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
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!"