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Old 24-02-2010, 10:15   #31
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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post

Other recent cases. In 2006, the Volvo Ocean Race had it's first fatality when a crew member fell over in mid Atlantic under spinnaker at night. They saw him go. Got the sails down and went back through the dark to find him. Unbelievably, they found him - but he was dead.

Three years ago the ARC had it's first fatality (I believe) on a boat sailed by two brothers.
The Volvo guy got washed away and hit. He died because of the injury. That they found him was a show of what a dozen racers in agood boat CAN (read - what 99% of cruisers in their boats will not be able to perform in same conditions).

The ARC had more fatal accidents. Another year a skipper got smashed against the cockpit coaming and died from injury.

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Old 24-02-2010, 22:11   #32
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Wow great post Tim. This discussion will make me change my ways. I am thinking that I would use the boom to raise and lower the person off the boat. My mainsheet is attached to the very end, and if I could place a quick release....Has anyone tried this. Another option would be the spinnaker halyard. Perhaps we should try both. And does anyone use a real person in ideal conditions to haul and get an ideal of what real weight would be like?
Using the boom would require dropping and flaking the mainsail - too time consuming in my opinion.

Spinnaker halyard would be first my first choice.

My personal MOB recovery system consists of:
  • 5:1 system for each side of the boat (I have this miships anyway since I use it as a gybe preventor / vang.) It has snap shakles at each end
  • A horse shoe on each side of the boat.
  • Spinnaker halyard
my MOB recovery procedure is:
  • Take horse shoe to 5:1 system - clip into one end.
  • Get spinnaker halyard - clip into other end
  • The side that this is set up on is the side that will be to windward when you pick up your MOB. (which will depend on how you get back to the MOB - there are a few different options)
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Old 24-02-2010, 22:39   #33
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In cold water, rough seas, and or night time -- it's a nightmare scenario, and only excellent skills, proper equipment, and decisive action can give the MOB even a CHANCE of survival.
This is spot on

I would also add 'practice' to the list - and practice different techniques -I don't believe there is a "one approach suits all circumstances" answer.

And if we are completely honest, what are the real chance of MOB recovery in anything other than benign conditions. I would guess:
  • single handed - zero chance
  • two up - next to zero - how do you control the boat and set up equipment and sort out sails and keep an eye on the MOB?
  • three up - propably the minimum no. to actually achieve a recovery
  • 4plus - chances are getting better, but they will never be good
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Old 24-02-2010, 23:54   #34
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I tend to be a bit more optimistic. I think solo recovery systems can be in place, but they need to be before it ever happens. Trailing lines, or even a dingy, helps. So does lots of experience crew, and refusing to cruise beyond one's limits. Of course the best method is prevention. Everyone strapped in at night, always at least two in the cockpit. MOB drills.
I do passage make at night. But I have either 2 or 3 on watch, or if we have a limited crew we stay in the cabin together.
But most places I go nowdays I can reach during the day. I love anchoring in a little cove with the stars all around.
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Old 26-02-2010, 01:34   #35
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Every year at the begening of our sailing season we practice MOB for real what ever the weather is on the first day we have a go. My wife is only 4'9" and I weigh 75kilos but she can get me back on board every time with the system we use. As to MOB I have never fallen overboard in 58 years of sailing all over the owrld nor has any of my crew. I think this is mainly because of the system we use and the way we train on the boat. I have read that there are alot of FOS in the USA according to the Coast Guard. In this respect I think the captain of the vesel should be flogged. If any of my crew male or female want a pee its either in the loo or the cockpit NEVER NEVER over the side. The only way to sail safely is to have a system that works and practice it for real.
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Old 26-02-2010, 12:30   #36
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Would you care to write down exactly what you do for your MOB drill feelsgood? And what is FOS?
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Old 26-02-2010, 14:23   #37
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I tend to be a bit more optimistic. I think solo recovery systems can be in place, but they need to be before it ever happens. Trailing lines, or even a dingy, helps. So does lots of experience crew, and refusing to cruise beyond one's limits. Of course the best method is prevention. Everyone strapped in at night, always at least two in the cockpit. MOB drills.
I do passage make at night. But I have either 2 or 3 on watch, or if we have a limited crew we stay in the cabin together.
But most places I go nowdays I can reach during the day. I love anchoring in a little cove with the stars all around.
I was towing a 10' zodiac. I am (ok was 160lb fit and strong ) When I grabbed the painter I could not hold on. Going from stopped in the water to boat speed, ripped the painter out of my hands as the dingy passed by.. This was in a panic as what I saw as my only hope. We practiced MOB kids, wife and I know the drill. She was a trauma/ flight nurse. Cool as a cucumber under pressure. Site of me in the water knowing full well I am not a swimmer,= freaked out wife.
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Old 26-02-2010, 14:42   #38
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Let me get this right Tim- you do not swim, yet you were fooling around with a painter in a dingy in back of a moving sailboat???
Is this misposted - it should be "What was I thinking???" thread. I am glad you survived.
The reason I trail a line as a soloist is my experiences watching people catch the line and pull themselves up. Yes there are loops and knots in it, as well as a float at the end which can all be used to rest on. The reason I don't want to talk about it much is that I feel that it should not take the place of sound tying in and inboard safety measures. That is where 99 percent of the safety is practiced.
Your post brings up another safety measure for the under handed crew. Nobody should enter the water until the boat is stopped and or anchored. Ideally there should be a very experienced helmsman watching you from the cockpit...
Maybe that should include nobody in the dingy either...
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Old 26-02-2010, 15:25   #39
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Wow great post Tim. This discussion will make me change my ways. I am thinking that I would use the boom to raise and lower the person off the boat. My mainsheet is attached to the very end, and if I could place a quick release....Has anyone tried this. Another option would be the spinnaker halyard. Perhaps we should try both. And does anyone use a real person in ideal conditions to haul and get an ideal of what real weight would be like?
We have the main on a dutchman system- so the drill is drop the main, put the 6:1 tackle (carabiner on the end) that's in the cockpit locker on the padeye we have on the boom and swing the boom over the mob-
For us using the spin halyard wouldn't be much faster and you really need someone to tail off that winch.
Hooking the caribiner on the lifesling is pretty straightforward.

IMO the important thing to mention is that for no reason should the "rescuers" leave the boat. I think I've mentioned the incident on Michigan here before.
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Old 27-02-2010, 01:51   #40
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Would you care to write down exactly what you do for your MOB drill feelsgood? And what is FOS?
We have a 6-1 handy billy that we use to climb the mast. When we are going to sea we set this up on a spare halyard with a 6ft line with a big carabineron the end. All the working end is in a bag attached at the base of the mast ready to go. We have a life sling which is also ready to go. Because we sail in the colder climes we both wear flotation suits. In the pockets we both have a hand help VHF waterproof and charged and a set of personla flares. If one of us goes over board as soon as the other is aware of this either by seeing the person or hearing a call on the VHF or seeing a flare the person on board luffs up. We have tried many ways but find that luffing up stopes the boat the quickest. Then the skiper will bring the boat withing throwing distance of the person in the water and throw the life sling. Once the person is in this we bring them alongside and attach the 2ft line to the sling and haul them on deck. I wont bore you but we also tow the dinghy and can use this in another way in case the person in the water is disabled. My wife Sally has recovered me when we had friends on board and a life boat around on a practice in a force 7 from the time I went overboard to the time I was back on board was 25mins. Not bad for a lady that is only 4ft 9ins. In the end it comes down to what works for you but I can only say that if you dont practice and have a good system when you need it you will loose your loved one or another member of crew.
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Old 27-02-2010, 07:17   #41
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Exercising your swimming skills, esp. in rough water is also a good way to improve your survival MOB chances. Just look at what the kids do in the surf when they go body-boarding or surfing - I think having this level of swimming ease and keeping cool head helps a lot.

So, it is sort of asking the MOB victim of what THEY have done for the rescue party.

Onboard, set and tried procedures will shorten the reaction time and the time necessary to return and collect the MOB. So I say - have a plan and exercise.

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Old 27-02-2010, 10:35   #42
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I agree with your facts...

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The life jacket will help a great deal. It has been rather conclusively demonstrated that in cold water, most people without a life jacket drown. They don't die from hypothermia. In cold water, swim failure occurs in 5-15 minutes. If you have floatation, it will take at least a half hour (usually an hour or more) before you become unconcious from hypthermia.

For some graphic demostrations, see the links:
Cold Water Boot Camp

Cold Water Boot Camp, 10 Minute Feature on Vimeo

University of Manitoba: U of M - Kinesiology and Recreation Management - Health, Leisure, And Human Performance Research Institute - Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht

DVD's of "Cold Water Bootcamp USA" are supposed to be available in March: Cold Water Boot Camp DVD<br>AVAILABLE IN MARCH 2010

Life jackets don't guarantee survival in cold water, but they do buy you lot more time than most people realize. Time for your crew to get the boat turned around and attempt to rescue you. To wear a PFD or not is a personal choice, but we need to keep our facts straight.
But my point was that if you go over when standing watch alone and no one sees you go, it will make little difference. My point was the importance of staying on board. I have helped with several mountain rescues of climbers; disproportionately to common practice, the dead ones ARE wearing helmets. They mistakenly overestimate the effectiveness of a helmet. PFDs are the same way, sometimes. Staying safe has many components.
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Old 27-02-2010, 12:13   #43
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Was at a seminar the other day and got to wondering; just how common is it for people to go overboard while underway (not counting while at dock etc while doing maintenance). We all talk about, practice for. etc. but offen does it happen. does it happen once in 5 years for boat, once in 10 years, once in X?

So who's had someone go overboard while underway and what was the cause (and here's to wishing everything ended well).

there is a good how to recover a MOB going, but just to move the orginal question closer to what to be getting discussed now
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Old 27-02-2010, 12:49   #44
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Staying on board is always best, but....

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But my point was that if you go over when standing watch alone and no one sees you go, it will make little difference. My point was the importance of staying on board. I have helped with several mountain rescues of climbers; disproportionately to common practice, the dead ones ARE wearing helmets. They mistakenly overestimate the effectiveness of a helmet. PFDs are the same way, sometimes. Staying safe has many components.
I totally agree that staying on board is the best defense. Prevention always beats any cure, but....stuff happens. As I said "Life jackets don't guarantee survival in cold water, but they do buy you lot more time than most people realize." That extra time may or may not make a difference. Depends on the circumstances.

I just spent last weekend helping in an avalanche recovery. Beacons won't save you in every situation, but they do help in many cases. Auto seat belts won't save you in a head on crash at 70 mph, but not all crashes are that severe. Too many people focus only on the worst case MOB scenarios (at night in a howling gale with no other boats around). As pdxsailordiver described in a previous post, many MOB incidents happen in far less severe situations.

I won't dictate to other skippers, but on my boat everyone wears at least an inflatable PFD when underway. If I lived in a warmer climate I might relax that a bit, but around here the water is cold year around.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:12   #45
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I have seen a few people end up swimming but I would certainly not call it common. The most common reason that I have seen is someone jumping onto a dock to tie a boat up. Either they miss the dock when they jump or they try to hang onto the line without bothering to put it around a cleat and get dragged in. Another common one is trying to catch a mooring where the person will either try to reach too far for it or try to hang onto the penant without taking a turn on something.

The only real MOB that I have witnessed was someone falling off of a bowsprit due to missing the whisker shroud they were trying to step on. This is quite unlikely for most people because they do not have bowsprits that you need to work out on regularly.
We have seen a few people fall in trying to jump for the dock. When I was teaching sailing I used to tell the crew to remember this: If you jump you jump into danger. If you step you step ashore safely.
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