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Old 02-05-2013, 10:00   #16
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

I don't think deploying the liferaft would be helpful in 20 knots of wind--most life rafts would just blow away much faster than anyone can swim. Maybe a man overboard pole with a strobe light on it and a life ring attached might have helped him.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:01   #17
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Does anyone besides me deploy a long drag line in open seas? (I don't mean this as criticism of the people in this awful tragedy, I'm just curious about how common they are)
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:01   #18
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Ya very possible. The report also said she saw the light disappear on his life jacket, so it might have been dark are getting dark.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:53   #19
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Quote:
Experienced sailors do not fall overboard.

Wikepedia:
Quote:
He was lost at sea when struck by a gaff during heavy swell and knocked overboard from his yacht near Wales while on his way to the Fife Regatta in Scotland. His body was recovered five weeks later off the coast of Ireland by a French fishing trawler.
His obituary:
Quote:
FRENCH OCEAN sailing lost its father figure with the death of Eric Tabarly. The 66-year-old French navy captain was an icon to all those who followed him, often were taught by him, and a national hero not just in the grand manner of the lonely man of the sea, but one who came to fame by beating the Anglo-Saxons at their own game.
That he should be lost at sea, sailing the boat he inherited from his father, the original Pen Duick, only added to the sense of tragedy felt about a man whose passion for what he did had touched even those who would never set foot on a sailing yacht. His honesty of purpose and committment coincided with a French love affair with sailing and sailors at a time when it was becoming much more accessible to the man in the street, not just the very rich.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:03   #20
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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He was lost at sea when struck by a gaff during heavy swell and knocked overboard from his yacht

Lifelines are something that all should use offshore.
If it is night or the weather is rough it could be the last mistake you make. You should be attached to the boat by a short lifeline whenever on deck, especially at night, to ensure that this golden rule cannot be broken.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:45   #21
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by transformer View Post
"An experienced 38-year-old British sailor fell overboard"

-------------------------------------------------------

Experienced sailors do not fall overboard.


That's just not true. An experienced sailor should know how to avoid it, but sometimes experience makes you cocky. I know very experienced sailors who never wear a PFD no matter how bad conditions are, even when going forward in bad weather. You can call him stupid for that, but not inexperienced.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:48   #22
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Lifelines are something that all should use offshore.
If it is night or the weather is rough it could be the last mistake you make. You should be attached to the boat by a short lifeline whenever on deck, especially at night, to ensure that this golden rule cannot be broken.

Lifelines are great because they're a visual guide to where the edge is. However, for the great majority of adults, your center of gravity is higher than the lifelines, and you will go right over if circumstances are just wrong for you.

Since I am inherently a little unstable on my feet, my lifelines are 100% netted -- I have netted gates that can swing aside at dock for easy boarding. I CRAWL, because more even than most, I need to keep my center of gravity low.

Lifelines by themselves will not save you.
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:07   #23
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

I went overboard accidently once, I've been working on the water since I was 9 years old, on a full time basis. I was lucky my vessel was still in the river.
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:12   #24
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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I went overboard accidently once, I've been working on the water since I was 9 years old, on a full time basis. I was lucky my vessel was still in the river.

I know someone who went overboard while doing varnish work around the toe rail.

He's quite proud of the fact that he managed to kep his brush out of the water!
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:19   #25
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

This thread brings back a ton of emotions and memories. As most of you know, I was crushed by an uncontrolled gybe offshore last fall. My crew were experienced inland sailors, but were not ready for offshore. Where do you get good offshore crew? We were all tied in, but more than one offshore sailor is needed. As it is, offshore may be more than I want to do.
I feel deeply for the survivor. That could have easily been my wife. And I thought I was doing everything right,....
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:27   #26
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Kettlewell... A great idea about posting basic instructions next to the GPS on what to do in case of a MOB. I'm going to do that right away. Although my wife and I have discussed what to do in case I should go over the side, I'd like to think I've given her every chance possible to get me back in the boat (alive). Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:27   #27
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
This thread brings back a ton of emotions and memories. As most of you know, I was crushed by an uncontrolled gybe offshore last fall. My crew were experienced inland sailors, but were not ready for offshore. Where do you get good offshore crew? We were all tied in, but more than one offshore sailor is needed. As it is, offshore may be more than I want to do.
I feel deeply for the survivor. That could have easily been my wife. And I thought I was doing everything right,....

I remember that ... and how are those experienced inland sailors supposed to get experienced on the open sea except by going out there? And out there, stuff happens, and it's not always predictable.

I'm sure that poor woman is devastated. I had a friend in high school who got engaged when she was 19. Her fiance' loved to fish and was teaching her to fish. He took her out on his fishing boat and was teaching her how to use the outboard motor, the right thing to do.

However, he didn't have a PFD on -- this was the 60's ...

She did something not what they wanted with the engine, and then accidentally gunned it while turning and threw him into the water. His back was injured and he couldn't save himself, and she couldn't get back to him. She saw him drown. they were basically doing all the right things and it still ended in tragedy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:31   #28
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by BozSail View Post
Kettlewell... A great idea about posting basic instructions next to the GPS on what to do in case of a MOB. I'm going to do that right away. Although my wife and I have discussed what to do in case I should go over the side, I'd like to think I've given her every chance possible to get me back in the boat (alive). Thanks.

I'm going to do it too, and I'm going to have discussions about what a person even with very little experience could do. Sometimes people only retain something like 20% of what they hear. I've got a story on my blog about having a "noob" help me get the anchor up. I'd explained to her in two different ways to keep her feet out of the anchor locker and even told her what could happen. But I also hit her with a lot of other information. After a minute I had her lock the rode off, and I put the boat in neutral and went up to the bow to see how things were going. There she was, with her feet in the anchor locker, and all the rode piled on top of her feet.

I take the blame for this. I hit her with a lot of information, all at once. I showed her how to sit, but I didn't have her actually do it right then. Also, I had a knife clipped to my clothes, but she's the one who could have been pulled in. We should have clipped the knife to her. She was the one who needed it.
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:35   #29
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Hmm ... Other prodigiously experienced sailors who didn't know they couldn't fall overboard include Rob James, Britain's answer to Tabarly (Tabarly was arguably a better sailor but I would rate James as a much better skipper), who drowned off Salcombe.

A few others culled at random:

Case 19 occurred aboard the 73 foot Maxi ULDB "Meridian" off Cape Flattery on October 18, 1984. The boat was under charter heading for California. Aboard were a very experienced delivery skipper and an inexperienced crew. Late at night the skipper came on deck and slipped overboard. He was not wearing a harness or PFD. In the panic that ensued, the engine was started and a line wound so tightly around the propeller shaft that it disengaged the shaft from the coupling key way. The crew affixed a set of vice grips to the shaft to keep from losing it out the stern tube. The skipper was not recovered.

and this one:

The skipper was the only experienced sailor aboard. When the jib halyard broke, he went forward to retrieve the jib. He was wearing a type 1 PFD and a Forespar harness with a six foot tether. He was washed overboard in a large swell but managed to hang on to the lower starboard lifeline. He was still made fast with his harness safety line which was connected to the mast. He was too heavy for one crew member to lift. .... As the two crewmen pulled on his harness shoulder straps, the skipper lost his grip on the upper lifeline and slid out of the harness. He as able to grab the rail. ..... He tried to climb aboard several times on the ladder over the side with the help of the crew. .. but could not get good footing on the rungs. Finally, stating that he was getting weak, he let go, fell from the ladder, and the boat drifted away. At this point, one of the crew threw a line to him which he caught and they began to pull him in. However, another crew member started the engine and commenced to back down, fouling the line in the propeller. More lines and a life ring were thrown, which the skipper could not grasp. The boat drifted away and the crew lost sight of him. Two hours later the unconscious skipper was located and recovered from the water. He never regained consciousness.

and this:

an 87 foot Holland sloop was on a voyage from the Canaries to Antigua. The
yacht was motor sailing at 10 knots on auto-pilot, with main, number one genoa, and both engines (twin screw) assisting. Wind was 9 knots, seas 5 feet. The yacht's professional skipper went forward of the shrouds and stood outside the genoa sheet. The genoa sheet slacked on a roll, then fishailed and catapulted the skipper overboard.

and this:

in the 1992 Bermuda Race. John Ahrens, skipper of the "Lively" went overboard from the foredeck while putting a sail through the hatch. A wave caused him to lose balance and go over the leeward rail.

I could go on, but I think the point is that being experienced, and a skipper, are not indicative of inability to fall overboard.
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:39   #30
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Does anyone besides me deploy a long drag line in open seas? (I don't mean this as criticism of the people in this awful tragedy, I'm just curious about how common they are)
Although one may make an argument why a drag line is prudent, most sailors I know would be concerned that any line dragging off a boat is just an accident waiting to happen, usually with the prop, and potentially with the rudder. The likelyhood of prop fouling or damage to the rudder is much more an issue than one taking proper precautions, including jacklines been depolyed, and tethered in.

Using a dragline would not be a practice I would endorse.
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