Safety @ Sea started in the spirit of the Sea Promise to Guard Against Water Accidents. The following outline is how a Sea Scout Ship can host their own Safety @ Sea Day in any part of the country. The following activities are to be for inspiration. Select the S@S events that make the most sense for your venue. 

There are many local partners who can help your Sea Scout Ship organize a Safety @ Sea, including the local Coast Guard Auxiliary, fire departments, search and rescue teams, law enforcement, and others. If you would like to learn more about Safety @ Sea, please attend the Coast Guard Auxiliary webinar on How to Organize a Safety at Sea on March 15, 2022 at 6:00 pm PST.

Ring Buoy

Purpose: Instruct youth on how to throw a ring buoy. Can be done in a pool or off a dock. Deploy target area 30 feet out from where Sea Scouts are standing. 

How to Coil Line and Throw Ring Buoy:

1. The line must be considerably longer than the distance it is to be thrown or it will probably fall short of the target.

2. The line must be coiled carefully and evenly with the draw of the loops toward the free end; the loops should be smaller than those made for other purposes.

3. Hold the shipboard end of the line in one hand and the coil to be thrown in the other.

4. The coil must be thrown properly—in an underhand motion with a strong, swinging motion. 

5. Release it when the arm is well above the shoulders and at not too great a distance.

6. Always aim past the head and shoulders of the person in the water, so the ring buoy can be recovered by them as it is being pulled in.

Cold Water Survival

The effects of hypothermia can be demonstrated with a bucket filled with ice and water.

Use any of the following to see how cold water impacts physical activity:

  • Use a piece of line to tie a square knot, bowline, and figure of eight submerged in water;
  • Sea Scouts assemble galvanized steel nipple, elbows, and plugs in the water; 
  • Sea Scouts retrieve as many pennies as possible in 60 seconds from the ice water.

Survival Suit Training

Can be held with Cold Water Survival. 

Purpose: Teach youth cold water survival and importance of survival gear.


Youth begin by tying knots with the line and their hands submerged in a bucket of ice water.  The knots should be the Square Knot, the Bowline and Figure of Eight. 

Youth put on Survival Suits.  Youth enter the water.  

Youth swim over to the life raft, right it and climb in. Youth exit back into the water.

Youth are hosted out of the water by Life Sling.

Equipment Checklist

Survival Suits



Line for Knots

Life Raft

Line to Secure Life Raft

Fire Extinguisher Training

Check with city and county requirements if any permits are required. 

The first time using a fire extinguisher should not be during an actual emergency. Contact the local fire department to see if they have a flash pan trainer for fire extinguishers. There are digital trainers as well that simulate using a fire extinguisher, which avoids clean-up. 
Strongly recommend using water mist extinguishers and a portable trainer, such as Dräger Fire Extinguisher Trainer or Lion’s Prop Enabled Extinguisher Training for examples.


Check with city and county requirements if any permits are required. 

Purpose: Teach youth on proper handling of flares.


Ask youth when they think they would need to use a flare.  Discuss flare usage. 

Youth are to each ignite on handheld flare.  Remind youth not to stare into the burning flare.  Go over basics of how to hold a flare.  Show proper disposal in a bucket full of water.

Equipment Checklist:


Bucket of Water


Safety Goggles

Man Overboard Recovery

Conduct man overboard recovery drills using a small boat, such as Boston Whaler, to recover an “Oscar” MOB dummy by performing a Williamson Turn.

Damage Control

Damage Control includes all efforts to prevent damage to a ship, as well as all action taken to reduce harmful effects of damage after it happens. 

The Coast Guardman’s Manual, 9th Edition, page 443.

Purpose: Instruct youth on emergency equipment in a flooding situation.  Instruct youth on damage control. 


Youth are to form a bucket brigade between the P6 barrels to empty water from one barrel to the other.


Step 1: Let youth enter the trainer and start flooding.  Watch how they react and perform DC.

Step 2: Discuss with youth proper DC, such as use of wedges, marlin and even drilling the end of cracks to stop them from spreading.  Highlight effective DC might be only reducing the flooding by 50%.  

Step 3: Let youth run the flooding situation again.

Instructors should cover the 3 main objectives of DC:

  • Take necessary action before damage occurs.
  • Reduce damage by controlling flooding
  • Providing emergency repairs or restoring services after damage occur.

The instructor should cover the following topics prior to the DC exercise:

  • Damage-control kits;
  • Plugging and patching holes; 
  • Shoring; and
  • Watertight integrity.  

Equipment Checklist

DC Trainer

DC Equipment



DC Kit 

Plugging Kits


Shoring Kits

Electrical Repair Kits

Fire Hose Handling

Purpose: Instruct youth on basics of fire hose handling.


A pulley system is set with a fender hanging off a pulley.  Sea Scouts aim a fire hose and push the fender to the opposite side. 

Leverage Your Resources

Safety @ Sea activities can vary with the resources in your community. The above list is meant to inspire, because there are many ways to follow the Sea Promise. If you have new ideas, please share them for others.

Safety @ Sea Webinar

Please join our friends from the Coast Guard Auxiliary to learn how to plan a Safety at Sea event on March 15, 2022 at 6:00 pm PST. The material will discuss the planning cycle, how to organize planning meetings, assigning responsibilities, lessons learned + best practices, issues and challenges to be aware of, and the positive outcomes attainable from hosting a Safety @ Sea.