Being ready for when danger strikes

Published on December 7th, 2014

As the Volvo Ocean Race fleet pushes north in the Indian Ocean toward the Leg 2 finish in Abu Dhabi, Mark Towill on Team Alvimedica reflects on dealing with the unexpected…

It’s now been a week since we received the call and diverted course to assist Team Vestas Wind, yet the situation remains at the forefront of our thoughts. More than anything we are relieved that all nine crew members are safe and sound – a testament to the professionalism that they showed that night.

Safety is of course our number one priority and we have emergency procedures in place that we review as a team on a regular basis. Man overboard, capsized vessel, piracy attack, etc. – all serious situations that require pre-planning to have successful outcomes, however unlikely they may be. In fact, every team in the Volvo Ocean Race has a crisis management plan that acts as a roadmap and reference for efficient action when needed.

It’s no secret that this race poses a number of potentially dangerous situations. We get asked questions about our level of concern quite frequently. I’m certainly no expert on pirate activity, but the race organization provided the fleet with a thorough briefing on the risks of piracy and how they have worked with marine safety organizations to minimize it. They did a nice job assessing the danger and explaining it to us all before the race started.

We are now back to racing … hopefully it’s a nail biter into Abu Dhabi.

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