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Old 10-10-2012, 08:40   #46
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
You must be kidding... "A strong will to survive" won't work for very long whilst in cold water wearing only your underpants.
First, the point I was trying to make was that if your are trying to get the biggest improvement in your safety, the place to start is with your skills and attitude, not piling gear up in the cockpit.

Let's me make that thought a little more specific. Let's say you could either acquire the skills and experiences of a 20 year experienced world class EMT OR you could have the entire equipment contents of an EMT Ambulance on board (but not the EMT himself). I know which one I think would vastly increase safety over the other and which one I would pick (the EMT skills and experiences).

Second, I was quoting an official British naval studies findings. You can think they are kidding if you want, but I suspect not.

Third, in fact, yes, including from other studies, mental attitude is the most important aspect of cold water survival. People have survived in cold water for surprisingly long periods in their underwear while others have drown quite quickly in full gear. If you stay calm and focused and don't panic you will in fact survive much longer. The standard hypothermia duration charts are 'typical/average' and you can do much better or much worse depending on your skill/attitude.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:06   #47
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pirate Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

The best personal safety gear one can have in the cockpit is a crew member who can perform a MOB retrieval quickly and efficiently...
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:08   #48
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
The best personal safety gear one can have in the cockpit is a crew member who can perform a MOB retrieval quickly and efficiently...

That rules out single-handing. Too high a price for me.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:12   #49
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

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The best personal safety gear one can have in the cockpit is a crew member who can perform a MOB retrieval quickly and efficiently...
All crew should be able to do an MOB.
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:34   #50
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

****** It's best to practice using all of your equipment in an ideal situation before you leave. With practice, you can learn to use your boat's winches and blocks to make MOB retrieval happen without too much effort. Read the instructions to activate the PLB, some PLBs and EPIRBs are not easy to figure out in the dark. Personal water lights really help at night, a cheap whistle designed for the water (without the little ball), can save the person in the water a lot of energy. Screaming takes a lot of energy and can wear a person out quickly, and cause panic.
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Old 14-10-2012, 11:37   #51
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

This is my first post. I was invited to read this string by a fellow cruiser who knows my interest in this subject, especially the Lifesling. Instead of writing more about it I recommend that you go to www.youtube.com and search first for 'Lifesling2' then 'Lifesling 2011'. The first video explains what it is, in less than 3 minutes and the second shows how to use it on sail as well as power boats. Finally, a Lifesling Owner's Preparation Guide that covers other details including victim tips is posted at Cruising Club of America . RonT
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Old 14-10-2012, 13:14   #52
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

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Second, I was quoting an official British naval studies findings. You can think they are kidding if you want, but I suspect not.
That sounds like an ass covering excercise to me for justifying why the liferafts were poorly equipped.

For sure mental attitude is important, but will only get ya so far. Personally I would take an immerssion suit over the ability to think happy thoughts .

In regard to OP, I think need to start by differentiating between Safety gear and Rescue equipment.......those tend to get mixed up when the marketing dept gets involved , as easier to sell someone the warm fuzzy feeling of "safety" with a widget for $100's of dollars than to sell someone the idea that a bit of knowledge and experiance covers most situations. or to explain that sometimes if things go bad then you are simply sh#t outta luck .

Was sailing with a mate of mine a few years back, I dunno how much he weighs (somewhere between a baby elephant and a small house - in US terms that probably means he is anorexic ).....I explained to him that if he fell overboard he would likely be dead as I would be unable to recover him. He never fell overboard . However the principal risk of having him onboard was not to his well being but to mine / to others - if he fell on me uncontrolably I would likely be at least seriously injured. if not worse.........he will never get invited onboard for any challenging voyages for that reason and because I ain't spending thousands on installing a crane .
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Old 14-10-2012, 17:32   #53
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

I sail alone a lot, so my personal safety gear includes an inflatable PFD with whistle and strobe attached. Then I have a second inflatable on a belt pak. In a pouch on the belt is a waterproof handheld VHF and several handheld flares. I figure if I ever go in, I want to be able to call for help as I watch my boat sail away.

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Old 14-10-2012, 18:36   #54
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Re: Safety gear in cockpit

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A lot of talk about the Life Sling, but not enough factual stuff about the dangers of retrieval of a victim. The Life Sling can actually contribute to dangerous consequences according to a Coast Guard document on rescues (The Four Stages of Cold-Water Immersion By RADM Alan Steinman, USPHS (Ret) and Gordon Giesbrecht, Ph.D., ON SCENE, THE JOURNAL OF U.S. COAST GUARD SEARCH AND RESCUE, http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg534/On%...e/OSFall06.pdf.

MOB victims can go into a dangerous condition, known as post-rescue collapse, which can be a result of retrieval of the victim in a vertical hoist from the water. A series of events can lead to a surge of chilled blood triggering cardiac arrest.

An alternative retrieval method was developed several years ago, by Tanya Budd, a young engineering student in Britain, and her invention, the Hypo-Hoist (- HypoHoist), is a clever solution to this problem.

A similar device can be made from a small jib or trysail, secured at the foot to the toerail, and the head raised by a halyard. The victim is drawn alongside in a prone position, then raised horizontally to the deck, without enhancing the dangers of the cold-induced shock damaging the patient.

Read the pdf, it will open your eyes to the actual dangers of hypothermia and subsequent treatment of victims.
You raise a good point here, but would the extra time spent trying to rig more gizmos to get somebody out of the water, just cause the MOB to spend more time in the water, and be more likely to die? I haven't thought about it, but in cold water retrieval maybe the amount of time somebody spends in the water has to be considered when you get them to the boat. If they appear to be totally lethargic, or dead, is speed or the method of extraction from the water more important?
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Old 14-10-2012, 18:49   #55
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
For sure mental attitude is important, but will only get ya so far. Personally I would take an immerssion suit over the ability to think happy thoughts .
.
An immersion suit is useless for a MOB - no way the man is going to put one on just before he accidentally goes overboard!

They are really only useful in relatively slow abandon ship incidents, which are not all that common in pleasure boats (more common in merchant ships). And only if the crew is trained to put them on and in fact bother/remembers to do so. It's quite amazing when you study incident reports how often safety gear on board is not used or not used properly by the crew (note the more recent Ensenada incident where the crew abandoned ship without even putting on PFD's). "Happy thoughts" might make you more likely to use what is in fact available rather than panicking.

The merchant seamen of the time were trained that greasing up (with axial grease - as the cross channel swimmers used to do) works be quite a bit in a help in cold water in a pinch, and then get on multiple water proof layers. "Happy thoughts" might well help you think your way out of the situation, or at least get yourselves in a slightly better way.

Calm thinking is the very first safety essential. Relevant skill and knowledge is second. With those two you can do a hell of a lot with just what's commonly available on board.
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Old 14-10-2012, 21:44   #56
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

"Greasing up with axle grease.". Really? You're seriously recommending to the OP that a jar of axle grease be used in place of proper safety gear?

If and when I'm in a situation where the need to abandon ship arrises, I can safely bet that I'll be in my survival suit, and in my liferaft with my ditch bag and EPIRB long before you find your jar of lube and get greased up.

BTW: Your MOB should have been wearing a PFD.
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Old 15-10-2012, 00:31   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger
Regarding MOB . . . the best safety measure is to stay on the boat, and the best tool for doing that is NOT any sort of gear, but to learn how to move on the boat - always have a good firm grip on something, place your feet carefully, sit down when working with both hands, crawl when you feel unsteady. Obviously tethers/harnesses are the second line of defense after learning to move carefully.
Agree. The best safety equipment is not needing to deploy any in the first place. Sometimes I think people fast forward to safety kit when more time, thought, kit, practice could have been put into reducing the chances of situations arising where it is needed.
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Old 15-10-2012, 07:10   #58
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
"Greasing up with axle grease.". Really? You're seriously recommending to the OP that a jar of axle grease be used in place of proper safety gear?

If and when I'm in a situation where the need to abandon ship arrises, I can safely bet that I'll be in my survival suit, and in my liferaft with my ditch bag and EPIRB long before you find your jar of lube and get greased up.

BTW: Your MOB should have been wearing a PFD.
First, I clearly said "The merchant seamen of the time were trained that greasing up". So, it was clearly not directly aimed as a specific recommendation to the OP. But it does show the kind of improvisation a clear thinking and knowledgeable/skilled person might be able to do.

The plain fact is that accidents are accidental, they are unexpected, they don't happen in a planned way. That means that you usually have to improvise in some way. Clear thinking is important' Skills and knowledge are important in being able to do that well.

You may have piles of safety gear but perhaps not the specific piece for the accident that befalls you. And even if you have the piece you do need to be clear thinking enough to recognize it in time.

Just look at the abandon ship incidents that happen each fall in the US east coast to Caribbean run. The most common is that the crew get seasick and fatigued and scared and just decide to give up. The second most common is that on top of seasick/fatigue/scared the steering cables slip off the quadrant or break. NONE of the safety gear that has been discussed will help those situations. Some good seasickness meds will - if it is taken properly (usually starting 24 hrs before leaving the dock), and some tools and repair bits will, but even more important is the tenacity and ability to think clearly and see the situation for what it actually is. It is a plain fact that the VAST majority of cruising boats abandoned continue to float for weeks afterwords.

Second, regarding "If and when I'm in a situation where the need to abandon ship arrises, I can safely bet that I'll be in my survival suit, and in my liferaft with my ditch bag and EPIRB" . . . one of the prime 'mistakes' made (on a cruising boat with limited human resources) is to start deploying safety gear before giving full attention and full crew resources to trying to resolve the problem. Some see water over the floor boards and start deploying the raft and getting in survival suits first, before trying to stop the water ingress. That wastes very valuable and important time (also true with fire). It is MUCH easier to resolve the problem immediately than a little later. And you are much safer if you resolve the situation than if you end up in your raft.

Again, slow sinkings are pretty rare on cruising boats. They do very occasionally happen, but not very frequently. There are A LOT of risks you should prepare for well before the slow sinking risk.

Third, regarding "Your MOB should have been wearing a PFD" . . . I am not sure what MOB you are talking about. Are you referring to the one I said would not have put an immersion suit on before hand? If so, yes, I agree he 'should' have been wearing a pfd. But much more important, he 'should not' have gone over board. He should have placed his feet carefully, he should always had a firm grip on the boat with one hand, and he should have been tethered. The primary imperative of safety is to PREVENT incidents, and there is a lot that each of us can do to prevent MOB situations.

In my first post on this thread, I suggested the most important safety factors in the cockpit (And on deck) were (a) to learn how to move on the boat (with clip in points as am important secondary point), (b) to keep a good watch (with a megawatt spot light, and I would add AIS as an important secondary point), and (c) knowing how to handle loaded ropes - proper winch handling and avoiding halyard/sheet coils, and staying away from loaded block slingshot angles (With a knife as an important secondary factor). I would add to that as 'essential safety gear' seasick meds. (I am presuming a well found boat). So, for me, those are the prime safety essentials. They will allow you to avoid/prevent most safety incidents from ever happening. Then I would add tools and repair materials, and a first aid kit, and fire extinguishers, which will allow you to resolve incidents.

But above all, clear thinking. Those boats I mention that abandon each year are almost all piled with safety gear, but they panic and don't think clearly and could 'easily' have avoided or resolved the problem with common tools if they had been thinking clearly.

What I HATE to see is 'checkbook safety' - buying gear and feeling like you have checked safety off your to-do list. The thread was starting to feel like that when I made my first post in it. The primary safety focus (IMHO) should be on the prevention skills and knowledge, and secondarily in the resolution skills and knowledge (and tools and medical kit), and only a very distant third on the 'abandon ship' and 'rescue' gear. You have either failed at safety, or been very very unlucky (yes, I acknowledge the rare possibility of swarms of whales attacking you and other such 'unlucky' and unavoidable' incidents), if you have to go to step three,
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Old 15-10-2012, 09:13   #59
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

Gregg, I'd suggest finding and taking a "Safety At Sea" class. That'll put everything into quick perspective for you and if you've got to ask about a LifeSling, it also means you need the man-overboard training that will be in the class. Many of them also demonstrate the pyrotechnics, and after you've actually seen how poorly they work, you may decide to spring for the pricey SOLAS-approved ones instead.
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Old 15-10-2012, 13:03   #60
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Re: Saftey gear in cockpit

Me last post did not perhaps use the best example (certainly wasn't thinking that someone would be putting on an immersion suit just before going MOB ) - but nonetheless I stick by my point that "happy thoughts" (mental strength) only gets you so far, even if that is further than others.....often enough a bit of the right equipment and the knowledge to use it is important to odds of survival when da poop hits the fan. If I ever went MOB meself I would want the whole catalogue from West Marine with me , but nonetheless I will not be buying it all.........

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
The primary safety focus (IMHO) should be on the prevention skills and knowledge, and secondarily in the resolution skills and knowledge (and tools and medical kit), and only a very distant third on the 'abandon ship' and 'rescue' gear. You have either failed at safety, or been very very unlucky (yes, I acknowledge the rare possibility of swarms of whales attacking you and other such 'unlucky' and unavoidable' incidents), if you have to go to step three,
I think the above pretty much sums up my position.

Don't fall overboard then don't need any MOB equipment. and for that likely the most useful prevention measure is less about being clipped on 24/7 (awaiting the "rogue" wave) but simply from not having a whizz over the side at night when anchored, after having a few beers.....when others are snoozing down below. and other dull stuff.
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