E-0-4-Safety & Security

Safety & Security

At Purpose Bound, the safety and security of our participants and staff is our number one priority. In fact, every decision is made with safety and security in mind: from program design to sailing routes to state of the art boat design. While there is always some degree of risk when running a sailing vessel and engaging in other physical activities, our experienced staff are trained professionals and are well versed in emergency scenarios both at sea and ashore. All of this, along with strictly enforced safety and security policies, use of personal flotation devices and in-country local awareness strategies, sets a tone of safety and security for every aspect of the trip. 

Vessel Skipper Certification and Experience All Vessel Skippers hold either a United States Coast Guard Captain's License or an International Yachmasters Certification. These credentials are of vital importance to the safety of our participants and staff because they establish a recognized measure of competency for the operation of power boats and sailing vessels. But when it comes to facing the elements at sea, textbook knowledge is no substitute for practical experience. Purpose Bound Vessel Skippers are not only properly certified, but are carefully selected based upon having significant actual sailing experience.

Trip Leader Qualifications Purpose Bound trip leaders are bright and versatile individuals who bring not only their leadership expertise, but are trained in running sailing vessels, facilitating water sports and leading teams ashore. 

First Aid Training At Purpose Bound, all on-board staff members must be first aid and CPR certified, and each vessel is equipped with a first aid kit geared to handle a wide variety of scenarios. We also maintain current lists of emergency medical facilities on each island we visit, and for open water situations, the vessel radio can be used to summon help if needed.

Safety and Security Training No matter what certifications our staff members may hold, they each participate in a safety and security training program upon hire. If a safety or security issue arises, Purpose Bound has standardized response procedures, including the involvement of the home office. 

1:4 Staff to Participant Ratio At Purpose Bound, you won't get lost in the crowd. We intentionally maintain a very positive staff to participant ratio for many reasons. Safety and security is at the top of that list. We also value the staff to participant relationships and try to make lasting connections. 

Personal Flotation Devices Everyone on board our vessels is issued a SOLAS approved Type 1 personal flotation device as well as an ocean rated, auto-inflate personal flotation device and harness which they are required to wear while on deck, anytime the vessel is underway. PFDs and harnesses will always be worn when sailing at night, in rough waters or anytime by those working outside the lifelines or higher than deck level.

Daily Weather and Sailing Conditions The Caribbean is known for having some of the best sailing conditions in the world, and weather is not typically a major concern. However, we monitor the daily weather conditions and forecasts closely, both using on-board radios and equipment as well as from our home offices. For open sea sailing, our vessel staff can at anytime establish contact with our base via satellite phone and/or internet, and the vessel radio can also be used as needed. The prudent mariner is a prepared mariner and our Skippers and other staff have the training, ability and expectation to retrieve and discern local weather conditions daily and before heading out to sea.

Tropical Storms & Hurricanes For news reporting purposes, the Caribbean actually encompasses a vast area, meaning tropical storms and hurricanes impacting specific islands is much more rare than most would imagine. Nonetheless, extreme weather events are always a possibility, and Purpose Bound closely monitors the early warnings and storm tracking predictions. And we err on the side of safety. Our extreme weather protection plan is designed to quickly and efficiently relocate and shelter participants and staff inland at previously designated safe locations. Purpose Bound remains familiar with local emergency procedures on each island we visit and we have multiple options in the event of a weather related emergency.

Sun Protection As with any tropical location, the Caribbean is often warm and sunny. And since our experiences mostly involve outdoor activities, participants can expect significant exposure to the sun. However, proper planning and use of essential sun protection lotion and gear will be encouraged and monitored by the staff. Each boat has sun protected areas available for use, as well.

Seasickness Motion sickness from things like boating, driving, flying, or riding amusement park rides actually affects a rather small portion of the population. While the Caribbean has ideal sailing conditions, seasickness can be a reality for those certain individuals more sensitive to motion. Our staff is trained in the known techniques that can help eliminate or reduce the severity of any sickenss. In additon, the vessel's first aid kit contains over-the-counter motion sickness medication for unexpected cases. If you believe you are susceptible to motion sickness, we recommend you bring your own supply of over-the-counter medication (meclizine, i.e. Bonine, Antivert, Dramamine) and possibly visit your doctor for a motion sickness patch.

International Travel The islands we visit have been specifically chosen with international travel safety and security in mind. They all maintain close ties with the U.S. and Western Europe, and are considered "America-friendly". Even though they are mostly underdeveloped nations, millions of cruise passengers and other tourists safely visit these islands every year without incident. Of course, crime, terrorist acts and other acts of violence are unpredictable and can happen anywhere. Our staff has received special awareness and incident training that will be passed along to all participants at the beginning of the voyage. From a broader perspective, we regularly monitor the United States Department of State international travel web site, and ask that you become familiar with it as well.

Participant Training & Responsibilities Prior to setting sail, all participants will receive safety and security training, and there will be continuing briefings throughout the course of the voyage based on specific activities. Purpose Bound's safety and security procedures will be strictly enforced, and participants are expected to cooperate and strictly adhere to them. Participants are also expected to demonstrate common sense and awareness of their surroundings and environment (e.g., wet and slippery surfaces, mechanical parts, underwater hazards, foreign culture).

As you can see, we at Purpose Bound do not take safety and security lightly. If you have any additional questions about matters of safety and security, please contact us.