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Old 27-04-2013, 06:30   #76
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Once while taking the Advanced coastal cruising corse, I lost my hat while piloting. The instructor asked if I could se the hat. I said of course I could. Then, without further consultation, I did a 180, came up on the hat, did a successful recovery, unassisted by the crew. The instructor was impressed. I said, I really liked my hat and would not leave without it.Of course I have had experience retrieving things lost overboard. Just not people. Usually it is just better to have them test the weight of an anchor.
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Old 27-04-2013, 07:25   #77
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

rgmori, I too have lost numerous hats overboard, and have retrieved some of them, but picture doing it offshore, in rougher conditions, with plenty of wind, and short handed. We have lost things overboard in those conditions and it is only a matter of seconds before we lost sight of them. Add in the darkness of night, and chances drop way off of finding someone.

It is always sobering to read about, or be involved in, the search for someone or even a small boat on the water, and to see how long it takes to find the person or object--often it isn't found right away, but instead someone stumbles upon it days or weeks later. And, this is when a search is called for with CG boats, helicopters, you name it, searching.
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Old 27-04-2013, 10:41   #78
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Aboard my sailboat I have strict rules just to be aboard. Everyone on deck wears a PFD. All of my PFD's are equipped with light beacon's that come on when they reach water. They are tested at the doc before shoving off. All crew and every person aboard is considered crew are instructed as to operation as safety equipment, radio, procedures and such upon stepping aboard. Each is given a turn at the wheel so they are comfortable at the wheel. No exceptions. I had to retrieve my hat in the Houston ship channel with a cargo vessel not 400 yards distance to stern. It was misting with overcast wind directly ahead. Not perfect weather but not treacherous either. The instructor allowed me just one pass and then I was to abandon my hat. I really liked that hat and have it to this day.

Now I am happy that it was not a person overboard. I am also happy it did not happen that night. For when nightfall came so did dense fog and 3 to 5 foot seas. We had decided not to put up sails due to the weather. So we motored that night to Freeport TX. There we put in for the night. We did not have a chart plotter or radar. We encountered much shipping, fishing trawlers and the weather turned colder. Even in Texas it can get pretty cold on the water. An occluded front was passing through during this night. It would be a nightmare if one should fall overboard. if you are on deck at night you have a companion on deck, both of you are tethered to the boat to prevent mishaps. The Gulf of Mexico is a very treacherous body of water. Seas are always chaotic during storms due to reflecting shores on 4 sides.

So yes I agree with you. There are no such thing as a passenger aboard my vessel. All are treated as crew. Safety at sea is most important. Anyone with not a good attitude about that stays at the doc. That is the way you must treat things. For once at sea, meaning you left the doc, your are considered in charge as captain, licensed or not, and are legally responsible for all decisions. I rather sail alone then with someone with a the idea that they were just along for the ride.
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Old 28-04-2013, 03:11   #79
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

my father was delivering a yacht from auckland to nelson down the west coast boat got rolled by a breaking wave and he was flicked out of the cockpit luckily when boat came up he was washed back into cockpit by the next wave he was wearing a harness which probably saved his life only fools dont wear a harness.
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Old 28-04-2013, 05:09   #80
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

There was a classic Wooden Yacht I was sorely tempted by a few years back - one of the things that made her look really great was no lifelines. But sense prevailed (on the wood not on the lifelines!).

The new owner fell off her and drowned.........
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Old 28-04-2013, 05:48   #81
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
There was a classic Wooden Yacht I was sorely tempted by a few years back - one of the things that made her look really great was no lifelines. But sense prevailed (on the wood not on the lifelines!).

The new owner fell off her and drowned.........
Thing about lifelines is they're actually lower than your center of gravity. It's easy to go over them. But they do give you a very good visual guide of where the edge is.

I was born a little unstable on my feet, and mine are netted. I made a gate that can be opened and shut with netting on it using PVC pipe, and if it's rough, I can crawl to the bow without worrying about slipping thru the lifelines.

They're a start. I don't think they're really something that will stop you. If it's bad you have to clip in, and on a short tether.
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Old 29-04-2013, 02:59   #82
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

Man overboard. Remote location. Crew had "little sailing experience".

British man rescued from yacht after skipper lost overboard | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Old 29-04-2013, 03:21   #83
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Thing about lifelines is they're actually lower than your center of gravity. It's easy to go over them. But they do give you a very good visual guide of where the edge is.
They also help with spacial awareness (or summit ) - in an ideal world they would be up to at least the hip joint, but I guess that a cost saving and cosmetic thing. Solid tops instead of wire also make a lot of difference.

Quote:
I was born a little unstable on my feet, and mine are netted. I made a gate that can be opened and shut with netting on it using PVC pipe, and if it's rough, I can crawl to the bow without worrying about slipping thru the lifelines.

They're a start. I don't think they're really something that will stop you. If it's bad you have to clip in, and on a short tether.
Being able to puzzle through own solutions is all part of the fun! It ain't what works for others that is important it's what works for "you" .

I have been on boats without lifelines, certainly makes you more aware! The greatest dangers probably come from both unfamiliarity and over confidence! One of the keys is having decent handrails in easy (and not stooped) reach.
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Old 29-04-2013, 05:14   #84
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

I've been on four boats with MOB incidents that spring to mind.

The first was in the Bay of Biscay in force 11 from a bad direction; eighteen hours in, a woman got washed overboard without a harness, but the next wave washed her back on, so no harm done....

I wasn't supposed to know about it, because I was only nine at the time. According to the whispered version i wasn't supposed to hear, she was washed off C deck and washed back onto B deck

(I should explain it was a 28000 ton P&O liner "Orcades", and one of the other entertaining incidents in the same blow was one of the grand pianos escaping from captivity. I don't think pianos on boats should be provided with wheels.)

The next occasion was on my first yacht, when we unwisely went on a day excursion in sheltered waters with about eight people more than the yacht was really able to accommodate. I was twice as old by now, but still remarkably stupid, although I did try to talk my co-owner out of asking the last two friends, until I saw how gorgeous they were....

The breeze came up during the afternoon and a passenger lying on the cabin top misunderstood my "Prepare to gybe" warning and sat up at exactly the wrong moment and got swept into the tide by the boom.

Luckily we were exceptionally adept at MoB recovery and had him back aboard in seconds, but he had lost his glasses.

The third time was a voluntary MoB: I was just dropping the anchor on the same yacht a few years later in quite a breeze and my favourite hat got whipped off my head. I cleated the warp and dived in after it. My co-skipper was looking the other way at the time, looking for transits, and when he turned round to tell me to cleat off, I'd gone! So, as far as he was concerned, it was a proper MoB.

The most recent was on departure for a circumnavigation of the South Island of NZ. The youngest crew member had just joined the boat at the dock, and no sooner was he in the cockpit than he'd crawled out of it under the helmsman's seat and off the sternscoop.

He was equipped with a lifejacket, and was quite contentedly floating out into the main harbour on the outgoing tide.

His Dad said to his Mum "Don't make a fuss, you'll only encourage him" but she didn't hear, because she was busy shouting "I'll save you, Baby!" and ripping off her gear and diving in.

He's never repeated the experiment, though, in spite of his Dad's dire predictions. I think males have a different appreciation of how easy or difficult kids are to come by.

He's six times as old now, and on a recent trip to Vanuatu he and his sister were both allowed to ship their Optimists. He got really keen on long distance sailing, so sometimes when it wasn't too far to the next destination, he would set off ahead of the mother ship. On one memorable occasion the mother ship dawdled along and never quite caught him up.

A rather surprised yacht, anchored alone at a remote anchorage, saw him sail in late in the afternoon, apparently unaccompanied. When they asked where he'd come from, he didn't quite understand the question, and replied "New Zealand".

When they commented that he seemed a bit young, he protested "I'm twelve!"
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Old 29-04-2013, 08:12   #85
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Re: How many people actually fall overboard each year?

One of the things I like about living in Beaufort is the stories you hear from the "old salts" at the local coffee shop. When I first brought my boat down from the Chesapeake last summer, I was talking to one of these sailors about living in Taylor's Creek and he told me his own MOB story which was quite interesting.

"Joe" (named changed to protect the innocent) has weathered two hurricanes while moored in Taylor's Creek on a small sailboat and is known locally by almost everyone. He walks his dog to the coffee shop each morning, then hangs out looking for someone to hire him for remodeling work. Too frequently "floaters" (no disrespect, that's what medical people call them) are found in the inshore and near shore waters here, and almost always the autopsy shows they were intoxicated, most of them are believed to have fallen from their boats or docks when the boat wasn't even moving. I can't recall hearing of someone in this area that fell overboard and drowned offshore although it probably happens. Lots of people fall overboard, but most are recovered and these events are almost never reported.

One day a few years ago, someone spotted "Joe" on the street after he had been gone for a few days with his sailboat to the cape and called out to him "OMG you are alive!!!" It seems that another floater had been found a few days earlier, and the floater had been incorrectly identified as Joe.
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