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Old 02-04-2018, 08:49   #1
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MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

I'm doing a complete review of all my safety gear for my upcoming Arctic cruise.

We will be servicing all the automatic inflatable life jackets. Everyone will have drysuits and AIS MOB beacons. We will do a lot of MOB training -- I think we will even try an actual person in the water drill (calm weather and with the dinghy standing by).

Now I'm looking at my two life rings with lights and dan buoy -- and wondering if this old junk is still relevant at all?

Maybe the dan buoy should be changed for one of the much taller inflatable ones with lifting sling integrated? Or maybe it doesn't matter since all the life jackets have lifting straps in them.

And life rings -- do they actually do anything useful in this day and age?

Anyone have any views on up to date approaches to all this?
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:04   #2
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm doing a complete review of all my safety gear for my upcoming Arctic cruise.

We will be servicing all the automatic inflatable life jackets. Everyone will have drysuits and AIS MOB beacons. We will do a lot of MOB training -- I think we will even try an actual person in the water drill (calm weather and with the dinghy standing by).

Now I'm looking at my two life rings with lights and dan buoy -- and wondering if this old junk is still relevant at all?

Maybe the dan buoy should be changed for one of the much taller inflatable ones with lifting sling integrated? Or maybe it doesn't matter since all the life jackets have lifting straps in them.

And life rings -- do they actually do anything useful in this day and age?

Anyone have any views on up to date approaches to all this?
Interesting questions.

A Lifesling is great in moderate conditions to get in contact with the swimmer, particularly if short handed. But you can't throw one. I've seen some really comic (tragic) videos of folks trying to get a line on a swimmer.

Watch this starting at 51 seconds. The swimmer is actually trying to hold up his tether, but his PFD has him crippled. He was also hypothermic (no dry suit). The man they lowered had a comically inflated (not needed) PFD. I would have used a non-inflatable PFD for that sort of work, in part because it protects the ribs. More likely, no PFD but 2 ropes and a dry suit.



is this how it happened?



They got back to him, but the drill for collecting the sailor was a little rough.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:55   #3
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

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Interesting questions.

A Lifesling is great in moderate conditions to get in contact with the swimmer, particularly if short handed. But you can't throw one. I've seen some really comic (tragic) videos of folks trying to get a line on a swimmer.

Watch this starting at 51 seconds. The swimmer is actually trying to hold up his tether, but his PFD has him crippled. He was also hypothermic (no dry suit). The man they lowered had a comically inflated (not needed) PFD. I would have used a non-inflatable PFD for that sort of work, in part because it protects the ribs. More likely, no PFD but 2 ropes and a dry suit.



is this how it happened?



They got back to him, but the drill for collecting the sailor was a little rough.
Thanks; very instructive and interesting.

Undoubtedly the drysuit saved his life.

Here's an interview with him afterwards:




Shocking that it took 90 MINUTES to get him back on board, despite the AIS beacon. Wow!! However, I'm having trouble squaring words of the captain talking about how they were desperately looking for a "needle in a haystack", with other reports that Taylor activated the AIS beacon which transmitted his exact coordinates to the boat. What really happened?


Other lessons --

1. He wasn't clipped on. I'm not sure, however, that it would not have been even worse, if he had ended up being dragged in the water at that speed. Maybe it was a blessing.

2. Isn't that just inherently dangerous, having crew working on the bow in such weather while you are flying downwind. It seems to me -- just wrong. Bow goes down, green water sweeps the deck, and the crew is gone. I just don't do this, and this video makes me still firmer in my conviction -- just don't do it. Heave to if something needs to be done at the bow.

3. I wonder if lifeline netting would make any difference in a case like this?

4. They use the same technique as I have always planned for lifting out the casualty -- block and tickle off the end of the preventered-out boom. I agree with Thinwater that this was a huge mistake to send someone down with inflated (!) PFD. WTF were they thinking?? Crazy.

5. Why did they have to send anyone down at all? Was the casualty immobile? I keep a floating throwing line with monkey's fist on deck at all times. If the casualty is capable of holding the rope and/or tying himself on, I would throw the line and pull him in, then get the lower block of the block and tackle to him, with a snap shackle. All our PFD/harnesses have lifting straps. Then haul him out and swing the boom in. It should be possible to do this in even fairly strong weather if you're hove to with the casualty in your lee.

6. I have and have practiced with a life sling. Thinwater is right; it's not for throwing. Rather, the life sling technique is to trail it behind and then make circles to get the life sling to the casualty. I think this is more useful for casualties without life jackets. With a life jacket, I would probably not bother with this -- I'd just throw a line.

7. Note the comments the casualty made about shock from the cold water on his head and hands. Good reminder to wear the hood and gloves.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:15   #4
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

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Thanks; very instructive and interesting.

Undoubtedly the drysuit saved his life.

Here's an interview with him afterwards:




Shocking that it took 90 MINUTES to get him back on board, despite the AIS beacon. Wow!! However, I'm having trouble squaring words of the captain talking about how they were desperately looking for a "needle in a haystack", with other reports that Taylor activated the AIS beacon which transmitted his exact coordinates to the boat. What really happened?


Other lessons --

1. He wasn't clipped on. I'm not sure, however, that it would not have been even worse, if he had ended up being dragged in the water at that speed. Maybe it was a blessing.

2. Isn't that just inherently dangerous, having crew working on the bow in such weather while you are flying downwind. It seems to me -- just wrong. Bow goes down, green water sweeps the deck, and the crew is gone. I just don't do this, and this video makes me still firmer in my conviction -- just don't do it. Heave to if something needs to be done at the bow.

3. I wonder if lifeline netting would make any difference in a case like this?

4. They use the same technique as I have always planned for lifting out the casualty -- block and tickle off the end of the preventered-out boom. I agree with Thinwater that this was a huge mistake to send someone down with inflated (!) PFD. WTF were they thinking?? Crazy.

5. Why did they have to send anyone down at all? Was the casualty immobile? I keep a floating throwing line with monkey's fist on deck at all times. If the casualty is capable of holding the rope and/or tying himself on, I would throw the line and pull him in, then get the lower block of the block and tackle to him, with a snap shackle. All our PFD/harnesses have lifting straps. Then haul him out and swing the boom in. It should be possible to do this in even fairly strong weather if you're hove to with the casualty in your lee.

6. I have and have practiced with a life sling. Thinwater is right; it's not for throwing. Rather, the life sling technique is to trail it behind and then make circles to get the life sling to the casualty. I think this is more useful for casualties without life jackets. With a life jacket, I would probably not bother with this -- I'd just throw a line.

7. Note the comments the casualty made about shock from the cold water on his head and hands. Good reminder to wear the hood and gloves.
Ideally being tethered on (1) would make (2) a lot safer. If it was a proper tether you shouldn't be able to go over the side
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:22   #5
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

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Ideally being tethered on (1) would make (2) a lot safer. If it was a proper tether you shouldn't be able to go over the side
Well, easier said than done.

At the pointy end, that is pretty much impossible to guaranty, unless you are tethered to a halyard, which isn't really practical most times.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:30   #6
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

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Well, easier said than done.

At the pointy end, that is pretty much impossible to guaranty, unless you are tethered to a halyard, which isn't really practical most times.
I'd love to see video of someone using a halyard on the foredeck in rough conditions. In my experience, it makes it worse. It is urban legend until I see it. You need a person tailing the halyard to keep it from tangling on everything, and if it is at all tight, how do you bend your knees to keep your balance?

If you do fall, you'll be swinging over the water, so you still need the other tether.

So the challenge offered is for someone to try it, film it, and tell us that it has become their standard practice. I think you will quickly learn that clipping short and staying low is easier.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:54   #7
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

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I'd love to see video of someone using a halyard on the foredeck in rough conditions. In my experience, it makes it worse. It is urban legend until I see it. You need a person tailing the halyard to keep it from tangling on everything, and if it is at all tight, how do you bend your knees to keep your balance?

If you do fall, you'll be swinging over the water, so you still need the other tether.

So the challenge offered is for someone to try it, film it, and tell us that it has become their standard practice. I think you will quickly learn that clipping short and staying low is easier.
I agree.

But even clipping short and staying low won't keep you on board at the bow, if you get swept by green water!

Heave to!

The other prong of this double whammy is that sailing fast downwind is exactly that posture from which it is very hard to stop quickly. Anything from a reach forward, you can harden the mainsheet, belay the traveler, and do a quick tack without tacking the headsail, and you are stopped. I can stop my boat in a couple of lengths that way. But you can't do it running or broad reaching, with the boom preventered out.

In my opinion it is fundamentally wrong to send crew to the bow in this posture.

And I'm still waiting to hear why it took 90 minutes (or by some accounts, 100 minutes) to get the casualty in that video back on board. Did the crew get his AIS signal, or not? Why did the skipper make that remark about a needle in a haystack? Does anyone know the details?
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:19   #8
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

A timely thread as someone has just nicked my new rescue rope throwing thingy. It didn't fall over board because the stainless mounting bracket has also been unscrewed. In addition the automatic inflatable horse shoe container has finally given up the ghost after a decade in the sun, the plastic having snapped.

So we are starting from scratch. I am currently thinking of replacing both with a single rescue sling with 30m of rope.

However, the main reason for this post is to campaign for the pole, either fixed or the jonbouy inflatable type. I have spent hundreds of hours suspended underneath diving marker bouys safe in the knowledge the boat knew were we were and could easily follow us even in rough conditions and at some distance. We have a fixed pole which will be going back on the boat and deployed as the first immediate action of MOB.

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Old 03-04-2018, 07:43   #9
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

Great post Dockhead. I have always wondered why people would not have some type of MOB pole. With the VOR losing a man overboard, the conversation should be brought up.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:24   #10
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

LifeSlingand learn the proper technique for using it. It’s all you’ll need.. They’re not intended to be thrown at a swimmer, watch the video.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:24   #11
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

Sometime ago I had a dinghy sling made out of wide and strong webbing. The primary aim is to easily sling my rubber dinghy from my backstay - see photo.

However, whilst I hope I never have to deal with an MOB, I also had a secondary purpose in mind. The sling doubles as an MOB sling to hoist someone up the side of the boat and back onto the deck on indeed from the stern into the cockpit. It only cost about £50 to make. I hope I never have to test the theory.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:25   #12
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

Difficult question and a very good ask.

We have a U ring with throwing line, basically because it was a requirement for the Croatian flag, but have never used it and hope never to have to. It will do the job and provide a MOB with valuable flotation which could mean the difference between life and death. Is it still relevant given modern options? I think so, whether it is the best option is debatable.

I think we need to look at it a different way. If you were the MOB would you appreciate someone throwing you a life ring or other flotation device while they prepared to recover you?

I admit I have looked at the inflatable Danbouy/Jonbouy as it has the benefit of making the MOB more visible but haven't been tempted (yet). The Spinlock Lume On Lifejacket Bladder Illumination device would be my first choice for making a casualty more visible, it turns the entire lifejacket into a beacon instead of the tiny little light. An MOB beacon, water activated, would be another option.

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Old 03-04-2018, 09:45   #13
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

IMHO.....the issue is and always will be, you can't recover the MOB if you can't find them.

I have a LifeSling.....but it is a RECOVERY TOOL not a location tool.

I have been in the water twice over the years (long stories) and it is not fun but I was was in warm water so it was manageable.

Trying to find a human head floating in the water in anything but flat water is nearly impossible, even after you have navigated to a position using AIS info.

I could go on an on but the bottom line is I prefer a POLE. Something that rises above the water level that I can site in on while driving the boat.

Once I actually FIND them, then I can decide how to recover them based on a practiced basic plan, and then based on how it is going to have to happen in real time in real life.

In a real life situation....say the MOB is the only other Crew? Now you are faced with trying to keep a lookout, throwing whatever device you have, getting a position from instruments, driving the boat, maybe lowering sails, running a recovery pattern (IF you ever learned and practiced one), and then IF you ever find them, you have to find the gear to hoist them aboard, drive the boat, deal with the flogging sails, throwing other lines,........it's just craZy. Meanwhile the poor MOB is floating, getting colder, the PFD is not working nearly as well as it looked like it would in the catalog, you are in the water watching this craZy scene on the boat of folks running around, yelling stuff, looking for stuff, and you are wondering if it is going to be a happy ending.

Old Life Rings have a more traditional LOOK in my eye. Some may see them as clutter, but I see them as a sort of functional salty decoration.

I once saved by boat from a bad ding form another out of control boat by grabbing the horseshoe buoy and jamming it between the hulls.

It has the boats name painted on it and more than one Guest has had a picture taken sitting in the cockpit next to the Horseshoe.

Yes, my rail looks like a Sailors Thrift Shop, but if someone falls off the boat in the marina, I have a throwable.

Keep the Ring, HAVE A POLE, and have a Lifesling.

As a Skipper, Captain, whatever.....my FIRST responsibility is the Safety of the Vessel and CREW......not to make a fashion statement, so I want everything possible in order to bring EVERYONE HOME with the boat.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:58   #14
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

In Australia you are required to have a horseshoe or lifebouy and line if you are over 8 metres. Even in protected waters.

In my mind the dan bouy would come in handy for practise in recovering a MOB. I might be wrong but I think all crews/skippers should drill, if not a dan bouy then what? A volunteer?
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:28   #15
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Re: MOB Gear -- Are Dan Buoys and Life Rings Still Relevant?

The classic MOB pole with the light attachment and a horseshoe still works, especially when you're shorthanded. The various electronic aids are invaluable. I still stay with the the MOB pole/horseshoe combination, and an afterdeck crew trained for quick deployment. The Mark I Eyeball works reasonably well for search, especially since you're not looking at a screen. Add the electronics and you're safer.

The rest is about staying aboard - a separate but related issue.
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