Each stated why — and the reasons were consistent.

So this is an appeal to cruisers.

If you meet up with a person who is on board another person’s sailboat or motorboat and you have any question about that passenger/crew person’s safety, please, please, PLEASE, tell that person!

I was not aware that there is a ship’s roster and the repercussions of not being on it.

I was not aware that 3 lights, or any lights, are legally required on a boat at night to mark it safely.

I was not aware that it is required to fly flags.

I was aware that I was not being mentioned on the radio network and it bothered me but I wish others had told me it bothered them too. I didn’t know if I was being melodramatic or if it was a real safety concern.

I was aware that I was never given a safety tour and talk upon boarding (nor when I requested one) but others may not be. In an emergency I would not have found a floatation device, would not have known how to radio or know the channels. And I was unfamiliar with the rigging.

I also had no way of knowing it is not normal to not be able to use electricity on a sailboat, or that toilets don’t always require 30-100 pumps. These were other red flags that corners were being cut and that my safety was questionable.


Please talk to new crew that shows up where you are anchored.

Please talk to crew that looks lonely or lost or frustrated or confused. In fact, please talk to any crew member as you may not see a sign, but we don’t always know what we need to know. I have sailing experience, but joining a crushing boat supposedly as needed crew was new to me. Others will be in the same boat, so to speak.

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