As a skipper, you are not only responsible for ensuring that your gear is in order and that you have checked the weather forecast when you are out. You are also responsible for ensuring that everyone onboard carries a lifejacket -for skipper responsibility is about showing care and ensuring that everyone comes safely to port,

...explained the Danish Maritime Authority.

This year's SailSafe campaign, with support from Søsportens Security Council and the Danish foundation TrygFonden, is about getting the skippers to set the good example and reminding them that they are guarantors of safety onboard.

René Højer, program manager and responsible for water and bath safety in TrygFonden, hopes that the effort, which focuses on skipper responsibility, will act as a friendly invitation to break the habit of not taking a life vest onboard.

It is my hope that someday we do not even have to discuss whether the vest is going on or not. Like it is today the case with safety belts in the cars. But until then, we can only encourage the skippers to lead the way as some good examples for the safety culture. When about half of those who today use the water already use vests, they just have to get one another to start, and then we will be in target.

...says René Højer.

Common myths

It is a sailing myth that accidents at sea most often occur in harsh weather. But the fact is that 70% of the deaths in connection with recreational sailing and fishing in 2009-2017 occurred in quiet weather.

Additionally, a survey from 2017 shows that 43% of sailors and fishermen believe that the life-vest is less important in good weather.

But it is not true, because the water is still wet and can even be very cold even on a warm and quiet day.

It is also a myth that accidents happen far from land: Virtually all the deaths that have occurred in connection with recreational sailing and fishing in recent years have occurred close to land in the inner Danish waters.