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Old 09-09-2016, 11:17   #91
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

BTW was I giving advice? Well if I was, my advice is to not take my advice, or anyone's. Go get your own experiences and practice and see what works for you in your own boat. And when I said "smaller boat" and 20 knots I meant 22 or 24 footers but don't take my word for it, everyone is free to go out and try it for themselves.
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Old 09-09-2016, 18:26   #92
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

Rambinrod and Don, I think the realistic gauge is that if you are still in wind and sea conditions where you can still make headway, a MOB is still theoretically possible.

In my situation where we were already hove to under bare pole. I went on deck to secure a loose wet locker and got washed overboard.

Winds and Seas were in storm conditions about 60 miles off the Columbia river, spume horizontal and so heavy that visibility was down to nothing.

Turns out later that our transmission had already sheared due to the pounding we took, steering pedestal and wheel bent....so in those conditions... Don is correct.

That trip was a huge learning experience for me in my first heavy weather delivery and at a time in the early 80's where weather services were limited.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:02   #93
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Rambinrod and Don, I think the realistic gauge is that if you are still in wind and sea conditions where you can still make headway, a MOB is still theoretically possible.

In my situation where we were already hove to under bare pole. I went on deck to secure a loose wet locker and got washed overboard.

Winds and Seas were in storm conditions about 60 miles off the Columbia river, spume horizontal and so heavy that visibility was down to nothing.

Turns out later that our transmission had already sheared due to the pounding we took, steering pedestal and wheel bent....so in those conditions... Don is correct.

That trip was a huge learning experience for me in my first heavy weather delivery and at a time in the early 80's where weather services were limited.
My point is, it seemed to be the mindset of many that in any condition,
the first thing to do is start the engine and douse the sails. WRONG. It's a sail
boat and is most stable in rough conditions with sails up. If
The sails are up, leave them up, and use them to your advantage, to get back to the MOB as fast as possible with the boat as stable as possible.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:16   #94
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

I agree, when I was a sailing instructor in Vancouver. I did teach heavy weather techniques and practice MOB in winter winds usually above 25kts

Along with all the rest like pole and spotting...When MOB alarm was sounded, helmsman immediately went onto a beam reach, sheets eased and preparations to turn on reciprocal was how we taught it.

We used the reefed main sail to stabilize and dropped the storm jib on tacking the 180

However, that was with 4 students all helping.

If left singlehanded in weather in a MOB I would ;
Beam Reach
While Focusing on keeping sight of MOB.....
De-power sails
Furl headsail
Start engine
Tack onto reciprocal beam
Reduce main to a steadying sail and motor back to target so as to round up above and create a Lee
Ease boom over target while tossing heaving line between topping lift and mast to temporarily secure crew
Then (if sea room) shut off engine while you assess condition and rig up lifting tackle.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:48   #95
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

excellent product from what i can see ,allows surviving this horror situation a possibllity...
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:42   #96
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Sorry to scare you, I thought I was being pretty conservative. Yes I can sail in 20, 30 or 40 knots. If you can sail to windward in 40 knots to retrieve an MOB, my hat is off to you, but you must concede you aren't just going to turn around and sail right over to him. Personally I would have started the engine though (if there were a MOB,) and would have had everyone wearing harnesses long before that.
I agree with you Don. A modern boat has a good reliable engine which is a major asset in an emergency situation. Engines are no longer just auxiliaries anymore, sails come down or furl very quickly and an engine gives you ultimate maneuverability.

When I did my Rya courses we went through the " sail to mob in 3 moves", what a joke, the thought that goes into manoeuvring a boat under sail in very adverse conditions takes alot of concertration.

Recent experiences in adverse conditions makes me fully appreciate just how crucial it is to not go overboard. We were hit by 40+ kts at 3am in the morning, pitch black. Fully reefed we were being very pressed, if one of us went over the result was death, absolutely no doubt. West Sumatra coast, absolutely no help around. This happened several times over the 3 mth journey.

Its really made me consider more thouroughly how to deal with the going overboard scenerio. Firstly I'm not convinced theres a 100% jackline/harness set up, in fact the jack line getting in the way and stealing some of my concentration worries me, although I did wear one in those situations. Several times it got caught up.

As mentioned earlier the only sure fire solution is don't go overboard. Im putting alot more effort into making sure everything on deck is very well secured , eliminating another reason or need to be on deck. Also if things start getting rough im now happy just to stop the boat until things calm down.

Im considering purchasing another boat (not for this reason) and I really see the benefits of all sails furling, not going on deck at all will seriously increase your chances of not becoming a MOB. Look at the Amels deep well protected cockpit and all sails furled from there, it makes it hard to go overboard. Im even thinking of cats, wide and flat.

Its alright to say you should practice these things, that's great but the reality is that situations vary and the captain has to make the appropriate decisions at the time, when I practiced these things with RYA course years ago I can't remember any of the crew sitting there praying, on the above mentioned bad weather thats exactly what my crew was doing (and she's not religious) this rendered her quite unable to assist. We weren't actually in any danger at all ,but it didnt seem like that to her. When weather was bad on that trip I mostly asked my crew to go downstairs, that way it fully eliminates the risk of her making a mistake and going overboard.



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Old 10-09-2016, 10:44   #97
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Its alright to say you should practice these things, that's great but the reality is that situations vary and the captain has to make the appropriate decisions at the time, when I practiced these things with RYA course years ago I can't remember any of the crew sitting there praying, on the above mentioned bad weather thats exactly what my crew was doing (and she's not religious) this rendered her quite unable to assist. We weren't actually in any danger at all ,but it didnt seem like that to her. When weather was bad on that trip I mostly asked my crew to go downstairs, that way it fully eliminates the risk of her making a mistake and going overboard.



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Yes.
In my younger days I really prided myself in being able to sail around any situation with my 24. In my own practice I could make decent headway in 20 kts, but getting up to 25 or so, it was just not reliably going to happen with my 18 foot waterline, until I fired up the outboard. I used to go out and practice in the area off the coast here "windy lane" which would get some pretty good winds and there would be often be large breaking waves which of course makes headway tough too. I'd really run out of enthusiasm when it was gusting to 30 or 35 and waves were 6 to 10 or so. BUT in a Catalina 36 and Downeast 38, it was a different story, and in a center cockpit 44 I felt like I was king of the world! I once crossed in the 44 on a very windy and rough day, with crew scared and sick and not much help, with a reefed main and the engine turning over at only 1800 rpm. It was for me a nice, easy and stable day sail, though I was wet, a bit cold, and was trying to dodge the occasional larger breaker. And thus, in a MOB situation, I think it is generally the practice, and a wise one, to slow the boat down in a hurry and get the engine started. (and so obviously it is important to be able to start your engine in a hurry.) The extra seconds needed to start an engine will certainly pay off later in the control and steerage you gain and will need as you approach the MOB. I would consider it bad practice indeed if one could, but did not fire up the engine right away. There is a lot that can go wrong if you just rely on sail in a tough and scary situation, you (and your crew if you still have any) have to really be on your game. And this is coming from someone who loves to sail. In 50 knots? Maybe with a 50 foot waterline, but you won't be making quick turns with that. I confess I haven't tried that yet. I agree a boat that douses sails gets tossed more. I think I said, sure, leave the sails up and round up and heave-to if conditions and skills permit. But like you said Dale, what I would hope people reading this would gather, even if one thinks I am full of it, is that it is MUCH better to never leave the boat in the first place!
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Old 11-09-2016, 20:52   #98
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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same for when you are on watch and everyone else is below /


the first mate went in head first 80nm out off cape leuwin /southern ocean /
we had destroyed a head sail / in the process of changing the sail a shifter was asked for and promptly supplied to the foredeck / then she turned to go back to the cockpit at the same time as the boat side slipped and dropped of a swell going in head first ( completely silent ) / the long safety line snagged on a cleat and held her close to the transom leaving her with one hand on a staunchion / after turning to hand the shifter back and yelling to pull up the halyard and realising I was on my own / following the life line back found the hand on the staunchion and retrieved the first mate / the language was very colourful keeping her warm (it was all about the shifter and where I should stow it) / safety tethers are very important but need to be short and thought out well so as to stay on the boat /


just measured my own factory tether made by crew saver it is 6ft

poem called OOPS!!!
describing this adventure
Attachment 130817

awesome!
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Old 11-09-2016, 21:04   #99
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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This might be a really dumb idea, but has anyone ever considered (along with a short tether)......using a "vertical tether"?
...in other words.... an extra halyard from masthead that allows you to pendulum out to foredeck and clip on, but if you ever were swept out the Lee side you are probably not in the water and with a better lead to walk up the hull or be winched back on board?

Just a morning coffee thought....
lol....that actually sounds like fun. seriously though i wonder if there is something to this?
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Old 11-09-2016, 21:16   #100
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Some thoughts as to prevention and not going overboard in the first place, and also getting someone back on board.


1. We change down to a smaller hanked on jib before dark. Now with roller furling, that job is made a lot easier. But reducing sail before dark keeps from having to go up in pounding weather to reduce sail or clear a snagged roller furling jib sheet on the foredeck. ( same for reefing....we reef down early to keep life easy...as soon as the white caps start up )




2. Again, many years back a good buddy of ours was in the paddle board race from Two Harbors Catalina island to Manhatten Beach on the mainland . Open and deep ocean. He had practice along the southern califonia coast line for a few months. We were is support and safety vessel.


The usual morning calm winds took a vacation, what arrived were stronger winds and four plus foot seas that greeted the entire group of paddlers. Our friend did well for about an hour or so, and he would start veering off course....we would pull up along side ( under power ) and advise him to stay near our boat to stay on course, follow us.


Finally, after several attempts to keep him on course, he panted that he could not do it, he was feeling sick and exhausted. No swim ladders, or boarding ladders, I used a couple of extra lines with large bowline loops as we sat hove to.


He was about 5'10", fit and strong. Both Erica and I were in excellent condition and lived active lives. Were it not for those two jury rigged line ladders with the lowest below the water line, not sure we would have been able to get his 170 pounds back on board.


We called on the VHF freq that was assigned to the race group and told them we had our paddler on board ( as well as his board ), and were withdrawing from the race. We still sailed him to Manhatten Beach, off shore , which took a few more hours, where he paddled in to meet with friends who were there to party with the group and get him and his board back to Newport Beach. Erica and I sailed back to our slip in Newport bay that took a few more hours and had a good day with spirited sailing and good winds.


Most of the paddle board racers had with drawn due to the sea conditions and some getting sea sick, fatigued, and disoriented . Everyone was required to have an escort boat that stayed with them.


After all of the other very interesting posts is seems to summarize


1. Don't go over board in the first place.
2. Two short tethers
3. Center line area jack lines


Last tale. At a local hang in Alimitos Bay, I would see a large bewhiskered older gentleman siting alone at in the same bar stool, never at a table with any friends. I learned that he was a long time sailing skipper and delivery capt.


One day, I went up to him to try and start up a conversation about sailing and maybe see if he would like to come over and join us at our table. He looked at me with total indifference, and turned his back. OK, so much for that idea.


A few weeks later I noticed a large flower arrangement and a full drink sitting at his place at the bar. I asked what that was all about. Well, he was capt. on a delivery crew bringing back a sailing vessel from Hawaii ( a vessel that had raced over in the transpac.....race crew flew home on an airliner ). Stormy night, no harness, went up on the foredeck, and overboard. The crew could not find him in the dark rough seas. The flowers and his favorite drink were in his honor at his favorite place and barstool.


Back to one of the major ideas of not going over board in the first place. Take safety precautions .


Thanks to the original poster and the contributors for this interesting and very informative subject.
Thank You!

i also have to thank everyone for the great replies and valuable information. I was hoping to maybe get a few responses but this post turned out to be a real eye opener for more than just myself. I will never again sail alone without a properly functioning tether system. i hope it one day prevents myself or others from experiencing a needless tragedy.
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Old 11-09-2016, 21:21   #101
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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May wish to reconsider dropping sails.

The chance of a successful MOB recovery diminishes with every second lost.

Our MOB recovery execution is to:

1. Hit the chartplotter MOB button. (1/2 second)
2. Toss the MOB pole. (1 second) (MOB swims toward it.)
3. If extra crew aboard (rare for us), one assigned to point at MOB and never lose sight)
4. Turn 180 degrees as fast as possible.
5. Approach MOB location as quickly as possible (motor sailing if dead upwind instead of tacking away).
6. Heave to at MOB.
7. Deploy boarding ladder.
8. a) Toss life ring to MOB (if conscious).
8. b) Use life ring to carry life sling to MOB (if unconscious).
9. Assist boarding.
10. Secure MOB in safe location.
11. Apply first aid (if necessary).
12. Retrieve MOB pole.
13. Cancel MOB on chartplotter.

Reasons:

1. One can spend way too much time dousing sails and lose sight of the MOB.
2. Untied doused sails in high wind is dangerous.
3. Pitching due to no sails in heavy seas makes MOB recovery very difficult.
4. Only way to move the boat is to run engine. (Lines in water may create another hazard.)
interesting....some good points. hell even in 20kt winds flying sheets and sails are dangerous not to mention an underpowered boat in severe conditions.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:59   #102
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

How long has it been since you have done a pull-up? You may be surprised....
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:03   #103
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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How long has it been since you have done a pull-up? You may be surprised....
This is so true. Ive owned (up until recently) a gym for years. Chin ups were a daily event for 20 years. Since cruising 7years I haven't done them. I tried not long back, just got one out, pathetic! I think our ego remembers us at our best, reality tells us something different.

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Old 12-09-2016, 10:51   #104
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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interesting....some good points. hell even in 20kt winds flying sheets and sails are dangerous not to mention an underpowered boat in severe conditions.
Yup, this thread has been a real eye opener for me, 2 additional questions I will now ask before agreeing to crew on a sailboat:

1. Are you confident you can perform an MOB under sail alone in 20 knot?
2. For an MOB would you leave sails up to execute?

If the answer to either is "No" I'll pass.

IMHO, Any competent skipper should be able to put the boat exactly where they want it (within a few feet) under sail, single-handed, reliably, every time. If you don't think you can then I suspect:
1. Your boat is too big for you or not set up correctly.
2. You do not sail enough. (Rely on the motor too much).
3. You have not gained a reasonable level of competence yet.

If an MOB occurs when motor sailing, by all means immediately turn the boat round, leaving the motor running. If conditions are calm and you have sufficient crew to have a Helmsman, spotter, and yet another to douse sails (if and only if the reciprocal course will support it) then I don't have an issue.

But for double-handlers, taking time out to douse sails is deadly.
Dousing sails in anything but calms, will make the boat too unstable.

Consider when an MOB is likely to occur. Going to windward, when the boat is heeled and pitching most. If you point head to wind (moving away from MOB) with about 2 knots of way on ( to avoid being stopped by waves and blown abeam) in the 10 minutes it is going to take (oh yes it will, if you don't believe me try it singlehanded sometime) you just sailed 2000 ft away from the MOB. By the time you can turn around and head downwind on your chances of spotting them are pretty much zilch. If you don't believe me, just try it. Toss a fender overboard in 20 knots and driving rain. Hint repeat - plan on buying a new one. If one can't reliably rescue an MOB single handed, in 20 knots and driving rain, I pity their crew should they ever go overboard. Yes staying onboard with a proper harness tether and jackline is the first defends. But the second defends is being able to perform a proper MOB recovery in the conditons it is likely
to occur. The last line of defence, is the PFD which will help the coast guard find the body to give family and friends closure.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:26   #105
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

Early on in this thread it was mentioned about how tough it is to get back onboard once you go over the side. Recent experience Just reiterated that for me.

This may, or may not be relevant. If not, I apologize.

Boat delivery last Saturday, towing our project boat from a shipyard in the Red Sea back to its slip about 60-miles north. Gearbox on the main engine is non-lockable so was freewheeling the entire time. The main shaft is five sections and was not re-installed properly after the hull and keel rebuild. So, as the shaft is free wheeling and we are doing 6-knots, the coupling has come loose and the shaft is backing out of the shaft log. I'm at the helm behind the towing vessel and tell them (In Arabic) to come to all stop, they refuse because they have taken a shortcut through a military area at night and are afraid of being seen. They slowed down to 2.5 knots and the project manager tied himself off and went over the side to tie off the propeller. Tied it off to the starboard propeller A-bracket (we have three engines and shafts) and we pulled him back aboard. Prop still wants to turn, so the guy goes back into the water at 2.5 knots to tie off to the port propeller A-bracket. Coming back aboard we lost him over the side. Took us 2 and a half hours to turn and do a recovery (we did send out a Zodiac immediately but it couldn't locate him in the dark....it was around 0400 when he went over). Only found him a while after first light. And he was nearly 5 miles away from where he went overboard! He prevented the loss of the main shaft in 800 meters of water, prevented massive flooding of the boat, ad was extremely stupid at the same time (but had a lot of balls I'll have to admit). Didn't have the right safety gear on (inflatable life vest, beacon, swim fins...only had his underwear and a mask). How did he go overboard if he was tied off? Deck seaman with only a few months experience didn't properly tie off on the sampson post aft. Had that line come loose with the project manager was under the boat? It could have been much worse.
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