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Old 02-05-2013, 13:44   #31
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
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.


It's poypropelyne. It floats. There's no way it's going to get caught on either the propeller or rudder.

In addition, it has other floats on it -- not to make it float, but to put reflective tape on it, so other boats can see it.

Sailing by myself I would not be without it. I tested it on my old boat -- put it out, and then tugged hard on it, as if someone had grabbed it.

The boat immediately (instantly) heaved itself to and came to a complete stop.

Mine has figure 8 loops in it to make it easier to pull yourself back to the boat, and my ladder is set up so that one tug on one piece of line drops the ladder -- a half bow tie like you might use on a sail tie.

I could actually be fairly badly hurt and get myself back to my boat in those circumstances.

I also keep a handheld radio in a fanny pack, with the radio tied to the fanny pack. It's easy to use to call bridges, etc., but if I go in, the radio goes with me. I wouldn't rely on this stuff if I did offshore sailing -- I'd have an EPIRB -- but this stuff works really well.
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Old 02-05-2013, 14:14   #32
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Here's a couple which ended more happily than the list above:

On a clear, fresh, fall day in October, 1992, a 40 foot pilothouse cutter was bound from New Bedford to Newport, Rhode Island, with a seasoned skipper and a crew of three relatively inexperienced colleagues. While tacking into 6 to 8 foot seas in 25 to 30 knot winds, the skipper was thrown overboard when he fell against a lifeline which parted in a severe roll.
Responding to skipper's instructions (given while calmly treading water in 55 degree Fahrenheit water) the crew put the bow into the wind, secured the headsail, and then deployed the Lifesling before executing a 180 degree turn downwind past the MOB. Coming up on the windward side of the MOB, they
quickly pulled him aboard using the Lifesling and the ladder mounted on the stern.
The elapsed time was approximately 12 to 15 minutes despite steep seas and a strong ebb tide which set the boat well to windward during the initial phase of the operation.

and this:

J-35 "Mem" was beating in 40 knots of wind in the Sydney Hobart Race. The yacht was carrying a storm jib alone and sailing at about 7 knots. The wind increased, gusting to 50, and the seas were estimated at 13 feet. "Mem" was knocked down in a heavy sea, and several crew (all tethered with harnesses) washed from the deck. "Mem's" skipper John Quinn broke his harness and watched "Mem" drift away. ...
Water temperature was over 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Quinn was wearing thermal underwear, a fleecy vest and Musto weather gear">foul weather gear.
He had no strobe and no PFD but did have a buoyancy vest underneath and unzipped from his foul weather gear top. Quinn discarded his foul weather gear top and boots because he felt they were weighing him down. Quinn reported that he dove into the oncoming breaking seas much like a body surfer would on the way out from the beach. ....
"Atara" located Quinn and came alongside. Quinn was too heavy to life aboard amidships and a tackle or halyard could not be used since "Atara" had been dismasted. Quinn was pulled to the open transom and manually heaved aboard.
Two other "Atara" crew members went overboard in the rescue effort, but were recovered. Quinn had been in the water about five hours when rescued. He was treated for hypothermia and said he was feeling normal after about 8 hours.
Sailing World, May 1994.

OK, i know, being washed overboard is not 'falling overboard' .....

A further couple of "experienced skipper overboard" incidents in the same report did not end so happily, but it would be overkill to carry on quoting them here

Anyone who's interested can download the report from

http://www.usps.org/seattle/images/l...-mob-cases.pdf
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Old 02-05-2013, 14:23   #33
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

May I suggest a possible solution? My boat is not going offshore for more than a day sail with out 2 ocean going sailors on board. And time on deck should be limited before enforced rest. Not sure about the time but 6 hours in variable conditions sounds reasonable.
I see this as a big problem than can sneak up on you.
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Old 02-05-2013, 14:42   #34
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

And FYI, throwing a cushion over to see which way the water is going will not show you which way the water is going. It will show you the way the wind is going. A person in the water goes with the water, not the wind.

A stack of paper plates would have helped............maybe.
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Old 02-05-2013, 14:51   #35
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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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...
I think Transformer was referring to a tether, or safety belt.
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Old 02-05-2013, 15:50   #36
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

And, tragically, Ned Cabot was recently lost overboard.

It is rare, but it does happen.
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Old 02-05-2013, 16:00   #37
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

And this is why my wife and I conduct regular man overboard drills and have a safety conference on procedures of what to do with new people on board. The experienced delivery crews do it.... and so do we in order to prevent this sort of tragedy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 16:49   #38
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

A reminder of our 'Be Nice" rule. Experienced members of this forum understand it. New members should review our rules, otherwise their posts, and responses will continue to disappear just like they did now.

If one cannot understand that concept, here is a gentle reminder that we as mods carry heavier sticks than just nudging to behave.
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Old 02-05-2013, 17:10   #39
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pirate Re: Sailor lost overboard

So anyway...
Not being experienced... I don't wear a harness.. or a PFD...
but then I know it all...
But facing reality '**** Happens' and folk die with or without the above safety precautions... its a matter of personal choice.
That the GF/Wife did not know what to do... or just froze till to late is irrelevant.. there are case's where 'experienced' skippers have proved incapable of recovering MOB's..
Sad story... but not the 1st and certainly not the last... at least till going to sea is banned
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Old 02-05-2013, 17:10   #40
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
It's poypropelyne. It floats. There's no way it's going to get caught on either the propeller or rudder.

In addition, it has other floats on it -- not to make it float, but to put reflective tape on it, so other boats can see it.

Sailing by myself I would not be without it. I tested it on my old boat -- put it out, and then tugged hard on it, as if someone had grabbed it.

The boat immediately (instantly) heaved itself to and came to a complete stop.

Mine has figure 8 loops in it to make it easier to pull yourself back to the boat, and my ladder is set up so that one tug on one piece of line drops the ladder -- a half bow tie like you might use on a sail tie.

I could actually be fairly badly hurt and get myself back to my boat in those circumstances.

I also keep a handheld radio in a fanny pack, with the radio tied to the fanny pack. It's easy to use to call bridges, etc., but if I go in, the radio goes with me. I wouldn't rely on this stuff if I did offshore sailing -- I'd have an EPIRB -- but this stuff works really well.
I'm glad that you thought it out, and it works for you. I would be reluctant to have any rope, including poly, hanging back where important parts of my boat are.

That being said, your solution gives you piece of mind, and does have some rational behind it. It is just one I could not endorse for reasons stated. Jacklines, tether points in the cockpit and short tether is what gives me piece of mind, and also thought out.
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Old 02-05-2013, 17:46   #41
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Let's do everyone a favor and not quote the nasty stuff. This is being dealt with.

Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2013, 17:49   #42
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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It's poypropelyne. It floats. There's no way it's going to get caught on either the propeller or rudder.
Just be careful. Polypropylene line can easily get sucked down into the prop, especially if you're revving it in reverse. It floats, but not always well enough. This probably isn't an issue with your setup.
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Old 02-05-2013, 19:19   #43
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

Years ago I was spear fishing in 5 foot seas. The anchor came loose and I had to use a wreck reel to tie myself to the bottom and let myself up to maintain position. Even though the boat had the GPS coordinates of where to find me, and I was waving a large spear gun in the air, they were 50 feet away before they spotted me. This was before personal epirbs, but when I got home I purchased a waterproof beacon that can be seen from 5 miles away with a long lasting battery. If you fall off a boat in 6 foot seas you are probably going to die unless you have a personal epirb and can survive a long time in the water. Wear a harness if you leave the cabin and use jack lines. I think Bash mentioned he keeps harnesses hung just inside the companionway door as a reminder.

From personal experience retrieving anchor balls while fishing, the moment you look away from the target to turn the wheel etc, you will lose the target unless the seas are calm. The pregnant woman in question had almost no chance of saving her significant other, even if she had been trained appropriately. If he'd fallen off a Coast Guard cutter he would have had about a 50% chance in six foot seas after waiting 10 minutes to go looking despite a tower, those guys lose a lot of dummies during their drills.
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Old 02-05-2013, 19:24   #44
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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I think Bash mentioned he keeps harnesses hung just inside the companionway door as a reminder.
Yes. And tethers. Grab one before you open the hatch.
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Old 02-05-2013, 19:48   #45
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Re: Sailor lost overboard

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So anyway...
Not being experienced... I don't wear a harness.. or a PFD...
but then I know it all...
But facing reality '**** Happens' and folk die with or without the above safety precautions... its a matter of personal choice.
That the GF/Wife did not know what to do... or just froze till to late is irrelevant.. there are case's where 'experienced' skippers have proved incapable of recovering MOB's..
Sad story... but not the 1st and certainly not the last... at least till going to sea is banned

What we do is often at least a little bit dangerous, but ... you can't hide safely at home. Most accidents happen at home!

I wouldn't mind leaving this world by having a stroke or heart attack while having a great sail ... but I don't want to drown in salt water. That sounds like an awful way to die to me.
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