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Old 04-02-2011, 09:31   #46
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I've often wondered about rigging a Prussik loop on a tether to use as an ascender in the case that your tether is long enough to allow you to go overboard. Probably more complication (potential snags) than anyone would want.
I carry a 6 foot loop of high-tech cord in my pocket for that reason. It's also handy for fixing overrides....and many other things.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:41   #47
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John A - I think whats missing in the discussion of this strategy is the trip line on the SS Windvane / tiller. That's always been apart of the equation. Granted, in an engine situation, this would add a more complex configuration, but why would you need such devices if you are engining? Dragging a line IMHO may be an effective strategy but not a very practical one considering what you will pick up with it, and possibly tangle in it. And your insights are right on about having to pull yourself onboard even if the boat is stopped. Try dragging yourself along a line in heavy waves. As a diver, I've had considerable problems and I had fins. so...

The best is to always wear a harness and line and to use it in all weather. In rougher weather, the best practice was to use two tethers on your harness to opposite jacklines - to distribute load and in case one breaks you have a chance. But, even this may not save you if you go overboard and have to bring yourself aboard. Nor, if you take a roll and need to unclip or cut free to save yourself from drowning.

Remember, this accident happened with an engine idle. Now why would an engine be idioling? Doubt weather was apart of it. As for hypothermia, that temp of water might FX someone right away and they would most likely not be able to pull themselves aboard. May depend on body type etc. Been the take line that when sailing in winter if you fall into water you are certainly dead. Could also be that he somehow hurt himself or had a head injury and fell overboard.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:00   #48
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In addition to a safety harness, it is important to deliberately think through every motion as you go forward to make sure that before you leave one secure handhold you have the next handhold. This sounds very basic, but it is a mental exercise I try to go through any time I am moving about the boat underway. I think to myself, "OK left hand is secure, I can release right hand. OK right hand is secure, I can release left hand." Etc. This is a rock climbing technique too. Going up the mast steps I do this with my feet as well. Just like they used to do on old sailing ships, it is sometimes desirable to add offshore handhold lines in strategic places to aid your moving about. For example, you can run a rope above the lifelines but attached to the shrouds and maybe a deck cleat on the foredeck. Don't move about depending on your safety harness to keep you onboard!
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:06   #49
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My soverel 36 has both helm and tiller steering, I figured that if tied one of these "last chance" lines to the short tiller that it would turn around my boat or stop it. That is if I could reach the line.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:16   #50
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In addition to a safety harness, it is important to deliberately think through every motion as you go forward to make sure that before you leave one secure handhold you have the next handhold. This sounds very basic, but it is a mental exercise I try to go through any time I am moving about the boat underway. I think to myself, "OK left hand is secure, I can release right hand. OK right hand is secure, I can release left hand." Etc. This is a rock climbing technique too. Going up the mast steps I do this with my feet as well. Just like they used to do on old sailing ships, it is sometimes desirable to add offshore handhold lines in strategic places to aid your moving about. For example, you can run a rope above the lifelines but attached to the shrouds and maybe a deck cleat on the foredeck. Don't move about depending on your safety harness to keep you onboard!
X2

I learned the "hear yourself say it" procedure in FD rescue training.
When sailing with my young grandsons, I make them repeat their actions to me.
I believe it re-inforces concentration.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:20   #51
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My ladder is secured by a piece of spectra line with two snap shackles incorporated in such a way that opening either results in a piece of line that simply pulls off, releasing the ladder.

Unfortunately -- and speaking of really stupid ways to die -- the one time I needed it I forgot about it.

Was a quiet weekday at the club. Couple of folks at the far end of the yard and otherwise no one around. I was washing the cockpit deck when I kicked the long-handled brush overboard and tried to grab it before it went in the water.

Result was that it and I both went in. Luckily I didn't hit my head or anything and with a bit of squirming and gasping and wriggling I got back on to the finger dock, completely forgetting I could simply have climbed back aboard.

Would have been a really dumb way to go.

Hope the guy whose apparent misfortune sparked this thread is OK.

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Old 04-02-2011, 10:37   #52
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The best thing you can do is "Learn your Deck"...
Spend as much time as possible walking the decks barefoot... look down as little as possible... its amazing how quickly those little toes learn to skip past those hard nasty things like cleats that we'd normally just stand on coz we're wearing shoes... "Jack be nimble... Jack be quick..."
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:10   #53
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How you gonna re-board this, with the swim ladder up, from a treading-water position, and what is there to hold onto and fend off exhaustion/hypothermia once you discover that you can't?
It's a good precaution to rig a line over the side that allows a person in the water to pull the boarding ladder down.

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Old 04-02-2011, 11:24   #54
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I see a dinghy outboard but no dink in the recovery picture. I wonder if they found it or if he is in it and still adrift.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:25   #55
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singlehanding i use one of these - Grigri (climbing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
with about a 6' line and a lightweight climbing harness. easily adjustable so there is never enough slack to go over the side.
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Old 04-02-2011, 14:44   #56
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I see a dinghy outboard but no dink in the recovery picture. I wonder if they found it or if he is in it and still adrift.
I saw that also. If a hard dink were towing behind it wouldn't necessarily be in the picture, for a variety of reasons. And the dink might be the type that can roll up and be kept in a bag onboard.

But, yeah, let's hope he's found drifting in a dinghy, healthy and happy,...
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Old 04-02-2011, 17:42   #57
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boatman61 - agree totally with you. Surprised someone else mentioned this actually. I never wear shoes on deck. Helps me feel what is going on via ocean around me

Albeit not very good idea in extreme cold weather as open feet are like radiators. But try to do as much as possible.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:53   #58
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boatman61 - agree totally with you. Surprised someone else mentioned this actually. I never wear shoes on deck. Helps me feel what is going on via ocean around me

Albeit not very good idea in extreme cold weather as open feet are like radiators. But try to do as much as possible.
Yeah, me too. I think there are two kinds of people in the world, shod and bare footers. I hear advice about wearing shoes to keep from hurting your feet and I can understand it. But I would feel like I was sailing with ear muffs on.

Last summer, trying to get our 44' steel "destroyer" turned around in the canal and into our slip with a 2 knot current amidst a covey of PWC's, Bayliners, and other assorted "water craft" I managed to break a toe. Not a clue how. I didn't notice until I jumped out onto the dock.

OWWWWWW!

Duct taped it up to the adjacent toe and went on.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:36   #59
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I've been off the boat since June of 2009 and I still can't wear shoes for longer than 5 hours a day. I switch to sandles for the rest of the day.
Living in the PNW is a challange. Anything below 75* was cold! As the first winter approached, stores didn't sell cold weather clothing until November and I had to buy stuff from Goodwill to survive.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:31   #60
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I don't want anyone to feel like I'm picking on them (I'm not), but I can't believe people are touting bare feet as a safety measure. When the weather's warm, the last thing I want to do is put on footwear, but IMO, going barefoot on the boat is very unsafe.

Shoes may not provide better feel, but they do provide superior traction. I think if there are so many obstructions on deck that they constitute a serious trip hazard, it may be a good idea to find another location for those items... or watch where you step.

I wouldn't go barefoot on deck any more than I'd mow my lawn in bare feet.

As for checking the exhaust, I don't go on deck to do that, but stretch across with my feet in the cockpit, keeping my center of gravity as low as possible- just like you would in a canoe.
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