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Old 09-01-2010, 06:00   #1
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Just How Safe Is Safety Gear Anyway

30 years ago in the in Scotland, a time when only about half of the yachts carried VHF I new a boatman on the water who fired off 22 flares in sight of big towns and I man reported seeing one of them to the CG.
3-5 years ago a yachtsman on passage from the Thames to The Isles of Scilly holed his boat in open water which started to sink nr Dover, his batteys flooded and his liferaft on the foward bunk he got it out and deployed. Fired of flares before taking to the liferaft, there were many big ships around. when in the raft he fired more flares, no one reported seeing any of these flares but he was rescued by a sail training ship who smelt the smoke.
About 3 years ago two fishing boats had a coming together in Falmouth Bay, one boat sunk fast the other sped on with the skipper knocked out. The boat that sunk deployed there hired liferart and it did not inflate, just before she sunk the fishermen were taken off by a pilotboat who was in the bay after they made a 999 call to the CG by mobile phone.
Most of the sailors I know never sail with a big crew, just on there own or with there wife or partner. A lot of the this onboard safety gear is no good if sailing alone, like dan buoys, horseshoe buoys etc.
Saying all that, I sail with my wife and we always where lifejackets and clip to jack stays if going forward in poor weather or in the dark.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:13   #2
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The only bits of kit worth the weight are epirbs and mobile (cell) phones.

Why? Because they are computerised. When you set the epirb off or call 911/000 etc an alarm goes off on some computer somewhere and the operator who is asleep gets woken.

When sighting flares people just go: Ooooooooooo, ahhhhhhh and then applaud.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:22   #3
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When sighting flares people just go: Ooooooooooo, ahhhhhhh and then applaud.
LOL Good one.

Mark you are on a roll today.

Have an extra beer for me.

Paul
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:08   #4
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Back in 2002 a guy died during the ARC crossing as described in

"the man (Philip Hitchcock) was shortening his main sail with his life jacket and harness on, when a wave hit him and knocked him over the guard rails. Because the boat was going so fast, he couldn't pull himself up and simply drowned within minutes."

He was sailing with only his Brother on board...So even with the right equipment if you are there with just your wife and perhaps small children, you might still be up the creek without a paddle... your point is well taken.

Cheers
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:12   #5
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I think some safety tehers are waaaayy too long.

I don't want to be trolling bait.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:28   #6
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I've seen elastic safety tethers and remember seeing a recoiling one somewhere, does anyone know the right name for them?
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:41   #7
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I've seen elastic safety tethers and remember seeing a recoiling one somewhere, does anyone know the right name for them?
Shock Absorbing
Self-Recoiling
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:52   #8
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I think some safety tehers are waaaayy too long. I don't want to be trolling bait.
Okay, so what sort of length are you recommending? Centre of chest to the deck for me is probably 1.5m, need a bit extra to move so 2m?

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Old 09-01-2010, 11:55   #9
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I like the tethers with a 3 foot and six foot strap.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:01   #10
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Quote:
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Shock Absorbing
Self-Recoiling
Self-recoiling tethers have a bungee in the core. Some like them, I personally do not.

I have never seen a marine shock absorbing tether listed. For industrial and mountaineering use, yes. In general, proper jackline selection will provide the shock absorption, but there are advantages to having it in the tether instead; a market opening for the innovator. It would resemble a lighter version of an industrial tether, or a longer version of a climber's "screamer."
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:02   #11
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I have often thought that the biggest fear for single-handed sailors, or for boats on which the guests are not competent boat handlers, is the boat sailing away from you, and out of reach by the time you surface from falling in.
Has anyone experimented with a set-up along these lines.
The aft end of the jackline passes thru a guide, and is anchored to an extension spring which ,in turn,is fixed to the hull at its aft end. Trapped in this extension spring coils, is a device, like the red safety used on small outboard motor throttles.
This device, by any one of various means controls the release of a stern-tube float and line (maybe something like Life-sling) which by gravity drops and trolls out behind the boat. The other end of the line could be led to the wheel, tiller, windvane, power shut-off for autopilot (break the circuit), anything to put the boat out of trim to luff up and stop sailing.
Pull yourself back to the boat, and deploy some type of access ladder, or such.
Thinking about this, it makes a good Summer project.
If some-one wishes to make this a new thread, I would love to see what this group would come up with.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:05   #12
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Hi Mark

A sailing friend of mine who crewed some years ago on a yacht with a centure plate that fell off in the Pacific. He said the skipper and he abandoned her to a liferaft and activated the epirb which tuned on the light on top. They then drifted in the Pacific for four days not knowing weather the epirb was working or not untill a ship came to thier rescue.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:20   #13
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The "recoiling" tether is a convenience factor; it does not absorb the shock.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:33   #14
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harness line length seems to not get the attention it should, how many of us feel they have tghe strength to pull ourselves up the line to get back onto the boat?
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:47   #15
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Don,

Hence my earlier comments about stopping the boat. Part of a MOB drill we used to do was that each member would jump in with a PFD on. We circled the boat. allowed him to grab a trailed 200ft line, and attempt to pull himself back to the boat while sailing at about 5 knots. Very few guys can pull all the way back to the boat.
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