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Old 11-08-2008, 17:51   #31
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I am not sure if this is thinly veiled insult but I am too stupid to figure it out - LOL.
No, it was a general observation and not targeted missile wise at you.

Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
You seem to advocate that it is solely the skippers choice.
No, I don't say that. I mention the skipper because he is the one that can enforce wearing by the crew if he considers it necessary under the circumstances prevailing at the time.

Crew can obviously make their own decisions on wearing lifejackets and on other safety related matters with respect to themself alone but I strongly suspect that on a seriously and widely campaigned race boat a crew member who was unduely cautious in that respect such that it caused problems with the boat's competitiveness would soon be bumped ashore with a poor reference.

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Old 11-08-2008, 19:32   #32
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There is a nice vest

non-inltred and the auto inflators.

On the Tugs, (at least ours) NOBODY went on deck at night or in weather without a least a work vest.

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Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
PFD Tethers (double)...

We lose a couple of racers a year on the Chesapeake each year because of no PFD's.

It is a "manly man thing" it is imprudent.

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Old 16-08-2008, 01:58   #33
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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)?

Hi Tao,
Good idea to move the thread back on track.

If I were left on board, and assuming I knew how to and could complete these steps swiftly, I'd -
1. Dump the MOB gear
2. Stop the boat
3. Mark the position
4. Recover the person still attached

If I was the skipper, just recovered on board I'd -
1. Immediately head back towards the MOB position under fastest mode possible
2. Issue a Mayday with position on MOB
3. Remind the remaining crew about roles (one lookout one radio)
4. When at MOB position instigate a search pattern as per SOLAS until the MOB is found
5. Continue the race with PDF's on (knowing we're going to loose anyway).
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Old 26-05-2009, 10:00   #34
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Rather speechless from this thread.
Gives me some other items to add to my checklist when I am considering crewing on race or cruise boat. Just remember ' **** happens ' and often it kills.
I love my mustang PFD, it's now like a second skin and less bulky than a sweator.
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Old 26-05-2009, 11:12   #35
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Racing rules: Arent you supposed to just pick them up next time around? (as long as you dont have to depower the chute too much) ;>)
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Old 31-05-2009, 22:57   #36
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As a SOLO sailor, who's going to pull ME on board? PFD's are of little use. I use about 20 metres of KNOTED line trailing astern directly connected to the helm (luff up when PULLED). If shoved over tethered to the jack stays then a solid pull on the trailing line allows me to board again. (VERY difficult even in the best or circumstances!!) but for crewed vessels, I believe a MUST. (We did a practice run in moderate seas with another aboard to assist and it was still arduous to reboard the ship but without it, what hope would I have!!??) ONE HAND FOR THE SHIP, ONE HAND FOR YOUR SELF. Going over is NOT an option!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:20   #37
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I guess racing rules have changed since the 60's and 70's. We always had to finish the race with the same amount of crew as you started with.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:07   #38
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I have two safety steps on the transom. I also have a swim ladder on the port side. When singlehanding I will lower the ladder and tie a rope from the boomkin to the ladder. So if I can get to the boomkin, I can get back on board.

Like crazyhorse, I trail a floating line that will cause the boat to head up when pulled.

Of course I have never tested this system. Perhaps I will do so this Summer when the water gets warmer (and with someone else aboard to winch me out if it doesn't work LOL).
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Old 29-06-2009, 07:26   #39
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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.


Lose one race, lose a crew member...forever. Hmmm that's a tough one!
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Old 29-06-2009, 23:42   #40
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I'm with Cheech, if you go overboard during a race, why should the whole crew be penalized? Let Darwin sort it out, and clean up the gene pool. ;-)
On a more serious note, a Williamson turn would work well in this instance after you douse the sails.
In 42 years of living on the sea, I have gone overboard twice by accident. I am with group that says "Going overboard is not an option." In Alaska it is almost a certain death sentence. Before the race I wouldn't have cast off the lines until everyone had a PFD on, and everyone knew in advance what their job was in the event of a MOB; especially in the event of the captain going overboard. The first steps would be as listed before, hit the MOB button on the GPS, at the same time hollering MOB, and slinging anything that will float over the side. If you have only a couple of crew to work with you may not be able to keep an eye on the person in the water all of the time.
Chief Engineer, I am with you with regards to night time on the deck, I always send two men together with PFDs, and instruct them that they are to return together and not leave anyone on the deck alone, always call the bridge when exiting the cabin and call again when returning. During that time, traffic allowing, I will watch the back deck the whole time.
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Old 30-06-2009, 01:52   #41
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
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)?

A NIGHTMARE scenario, not at all appreciated by some of the smug Mondy-morning quarterbacks who have posted. Tao has described it in a way which gives us a better feel for it.

The two key issues here, I think:

1. The crew has been decapitated. There is no captain in a stressful situation where actions need to be taken in seconds. It almost can't happen -- the remaining crew, even if very experienced, will not be able to sort themselves out to take decisive action for a while, and meanwhile the moment has been lost. With the boat scudding across the water, knocked down, no kind of everybody pointing or other normal MOB procedures would have really done any good.

2. The boat is itself disabled, unmaneuverable, and in a dangerous situation. This would create task overload even if there was still a captain -- maybe something like a "helmet fire"?. Without a captain, it must have been pure mayhem. The remaining crew had two critical tasks -- get the boat under control, and save the MOB's, which could not really be done at the same time, and this would have been paralyzing even to an extremely skillful and experienced crew.

This is the kind of situation -- cascade of bad things -- which results in deaths. Either one problem -- boat broached and knocked down, or MOB -- could be handled with reasonable risks. Both together becomes an unmanageable situation very fast. Those people were very, very lucky to survive.

The risk of this kind of situation requires good procedures. PFD's on the foredeck (with strobe lights) when running hard under spinnaker seems basic, because of the risk of broaching when the boat is in that configuration. PFD's would have helped, but in this situation would not have been nearly enough to save people had there not happened to be another boat nearby who happened to see the MOB's. One would have wanted the crew to be clipped on, but that might not have been practical. I don't know. It's quite hard to second guess the situation.

I guess clipping on should be SOP in any situation where there is a risk of violent boat motion -- big seas, high winds, running under spinnaker in other than calm weather. Probably easier said than done; handling a spinnaker while clipped on may not be even possible on some boats.

A good lesson for all of us, I think. To answer Tao's question -- "what would you do?" My answer -- you're already screwed, when crew departs the vessel with no PFD's in that situation; only a miracle can prevent deaths. If I were left on deck in that situation, I would do exactly what the crew apparently did -- struggle to get the boat under control as quickly as ever possible, using all means possible, while trying to keep track of the location of the MOB's, throwing floating stuff in the water, and calling for help, all at the same time. There's nothing else you can do, and the job is almost impossible.

Given the life-and-death nature of time to get the boat under control, I would probably cut away the spinnaker sheets, guys, and halyard (and I do always keep a knife on me on the foredeck) in order to be able to get the boat back on its feet, stopped, then turned around (under engine power), as fast as possible. The only thing I would do before that is to throw out the horseshoe or other floating stuff. Would that have been fast enough to keep the MOB in sight (or let the person being dragged hold on)? Probably not, I have to say, especially given the fact that the MOB's had no PFD's and thus were low in the water and even harder to see.
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Old 30-06-2009, 03:08   #42
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

1. The crew has been decapitated.

Decapitated! How? Do they have a very sharp boom?
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Old 30-06-2009, 03:17   #43
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When it is a choice between saving the vessel and saving the life of someone overboard, then you have to think of the boat first as it is a case of saving the greatest number, but a rationalist would throw something overboard in order to make it easier to relocate, e.g. lifebelt with drogue, dan buoy etc in order to be able to locate the area that you need to get back to, then cut away the spinaker - saving life is more important than winning the race - recover anyone still alongside the boat, then make sure all lines are back aboard before switching on the motor and trying to get back to the place where the dan buoy is located.
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Old 30-06-2009, 06:27   #44
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The answer is pretty simple, you stop the boat and recover the crew. The execution can sometimes be a bit more difficult, the is in the details.

Wearing a life jacket is personal issues. Our kids race dinghies and wear jackets 100% of the time, I may or may not wear a life jacket when racing dinghies, depends on the conditions. On the big boat I never wear a life jacket but will clip on. With children and guests I may or may not require they wear life jackets, it is really dependent on what the conditions warrant.

Case in point, last weekend we had a family with us, all the kids are strong swimmers and only ventured out on deck with their parents. Since we were motoring, it was dead calm, and 92 degrees the need for life jackets to me was minimal. Later in the weekend, sailing in 15 knots the younger children stayed in the cockpit as advised but the teenage boy was allowed on deck with a life jacket.

Common sense is a part of boating.
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Old 30-06-2009, 08:05   #45
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Shoot, everyone here (for the most part) has the right answer. This makes me think though I have to admit.
I have a question for everyone though...

Q- Is it better to cut loose from the sails and go to engine power for the sake of control and navigation... making straight away for the intended location or stay with the sails and do an about and keep it quiet listening for the target?

Summary thoughts of mine: Unless you can tread water in a 50 degree ocean without a wet suit for a couple of hours like a duck without getting cold...maybe it's a good idea to wear a PFD... cause you ain't goin to want to move after 15-20 minutes! LoL
At that point you'll have lots of time to think about kissing your butt goodbye.

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