RHKYC PFD Policy, effective from 1 January 2015

image: Naomi Rebecca

RHKYC POLICY ON PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES ("PFDs") 
including “lifejackets” and “buoyancy aids”

With effect from January 1 2015, any yacht competing in a race organised by the RHKYC shall comply with the following standards in relation to the carrying and wearing of PFDs. Dinghy sailors, both adult and youth, whether racing or training, shall continue to wear suitable PFD’s at all times when on the water.
 

A. GENERAL - PFDs TO BE CARRIED ONBOARD AT ALL TIMES

1. Any yacht required to be licensed as a Class IV Pleasure Vessel shall carry onboard at all
times a sufficient number of lifejackets that comply with the standards set out in the Code
of Practice for Class IV Vessels. A licensed yacht may also carry additional PFDs more
suited for wearing during competition (such as CE 150N inflatable lifejackets or CE 50N
buoyancy aids).
 
2. Any yacht that does not require a Class IV Pleasure Vessel license shall carry at least the following PFDs for each person on board:
a. One foam vest type buoyancy aid with a minimum CE 50N or equivalent of permanent buoyancy or,
b. One inflatable lifejacket with a minimum of CE 150N or equivalent buoyancy or,
c. A combination of a. and b.
 
3. PFDs carried onboard shall be well maintained, properly stowed and be of an appropriate size and fit for each crew. Inflatable lifejackets shall be serviced annually.
 
4. When worn, PFDs shall be the outer garment (unless worn under a competitor bib supplied by the organizer), and shall be worn according to the manufacturer’s guidelines (i.e. zipped or buckled up)
 

B. FOR RACES HELD ENTIRELY WITHIN CATEGORY A ZONES

Category A zones are restricted to Victoria Harbour, Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay, Middle Island and Port Shelter.
 
1. For all yachts, children under the age of 12 shall wear a PFD at all times whilst on deck.
 
2. Unless the Race Officer hoists the Y flag, the decision whether to wear PFDs remains with the crew of the boat for all yachts.
 

C. FOR ALL OTHER RACES

1. For yachts with lifelines, with the exception of children under the age of 12, the decision to wear a PFD remains with the crew.
 
2. For yachts without lifelines (regardless of whether or not the yacht is licensed), the wearing of PFDs is mandatory.
 
3. In the case of yachts where the lifeline does not continue forward of the mast (such as the J/70), any crew member working forward of the mast shall wear a PFD.
 

D. ADDITIONAL NOTES TO ALL CREW ON ALL YACHTS

1. PFDs must be worn if the Y flag is displayed
 
2. It is strongly recommended that PFDs be worn during the hours of darkness.
 
3. It is strongly recommended that PFDs are worn by any crew member who is unable to swim 50 metres in calm water unaided.
 
4. It is strongly recommended that PFDs are of a high visibility colour.
 
5. Where the wearing of PFDs is at the discretion of the crew then they should take into account prevailing and forecast conditions.
 
6. A vessel which does not require a license is a yacht which is not capable of having an engine mounted.
 
7. Users should be aware that CE 50N or equivalent buoyancy aids are not designed to turn an unconscious wearer face up in the water and that manual inflation CE 150N or equivalent lifejackets will not work unless the wearer is conscious and can activate the inflation mechanism.
 
8. For the avoidance of doubt, the following areas are not within Zone A: Stanley, Tai Tam and Clearwater Bay.
 
9. These requirements are supplemental to and do not replace safety requirements for yachts racing under ISAF Offshore Special Regulations.