Again this year, we watched the Safety at Sea demonstrations where they demonstrate the proper use of flares - especially SOLAS flares. The SOLAS flares are a safety requirement in the Rally. If you have not ever seen the difference between the Coast Guard approved flares and SOLAS flares, you should attend the Safety At Sea seminar.
Here the Rally team does the demonstration and people are allowed to try it with their expired marine flares. You can see the difference by carefully lighting out of date flares in a safe place. Practice is good. You don't want to be in an emergency situation and have to read the directions (after you have found your reading glasses!) when time is critical. Also make sure you properly discard old ones as well as the remains of the ones you used.
In addition to the life raft demonstration, we saw how a MOM8 works. Davis and Peter did the exercise in the hotel pool. Quite interesting to see. It is possible for the life raft to inflate and flip over! Davis showed how to right and then jump into it. Last year's demonstration was done on land. This was much more effective.Of course, the rule still stands: don't get into the life raft unless you have to step up to it! Or if the boat is on fire and you need to get away from it. Boats have a better chance of surviving than the life raft does in high seas and wind conditions. It is also easier to spot a boat from the air in a search and rescue mission.
Dennis and I took the Safety At Sea seminar at Bayview Yacht Club last spring. Having watched the Coast Guard helicopter rescue someone from the water. I don't ever want to have to be in that situation!
We have covered the various safety procedures for Trillium with the crew. Everyone knows what they are to grab on the way off.
But we also threatened them: Don't fall off and Do take preventive actions to avoid a serious situation.