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US Sailing Safety at Sea Course

US Sailing Sanctioned International Offshore
Safety at Sea with Hands-on Only Training

Saturday, February 26, 2022

The course will be from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ET)
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

Presented by The Mariners’ Museum and Park and Landfall Navigation

The Mariners’ Museum and Park
and Brittingham-Midtown Aquatic Center

Newport News, Virginia

Participants must be 18+ to attend. 
Ticket sales close February 22, 2022, at 4 p.m. (ET)

Point of Contact: Julie Murphy ([email protected]) or call 757-952-0466.

Ticket Pricing and Discounts

Regular Price Ticket: $265
No discounts available February 1 – 22, 2022.

Your Course fee includes:
US Sailing’s book Safety at Sea: A Guide to Safety Under Sail and Personal Survival, lunch*, World Sailing approved Offshore Personal Survival Course US Sailing certificate, lectures, demonstrations, course materials, and round trip transportation from the Museum to pool and back!

*If your course fee is being sponsored by an organization or government agency that does not include payment for lunch, please contact Olivia Harding to complete registration.

Locations and Prerequisites

Check-in and select hands-on sessions at The Mariners’ Museum and Park, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, Virginia 23601
Tel: (757)591-7796 see map here

In-the-Water Training at the Brittingham-Midtown Aquatic Center,  570 McLawhorne Drive, Newport News, VA 23601
Tel: (757)591-4853

Click image below to enlarge/pdf

To attend this in-person course, you MUST complete the following forms:

In advance:

Click the links above, download and complete the PDF forms, and return via email: [email protected] by February 21, 2022.

Day of:

Expand the sections below to learn more about the online prerequisites and what to expect at this hands-on course. 

US Sailing Sanctioned International Offshore Safety at Sea with Hands-on Training

The course has two parts. The first part is the Online Offshore Safety at Sea Course that will provide you with an excellent level of knowledge and is the starting point for the second part of the course.

The hands-on training course is to prepare you for survival offshore in demanding situations and emergencies. What you learn in this course may save your life and the lives of others in an emergency. We encourage you to give the course the effort and time it deserves.

The course is taught by experienced lifelong sailors and is designed for crew members of offshore races, long-distance cruisers, and any sailor wanting to improve his/her sailing skills. The subject matter reflects the accumulated knowledge and lessons learned of the worldwide sailing community.

All Safety at Sea certificates are valid for five years from the date of the course.

Part 1: Online training – purchase through US Sailing

No previous Offshore training?
You must complete US Sailing’s Online Offshore Safety at Sea course parts one and two (units 1 – 10 and units 11 – 15) before you can attend the in-person one-day hands-on training. Please allow 12 – 16 hours to complete this training. 

Purchase a specially priced 2-code pack from US Sailing here:

The online course covers a broad range of material in depth. We are confident you will find this course quite valuable. There is an examination after each of the topics and at the end of the course. It is our goal to ensure you have a good understanding of the material because the second part starts at this level and further builds your knowledge. You must successfully complete the online course five days before the date of the in-person portion of the course. The online course is available for your review for three months after you complete the course.

You must complete the online courses Parts 1 & 2 and the one-day hands-on course to receive the World Sailing approved Offshore Personal Survival Course certificate.

Expired Offshore or Refresh International Certification?
Sailors who took either an Offshore Online or Offshore In-Person course in 2019 or 2020 will have until December 31, 2022, to take the Hands-on course for the International Offshore Certificate. Note: you must complete online course Part 2 (units 11-15) by February 21, 2002. Purchase this course here:

Those with expired (more than 5 years old) Offshore safety at sea certificates, must retake the online course parts one and two prior to this hands-on course.

Those who need to “refresh” their expired International certification (issued 2012 or before) must complete the newly-released, 3-hour Online Offshore Safety at Sea course part two (units 11 – 15). Purchase this course here:

Part 2: Hands-on Training

The second part of the course is a full day (8 AM – 5 PM ET) of practical training. You will be updated with the latest information on key topics and then spend most of the day in hands-on training covering damage control, firefighting, emergency signaling, survival equipment, use of personal flotation devices, and life rafts.

The course is a mix of inside training and outside exercises. Please dress accordingly. See What to Bring below.

Major topics to be covered in hands-on practical training sessions include:

  • Lessons Learned & Updates: Lessons learned from recent incidents. Update on important safety requirements and communications items.
  • Damage Control: The course covers typical damage control techniques and equipment.
  • Firefighting:  This session discusses fire prevention and firefighting. 
  • Emergency Signaling (Flares): You will ignite various emergency signaling pyrotechnics
  • Emergency and Safety Equipment: Landfall Navigation representatives will display common emergency and safety equipment, particularly with an emphasis on the latest trends and equipment.
  • PFD’s, Water Survival, and Life Rafts: This session will start with reviewing the proper wearing of your PFD and tether*. You will then enter the pool with your foul weather gear and PFD to experience the inflation and use of your PFD. Course instructors will guide you in the pool practicing cold water individual and group survival techniques. Learn the best ways to stay afloat, work as a team, and fight hypothermia. Practice righting, boarding, and working as a crew in a life raft.

*See What to Bring below

  • The curriculum is certified by US Sailing.
  • The moderator meets the qualifications and training required for certification by US Sailing.
  • You will receive certification that you have completed a US Sailing Sanctioned International Offshore Safety at Sea course with hands-on training, complying with World Sailing’s (ISAF) Offshore Personal Survival Course guidelines.
  • This certification is good for five years per US Sailing.

Sheila McCurdy

Moderator Sheila McCurdy

Sheila has run Safety at Sea courses in the US, Canada, and Bermuda for more than 10 years. She has sailed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, logging over 100,000 offshore miles on boats from 35 to 65 feet. On her 38-footer Selkie, she has skippered 10 Newport Bermuda Races out of a total of 17. She holds a 100-ton master’s license. Sheila ran the National Faculty for US Sailing for 13 years and advised on safety and coaching at US Naval Academy Sailing for 20 years. She is a past commodore of the Cruising Club of America. Sheila lives in Middletown, RI. 


Sean Fleischman

Sean is owner and president of Landfall Navigation. He purchased the company in 2018 after serving 20 years as an employee. Based in Stamford, CT, Landfall Navigation offers a full line of marine safety equipment, worldwide nautical charts, navigation instruments, and foul weather gear. Sean is a native of City Island, NY, a small nautical community on Long Island Sound, famous for several America’s Cup defenders. In his youth, Sean worked at many of the island’s yacht clubs and earned a United States Coast Guard Inland Masters Limited License. In 2020, Sean served on the Life Jacket Association advisory committee for life jacket awareness. In his tenure with Landfall, he learned much from his mentor Capt. Henry Marx. Sean and Landfall are proud to sponsor US Sailing’s Safety at Sea course at The Mariners’ Museum.  


Captain Mark Bologna

Mark is a USCG licensed Captain and holds a US Sailing Safe Powerboat Handling Instructor Certification. He has been on Landfall Navigation’s team since 2007. Currently the retail safety department manager, he also assists with commercial sales and educational outreach to the recreational boating industry. Mark is a hands-on marine safety consultant who advises customers on the issues that ensure their safety and enjoyment of life on the water. Truly an outdoor sportsman, he has more than 45 years of boating experience in the northeastern United States.


Captain Eric Knott

Eric went to sea with his father as a commercial fisherman in 1973 and has never looked back. He has been awarded a UK Master’s Certificate, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certification, and a Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Marine Surveying from Middlesex University and Lloyds Maritime of London appointed State of Connecticut Harbor Master for Stamford Harbor. In 2003, Eric joined Landfall Navigation to run Henry Marx’s Marine Training Center. In 2006, he joined Moran Towing Corporation, where he is responsible for safety audits and inspections. Eric’s claim to fame: “I have spent days in a life raft – for real!”


Pete Seidler

Pete is a retired US Coast Guard captain. He spent over 34 years in the USCG in various assignments, including command of two CG cutters, instructing seamanship and ship handling at the USCG Academy, and serving as senior JAG officer for the CG’s Atlantic Area. Since retirement, Pete has worked for more than 10 years as an Advanced EMT for Virginia Beach EMS. He has been an instructor for First Aid, CPR, and Wilderness First Aid and a Virginia state boating safety instructor.

The hands-on only course is a mix of inside training and outside exercises. Please dress accordingly.

Bring your inflatable personal flotation device (PFD) with tether* and foul weather gear (jacket, pants, boots/shoes). You will be jumping into the pool wearing your PFD and foul weather gear. Also, bring a change of clothes and a bath towel. There are hot showers available. We recommend you bring a duffle bag for your wet gear.

*Note: A PFD and tether are required equipment for the course. If your PFD is not available or you have not yet purchased an appropriate PFD, Landfall Navigation has a limited number available to loan. Contact [email protected] at least two weeks before your course to make arrangements for a loaner. Please bring $30 cash or check made out to Landfall Navigation (no credit cards) with you to cover the cost of the rearm kit for the loaner PFD.      

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