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No matter whether your yacht was built to class or not, it’s crucial to have – and to practice – an incident response plan.

It may sound like an oxymoron, but being prepared for an accident or emergency on board, no matter what its classification, should be a core requirement for every yacht captain. The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ISM Code (see sidebar) stats that the yacht’s owner is the one responsible for developing a vessel safety management system, but in reality, developing, practicing, and carrying out this plan falls mainly on the captain’s shoulders.

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