RYA Basic Sea Survival Course

The one day RYA Basic Sea Survival course teaches you the personal survival techniques required to be able to maximise your chances of survival in the event of immersion in cold water. A fun day which includes a two hour pool session, this course aims to help skippers and their crews in awareness of safety, emergency situations, and the use of emergency equipment.

Practical and theoretical training is provided in the following areas: -

  • Principles of Survival Personal lifesaving appliances

  • Areas of risk and emergency Abandoning ship (life rafts)

  • Search and rescue

  • Use of pyrotechnics

  • Use of location aids

  • Prevention and treatment of hypothermia

Successful candidates will be awarded the RYA Basic Sea Survival certificate. This qualification is required by all qualified Coastal Skippers and Yachtmasters who wish to obtain a commercial endorsement.

The one day RYA Sea Survival course counts as one module of the RYA / ISAF Offshore Safety certificate



RYA sailing school


RYA Basic Sea Survival Course Syllabus 

The aim of the course is to give an understanding of how to use the safety equipment carried on small boats, including a practical session in launching and boarding a liferaft.

Pre-course knowledge - Nil

1. Preparation for sea survival

  •           Survival difficulties
  •           Survival requirements
  •           Equipment available 
  •           Actions prior to abandonment 

2. Lifejackets and liferafts

  •           Lifejacket design and construction - correct donning procedure, purpose and use of lifejackets
  •           Safety harness - purpose in use
  •           Liferafts - towage and containment on board - types, design and construction, launching - abandoning the vessel and boarding liferaft - righting a capsized liferaft - liferaft equipment - initial actions to be taken in a liferaft

3. Principles of survival

  •           Methods to increase chances of survival
  •           Signs, symptoms and treatment of hypothermia
  •           Symptoms, method of treatment for sunburn, heat exhaustion and heatstroke
  •           Survival routines to aid location
  •           Correct use of pyrotechnics and other location aids
  •           Water rationing - procedures
  •           Dehydration and preventative measures
  •           Food rationing and sources of food

 4. Survival craft ailments

5. Raft Management

  •           Azimuth stabilization 

6. Search and rescue

  •           Rescue by helicopter or vessel
  •           Role of HM Coastguard
  •           UK and International SAR Organisation 
  •           Other services

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1 Day RYA Basic Sea Survival Course