Sailing can be a relaxed outdoor activity but it is also a physically demanding sport with inherent risks. At SailONEC we make it as safe as it can be. 

All dinghy sailors capsize sooner or later and must be prepared. Capsizing is a common occurrence for beginner and intermediate sailors in dinghy programming. Without quick reaction from the crew, a capsized boat will continue to turn over until the boat is turtled. Turning turtle means that the hull has completely turned over and the mast is vertical or nearly vertical below the water. Turtling is not a situation to be irrationally afraid of, however it is important for both athletes and coaches to understand the risks involved and be adequately prepared for situations where crew members may become tangled in rigging or submerged under the hull.   
  1. Be prepared to swim! All members of SailONEC must be able to swim. 
  2. Wear an approved PFD or lifejacket whenever you are on the docks or on a boat. 
  3. Before going sailing, you must rig and unlock a safety boat
  4. Stay with your boat if it capsizes or breaks down. 
  5. Be prepared to self-rescue. You cannot count on someone else rescuing you. 
  6. Dress appropriately for prevailing weather conditions. 
  7. Know where the *safety equipment* is; know how to use it. 
  8. Know and understand the risks involved in sailing. They are water, weather, other boaters, and human error
 Sail Canada "Entrapment on Dinghy - Victim Rescue Protocol  - Best Practices and Techniques" is available from the Sailing Director. 

Read and study the Canadian Coast Guard's "Safe Boating Guide" for information on boating safety and
the legal requirements of boating in Canada.


There has been an increased awareness about concussions in Sport. As the risk of concussions are very present in sailing (hit by the boom) for members or participants in day camps (a few happened this year), ONEC must treat concussions seriously and make sure all our members and staff take all steps to help prevent them. In the case of someone getting a concussion, they should be advised to get medical treatment right away. All sports follow the same protocols for returning to play. It can be found here:


While Ontario Sailing has a Concussion/Safe Return to Play Policy, neither Ontario Sailing nor Sail Canada has official policies or recommendations regarding wearing helmets in sailing for the following reasons:

1) Concussions still happen while wearing helmets.

2) Helmets must be properly designed or can add too much height to the head and catch the boom more (I can vouch for this as I wore a helmet for a year due to a health issue).

3) There are presently no CSA approved helmets in Canada for Sailing.


As of 2016, it will be mandatory for all ONEC Sailing Day Camp instructors to successfully pass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention internet course. The training is available at   All sailing members will be encouraged to take the training so they can assist other members who may have a concussion.