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Old 12-09-2016, 11:43   #106
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by Teknishn View Post
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.
Oh I'd say yes, that is relevant.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:30   #107
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
No example to provide just simple geometry. Properly set-up a center jackline will keep you on board.

Also at some point something on the leeward side will need your attention. At that point you will have to flip to the leeward jack line.


Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
I'm not sure I agree:

  1. A center jackline is much closer to the lee rail.
  2. You don't switch lines, you use the longer arm. I do 90% of my leeward work from the weather jackline. Exceptions are rare.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:43   #108
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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lol....that actually sounds like fun. seriously though i wonder if there is something to this?
It's a terrible idea. I tested it because I was asked to.
1. If there is any slack the rope wraps around the spreaders, and there will be, because...
2. IF there isn't slack the line picks you off your feet, and if the boat is heeling...
3. You will be stuck dragging through the water until the boat tacks.

Terrible idea.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:53   #109
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

Funny how this thread devolved into "who's is bigger" thread.

Could I sail back in XX conditions? Probably. But...
* Can my wife? No.
* I'm I better off focusing on position and spotting the MOB? Probably.
* Will the boat sit still with no one at the helm while I help the MOB? Probably not.

Though I have done MOB drills in a blow, when it counts I'm more likely to circle back, drop everything, and motor. With a roller jib and lazy jacks, this is nothing. And if my wife is sail, I'd rather see the boat nearby flapping in irons than sailing off while she tries to figure it out alone. It should drift down wind and I may well simply be able to swim to the drift track.

But I wear a tether a lot. I consider family sailing little different from singlehanding.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:54   #110
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

To repeat, does anyone know of a documented case where someone fell off to windward who was tethered? I have not.
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Old 12-09-2016, 16:36   #111
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post

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.
That is why you must remember to immediately go onto a beam reach and de-power the sails so that you keep the MOB on your stern.

With steerage Speed only you quickly prep and tack 180 degrees which then puts MOB on your bow.
Headsail is furled to improve visibility

Let the wind and waves be your COMPASS by using the Beam Reach method to rescue MOB
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Old 13-09-2016, 07:18   #112
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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That is why you must remember to immediately go onto a beam reach and de-power the sails so that you keep the MOB on your stern.

With steerage Speed only you quickly prep and tack 180 degrees which then puts MOB on your bow.
Headsail is furled to improve visibility

Let the wind and waves be your COMPASS by using the Beam Reach method to rescue MOB
I disagree. Going onto a beam reach is a fast point of sail AWAY from the MOB. Immediately turning onto a reciprocal course is the fastest return to the MOB.

In frigid waters an MOB has about 10 minutes before muscle control is lost. Without a PFD (dumb) they will drown if not picked up. If they have a PFD on, they have less than an hour before they may die due to hypothermia. In tropiclal water, hypothermia may not be an issue right away, but sharks may be. In all cases, the faster you get back to the MOB the better. Don't waste time dousing sails, GO PICK THEM UP NOW, NOT LATER.

Do yourself and crew a favour, practice MOB under sail, until you can do it in all sailing conditons with whatever crew is left on the boat. If your spouse isn't adept at sailing the boat let alone MOB rescue, fix that, your
Life may depend on it.

My wife and I entered our cruising boat in the LO300 before finalizing our plans to head south. It wasn't to race, it was to get excellent practice singlehanding the boat on a long passage. She was good before but this improved her confidence (hence ability) to handle the boat. One off-watch I awoke to feel the boat tack. I went up to see if she needed help. Nope, just tacked to avoid a single hander who was off watch while we on starboard they on port tack. After she threw in an emergency tack to avoid collision we discussed that she should have blasted the horn, to alert the other boat (and me). Other than that she did perfect, and next time she will likely do perfect.

I recognize that a lot of spouses are reluctant participants and not necessarily interested in honing sailing skills. It is the skippers responsibility to correct this. I know that sometimes my wife is in conditions beyond her comfort level, but she recognizes that it is important to press the boundaries to achieve the next level of competence. I'm shocked at the number of spouses of a sailing couple who are totally incompetent at sailing the boat. Too dangerous for both.
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Old 13-09-2016, 08:27   #113
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

When you depower the sails on a beam reach you are not going fast and have in fact slowed down to steerage way.

With your method, if original course was a Close Reach at MOB, then you immediately tacked onto reciprocal Broad Reach..... .with the wind mostly behind you......

How do you depower the sails and slow down enough so as to make your final round up and stop in a controlled fashion....?

When i was teaching and practicing this MOB in heavy weather, I had the students at first try to do as you suggest.

the problem they found was one of control to actually stop beside floating target so that it can be retrieved.

Obviously the key priority is to keep visible contact with person in the water and/or whatever sighting aids you threw overboard ..... so tacking on to reciprocal should be as fast as possible.

BUT by going onto a depowered BR immediately this gives you that consistent point of reference and far better control of swells when approaching the victim on the reciprocal in a slow controlled manner where you just round up 90

Try it in real weather and tell me if it helps you?
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Old 13-09-2016, 11:40   #114
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
When you depower the sails on a beam reach you are not going fast and have in fact slowed down to steerage way.

With your method, if original course was a Close Reach at MOB, then you immediately tacked onto reciprocal Broad Reach..... .with the wind mostly behind you......

How do you depower the sails and slow down enough so as to make your final round up and stop in a controlled fashion....?

When i was teaching and practicing this MOB in heavy weather, I had the students at first try to do as you suggest.

the problem they found was one of control to actually stop beside floating target so that it can be retrieved.

Obviously the key priority is to keep visible contact with person in the water and/or whatever sighting aids you threw overboard ..... so tacking on to reciprocal should be as fast as possible.

BUT by going onto a depowered BR immediately this gives you that consistent point of reference and far better control of swells when approaching the victim on the reciprocal in a slow controlled manner where you just round up 90

Try it in real weather and tell me if it helps you?
Sorry, I have to disagree vehemently.

1. When the sole remaining crew on a cruising boat turns from close hauled
to beam, the first thing that happens is the boat heels more and accelerates (away from the MOB). How is one depowering significantly on the beam to 1.5 knots? Furl in the headsail? Without turning upwind (further from the MOB)
Now we have crew setting AP, and moving to
Furler controls, a released headsail flogging to snot and sheets getting all tangled up. They wrestle in the foresail, the boat is unbalanced and the AP
loses control. They go back to the helm, release the AP, start the engine and turn upwind to douse the mainsail (else the sail will get all hung up In the lazy jacks). They are now powering away from the MOB at high speed, as required to keep from from being blown abeam with sails half doused in seas that 20 knot winds produce.

Meanwhile, they could have just turned onto a reciprocal course (broad reach from close hauled, opposite tack) which is just like rounding a windward mark except one wouldn't launch the symmetrical.;-) They would be headed full speed for the MOB mark. How far? How long did it take to determine an MOB occurred , hit the MOB button, launch the pole, launch the life ring or
Life sling (maybe) and get turned round?
There may be some distance to cover. (Far more if they took the time to douse sails).

2. How do you slow down heading down wind? Possibly
Dragging the life sling or life ring behind, you round the MOB just like a down wind mark, dragging the life ring (if deployed) into them and heave to. Now You are back to the MOB, stopped with least drift, most stable, and can leave the helm unattended to pull the MOB aboard.

3. Sailing students unable to control a boat under sail. This is not surprising. They likely have know or
little experience. Anyone responsible for bringing crew back to port should be able to sail the boat competently.

I have performed MOB exercises, singlehanding, every which way from Sunday. Sailing off on a beam reach, screwing with sails before turning back
To MOB is likely to kill them.
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:04   #115
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

Too bad we don't have a blackboard and a calculator to use on here. For those reading this who are just starting out in sailing you must be wondering what in the world the debate is all about. This sort of reminds me of the Seinfeld "yada yada yada" episode. Person falls off boat, you turn around and, yada yada yada, you pick him up. We are leaving out the best part. Bottom line is, if you are sailing and not using the engine you will have to sail back UP to him/her so that you will be able to stop right next to them long enough to recover them, even if they fell off while you were going to windward. So, how does one, or a crew, best prepare to bring the boat back around and then round up and stop on the target? The answer varies according to sea state, wind speed, boat design, direction and distance from the MOB. In this discussion it seems we are focusing on losing someone while going to windward. However, if you are running with a spinnaker or wing and wing, you have some work to do before you can start to tack back up. You can't just turn around. You must douse the spinnaker, or headsail and you may have to reef the main and probably raise a smaller headsail (or just furl the headsail of course.) I still think each of us needs to practice with our own boats in a variety of conditions and headings to see how we can best return to a MOB. Is turning to a beam reach best? I don't know for sure, it might be, it might not be. If I determine that to do so will get me back to the MOB the soonest and in the best position to do a recovery, then yes, I'd go to a beam reach right away. But it would be wrong to assume that one must do that in all situations IMO. Now if you turn to a beam reach do you necessarily gain speed? Not if you do as Pelagic says, depower the sails, i.e. let the sheets out. Now it is true that boats love a beam reach so you'll have to let the sheets out quite a bit which is why I am not so sure I'd go too far with that strategy. I want to go slow AND still maintain steerage. Like you Ramblin, I want to get back ASAP, but I want to do so in a way that has me right at the right spot, very slow or stopped and under control and ready to recover the MOB, and that will take some preparation. Just turning 180 could be the wrong first step, it might be the wrong way to prepare for the recovery.
Ramblin, I have no doubt you have practiced this, but perhaps Pelagic and I have too? Perhaps there is a simple misunderstanding here, not a major difference in strategy?
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:28   #116
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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I recognize that a lot of spouses are reluctant participants and not necessarily interested in honing sailing skills. It is the skippers responsibility to correct this.
Respectfully, I would rather stay married. I will be responsible for staying on-board, no different from single handing.

I will add that she is partially disabled. This is not unusual among older sailors.
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:38   #117
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

I have no doubt that you can get back to MOB and control your boat as you explained and would not doubt your success.

But I am considering rough conditions, with remaining crew less skilled and probably in a panic.

With the immediate letting go of sheets to keep close to MOB point they are now idling at 1 knt. on a Beam Reach.

Say 20 seconds later after they have thrown MOB pole over,... they tack onto reciprocal BR

In those 20 seconds in rough conditions, they have only sailed about 40 to 70ft away from MOB and are Spotting them while mostly in the same trough line on the return.

Each situation is different based on experience of remaining crew, weather, sail equipment and most importantly visibility....

Teaching them the beam reach method, stabilizes the search pattern under stress, especially if they have a problem turning back.

Each to their own and the focus of staying onboard
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Old 13-09-2016, 14:00   #118
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

I think Don sorta made the point. These things take time to learn and practice.

For the new skipper that doesn't mean you should not sail with passengers until you are adept at MOB. What it means is if you the skipper or any crew member can not pull off a MOB rescue then insist everyone wear a PFD and a harness. It is really that simple. Easy skill to learn, easy to enforce.

If someone refuses to wear safety gear, you can either not take them, or casually explain to them that if they go overboard, they will probably drown. Their choice.
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Old 14-09-2016, 19:45   #119
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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With your method, if original course was a Close Reach at MOB, then you immediately tacked onto reciprocal Broad Reach..... .with the wind mostly behind you......

How do you depower the sails and slow down enough so as to make your final round up and stop in a controlled fashion....?
Easy, right after you hit the MOB button and toss the pole, turn 180. Head back to the MOB at full speed. Throw the life sling or life ring and trail it behind the boat. Still at full speed, round the MOB just like a race mark. This draws the ring line to the MOB just like the tow rope
to a fallen water skier.

As soon as you round the MOB, heave to. This now holds the boat on station, in the most stable state possible, (far better than a vessel within eased sheets that is now pitching wildly, sheets tangling, sails flogging, boom thrashing, and shortly, boat drifting away at several knots). With the boat hove to, it is now under complete control, as stable as can be, and naturally held on station, so that the helms person (who may be the only crew) can now assist with the reboarding, that if the person is unconscious, fatigued, hurt, or wearing clothing or foul weather gear full of water, is likely going to need to be hoisted aboard.

Hove to, is the only condition, that I would leave the helm in any kind of sea, to go assist reboarding. Any other condition and with nobody at the helm and no means to remain on station, the boat is out of control, will be hit by a wave, fall off, power up and start sailing away, dragging the MOB at speed, by a 50 ft long tether, in a very unsafe condition, as discussed at the very start of this thread.
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Old 14-09-2016, 20:02   #120
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

To those who say 'heave to' I suggest you DO. Then come back, let's discuss some more.

If you do this too close to the MOB, you will have very little time to fix the sheets/tiller then to run and do what exactly - you may end up on top of the person.

If you do this a bit to far to the windward, you may actually drift by the MOB. No good unless you have a heaving line (a throwing line) at hand at all times and are BLOODY good at using one in high wind and on a slanted deck.

...

No bashing. Only pointing towards the possible challenges.

I think the technique is OK, just takes a lot lot LOT of training.

I think it is good only if you are actually sailing in the sail combo that your boat will stay hove to with - very many boats lay hove too only under a specific amt of main / jib for each specific wind force. The less wind, the more moder the boat, the more difficult the maneuver.

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