Working late yesterday someone asked me "how much does all this gear cost? It looks expensive." Yes, it is. Safety gear is one of those things that you learn not to skimp on. And as we break everything out for inspection and overhaul, more than a few people are wishing they were wielding power tools instead. But the point of fact is that you don't plan for the trip, you plan for the mishap. That is what we call in the Navy 'Operational Risk Management' - by careful evaluation of the risks and the probablility they will ocurr, we can make appropriate preparations to mitigate them. So for those who balk at the endless stream of lanyards to be replaced, just remember - someday you may find youself in the middle of a great body of water all by yourself, floating there with the aid of your trusty PFD. Do you think you'd care about whether your lanyard is still attached then? Exactly.
The base point of the question, our funding, can be answered fairly easily. The Monomoy Pulling Boat is owned by the Military Sealift Command, and as such, there is an expectation that they will ensure she has all the required safety gear. They've come through in fine form - providing all the gear in those huge OD green bags. From anchors and rodes to PFDs, flares and emergency radios, we've got it all thanks to our friends, the professionals at MSC. Funding for upkeep of our other gear and for produciton of replacements where required is being drawn from a fund established by the NHS Board of Directors, which is allocated from the Annual Operating Budget. In case you are wondering, it's tiny compared to what we turn out - if my memory serves, this year it was under $1,000.
Tonight we have the scheduled SART test (Search and Rescue Transponder) which should be fun. Disregard USCG helos hovering over the Dockyard...
Four more days until the first launching of the season...