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Old 09-08-2008, 11:02   #16
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My procedure for man overboard is as follows:
1. Shout "man overboard or person overboard", or whatever.

2. Get anything and multiple things in the water that float immediately, ideally the horseshoe buoy but anything that floats is fine, even a boat cushion is fine. Throw pretty much everything you have that floats overboard.

3. Tell everyone available to point to the POB.


Here is my reasoning:
Shouting "man overboard" alerts everyone. This means that getting the man out of the water goes from being an individual effort to being a team effort.

Getting something in the water immediately does two things. First it creates a reference point from which to work from if the person cannot immediately be found. It is much easier to see a bright floating object or a boat cushion than someones dark head. The second reason is pretty obvious, if the person in the water is nearby, this gives the POB something to grab and helps them to keep their head above water if they are not wearing a PFD. The POB grasping something makes them more noticeable. Don't wait till you get back to the person to throw your throwable device. You should have a separate line that floats that is readily available for this like a throw bag.

The third thing is for everyone to point. This allows the skipper to take his eyes off the person temporarily to take care of things like starting the engine or dropping sail...depending on the situation. With people pointing, at a glance, the skipper knows what direction the POB is located. Making people point really does force them to concentrate on where the person is in the water.

How you get back to the person really depends on the amount of crew you have, the weather conditions, day or night, visibility, type of boat and recovery system. There are too many variables to say just how to recover the POB.

Go pick up all the floating stuff you threw in the water.
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Old 10-08-2008, 21:14   #17
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Originally Posted by swagman View Post
And no, we're like the majority and do not wear PFD when racing. They do encumber crew activity - and that might mean you'd loose.
John - I am certainly less experienced at racing than you are but I venture this is legacy thinking.

I have worn foam vests - no good - dinghy low profile vests - no good - but now I forget I am wearing the inflatable pfd. It's just not intrusive at all.

It took 30-40 years for people to wear seat belts in cars and there are still people that will tell you seat belts are unsafe because you can get stuck in the car, blah, blah, blah...

This is a continuing learning in my opinion. Anyway the regulatory agencies took it out of our hands here. PFDs for racing are now the law.

And if they are a burden for racing at least everyone will be burdened the same amount - LOL.
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Old 10-08-2008, 23:49   #18
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John - I am certainly less experienced at racing than you are but I venture this is legacy thinking...
Perhaps you are losing sight of that it appears that Swagman sails an approx 46 foot boat while you an approx 8m one (if I read the profiles correctly). It is very common for smaller boat sailors to incorrectly extrapolate their own boat experiences as to being recommendations to those on much larger ones.

There is a very big increase in safety in respect to accidental overboard excursions when you get to bigger boats when compared to smaller ones - particularly because of the greater deck space, the greater stability and the much smaller accelerations in pitching and roll. In my own country the vast majority of drownings off boats occur in ones under 8m and then most of those are from undecked boats not decked ones, furthermore from any keel boat the risk is very low (I have the statistics to prove all that ).

If you disagree perhaps you could enlighten us as to at what boat length wearing of PFD's becomes not necessary in your view - or do you think America's Cup crews should be wearing them on IACC boats (and yes, I know they do occasionally drop crews over the side), perhaps full time wearing them on cruise ships too.

For the record when I raced sailing dinghies (now many years ago ) I always wore a PFD, the smallest keelboat I have raced is around 30 foot but of heavyish displacement and no one wore PFD's nor felt any need to do so in the conditions encountered but probably would do so if waves were sweeping the deck or foredeck accelerations were high. Cruising our own 40 foot boat which is heavy enough so that accelerations are low I have never felt the need to wear a PFD in any conditions ever encountered (and it can get very, very boisterous in our part of the world) - but I do use a harness in heavy sea conditions.
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Old 11-08-2008, 00:49   #19
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Originally Posted by swagman View Post
I thought this section of the site was to present challenges and seek alternate responses?

If we'd lost anyone over the first step is marking where on a chart.
The next is stopping the boat safely.
The third is going back to get them.

Most experienced race skippers would do exactly the same.
Can only assume these guys lost this plan of action when their skipper became one of those lost!

And no, we're like the majority and do not wear PFD when racing. They do encumber crew activity - and that might mean you'd loose.

But equally like most - if nightime or conditions deteriorate to the point when winning is replaced with survival - then they do go on.

Glad these guys were recovered ok.

JOHN
You are quite right, John, so let me try to put the question in that format and see what thoughts it generates.

* * *

During a lengthy race, a four-person crew is flying the vessel's largest chute in 30 knots, knowingly overpowering the vessel but reluctant to shorten sail as it is nearing sunset, at which time conditions are expected to ease up. Before that occurs, however, the vessel violently rounds up, pitching two of the crew into the water, including the captain.

Because the chute is still pulling hard, even though the vessel is pinned on its ear, the two crew still aboard are trying to do several things at once: keep an eye on the overboard crew, get the vessel under control and back on its feet, alert the CG and other racers to the situation and choose which of the widely separated PsOB to try to recover first.

In the 10 to 15 minutes the vessel remains pinned on its side, it is being propelled across the surface of the water at an estimated 11 knots, and one of the PsOB is forced to let go of the line she's holding. She's quickly left astern and the onboard crew lose sight of her. By the time they regain control of the vessel, they are an estimated two miles from where the knockdown occurred, and the crew who had to let go is somewhere in that intervening two miles, swimming in cold water with darkness falling quickly.

So, rather than posting what (in hindsight) the entire racing crew did wrong (or right), what would you do, and in what order, if you're one of the two crew remaining aboard the stricken vessel and why? And, if you're the captain who went overboard, and the crew aboard recovers you first, what is your responsibility at that point (assuming you are in any condition to think clearly)?

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Old 11-08-2008, 00:49   #20
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Perhaps you are losing sight of that it appears that Swagman sails an approx 46 foot boat while you an approx 8m one (if I read the profiles correctly). It is very common for smaller boat sailors to incorrectly extrapolate their own boat experiences as to being recommendations to those on much larger ones.

There is a very big increase in safety in respect to accidental overboard excursions when you get to bigger boats when compared to smaller ones - particularly because of the greater deck space, the greater stability and the much smaller accelerations in pitching and roll. In my own country the vast majority of drownings off boats occur in ones under 8m and then most of those are from undecked boats not decked ones, furthermore from any keel boat the risk is very low (I have the statistics to prove all that ).
I see how you have a point about boat size and while I own a 26 foot boat I have raced on 40 footers, 14 footers, 24 footers and 30 footers. I agree the pitching and rolling moments are lower in bigger boats but I disagree the decks are a great deal safer.

Moving around the foredeck, or within proximity of the boom with its much higher potential energy levels all have increased risk compared to a smaller boat in my opinion. And yes 40 footers get wet as well.

The crew in question were in a 27 foot boat that sails like a dinghy and had no vests - bad idea in my opinion.

As to what size warrants not wearing a pfd, that's not the point I am making. I don't wear a pfd when daysailing as everyone is in the cockpit and we are not under the pressures of racing.

I'll continue to advocate wearing a pfd for all racing.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:50   #21
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I'll continue to advocate wearing a pfd for all racing.
So, even for all participants in tall ship races (keeping in mind that the length of vessels in those races may be as small as around 70 foot'ish fore and aft rigged vessels and others hundreds of feet square rigged)?

The Tall Ships' Races 2008

If not for all of them then up to what size would you require crew of participating sailing vessels racing in tall ship events to wear pfd's - what about Super Yachts (eg in Millenium Cup races), Maxis, Volvo Open 70s, etc?
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:13   #22
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I'll continue to advocate wearing a pfd for all racing.
There is nothing wrong with advocating something or if a club or private race organizer requiring it.
Quote:
PFDs for racing are now the law.
If this is true and enforced by big government, than whats next? You are not allowed to leave the harbor if the winds are over 20 knots. More rules and more regulation by more government is not needed. And it sucks .
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:13   #23
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If not for all of them then up to what size would you require crew of participating sailing vessels racing in tall ship events to wear pfd's - what about Super Yachts (eg in Millenium Cup races), Maxis, Volvo Open 70s, etc?
You've asked me a couple of times what size yacht would preclude me recommending a pfd.

I guess my answer is I don't have a fixed size yacht. I do know racing raises teh risk of sailing for any sized yacht.

Do you have a size in mind?
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:16   #24
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If this is true and enforced by big government, than whats next? You are not allowed to leave the harbor if the winds are over 20 knots. More rules and more regulation by more government is not needed. And it sucks .
I am not for more government. However as MLO points out people are lost racing every year on all kinds of boats.

Formula 1 race car drivers didn't wear seatbelts in the 1920's and 30's.

If not the gov't stepping in it will be the insurance companies.

I find the aversion to inflatable pfds interesting and perplexing. I find mine to be as obtrusive as my sailing gloves and I wouldn't dare sail without those.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:39   #25
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F1 drivers in the old days prefered beingf thrown out to being trapped in a burning car. Not much of a choice. My early point was that Race Organisers need to enforce pfd for all deck crew. At the start line for the first year maybe, loss of points or additional time for non-compliance, and elimination in year two.
Round the World? Not sure. I do know that F1 developed car safety because of the bad publicity around the death rate. And offshore racing has improved safety standards a hell of lot scince the early days.
Compulsory wear will improve the quality of equipment making it much more wearable. The big teams wil make sure they minimise the loss in crew performance. Then every one can buy a copy, if not the original. Got to be better.
Cruisers are usually short handed and a MOB is serious for the one that has to do the rescue, and the the one that fails to make the rescue.
Lets take pfd and life-lines more seriously please.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:47   #26
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Do you have a size in mind?
No.

Instead of promoting that all race boat crews should wear PFDs regardless of vessel size, type, crew competence and the task being undertaken by them at the time, and sea conditions I would promote a sensible basis taking into account the actual risk (which statistics tell us is actually very small on ballasted decked monohull sail boats and multihulls over around 7-8m - and is why those countries that have in their legislation the mandatory wearing of lifejackets eg Ireland, Australian states use that length as the cut off point for wearing).

One part of crew competence is the skipper's ability to make such assessments of risk and the model training syllabus in the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (in Appendix G) covers this specifically for making decisions regarding the wearing of lifejackets, harnesses, etc.

To me a skipper who maintains that crews on all race boats should wear PFD's regardless of vessel type and size, regardless of the crews' task and regardless of weather does not have the necessary competence to make appropriate seamanlike decisions and I would consider the circumstances of the day and vessel before sailing with them due to the potential risks from that. That is just my personal view in making my own assessment of risk.

Also note that I am not saying that PFD's should never be worn and I am not saying that there are no race boats upon which it would be wise to wear a PFD all of the time because of the risk (unballasted sailing dinghies being an obvious example).
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:05   #27
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I think the most important thing is keeping sight of the MOB. On my 30 footer I had a MOB pole with a strobe on top of it. This with a 6 foot tether to the horseshoe. On Imagine we have a strobe with a 6foot tether once again to the horseshoe. If the person in the water can find their way to the strobe. The boat will find them! A short tether to keep from fouling a prop, or entangling the person in the water.

Most of my sailing was single-handed, so I used a harness, and yes it has saved my life. Now we have a deep, and large cockpit with the deck being waist high for me. When I leave the cockpit undersail I use my harness. The most important thing is to stay on the boat, or attached to it. PFD's are a cat vs mono question.
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Old 11-08-2008, 17:36   #28
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To me a skipper who maintains that crews on all race boats should wear PFD's regardless of vessel type and size, regardless of the crews' task and regardless of weather does not have the necessary competence to make appropriate seamanlike decisions and I would consider the circumstances of the day and vessel before sailing with them due to the potential risks from that.
I am not sure if this is thinly veiled insult but I am too stupid to figure it out - LOL.

I do find it interesting that you make a direct connection between 100% pfd use advocacy and lack of seamanship and a potential inability to handle a boat in varying seas. OK, that's one set of paradigms...

You seem to advocate that it is solely the skippers choice. The problem I have is that anyone with an entry fee and a boat can join regattas and club races. No competency check required and there is a lot of variation in skippers and an even bigger variation in crews. Most of which don't know they even have a choice to wear a pfd unless the skipper offers it.

And it's already been pointed out to me in this thread that if you have a bigger boat you are more competent to make skipper decisions . Although I find little direct correlation between wallet size and competency.

In racing people go in the water, sometimes injured. A pfd can only help that situation.

There are two concerns - 1. The skipper chooses. A person dies. The skipper gets sued. I hope you have the cover to handle it. 2. The regatta does not enforce pfds. A person dies. The regatta can't get insurance coverage next year.

I don't advocate for insurance companies and underlying my beliefs are that we should be free to choose. But unfortunately in organized human activities it doesn't work that way. Because everyone wants to have insurance.
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Old 11-08-2008, 18:29   #29
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Back on Track...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
You are quite right, John, so let me try to put the question in that format and see what thoughts it generates.

* * *

During a lengthy race, a four-person crew is flying the vessel's largest chute in 30 knots, knowingly overpowering the vessel but reluctant to shorten sail as it is nearing sunset, at which time conditions are expected to ease up. Before that occurs, however, the vessel violently rounds up, pitching two of the crew into the water, including the captain.

Because the chute is still pulling hard, even though the vessel is pinned on its ear, the two crew still aboard are trying to do several things at once: keep an eye on the overboard crew, get the vessel under control and back on its feet, alert the CG and other racers to the situation and choose which of the widely separated PsOB to try to recover first.

In the 10 to 15 minutes the vessel remains pinned on its side, it is being propelled across the surface of the water at an estimated 11 knots, and one of the PsOB is forced to let go of the line she's holding. She's quickly left astern and the onboard crew lose sight of her. By the time they regain control of the vessel, they are an estimated two miles from where the knockdown occurred, and the crew who had to let go is somewhere in that intervening two miles, swimming in cold water with darkness falling quickly.

So, rather than posting what (in hindsight) the entire racing crew did wrong (or right), what would you do, and in what order, if you're one of the two crew remaining aboard the stricken vessel and why? And, if you're the captain who went overboard, and the crew aboard recovers you first, what is your responsibility at that point (assuming you are in any condition to think clearly)?

TaoJones
It has been pointed out (rightly) that MLO and I have caused a bit of thread drift. Maybe we can set up another thread to debate use of pfds while racing.

TJ conveniently formed his problem in the shape of a challenge question - I am admittedly no good at these but here is my shot.

1/ Rule one - no more people overboard. Then assign one person to

Sail the boat - Shoot a direct heading until the sails can be brought under control. This person has to do double duty and attempt to keep an eye on the MoB. If a cross bearing can be made to a feature onshore it will improve the accuracy of MoB 2 recovery.

2/ Person 2 has to get the sails under control and the deck squared away. There is no knife on board so the spinnaker guy and sheet needs to be loosed so the foot will separate from the boat. Then the halyard can be loosed. If the head tackle can be reached with a hook release the spinnaker into the water. If not the halyard may have to be let run all the way out.

3/ With the boat under control and slowed recover MoB 1 who is still hanging on to a line. Then tack through 180 degrees and make your way back along the original course searching for MoB 2. At the same time MoB 1 if able starts to communicate with race control about the situation.

In flying when things go south we have a simplified plan.

Aviate (Fly the plane)
Navigate (aim it where you need to)
Communicate (people you call cannot immediately help which is why this is #3)

So what did I miss?
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Old 11-08-2008, 18:42   #30
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During a lengthy race, a four-person crew is flying the vessel's largest chute in 30 knots, knowingly overpowering the vessel but reluctant to shorten sail as it is nearing sunset, at which time conditions are expected to ease up. Before that occurs, however, the vessel violently rounds up, pitching two of the crew into the water, including the captain.

Because the chute is still pulling hard, even though the vessel is pinned on its ear, the two crew still aboard are trying to do several things at once: keep an eye on the overboard crew, get the vessel under control and back on its feet, alert the CG and other racers to the situation and choose which of the widely separated PsOB to try to recover first.

In the 10 to 15 minutes the vessel remains pinned on its side, it is being propelled across the surface of the water at an estimated 11 knots, and one of the PsOB is forced to let go of the line she's holding. She's quickly left astern and the onboard crew lose sight of her. By the time they regain control of the vessel, they are an estimated two miles from where the knockdown occurred, and the crew who had to let go is somewhere in that intervening two miles, swimming in cold water with darkness falling quickly.

So, rather than posting what (in hindsight) the entire racing crew did wrong (or right), what would you do, and in what order, if you're one of the two crew remaining aboard the stricken vessel and why? And, if you're the captain who went overboard, and the crew aboard recovers you first, what is your responsibility at that point (assuming you are in any condition to think clearly)?

TaoJones
I think we should honour Tao’s request to focus on the Challenge rather than the politics of PDFs or other hindsight issues (we all know racing is bad seamanship anyway..lol)

As the skipper in the water the first thing I would be preying is that the remaining crew would have remembered when I showed them where the MOB button was located so that it was activated within the first minute. Also that they remembered the training I gave them for such an emergency (I did train them …didn’t I?)

Now I am back on board and ok to take control.

RCS has been contacted and apprised of our position and situation.

I can pretty much assume that when we broached we were put on a low beam reach so I will start my first reciprocal search pattern sailing on a high beam reach with mainsail only, once I conferred with the other crew their steering actions from my pick up position.

If enough wind once I am in a 1 sq mile area I prefer to sail without engine or if we use it, both lookouts taking port and starboard quadrants on the bow so they can hear better and maintain good vision and focus.

I would use the tracking feature on the plotter to steer back and forth reciprocal courses spaced appropriate to half the visibility.


Once another yacht came on the scene I would request the skipper to launch an identical pattern except at 90 degrees to my course
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