Actions Speak Louder than words.
Safety comes first in everything we do at AQ. Our activities are adventurous and to say that there are no risks would be misleading. However, awareness of the potential risks is the key to controlling them. Risk management & safety training are core parts of our programs and are integrated in many specific ways.
Program Design & Structure
Safety is the foremost consideration of every aspect of program design. Since AQ is all about hands-on learning, our staff place high emphasis on safety and risk management, passing these critical elements on to their team. Throughout the voyage, shipmates learn safety procedures via a number of different media. This learning is reinforced through practical application, as shipmates demonstrate safe practices during every day activities. Through repetition, simple precautions become second nature.
Staff Experience and Training
The quality and experience of our staff plays an integral role in our safety and success. Unlike most summer programs, our core staff work with us year-round as educators and instructors. These full-time professionals ensure the highest level of safety and instruction.
Click here to learn more about the AQ team
Small Groups within a Flotilla
For those new to sailing, we typically recommend our BVI programs, because yachts sail as part of a group or 'flotilla'. Sailing and socializing within a larger group is a lot of fun and traveling this way also offers significant safety advantages. We may have as many as 40 staff in one place at the same time, allowing our students to interact and learn from a large number of highly trained teachers and role models. Back-up support is always available with Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics close at hand. Additionally, it allows ActionQuest Directors, Mike or Jim, to be present full-time to interact with students and staff and to ensure our high safety standards.
Fail Safe with PFD's
Whether aboard our larger sailing vessels or our smaller dinghies, wearing PFD's is a must when underway. The decision to wear PFD's is simple common sense. Safety preparedness is as critical in times of blue skies and calm seas as it is in rough weather. The US Sailing Association, the national governing body for sailing, requires all crew to wear US Coast Guard approved PFD's (personal flotation devices) whenever training vessels for youth are in motion. AQ instituted this procedure years before the regulation went into effect, and with good reason.
ActionQuest staff live full-time with their shipmates and much of our success comes from the strong working friendships that form as a result. Staff and shipmates are truly on an expedition together. At times and locations deemed appropriate and safe by the AQ Director, shipmates have free time to explore ashore in small groups, yet for the most part our staff are with their team to lead and guide.
AQ recognizes that sun safety is critical as we spend a lot of time outside during our programs. There are biminis (awnings) covering the cockpits of all our vessels, yet overexposure is still a concern and something we take seriously. Our staff set the example through good practices, while educating and monitoring their shipmates. AQ recommends that everyone take the following precautions:
- Regular application of a dermatologist-approved sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher.
- Wear good quality sunglasses that block out 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear a UV filtering surfer-style rash guard.