Safety and Sea Survival (SSS)

The Australian Sailing Safety and Sea Survival course was developed following the fatalities of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race.  This course is an essential learning forum for anyone who takes to sea, whether by sail or motor vessel, or for professional or recreational reasons.  The intensive one-day course aims to deliver up-to-date information and current techniques in an interactive environment.  Included in the course are practical exercises where candidates will become familiar with the deployment and use of liferafts, and the use of inflatable lifejackets in a pool; plus a flare deployment practice.

The certificate awarded meets the eligibility requirements of section 6.01 of the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations for Category 0, 1 and some Category 2 offshore races.


Course Detail


The SSS course involves classroom presentations & learning activities, and practical exercises in the use of liferafts, inflatable lifejackets & distress flares. Of 16 hrs duration the course is delivered over 1 full day together with an online e-learning component and is facilitated by Safety & Sea Survival Instructor. The maximum teaching ratio for this course is 20 students to 1 x SSS Instructor (in the classroom) with a reduced ratio of 10:1 for on-water sessions. The practical exercise is conducted in the marina.


To provide all persons intending to go to sea, in sailing or motor yachts, whether cruising or racing, with skills and essential knowledge that will maximise their chances of survival in water or liferafts following a man overboard situation or vessel abandonment; and familiarise sailors with the latest personal and vessel safety equipment, its purpose, deployment, and most effective use; and present and discuss prevention and coping strategies for incidents and emergencies at sea.


The content of the World Sailing (International Sailing Federation [ISAF]) ‘Model Training Course for Offshore Personal Survival’ attendees will be met, and participants will receive a Course Completion Certificate that satisfies the requirements for most Category 0, 1 and 2 races.  With a 5 year validity the certificate can be updated by attending the 8 hour (minimum) Refresher Course, however for those who do not go to sea regularly, it is highly recommended that the Full Course be completed.

Maintaining your Certificate

The SSS course certificate is valid for 5 years.  For sailors whose certificates have expired, the Refresher Course of 8 hours tuition time may be attended.  The Refresher Course is designed for active offshore racing sailors and anyone who does not sail regularly should seriously consider doing the Full Course.  The Refresher Course also provides a valuable update for cruising sailors.

A Refresher Course may be taken to renew a certificate if the Refresher course is completed within 2 years of the expiration of the individual’s most recent SSSC certificate.

Your certificate can be found in your Australian Sailing Profile – click here.

What to do afterwards?

Go Boating and enjoy your Cruising or Racing adventures!

Consider aspiring to become a Coastal, Offshore or Ocean Yachtmaster, and for the very experienced, becoming a SSS Instructor.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Australian Sailing recognises that professional Mariners may have attended courses with similar content. As such, you may be able to credit previous qualifications towards a Safety and Sea Survival Course Certificate. For more information on RPL and to apply please click here.

Qualification Finder

Unsure of your SSSC qualification? Click on the button below to check your current SSSC qualification status.

Theory and Practical Drills Schedule
0800Arrival at FSC Dinghy Clubhouse and introductions
0840Debrief for the online component
0900Review of online course
1015Morning Tea break
1030Firefighting and Flares presentation
1050Commence firefighting outside
1135Debrief and lunch break
1210Flare and water activities presentation
1300Commence water-based activities
1500Course completed

E-Learning (Full Course Only)

Following your registration, our E-Learning provider Above and Beyond Boating, will email your login credentials to access the E-Learning content. Please allow one business day for this). The E-Learning can be completed in your own time and takes approximately 6 hours to complete. Access to E-Learning content is for 12 months from enrollment, however the online theory exam must be completed prior to the Practical Drills session.

Practical Drills (Full Course and Refresher)

Practical drills are completed in one full day (0800 to 1500). These drills are held onsite at Fremantle Sailing Club Dinghy Clubhouse. Practical exercises include E-Learning Q&A, use of life rafts, inflatable life jackets, distress flares and other safety equipment. These exercises are completed with a qualified Australian Sailing Instructors at a ratio of 1 x Instructor for up to 10 particpants. 

What To Bring

  • Note pad and pen.
  • Inflatable PFD 150N with Crutch Strap and Tether if possible. FSC will provide life jackets to those that indicated this during registration.
  • Closed shoes are required for the Flare Operations and Fire Fighting.
  • Wet weather gear for the in-water exercise, clothing that would normally be worn on deck on a cool night and footwear as would be worn on deck.
  • A change of clothes and a towel would be useful after the in-water exercise.


08 9435 8821