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Old 22-05-2008, 12:15   #1
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Sad News

I race in this club with another gentlemen. I missed last night for the first time this season. New to the club, so didn't really know the guy. He was an experienced sailor, but not wearing a life jacket:

Sailboat race ends in tragedy - Broadneck - (HometownAnnapolis.com)
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Old 22-05-2008, 12:27   #2
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Sad, yet one more case for wearing a life jacket. It's really not any different than buckling your seat belt and takes just as long to do so.
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Old 22-05-2008, 12:29   #3
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My sympathy to all -especially his family.

However, in this case, what did a life jacket have to do with it. He did not drown, he was recovered with an apparent heart attack. Cold water and the stress of the accident along with a pre-existing condition seem to be the culprits in this instance.
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Old 22-05-2008, 12:34   #4
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Whats a life jacket have to do with getting someone out of the water who is incapacitated or very weak?...lots. First of all it allows the crew a little more time to get setup to get them out of the water before the MOB goes under. Second, it better identifies where they are. Third, it gives the crew or skipper something secure to grab onto.

I would much rather have a heart attack wearing one on than not. I think the odds of getting back to me are a LOT better...even if I don't survive the heart attack itself.

I know this may be a bit outside the context of this thread but is there a sailing macho thing going on that causes people to not want to wear a life jacket..or at least an inflatable harness? Yes, I am aware of the comfort aspects. I have experienced the macho thing with people who said they don't need one because they are a "strong swimmer". Has anyone else?
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Old 22-05-2008, 12:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
My sympathy to all -especially his family.

However, in this case, what did a life jacket have to do with it. He did not drown, he was recovered with an apparent heart attack. Cold water and the stress of the accident along with a pre-existing condition seem to be the culprits in this instance.
I think it's quite possible that struggling to stay above water may have helped trigger the "pre-existing condition," but then, I'm only guessing.

I always wear a jacket while racing. The inflatable type IIs are so comfortable now that there really isn't any excuse.
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Old 22-05-2008, 13:13   #6
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I have experienced the macho thing with people who said they don't need one because they are a "strong swimmer". Has anyone else?
The strongest swimmer dies from hypothermia fastest.
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Old 22-05-2008, 16:13   #7
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I don't think the water is cold enough in Annapolis for hypothermia to set in in that short of time. I was on my boat not too far from this race at the time and the wind clocked to 30-plus knots in the squall. Several boats in the smaller class were knocked down. This is sad.
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Old 22-05-2008, 17:01   #8
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I don't think the water is cold enough in Annapolis for hypothermia to set in in that short of time.
It's only mid 60's here. It's cold enough.
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Old 22-05-2008, 20:04   #9
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It seems likely he was having a serious enough cardiac event to stumble overboard. That doesn't speak for a lot of reserve capacity to deal with extra physical demands. If that were the case, a survivable heart attack could turn fatal just from the additional shock and stress of trying to stay afloat. So a life jacket may have saved him. I think I'd rather have the insurance on since its already paid for.
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Old 22-05-2008, 22:50   #10
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Most of the thread is in SA. Very sorry to hear a loved on lost. Condolances to all.

But I don't and wear a life jacket and probably never will. Kind of like helmet laws I guess.
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Old 22-05-2008, 22:52   #11
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Most of the thread is in SA. Very sorry to hear a loved on lost. Condolances to all.

But I don't and wear a life jacket and probably never will. Kind of like helmet laws I guess.
How do your loved ones feel about that Joli? I don't mean that as some sort of snotty comment but its really not you who gets hurt if you die. It is all the people who care about you who get hurt. Death itself is relatively quick for drowning, but the pain others feel could go on for years if not a lifetime.
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Old 22-05-2008, 23:07   #12
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But I don't and wear a life jacket and probably never will. Kind of like helmet laws I guess.
This (like a lot aspects about boating is) all to do with risk management and risk assessment.
Each of us has to make our decisions and live (or die?) by them. IMO that is the way it should be but I know there are other viewpoints .
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Old 23-05-2008, 03:24   #13
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This (like a lot aspects about boating is) all to do with risk management and risk assessment.
Each of us has to make our decisions and live (or die?) by them. IMO that is the way it should be but I know there are other viewpoints .
Yeah, each to their own.
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Old 23-05-2008, 07:37   #14
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From an email I received this morning:

"Nationwide, over 700 people die every year in boating and paddling accidents. Approximately two-thirds drown, and, of these, over 90% were not wearing a life jacket. The most recent data for the mid-Atlantic's Fifth Coast Guard District, shows 94 people died in boating and paddling accidents this year; many were not wearing a life jacket. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents accounting for nearly 20% of all reported fatalities. "

But playing russian roulette is OK. THIS is strictly a question of personal freedom and an act of bravado, that should not be restricted by public policy for simple reasons; you are hardly likely to miss, so the chance of public funds having to support your brain-dead body for years is minimal, whereas falling overboard (likely with your zipper down) means we have to buy gas for hundreds of hours of fruitless searching. Maybe we need an international "Do not revive, do not search" list.
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Old 23-05-2008, 07:44   #15
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>> THIS is strictly a question of personal freedom and an act of bravado, that should not be restricted by public policy for simple reasons...<<

The exception would be for children. They shouldn't suffer because of their parents' carelessness.

You make a good point about public policy. That's the difference between PFDs and helmets. I support mandatory helmet laws because the lack of use does add to the cost of health care.
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