About 15 years ago I experienced my only MOB or what I refer to Ex-WOB (Ex-Wife Overboard) in our marina.
My ex-wife (nothing to do with this story), me and several guests had just completed a day sail on the San Francisco
Bay and were returning to the marina. Because the summers winds tend to be 20-25 mph with lots of fetch, we sailed behind the breakwater and into the marina main channel to douse the main.
I started my 180 degree turn into the wind
while my ex stood at the mast
waiting to flake the sail. As we turned, the sail luffed and my ex started walking down the lee side of the boom thinking we were head
We weren't and the wind caught the main again. The boom crossed over and caught the ex in the stomach and launched her about ten feet into the air. She hit the water with a pop as her auto-PFD inflated perfectly.
Since I still had the main up I started to do a figure eight recovery when I realized I didn't have the sea room in the narrow channel surrounded by docks
So I headed into the wind and gave my passengers directions to lower the main. In their panic of seeing the ex go into the water they had reverted to their primary language of German and were not unerstanding my directions in English
I decided to run the haylard and just drop the main on deck
and then motor
back to the ex for recovery. I opened the rope clutch
and the main fell about haf way down before the slack halyard
caught in the spreader and the main sail stopped.
So now I have my ex in the water, two people screaming in German and of course a very badly reefed main in 20 knots of wind.
At tht point to old crusty sea salts on a motor
yacht tied to one of the near by docks, shake their heaads, walk out on their transom and pull the ex from the water.
I was eventually able to get the sail free and secured. I motored over to the dock
with my head
down and picked up the ex, Off course the salty sea dogs
had to critique my MOB exercise, which further humiliated me.
OK the point of this story, which is all true, is:
We did MOBs drills almost evertime we went out in those days. We talked about what we would do when someone went overboard and had it all worked out, we thought!
The problem became what to do when your partner, who is responsible for parts
of the MOB drill you have practiced over and over is in the water, the passengers on board are too panicked to assist with anything and then old Murphy appears and grabs your halyard
Just remember to have more than one plan and be adaptive, because things will go wrong...