Sunday, December 17, 2017
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Imagine a vessel is stranded, and a shot-line has been fired from the lifesaving crew ashore. The team must work together to construct, secure, and execute a breeches buoy rescue.

Two members of the team will be on the wreck mast (tower), one of whom is to be rescued. They will wear rigging belts and lanyards while on the platform. A shot line will already be in place between the wreck mast and the shore at the start of the event. The lifesaving (ground) crew will start from attention. Time begins at the judge's signal, and ends when the rescued team member is safely ashore and the ground crew is called to attention by the cox'n.


For safety reasons, the cox'n is the only person allowed to talk, whistle or make any mouth signals to the ground crew. The two team members in the tower may talk to each other, but all communication between the ground crew and the tower must be done with the proper visual signals, as follows:

  1.           Affirmative: Crossing the arms repeatedly over the head
  2.           Negative: Crossing the arms repeatedly below the waist.

Proper hand signals must be used after each part of the rigging operation between mast and shore. The cox'n will acknowledge the signals from the mast, and one team member in the tower will acknowledge the signals from the shore by repeating them. If crossed signals are used (i.e.; negative reply to the affirmative signal), the next step of the operation will not be performed until signals and situation are in agreement. Judges will enforce this, and the clock will continue to run.

The judge will blow a whistle to signal an error in procedure that may lead to a safety problem, and all participants must stop immediately. The judge will not stop an error until it becomes a safety problem. The clock will continue to run while errors are fixed.

Water line will be clearly marked, and team members are not allowed to cross it at any time during the event. All knots that are tied on the tower must have at least six inches of bitter end or will be considered improper. Shear legs must be straight to leaning slightly towards the dead-man, and hawser must be straight and taught from dead-man to mast. All team members must remain outside the endless-line while it is moving, and will receive a warning from the judge on the first occurrence. Repeated offenses will result in a safety violation penalty or disqualification.


Disqualification of the entire team will result for any misconduct, repeated unsafe procedures, gross safety violations, slamming the chair into the shear-legs or allowing it to swing free, or allowing the rescued person to drag or drop into the simulated water.

Talking, improper or missed signals, and water line violations (by the ground crew) will result in the following:

          First offense:                 30 seconds added to the total time

          Second offense:   60 additional seconds added to the total time

          Third offense:                Disqualification


Under the direction of the cox'n alone, the crew will accomplish the following:

  1.           Ground-secure the shot-line to the tail-block with endless-line.
  2.           Make the proper visual signal to tower.


  1. Haul the shot-line on board until the tail-block with the endless-line rove through so it can be reached.
  2. Make the tail-block fast to the mast with a round turn and two half hitches (leave shot-line hanging off the back of the mast platform).
  3. Check that the line in the block runs free, and make the proper visual signal to shore.


  1.           Fasten the endless-line around the hawser with a clove hitch
  2.           Haul the hawser out to the mast.


  1.           When hawser is within reach, grab it.
  2.           Unbend the hawser from the endless-line, and make it fast to the mast with a round turn and two half hitches, at least 2' above the tail-block.
  3.           Make the proper visual signal to shore.


  1. Take a strain on the hawser and tie a bowline-on-a-bight.
  2. Hook the blocks to the hawser and dead man so the hauling part will be towards the mast.
  3. Two team members secure the small snatch block on the hawser, making sure it is securely locked (if a "closed block" is used, this is not required).
  4. Make a clove hitch in the endless-line over the ring of the chair-the endless-line must be secured above the eye next to the block, not on the line around the chair.
  5. Two team members set up the shear-legs so the hawser is safely taut, while the remainder of the crew take up slack in the hawser.
  6. When the shear-legs are securely in place, these two team members may help take up the last bit of slack in the hawser by hanging on the line[MT1] .
  7. Secure the line to the cleat on the dead man using a standard cleat hitch and at least one half-hitch on the cleat.
  8. Haul the chair out to the mast as quickly as possible without hitting the tower.


  1.           When the chair is within reach, grab it and haul it aboard.
  2.           One team member should steady the chair while the other gets into the chair in a proper sitting position and clips their safety harness to the block.
  3.           The standing team member should make the proper visual signal to shore.


  1. Haul the team member in the chair safely to shore; one team member should grab the chair so it does not swing freely, while another helps their teammate out of the chair.
  2. Cox'n calls the "fall in" command, and time stops when the crew comes to attention.

All knots must be untied prior to leaving the event area. This will not be timed.