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Old 24-07-2012, 11:55   #1
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First Man-Overboard

We had our first man-overboard experience yesterday. We were anchored, so it was simpler than it might have been. My almost-three year old was hoisting a bucket of water and he toppled in. He was wearing a life-jacket and his crotch strap was fastened. My wife went right in as planned. They came back aboard via the ladder I mounted a month ago for just this occasion. This forum has stimulated many of our discussions about safety and we appreciate you all for that. The only thing that did not go as planned is that we had planned for my wife to be wearing her life jacket when she went in because, even with his life-jacket on and being in swimming lessons, our child still puts downward pressure on whoever is swimming with him. Maybe she needs to wear her PFD all the time. I did not throw the life-ring because they were right next to the boat, but next time I think I should. My son was able to smile when he was back on the boat.
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Old 24-07-2012, 12:01   #2
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Re: First Man-Overboard

Praise God your little one and other half are safe!

Ditto the life-ring thought...or a cockpit cushion, anything.....
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Old 24-07-2012, 12:37   #3
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Re: First Man-Overboard

Lucky you were all aware of what was going on, and sorted the situation in a calm, timely fashion.

My opinions on your thoughts...
1 - Wearing a lifejacket all the time would be burdensome for your wife. But, if you'd feel safer that way, and if you were to adopt such a strategy, you should BOTH wear them the whole time!

2 - Why didn't you throw the lifering? It's the job of a few seconds? And I'm sure you often play with your son in the water with all sorts of flotation devices, so grabbing it would be second nature to him!
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Old 24-07-2012, 12:41   #4
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Re: First Man-Overboard

I'll second the praise for a good ending.

One tidbit for thought. When our kids were young, we were very deliberate about talking through MOB situations, holding MOB drills frequently, having gear on board and tied to the rail to facilitate recovery, etc. One lesson learned to offer.

After talking through roles and how to decide who jumps in after an MOB kid with all sorts of elaborate what-ifs, my wife came back on deck and said: 'Forget all that. If one of my kids goes over, I'm going in too. You bring the boat back to get us!" We immediately realized that we could easily end up with a situation with both of us in the water to rescue one kid, while the boat and the other kid sailed off for the horizon. Not good!

Be realistic, be practical, and be honest about roles. Then practice them often!
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Old 24-07-2012, 13:40   #5
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Re: First Man-Overboard

Glad it all ended well. I've spent years training people to do MOB drills, but I myself have never had an actual MOB occur -- a few POB's (pets overboard), but never human crew.
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Old 24-07-2012, 21:18   #6
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Re: First Man-Overboard

I did not throw the life ring because it was on the starboard stern rail, my son fell off near the port side shrouds, and in-between was the hot the Magma BBQ, mounted on the port-side stern rail. The life ring is attached by a line and, in the heat of the moment, I saw the life ring, saw the BBQ, and choses not to throw it and risk knocking over the BBQ onto the swimmers. I did not want to take my eyes off the situation and did not think about throwing something else.

This creates a good argument for never having the BBQ lit while under way.

We had discussed roles before this MOB and we had decided it was my wife's job to jump in. She felt safe swimming next to the anchored boat, but we are now considering if she needs to wear her PFD at tall times while under way.
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Old 24-07-2012, 21:23   #7
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Re: First Man-Overboard

Sounds like you need netting and perhaps a tether on the child. The best idea is prevention, however, I do agree that you need to be prepared for the possibility of the child going over.
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Old 24-07-2012, 21:29   #8
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Re: First Man-Overboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by FecklessDolphin View Post
I did not throw the life ring because it was on the starboard stern rail, my son fell off near the port side shrouds, and in-between was the hot the Magma BBQ, mounted on the port-side stern rail. The life ring is attached by a line and, in the heat of the moment, I saw the life ring, saw the BBQ, and choses not to throw it and risk knocking over the BBQ onto the swimmers. I did not want to take my eyes off the situation and did not think about throwing something else.

This creates a good argument for never having the BBQ lit while under way.

We had discussed roles before this MOB and we had decided it was my wife's job to jump in. She felt safe swimming next to the anchored boat, but we are now considering if she needs to wear her PFD at tall times while under way.

Did you ever think about making (and using of course) a drag line?
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Old 24-07-2012, 21:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress
.......Wearing a lifejacket all the time would be burdensome for your wife"...... you should BOTH wear them the whole time!
It's a valid point! In fear of over-quoting the old "useless unless worn" adage regarding life jackets - we went through a similar function vs comfort struggle, like most others would admit to. Our solution ended up being two types of vest/jacket: A more robust self-inflator for offshore use with crotch-strap etc... and a super low-profile self-inflator one which we use at anchor or generally when not underway. We found that the smaller/lighter and/or more compact the jacket or vest, the easier it is to convince people to wear them more often and for longer... of course, the second we're underway ther's no argument to be had either way: the higher-N jackets are to be worn and anyone popping their torso out of the companion way without one will get instantly whipped with the crack of the end of a sheet...

....and no, not in a kinky way!

Glad the MOB ended up being a Man On Board again!
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