You may have had a collision or hit some rocks, and water is rapidly flowing into the boat
Check your exact position on the GPS and write this down.
Call VHF Channel 16 and say “MAYDAY - MAYDAY - MAYDAY - this is [yacht name] [twice over]“.
[Wait for Coast Guard response].
Say “I am sinking. My position is [exact GPS position]”.
If it is safe to do so, wait for Coast Guard response and follow their instructions.
Is the water rushing in?
If the water is rushing in and about to fry the electrics, grab the flares and handheld VHF, and get on deck.
At the same time get everyone into lifejackets and launch the life raft.
If the yacht is sinking like a rock, get people into the life raft.
If not, take your time and remember that the safest place to be at sea is the biggest thing that floats –
if your yacht will float for another hour, stay aboard while help comes.
When you can see another vessel, use a smoke flare to attract attention.
If the Coast Guard is sending a helicopter then wait until you can see that before firing a flare.
Another yacht or a merchant vessel may come to help
Accept their offer – we are all brothers at sea.
Table of Contents
The basics in sailing
Before departure briefing
Mooring and anchoring