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Old 21-02-2010, 07:25   #1
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Man Overboard

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 haqd someone go overboard while underway and what was the cause (and here's to wishing everything ended well).
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Old 21-02-2010, 08:18   #2
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Never had a man overboard myself, my dog went over once but he was wearing his safety line as was I so , we just pulled him back onboard.
I would think the man overboard event "while underway" is far less common then falling off at anchor, or around the docks. Both of which I have done. But underway we have harnesses both for us and the dogs.
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Old 21-02-2010, 09:07   #3
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My very first experience sailing had a MOB and it was the captain that fell overboard!

I had gone out for a day sail with a family (husband, wife and two kids). On the way back from lunch we had the spinnaker up and he had me at the tiller. For whatever reason, he lost his balance and over he went, without a life jacket on! Fortunately his wife was experienced and the kids knew the drill. They threw flotation stuff overboard and kept an eye on him while the wife ripped down the spinnaker and got us headed back towards him. It was only at the moment that he fell overboard that I came to the realization that you can't just turn a sailboat around as easily as you can a powerboat. Everything ended OK and the captain was soon recovered.

Years later, now that we are boat owners we hope to never be put in a similar situation!

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Old 21-02-2010, 12:00   #4
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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.
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Old 21-02-2010, 16:19   #5
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I have been a MOB once. It means at least once every 40 years or so.

b.
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Old 23-02-2010, 04:48   #6
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Wow after all the views only 2 underway overboards. Not to say we still don't need to practrice for this, but it is sounding like another of those GREAT dangers we worry about etc. that we shouldn't. Right up there maybe with the perfect strom that comes up during boat discussions.
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Old 23-02-2010, 04:56   #7
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Friends were transporting a boat to a regatta when the skipper went overboard. Winds were 25~32 waves were 8~12 ft period was 4 seconds (rough). The mOB was wearing a life jacket so drowning wasn't and issue but the water was cold. It took the crew 40 minutes to get him back aboard, the sea state was so rough the simply could not manuever the boat into a postion to get him. The were very lucky when the boat skidded down on top of the MOB and basicly scooped him up. He suffered hypothermia but is OK.


Lucky, lucky, lucky...........
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Old 23-02-2010, 05:12   #8
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Been sailing, mostly racing, since I was 12 and I'm now 68 and still racing/sailing. Overboard happens. Whether it's someone hanging over the transom taking a leak or someone going forward on the leeward side that loses their footing & gets washed over or someone hiking out and the lifeline breaks or, one of the stupider things I've seen, the guy who jumped overboard to retrieve the hat his sister gifted him. I've seen all of those and many more. It happens. And we have to be prepared for it which means researching & practicing the latest MOB techniques and protecting ourselves and crew with jacklines & appropriate PFD's at appropriate times and figuring out a way to get that fat old guy back on board when the crew is a 135 lb. female who's a decent sailor but can't tie a bowline to save her, or my, butt.
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Old 23-02-2010, 06:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailstoo View Post
figuring out a way to get that fat old guy back on board when the crew is a 135 lb. female who's a decent sailor but can't tie a bowline to save her, or my, butt.
Yep… last summer I went overboard on purpose (grounding – push-off), but after two recent surgeries (which I’d conveniently forgotten in the heat of the moment) and some complicating rotundity, was unable to get back aboard… after several attempts, finally fashioned a makeshift swiss-seat with a mooring line and had the grandson tie a bowline in the other end (coincidentally, and happily, we’d just been practicing them only hours before as we’d sailed) and my wife and he snapped it into the jib-halyard and hoisted this ol’ walrus back aboard… is funny now, but was decidedly frustrating then… MOB needs to be practiced reasonably regularly I think… especially for shorthanded crews that lack foredeck gorillas…
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Old 23-02-2010, 10:10   #10
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My MOB procedure is two part.
First:- an active mob would appreciate a fast thrown free floatation device first. A part filled gerry can on six foot of rope with a bucket at the other end to stop it blowing away is particularly useful.
The gerry can provides some flotation and a clear marker, the bucket reduces drift and stabilises the mob to wind and waves. The rope allows some security before the hands and fingers go numb.
Second:- the dinghy, already on a long floating line (or a ready rigged lifebelt, with long floating rope, can do the same job). Thown over board it vastly reduces the need for accurate manouvring if the mob is still active, allowing OnDeck to drag the NotOnDeck to the stern ladder.
If the mob is not active there is still a good chance of lassooing him by allowing boat and dinghy to drift downwind to loop them in the line then hauling them in gently.
Third:- when the mob is not active, is to row the dinghy to the mob, (dinghy still secured to the boat) and drag the mob back to the boat where he can be recovered, probably via part deflated dinghy and the main sail block and tackle.
In a sea the safest place to recover on board is midships using the boom and gear to hoist the mob clear. Bruising is inevitable, broken bones are possible, safety lines and harnesses are preferable. If the mob is active the towed dinghy is his best option for recovery, first out of the sea, and thence to the boat. Preferably with some chocolate and brandy before attempting to board the pitching boat. Towing to a calmer position, or waiting a while for calmer weather is also an option once the mob is in a holding position.
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:01   #11
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Rare. The thing to remember is that at night or alone on deck...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
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 haqd someone go overboard while underway and what was the cause (and here's to wishing everything ended well).
... particularly if the water is cool, you will die. The life jacket won't help much, or the drill.

And when you do practice, consider how you will do it if you are already very hard pressed, not in fair weather.

Sail Delmarva: Search results for jacklines carabiner

No MOBs, so far. It's hard to fall off a catamaran.
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Old 23-02-2010, 12:22   #12
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I watched a spinnaker trimmer go overboard on the 2007 Van Isle 360. He held onto the sheet and the crew pulled him back on at the transom. They did not even have to stop.

I expect that this is not the norm.
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Old 23-02-2010, 13:38   #13
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I do MOB drills, esp with new crew. Once I was doing them in the middle of Tampa Bay and here comes a speedboat straight for our yacht at about 40 knts. He slows down just as he gets to our life preserver that we threw overboard.... he thought it was the real thing.
And then once in the gulf, with swells about 6 feet: the wind blows my hat off. The crew knows I need it and immediately did a MOB drill on it, only to run it directly down with the bow. And to top it off the shrimpboat a mile away gets on the horn and asks if we require assistance...
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Old 23-02-2010, 13:43   #14
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I do MOB drills, esp with new crew. Once I was doing them in the middle of Tampa Bay and here comes a speedboat straight for our yacht at about 40 knts. He slows down just as he gets to our life preserver that we threw overboard.... he thought it was the real thing.
And then once in the gulf, with swells about 6 feet: the wind blows my hat off. The crew knows I need it and immediately did a MOB drill on it, only to run it directly down with the bow. And to top it off the shrimpboat a mile away gets on the horn and asks if we require assistance...
It is good to hear that you are getting offers of assistance or notice when you are doing your drills.

We saw a big white thing floating in the water one day while out sailing. We thought it might be a piece of sail that blew out the night before during the racing (a couple boats lost sails that night). When we started to make a move to get it one go fast boat seem determined to try and cut us off (we were under sail) and was put out they had to go around, fingers flying and all. Another go faster slowed down and circled until they realized we were after rubbish and not someone floating, they waved and headed off. I appreciate the ones that want to help.
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Old 23-02-2010, 14:32   #15
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I came into dock last week at the same time as my neighbor, both of us solo in 41 footers. I got on the dock with a couple spring lines and looked over to see him being dragged off the dock. I dropped the lines and raced over but he was able to free his jacket from the stanchion where he had got caught and get his boat under control just before an unplanned swim occured. I was glad since two heavy boats floating free while I pulled someone out of the drink wasn't bringing any familiar plans of action to my brain.
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