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Old 04-01-2007, 12:08   #1
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Falling over board (Case Histories) - Sobering

Found this elsewhere - for me the simplicity of drowning etc is quite sobering.

Vic-Maui 2000 - Lifesling Case History
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:56   #2
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Wow. Reading through quickly and looking for patterns I see a couple:

1) Don't go forward to mess with your jib

2) Don't get a sailboat. Did you notice how many of these issues were aboard sailboats as opposed to power?
Very surprising.
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Old 04-01-2007, 13:52   #3
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Gulp! How hard it can be to live, and how easy to die. Geez, maybe my brother's right and I'm nuts to be doing this.

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Old 04-01-2007, 14:39   #4
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If nothing else these should be a wake up call for those who have performed these actions and went on unaffected.

The instructions to my first mate is to drop the sails immediately OR shut down the motor if running, to turn the boat towards which side I happen to go over and continue in a circle. At the beginning of every day on the water I go over it again routinely. It's even practiced with a fender on a line as the MOB the first of every season.

Just like in the Navy/Coast Guard one should do MOB, fire and damage control drills regularly until it becomes routine. Otherwise one is at risk more often then not.

Sailing here in the Puget Sound is taxing at the least. We have ripe currents, cold water (50 average), dramatic wind changes, submerged rocks, low bridges, dead heads, shipping lanes and on and on. I'm surprised there aren't more deaths from what I've seen out there.........................._/)
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Old 04-01-2007, 15:02   #5
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one of the reasons my wife wants a catamaran to sail around in is that it has very low exits from the water, my swim platform is about 10cm above the water and is 500 by 1.5m long, this would make it easier to retrieve a person at least
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Old 04-01-2007, 15:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey
The instructions to my first mate is to drop the sails immediately OR shut down the motor if running, to turn the boat towards which side I happen to go over and continue in a circle.
Be honest now - what do you think your first mate would REALLY do?
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Old 04-01-2007, 16:09   #7
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The major thing that occurred to me, reading through all those scary incidents, is the high number of cases where the MOB(s) were not wearing a PFD.

I raced dinghys on inland waters as a teenager and PFD's were mandatory at all levels and for all ages. You simply weren't allowed on the water without them, period. And this being 20 plus years ago they were fairly bulky items of gear as well.

We pretty rapidly got used to wearing them, after a few hours you simply got the knack of working around the boat - and as I progressed onto the more sophisticated racing dinghys we're talking small boats with ridiculous amounts of rigging and sail control gear, there was hardly room for the crew in there! - the PFD really didn't get in the way at all.

With modern gear, which is much more compact and comfortable, why on earth does anyone go on deck, especially when racing, without a PFD on? Why, come to think of it, do skippers allow them to?

It's all the more surprising when, in so many cases, the yacht had PFD's on board which in several cases were thrown overboard in the, usually, vain hope that the MOB would be able to grab one, put it on and inflate it!

I had kind've thought that, come the day (hopefully next year) when we realise our dream and buy the yacht, I'd be fairly relaxed about PFD use in that I'd not insist on them being worn by the crew (or myself for that matter) except in extreme conditions. After reading that lot I've changed my mind and no mistake! When we get our boat, PFD's will be worn at all times in the cockpit and on deck by anyone who comes aboard (if they don't like it, they don't come sailing with us!)

I also wonder, in this litiguous (bet I've spelt that wrong!) age, how long before a yacht skipper is prosecuted for not insisting that PFD's are worn following another MOB tragedy where a PFD may have saved the victims life?
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Old 04-01-2007, 16:46   #8
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In a US Sailing Safety @ Sea seminar last year, a complete segment was dedicated to Staying On Board.........some of the eye opening points they made included the shock of actually going overboard, inadvertent gulping of water and keeping your head high enough to avoid wave effects. Even with a PFD (make sure it's designed to keep your head as high as possible), survival is not guaranteed. Without it, the odds are definitely stacked aganist you.
Luckily my local school/club, OCSC mandates use by every person on board in every class or charter. Now it feels unnatural to sail without one. Still amazes me when professional racers die because they are reluctant to wear 100% of the time.
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Old 04-01-2007, 19:01   #9
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The rule on our boat is if we are making steerage way and you aren't in the cabin you wear the PFD. If you are in the cabin you keep it within arms reach, meaning if you move from dinnete to v-berth, you cart it along.

I have had old brackishes (we are brackish not salt water so you can't really call em old salts) that have gone sailing with me grump, groan and complain, but they wear the PFD. We have extra or you can bring your own comfortable one, I don't care which.
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Old 04-01-2007, 22:07   #10
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Thought of one more

Another point that got my attention was that even "warm" water is a hypothermia danger. Often people feel that if they go over in 75 degree temp water, no danger exists.
I also meant to include inhaling to the gulping risk mentioned before.....
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Old 04-01-2007, 23:58   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj
Be honest now - what do you think your first mate would REALLY do?
I've seen what she will really do and it's scary. I just have to keep training over and over. But she gets better each time out!

I let her do the steering most of the time now while I tune the sails, make lunch, and putter around on deck.
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Old 05-01-2007, 00:13   #12
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Well I got to say,as soon as I got to case#18,I relaxed and didn't go any further.That was an amazing story of survival.I suppose the # would be small,But,I wonder how many people have died from falling inboard ie.. threw the companion way down stairs.?Mudnut.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:09   #13
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Like Northencat my swimsteps are close to the water and large, with handholds built into the structure.

I remember about 10 year's ago delivering a mono to Sydney for the Sydney to Hobart race, plugging into 30 + knot's on the nose, as delivery crew do.

Off of Byron Bay we hade a wave take away the Horse shoe float with the strobe light attached which had a visable range of something like 3 or 4 nautical miles.

We lost sight of this in around 1 minute.

Now I tell everyone who comes on board that if they were to go over the side to kiss there ar$e goodbuy 'cause the reality of getting them back is not too good, especially if trucking along at 12 knot's in the dark.

So don't fall in.

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Old 05-01-2007, 02:27   #14
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That is the Pardey's thought. Rule 1 learn to stay on board. Rule 2, outfit the boat to accomodate rule 1.
But, things do happen. For those that believe that swim steps are the solution, consider, 1 how an unconcious, or dazed MOB is going to make use of them, and two, how difficult it is to pull an unconcious person onto the boat. Try this, lay on the floor, and have your spouse put you on the couch. Now consider another 50+ pounds of water added to that. Now, have your spouse stand on the coffee table and try to put you on the couch.
A little easier if the spouse is 200 pounds and in shape, and the one on the floor is 95 pounds, but still an effort. Even with the LifeSling, or similar device, you will often have to put someone in the water to assist the MOB. Even a concious, uninjured MOB that has been in the water for 10 or 15 minutes will be depleted of strength, and require help. AND, the LifeSling, or any similar device will have to be ready, and the operater will have to understand it's use. All this, and it only applies IF you can find the MOB. Rather a bleak assessment I know, but that is the reality. You go overboard, and your chances are not good. Do it when no one is around, and you might as well start enjoying your last swim.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:49   #15
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Getting ejected from the cockpit is for me the most disturbing - at least when boucing around on the foredeck I know when I am taking a risk..........but sitting in the cockpit is where folk feel "safe".

Got a mate who is around the 20 stone mark (280 pounds?) - if he goes in, then IMO he is very likely to be staying there........
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