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Old 23-10-2012, 21:32   #46
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

My former boat was a Sea Ray 23. I was fishing for Salmon early one fall morning, and I got the fishing line snagged on the swim step.

I was just trolling, going 2-3 MPH and I seriously considered leaving the boat in gear. But at the last moment decided that was just moronic.

I leaned over the gunnel but couldn't quite reach the line. SO I leaned to the side a little bit and grabbed the teak rail to support me a little better so I could lean further at which point I somersaulted into the water because I was holding the hinged swim ladder instead of the rail I thought I had hold of.

Fortunately I managed to hand on to that ladder because the boat was moving a little bit, but all bets would have been off if that prop were spinning!

And boy let me tell you 50-60 degree puget sound water in the fall is definitely an experience you will not forget. I was in the water all of about 30 seconds, and I think I was shivering for like two hours.
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Old 23-10-2012, 21:37   #47
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

This thread seems to be a good arguement for a PLB, especially if singlehanding.
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Old 23-10-2012, 22:08   #48
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
Lance and I never leave a hat behind. We always treat them as a man overboard drill. It's great practice.
+1 to that, I always do the same.
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Old 23-10-2012, 23:25   #49
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
Rakuflames, that is what the RC taught when I first took their classes. Later, I was introduced to what Jack had shown. But by then I was already well into my adulthood, ie, I already had learned it although not formal training. Actually, what Jack illustrated is a good technique in rough water (like impact zone in big surf) although it is intended for cold water. The point here is rough water like cold water can sap your strength or lead to high anxiety. Needless expenditure of energy hastens hypothermia and disorientation.

Bundling your legs up makes sense to me IF it doesn't require a lot of energy expenditure to do it. I only did it in a pool, so I really don't know how it would work in rough seas. It would help to have it predictable, and it occurs to me that in the ocean in particular, goggles would be nice to keep your eyes from getting irritated by the salt water.
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Old 23-10-2012, 23:30   #50
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
My former boat was a Sea Ray 23. I was fishing for Salmon early one fall morning, and I got the fishing line snagged on the swim step.

I was just trolling, going 2-3 MPH and I seriously considered leaving the boat in gear. But at the last moment decided that was just moronic.

I leaned over the gunnel but couldn't quite reach the line. SO I leaned to the side a little bit and grabbed the teak rail to support me a little better so I could lean further at which point I somersaulted into the water because I was holding the hinged swim ladder instead of the rail I thought I had hold of.

Fortunately I managed to hand on to that ladder because the boat was moving a little bit, but all bets would have been off if that prop were spinning!

And boy let me tell you 50-60 degree puget sound water in the fall is definitely an experience you will not forget. I was in the water all of about 30 seconds, and I think I was shivering for like two hours.

Speaking of that shivering -- everyone have thermal blankets in their first aid kits? They're incredibly small but supposedly do a good job of raising body temp gradually, important when severe hypothermia is present (I think 30 seconds in Puget Sound could take you there!) They are also inexpensive.

I also keep a couple of thermal turtlenecks onboard in the winter. They're sold in a new Japanese clothing store in NYC -- four letters, can't think of the name of it, but there's a Q with no U in it ... supposedly act thermally even when wet. So my working plan for something like that is to put the person in one of those turtlenecks and a thermal blanket (and call for emergency backup if it's severe, of course).

You might think we don't have to think about this in Florida, but actually when the water is 86 and the normal body temp is 98-99, you can eventually develop hypothermia even in warm waters. It just takes longer.
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Old 23-10-2012, 23:50   #51
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
The statistics are vanishingly small for sailboats the size most of us sail. If you take all the deaths in the entire USA, for every reason, on cruising sailboats it is often less than a handful on one year. You are truly in much greater danger driving to the boat, or probably taking a shower--lots of people die every year falling in the bathroom. It perpetually amazes me the amount of time, money, and effort we expend worrying about the wrong things in life--falling overboard from a larger sailboat amongst them.
I will have to register polite disagreement with this statement.

MOB is the number one cause of death in our sport, and I don't think that the statistics are "vanishingly small". I also doubt that it is more dangerous driving to the boat -- the number of people killed in auto accidents is a large number in absolute terms but very small percentage of the driving population. In comparison, the absolute number of sailors is small, and a "handful" a year of people killed by going overboard is going to be a not insignificant percentage.

I have never had a MOB underway, but I've had four at anchor over the years, two myself (three were people getting in and out of the dink; one was when I fell off a tilted up transom platform which was broken and released unexpectedly). It is a hell of a lot easier to go overboard than you think, and it is bloody dangerous, even at anchor. It is, in my opinion, definitely worth spending time thinking about and preparing for.
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Old 23-10-2012, 23:56   #52
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Still, have a vague memory that someone on an ocean passage was picked up by a boat that just happened to be in the area when he fell off his boat unnoticed. The memory is very vague so could be just my imagination.
I may have relayed that story here. I was helping deliver a boat from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, and the skipper told us the story:

Quote:
As a young man he was crewing for his father in the TransPac race (Los Angeles to Honolulu) and during the race they spotted what appeared to be a body floating in the water ahead of them (this was in the daylight). They slowed to investigate, and discovered that the "body" was a very much alive person. The MOB had fallen unnoticed from a race boat many miles ahead. They pulled him aboard and continued on to Hawaii. Fortunately the water is pretty warm in those latitudes. Apparently the MOB suffered no permanent damage from his several hours in the water.
I have no reason to not believe the story.

FWIW, on VALIS, once we are on the open ocean we wear PFDs and tethers. I've never had anyone refuse to sail with me because of this policy. I have had people thank me for it.
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Old 24-10-2012, 00:53   #53
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

imho, all the great discusions are not so much about the frequency as it is the preparedness and prevention. It's a sailors nightmare and anything you do to prevent yourself from being a statistic is worth implimenting. Dark night, big seas, moving at 6++ kts does not make your chances good. Especially if the boat hasn't discussed or practiced a MOB. Shiver~
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Old 24-10-2012, 01:03   #54
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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The yacht broker and his dog who went overboard were very glad I spend a few extra bucks on the extra safety gear including the lifesling. I assume they would dissagree with you... And say I spent time worrying about the right things.
Yes, the lifesling.

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Old 24-10-2012, 01:06   #55
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Agree with Dockhead. I've never been on a boat with MOB underway. Have seen/helped with MOB at anchor. Get's ugly quickly and if it's at night after a few toasts, it's scary! Also, I strongly recommend (with someone stabnding by) getting on your weather gear">foul weather gear, boots and pfd and jump in the water at the dock or anchor or a pool and experience what it feels like to have the PFD burst open and how difficult and tiring it is to be in the water with your gear on. Locate your whistle and strobe!!! Add to that fear, swallowing spray from caps, it must be a nightmare!! .. ' why aren't they turning for me....'
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Old 24-10-2012, 01:11   #56
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Lifesling is great if you practice using it. It is not as easy as the diagram when the conditions are not ideal. Panic and fear cause mistakes. Can be a nightmare if you run over the poly tether and wrap your prop. Night deploy of the lifesling and your maneuvering are critical and MUST be practiced!!! I have a MOM 8 on my boat which I love! Not always available on boats I deliver. Throwing anything that floats overboard is very good!

Also, the lifeslng is only effective if you can stop and turn the boat in short order. MOM 8 has reflective inflatable 6' pylon with light, inflatable ring and gives quick relief for the swimmer. One pin pull and it's deployed
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Old 24-10-2012, 01:31   #57
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Here is a link to Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger website, to a report showing how safe(dangerous) blue water sailing is:
Cruising Life.

I guess I gotta give up golf


To be serious, most MOB's occur in port, during a docking maneuver.

We practice MOB every year when the sailing season starts, and we always treat an overboard hat as a MOB
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Old 24-10-2012, 02:15   #58
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

The only MOB situation I've seen happened in port and the POB was....me.Berthing stern to pier I slipped on the paserelle and performed a more or less elegant dive into the gap between boat and pier
Does this count?
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Old 24-10-2012, 02:24   #59
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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That really sucks...they can't add!

157+205=362

Thanks for posting the info though.
Maybe they fell overboard in the Bermuda triangle?
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Old 24-10-2012, 02:35   #60
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Spinlock PFD has a spray hood built in to their PFD and according to the owners of Super Maxi Rambler 100 which capsized (at night) when her keel feel off in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet, say the hood saved their lives from choking on all the whitewater. Owner and several others were catapulted off the stern deck when she rolled. All MOB's were collected as they had the presence of mind to tie everyone together in the water. Several other race boats passed them by as no lights on Rambler were visible once she turtled!!!

If/when you tether, be sure you have a quick release shackle on the vest end. A standard D ring or other may not be suitable if the boat you are tethered to has rolled..just sayin'.. cheers~
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