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Old 05-01-2007, 03:03   #16
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Another glaring observation is the fact that many rescue devices could not be seen. Hmmm, brings to mind a grey and orange coloured pole, but I won't go there.:-)
I let Dawn steer while we were in some ruff stuff. I went forward to move fix the preventor. We had a 3m wave break beside us and she freaked. I mean freaked. Her scream went ultrasonic and she let go if the wheel in panic. We were in no danger and I got back quickly, but it showed me we still have a way to go. I am just taking it slowly with her. We can now take on a sea of 1.5- 2m and she can handle that OK. But it does make me take special precautions for my own safety, cause if I went over, I realise I am on my own and I guess she will be as well.
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:11   #17
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2 metre sea's would be a normal day over there wouldn't it wheels??

Dave
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:49   #18
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Also of interest was the number of cases where a line fouled the prop. Our MOB discussions always involve starting the engine. I guess we'll have to re-think that - or at least putting it in gear. Seems like many cases involved sail adjustment accidents and errant sheets in the water.

Looks like we'll need to train ourselves to check for lines before putting it in gear. Also perhaps a no reverse rule (at least for keel boats as we're unlikely to foul a line moving forward). Just thinking out loud...
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:14   #19
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"Looks like we'll need to train ourselves to check for lines before putting it in gear." All the more reason to "look sharp" and make it a routine point not to let lines overboard. Assuming that the most experienced person aboard may be the MOB, and whoever is aboard may either be near panic or simply distressed about the situation, it might be worthwhile making up a MOB checklist, a formal checklist on a large card that is kept for the specific purpose of "Don't do anything until you've gotten the checklist" in order to make sure things are done right. At the same time, the checklist makes a good way to make sure that NEWBIES, guests, etc., can be given the card to review the procedure as well.

Checklists are hokey, PFD's aren't macho...yeah yeah. Sometimes it still helps to have things in hand on paper, at least to help fire up the old gray cells the first time out for the season.

Personally, I don't like engines running and props turning if I'm in the water. Props are great meatgrinders, and I'm meat.
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:25   #20
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I think Alan's wife and mine should get together. On a recent charter sail in the BVI, we were reaching in about 25kts of wind and 6 foot seas. Jodie asked me what she should do if I fell overboard. Realizing she has no hope of handling a 41' cat with full canvas up, I told her to jump up and down, wave her arms and scream loudly. She thought I was kidding, and while I did say it as a joke, the irony is that's about the most effective thing she could do. She's got quite a ways to go in the boathandling department.

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Old 05-01-2007, 09:35   #21
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Originally Posted by LtBrett
I think Alan's wife and mine should get together. On a recent charter sail in the BVI, we were reaching in about 25kts of wind and 6 foot seas. Jodie asked me what she should do if I fell overboard. Realizing she has no hope of handling a 41' cat with full canvas up, I told her to jump up and down, wave her arms and scream loudly. She thought I was kidding, and while I did say it as a joke, the irony is that's about the most effective thing she could do. She's got quite a ways to go in the boathandling department.

Brett
You could also teach your wife to use Channel 16 on the VHF. You may also want to glue your feet to the deck.

My wife is resigned to the fact she'll have to drill solo MoBs before we go long term cruising.
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:42   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amfivena
Also of interest was the number of cases where a line fouled the prop. Our MOB discussions always involve starting the engine. I guess we'll have to re-think that - or at least putting it in gear. Seems like many cases involved sail adjustment accidents and errant sheets in the water.

Looks like we'll need to train ourselves to check for lines before putting it in gear. Also perhaps a no reverse rule (at least for keel boats as we're unlikely to foul a line moving forward). Just thinking out loud...
For some reason I have always been paranoid about this in normal day to day use (No actual bad experiance!), and always check and double check that all lines are inboard before even starting the Engine - IMO even in a MOB 10 seconds or 2 minutes making sure that the prop cannot be fouled (rather than just hoping it can't be) is time well spent, I appreciate that in a MOB situation that speed is important, but IMO a boat with no engine in these situations is not as much use as one with..........I guess it is about thinking quickly and clearly as much as just quickly "doing something"........

Still, sitting dry and warm in front of a PC with 20/20 hindsight and foresight is always soooooooo easy
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:11   #23
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Obviously I try to keep lines out of the water in daily sailing life (if for no other reason than my principal line handlers balk at touching slimy rope).

What particularly caught my attention was the number of instances were the line fell in during the incident or another crew threw a line while someone else started the engine. If I fell off the foredeck, I doubt my wife would notice any sheets I might have taken with me...

Cards are a good suggestion - we've been meaning to make cards up for tasks we only do a couple times a year in an effort to avoid re-learning the same lessons again and again. Like entering a slip (4x/year), fueling (1x/year) etc. I'll have to think about a MOB situation as well.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:17   #24
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Our rules for MOB.
First, anything that floats goes overboard (cushions, bumpers,,,) and launch the MOM. In general we do not wear PFD's when sailing.

Second, we use quick stop unless the kite is up, then the corners are cut to loose the kite. Once stopped, the main is dropped and the jib rolled or dropped.

Third, position the boat along side and use the life sling to bring them back aboard. I think the stern platform in any sea is tough to use because the vertical motion makes it a dangerous place to be.

Fourth, when harnesses are worn they are short enough that you cannot get over the life lines. Restricts your movement but hanging over the side of the boat is damn near as bad as being in the drink.

Bottom line, going overboard is a bad thing, your odds are not good. Stay on the boat. When you go overboard the boat is gone in one big ass hurry.

Here are Polly and I in 15 or so true, 23-25 over the deck, close reaching making 10 or so. Small waves, 1-3 foot or so, but we often sail just the two of us. If either one of us goes over it's gonna be a bitch to get them back aboard.



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Old 05-01-2007, 11:28   #25
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What concerns me the most is not "what we should do" -- shoot, we've drilled it many, many times, it is "what we will do" when the adrenaline if the unexpected, "for real" situation should actually happen.

I like hellosailor's idea of a big laminated checklist at the helm. While all time is precious in such a circumstance, spending 5 to 10 seconds to locate and read the first item on the list (which may be something like: "Breathe, Now go to #2") may actually save 1 to 5 very long minutes of freaking out before the rational side starts to kick in.

I'm also very interested in the MOBI-alert/Lifetag systems that are coming out. PFD's if on deck and everybody wears a tag sound like good measures for notification and some measure of bouyancy, but the person at the helm in such a situation knowing what to do and then doing it are critical.

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Old 05-01-2007, 11:52   #26
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In 10 seconds, a boat travelling at 10 knots will cover 100 feet and that's before you turn. That's quite a distance to try and find someone after you've taken your eyes off them.

Remember also - whether someone panics or not is influenced heavily by familiarity to the situation. That's why drilling works so well. Every situation is unique but if the person left at the helm has to deal only with the 10% that's different to what's been practiced before, they're fare less likely to panic - far more likely to keep their eye on the victim and, I believe, far more likely to effect a rescue.

I still think the checklist is a good idea but only secondary to preparation and drill.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:57   #27
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"I still think the checklist is a good idea but only secondary to preparation and drill."
Here's the thing. What's the first thing you do, preparation? Or drill? *FIRST* you have to make a plan, and that plan becomes the checklist. So, I'd argue that if you are drilling without having already made the plan...that's a Keystone Kops movie.<G>
Years ago some company (Davis?) used to make up laminated plastic cards for racing rules, and I think also for how to use the VHF and signal for distress, MOB, etc. that could be kept down below (ID, I didn't say helm) by the radio or nav or in some other accessible place. Not a new idea.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:24   #28
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Sounds like we're pretty close to agreement.

1. Plan - Yes
2. Checklist - Yes
3. Drill the checklist - Yes
4. Have checklist available - Yes
5. Expect checklist to be used first - Not unless it's needed.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:28   #29
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Some awesome discussion here. Thanks all that are participating.
I think a few important issues are in all this.
1: the boat may seem slow till someone is in the water and then it will seem supersonic. Time to make a decision, get a flotation device and to get the boat stopped and turned around is critical an requires clear and quick thinking.
2; to obatin clear and quick thinking and decision making requires confidance brought about by drills.
3: every possible aid to maintaining visibility with the swimmer is essential. It has been established that a person in ruff water can become invisable very quickly. It should be noted here that a rule of sailing when two or more are left onboard, that one should also maintain watch on the swimmer, NEVER taking their eyes off the victim at anytime and should always have their arm outstretched toward the victim, till the victim is in reach of the boat.
4: Have a checklist handy. This is interesting as I have a check list for emergency radio use screwed to the wall above the radio. A MOB checklist beside the helm woul not be a silly idea.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:35   #30
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I absolutely agree that doing drills is crucial and we do two or three every time we're out, no matter what. Although (thankfully) I've never had to do a MOB "for real", I've been in a fair number of emergency situations in other venues. Even with ample drills, there is much individual variation to what people will do in the actual event and about 1/3 of even well-trained law enforcement/first responder type folks will freeze and/or panic when encountering a new situation they haven't dealt with before in real life, even if they've drilled for it. Having the protocol readily available helps them get unstuck and on track -- usually not even needing to actually read the second or third item, because they've gotten past the panic and the training kicks in. It doesn't seem to be a problem with their training, willingness to be there, or any of that. It actually seems to be a neurological response shared by many. The protocol is simply a way to get them past it.

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