If you think about the number of people on the water at any given time, yachting is a remarkably safe activity. But the sea is vast and can be a very lonely place. Even with today's high standards for yacht construction and equipment, bad things can happen to a yacht or to someone on board, making it necessary for us to ask for outside assistance. This help can show up in the form of an emergency evacuation of an ill or injured guest or crew member, or, in the extreme, evacuation and rescue of everyone on board. Regardless of why we need help, we must be prepared and equipped to maximize the odds, both for all on board and for the search-and-rescue personnel who risk their lives as they come to our aid.