One of the questions people ask us (a lot) is, how safe is it to cruise on a boat? Well, quite honestly, it isn’t very safe at all. A lot of really bad things can go wrong and when they do, serious consequences are lurking. But, I think I have to ask myself the question, “What is truly safe?” Safe is not an absolute. Bad things can happen to people living a safe lifestyle. I do not wish to spend the rest for my days in a bubble with filtered air cut off from germs and anything sharp for the sake of being safe. And, on the other hand, I would like to die of natural causes after a very long adventurous life. I see safety as a bit of a balancing act.
I think sailing on the ocean is safer than driving in some areas of the city in which we live. Just like a city, the world has bad neighborhoods. If you are aware of your surroundings, you will know when it is time to lock the doors and move on. There are a couple of web sites we can use as cruisers where crime or unstable conditions are reported. The most obvious is the US Department of State. However, there are also sites strictly tailored to small vessel cruisers. One site I resource frequently and have become familiar with is Noonsite. Here’s a recent blip from the Bahamas (we may be skipping Nassau):
Sue Richards says:
Mar 27, 2014 09:24 PM
This report picked up on “Women who Sail” Facebook Group:
“There were 3 boat robberies in Nassau earlier this week. Two of the boats were yachts at Nassau Yacht Haven and the other was a sailboat that was anchored out just up the harbour. The sailboat that was anchored out had the dinghy untied with the motor that was locked onto it. While he was at the police station they returned the dinghy but the motor was gone. The yachts were broken into and the robbers only stole cash. Both yachts had the captains on board and were asleep while it happened. These robbers seem to be very brave to rob boats while people are on board sleeping, so if you are in the area lock your boat and be careful. They even went into the cabin where one of the captains was sleeping, took his shorts off the floor, went to the main salon and took the wallet out. Took the cash out of the wallet and left. This is not a rumour, it actually happened.”
I think sailing on the ocean is safer than working on a farm or a construction site. According to OSHA, in the USA during 2013, 4,405 workers were killed on the job. 796 of this were in the construction industry with the “fatal four” being: Falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught-in/between. Okay, I agree there are way less cruising sailors than construction workers. So, perhaps the mortality odds of a novice sailor at sea could be higher than I would like. But, I hope you get my point. Our number can be up just about any time. I would prefer to be doing something fun when my ticket gets punched rather than die falling off the sofa. Apparently, falling off the sofa should be a concern to all couch potatoes. 1 in 4,238 people in the USA will die because of a furniture related accident. It is the 18th cause of death in the US. I swear, I am not making this up. Here, see for yourself: (link)
“Beds, couches and furniture exist in our homes to provide personal comfort and relaxation, but they are associated with death far more often than most would think. Falls are the leading cause of death among people over the age of 65. A person is far more likely to die falling out of bed, a chair or other furniture at home than traveling on a railway, where the odds are 1 in 225,879.”
If it’s on the internet, it must be true.