A working vest is a non inflatable
life vest. If it's one intended for a working crewman to wear will probably have pockets and be bigger, have more flotation than a light duty recreational vest. Sospenders are inflatable
life vests like you have. Suspenders probably is a safety
After having nearly gone overboard
in similar conditions to those in the story, I always wear a vest/harness combo on deck
and clip in to the jack lines religiously. I've never come close to going overboard
when it's been crappy conditions or challenging situation on deck
. It's been in farily benign conditions when I was least expecting anything that got me.
The inflatable vests are comfortable to wear. On my solo Transpac, wore my Spinlock inflatable 24/7, even slept in it cause didn't know when I'd have to go on deck quickly. Luckily that only happend twice on the trip. I've got Jack Lines down both sides and a pad eye beneath the wheel
. Keep a permanently mounted tether attached to the wheel
padeye that hangs in the companionway
so I can clip on before climbing the steps to go outside. Also carry a PLB at all times. Solo, there isn't going to be anyone to turn the boat around and pick me up. Have to hope that there is another boat somewhat close to pick me up. The only way they are going to find me is through the PLB.
Running with sails
poled out, it takes forever to get the pole down and jib
back under control. We tried a MOB
in mid ocean running in moderate winds but at least a 5' swell. The life vest I'd thrown in as the MOB
was out of sight in a blink never to be seen again. This was pre GPS
and I was amazed at how quickly we became disoriented as to the location of the MOB. In a matter of minutes, we had no idea where to even look for the life preserver. The first move on any MOB should be to hit the MOB function on the GPS
. It's the only chance you'll have of staying in the immediate area of an MOB once you lose sight of them. Unless the seas are flat and you get the boat turned around right now, you will lose sight of the MOB. With much of a sea running, anyone in the water
disappears almost immediately.