Largs Bay Sailing Club

Shark Sightings - Risk Management and Reporting

General risk management
Club officials will regularly review all safety procedures for on-water activities to ensure that our sailors and their families can be confident that every effort is made to supervise their safety.
The management committee is satisfied that in general our standard safety procedures are appropriate, and adequate safety boats, commensurate with the number of sailing boats racing will be on the water to supervise racing and provide a rapid response to capsized boats.

The committee recommends that if possible additional safety boats be recruited over weekends when shark activity has been reported by the Police and Surf Lifesaving groups or in the media.

The committee recommends the implementation of additional safety efforts also when major regattas are being conducted at Largs Bay, particularly for youth and junior classes.  In particular we propose that race officials should increase the number of safety boats available.  This may be achieved partly by utilising the boats of state and overseas coaches, who may be in attendance at an event.  The committee will also seek the support of those clubs, which are not hosting regattas to assist by providing their club boats to complement the rescue fleet of Largs Bay Sailing Club.

Reporting shark sightings

* If a race official boat sights a shark the crew should report it to the bridge officer.

* If a sailiing boat crew sights a shark the crew should report it to the nearest safety boat crew.

Action by the bridge officials:


1.  Provide a general alert to all official boats by club radio.

Give all boat crews details of the location of the sighting and direct some boats to the area to monitor the situation and if required to alert sailors to the danger.

If necessary official boats should be advised to direct racing boats to return to shore and escort  those boats. 

2.  When a shark is assessed to pose an immediate threat to the safety of persons in the vicinity
Telephone to request police assistance, please call Emergency Services on 000 and ask for the police (SAPOL) 

General shark sightings (non threatening) should be reported to Fishwatch on 1800 065 522

Actions by shark patrol helicopter and SA Police

Officials from the Surf Life Saving Association has advised Yachting South Australia that when there is a sighting along any of the beaches, the pilot will sound a siren and attempt to coax a shark away from swimmers or sailors and out to sea.

The plane/helicopter crew will also contact SA Police, who will then forward information on to the Water Police who take control in this situation.  It is their responsibility to get one of their vessels down to the sighting area and if the shark remains in the area, to use any of the volunteer organisations, Surf Life, Sea Rescue, Coastguard or even a sailing club (if they have rescue craft on the water in the vicinity) to assist under the supervision of the police officer in charge.

Sailing club policy on Rule 41, Outside help

Largs Bay Sailing Club rescue boat crews will pick up boat crews and return them to their boats without penalty.  This action is appropriate in case of shark sightings and when there is potential for hypothermia or exhaustion and in other situations where the safety of sailors is a primary concern.
Clause 14.3 of the Notice of Race for events conducted at Largs Bay Club provide for giving assistance without penalty.
Rule 41 - Outside Help is changed to read, “Race officials and safety boat crews may pick up boat crews and return them to their boats for safety reasons. 

The sail number of a boat which receives outside help may be notified to the Race Committee with details of the incident and a hearing may be held (if required) to determine any penalty.  The penalty for Rule 41 shall be at the discretion of the Protest Committee.


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