AIS devices will be integrated into all lifejackets for the first time during the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

Becoming part of the standard safety equipment on board the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts, the addition of personal location AIS devices marks the continual evolution of the Clipper Race to go above and beyond what is standard when it comes to safety.

Clipper Race chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: ‘There’s one thing that is paramount in ocean racing; Safety, safety, safety. Ensuring our fleet and crew are equipped and prepared is fundamental to the Clipper Race, that’s why I’m so pleased that our longstanding partnership with Ocean Safety is continuing.’

He added: ‘With each race edition, we strive to learn, develop and continue to offer the highest safety standards to our crew. These include the choice to integrate AIS into all crew lifejackets.’

Two tragedies in 2016

Clipper Race casualty Sarah Young

Sarah Young

Last year marked what Sir Robin described as the “most challenging race in 10 editions” with the amateur crew facing two tragic deaths, hurricane force winds, giant waves, freezing conditions, blistering temperatures, battered boats, and injury during 11 months at sea.

The two fatalities both involved crew of the yacht IchorCoal. Businesswoman Sarah Young was swept overboard after being knocked down by two successive waves in April, while paramedic Andrew Ashman was knocked unconscious by the mainsheet and possibly the boom and died in September.

Official safety supplier

Ocean Safety, a 3Si Group company is returning as official safety supplier for the third consecutive race, will provide specialised Kru lifejackets fitted with an AIS device, the Ocean Signal RescueMe MOB1.

Ocean Safety’s preparations for the race start in summer 2017 have already begun. Checks, servicing and replacements are taking place on the full inventory of Ocean Safety equipment carried by the Clipper Race fleet such as flares, tether lines, traditional horseshoes, and danbuoys. Coinciding with the fit-out of vital lifesaving products including its latest Ocean SOLAS Compact liferaft.

As a leading specialist in the design, manufacture, service and supply of marine safety equipment, Ocean Safety is working closely with the Clipper Race to continue to ensure that the safety regulations are accurately met. As the 12 teams race across the world’s oceans, Ocean Safety will support the fleet throughout the race with servicing checks and replacements.

Ocean Safety’s Alistair Hackett said: ‘We are delighted to continue the close partnership that we have with the Clipper Race Team.

‘Ocean Safety has been working with the Clipper Race for many years, developing and evolving best in class products to help ensure the safety of crews at sea. This partnership will enable us to continue providing expert advice and comprehensive safety packages to support the crew; who we very much look forward to supporting throughout the Clipper 2017-18 Race.’

Uniquely for amateur sailors, the race consists of 12 teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts under the leadership of professional skippers.

Approximately 700 crew will take part in the Clipper 2017-18 Race and from all walks of life, represent more than 40 different nationalities. Aged 18 to 70 plus; up to 40 per cent have no previous sailing experience before they sign up to take part and all crew must complete the comprehensive race training provided.

To find out more about the race visit

Lifejacket test - jumping into the RNLI College training pool

PBO Tested: 17 lifejackets

Five dedicated testers took to the RNLI College's training pool to put 17 lifejackets through their paces.

LED and laser flares tested

LED and laser flares claim to replace pyrotechnic flares on board: but how do they compare with a traditional flare…