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Old 07-04-2019, 01:30   #1
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MOB Recovery Technique

With several MOB, lifejacket and PLB threads running at present along with a lifting the outboard motor thread a few weeks ago, an idea occured to me on how to recover a MOB from the side of the boat.

My wife and I aren’t getting any stronger these days, so we’ve needed to come up with ideas on how to be more efficient, so we now tend to use our halyards and pulley systems to do the heavy lifting. We came up with a way my wife can lift me up the mast which can also be applied to a MOB who’s first located, then brought along side via a practiced method; we employ the LifeSling method.

Lifting the MOB out of the water can be done with any of the unused halyards, in our case the passerelle and topping lift halyards tend to be free or the spinnaker halyard. This can be attached to the onboard rescuer via safety harness which incorporates twin leg straps like a climbing harness. Then the other end of the halyard can be run one or two wraps around the mast winch and then through a snatch block at the base of the mast, then back to the onboard rescuer making the connection a complete circuit. A tether can then also be attached to the same halyard which will ultimately clamp onto the vest/harness of the MOB. The onboard rescuer will then be able to belay himself or herself down the windward side of the hull using the halyard to hold themself tight against the hull to avoid the pendulum swing, others onboard can also assist with the lines. Then it becomes a matter of securing the belay line when the desired height above the MOB is attained, so that both hands will be free to attach the tether to the MOB. The rescuer will also need a second tether attached to the boat, just in case.

To get back up... we always have a midship boarding fender deployed, so it would only be necessary for the rescuer to step up using the step fender which is half way up the hull and out of the water.

After the rescuer is back on board, the mast winch can be used to raise the MOB up the side of the boat using the halyard. I intend to try this method out sometime in late May, I’ll let you all know how it works out.

Your thoughts?
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:17   #2
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

K-
I am interested but not visualizing 100% yet. I beg pardon for the things I don't understand as I am not a big boat sailor.

-Is the same halyard used to lower the rescuer and to lift the MOB?
-If two were available, would one for each crew (MOB and rescuer) be better?

So if it was the topping lift, as my boat has one of those, the boom end goes to rescuer, top of mast, base of mast, turned, and then routed to a cockpit winch?
Once the rescuer is lowered, they attach a tether from the lifting tackle to MOB, and once that is secure, they remove their tether to the lifting tackle once they have a hand on the boat and a foothold on the fender?

I agree that a separate tether to rescuer would be useful for safety and controlling swing. Some of those MOB videos are hard to watch as the people belayed are bashed around.

I appreciate all the thoughts and writing going into the various MOB and lifejacket threads lately.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:04   #3
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

Why not just lift with the Lifesling?


Or are we talking about this sort of situation (see 1:00 TO 1:30), where there is no connection?

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Old 07-04-2019, 06:31   #4
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

I am considering adding a mooring pennant on a float to my life sling. The idea is that while the MOB is cleated snuggly to the boat using the life sling lanyard, the pennant is retrieved using a boat hook. The lifting halyard is connected to the pennant. Then using the winch the MOB is lifted on board.

What I like about this is...
...the steps can be executed consecutively by a single crew member operating the boat and doing the rescue. It is possible to pause at stages along the way if need be.
...the rescuer does not risk entering the water
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:38   #5
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Lifting the MOB out of the water can be done with any of the unused halyards, in our case the passerelle and topping lift halyards tend to be free or the spinnaker halyard. This can be attached to the onboard rescuer via safety harness which incorporates twin leg straps like a climbing harness. Then the other end of the halyard can be run one or two wraps around the mast winch and then through a snatch block at the base of the mast, then back to the onboard rescuer making the connection a complete circuit. (ed: emphasis added)
It took me a moment, but my picture of this is like a hoisting a flag, where you can pull down on one side to lower, and down on the other to raise, only in this case the rescuer is the "flag". Is that correct?

If this is the case, it seems that it would still require a second person on board to adjust the halyard length, although you could pre-measure and mark a point that allows you to get both low enough to reach the PIW and high enough to clamber back aboard.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:49   #6
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
K-
I am interested but not visualizing 100% yet. I beg pardon for the things I don't understand as I am not a big boat sailor.

-Is the same halyard used to lower the rescuer and to lift the MOB?
-If two were available, would one for each crew (MOB and rescuer) be better?

So if it was the topping lift, as my boat has one of those, the boom end goes to rescuer, top of mast, base of mast, turned, and then routed to a cockpit winch?
Once the rescuer is lowered, they attach a tether from the lifting tackle to MOB, and once that is secure, they remove their tether to the lifting tackle once they have a hand on the boat and a foothold on the fender?

I agree that a separate tether to rescuer would be useful for safety and controlling swing. Some of those MOB videos are hard to watch as the people belayed are bashed around.

I appreciate all the thoughts and writing going into the various MOB and lifejacket threads lately.
My idea is to eliminate the pendulum swing by the rescuer holding onto the halyard hoist end of the line leading back to the base of the mast through the snatch block. Then the rescuer can belay himself off the side of the boat like a rock climber does repelling off the top of a ledge. The rescue tether would hang below the rescuer to be used to attach the MOB onto the halyard, but the rescuer would remain above the water and MOB in a repelling position/stance.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:56   #7
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

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It took me a moment, but my picture of this is like a hoisting a flag, where you can pull down on one side to lower, and down on the other to raise, only in this case the rescuer is the "flag". Is that correct?

If this is the case, it seems that it would still require a second person on board to adjust the halyard length, although you could pre-measure and mark a point that allows you to get both low enough to reach the PIW and high enough to clamber back aboard.
Extra purchase or resistance can be had by simply wrapping the halyard around the mast winch x1, or yes a second rescuer would be helpful. But at least on our boat, we always have a boarding step fender hanging two feet off the beam at the gate break in the lifelines, so all that would be necessary for the rescuer to do to get back onboard, would be to step on the fender and pull himself forward to rise up. Once back onboard, unclip from the halyard and use the halyard to raise the MOB.

Picture rock climbers, being held fast to the side of the hull.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:23   #8
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Why not just lift with the Lifesling?


Or are we talking about this sort of situation (see 1:00 TO 1:30), where there is no connection?

I would definitely use the LifeSling if the MOB can hang on, but using the Lifesling to lift the MOB from off the beam will still require a method to raise them up. The halyard can definitely be used for this, simply by tying a knot in the Lifesling rope 10ft from the float, then attaching the halyard end to the knot loop using a carabiner. Then hoist away using the halyard winch. At this point, the LifeSling rope can be used to guide and hold the MOB fast to the side of the boat while lifting.

This would definitely only require one rescuer.

But I'm also trying to solve the problem played out in your video, where it would be advantageous to hold the rescuer and MOB fast to the side of the boat and prevent the pendulum swing, bodies bashing. It would be awful to ultimately end up breaking the MOB's neck trying to save them... they need to be held against the side of the hull.
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Old 07-04-2019, 16:15   #9
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

If I'm envisioning what you're trying to describe correctly ... perhaps add a prussik from the harness to the belay line that will grab the line if for some reason you let go of it.
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Old 07-04-2019, 16:20   #10
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

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If I'm envisioning what you're trying to describe correctly ... perhaps add a prussik from the harness to the belay line that will grab the line if for some reason you let go of it.
Good suggestion. Thanks
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Old 07-04-2019, 16:29   #11
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

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... But I'm also trying to solve the problem played out in your video, where it would be advantageous to hold the rescuer and MOB fast to the side of the boat and prevent the pendulum swing, bodies bashing. It would be awful to ultimately end up breaking the MOB's neck trying to save them... they need to be held against the side of the hull.

Yes, I thought so. Good idea.
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Old 07-04-2019, 21:23   #12
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Extra purchase or resistance can be had by simply wrapping the halyard around the mast winch x1, or yes a second rescuer would be helpful. But at least on our boat, we always have a boarding step fender hanging two feet off the beam at the gate break in the lifelines, so all that would be necessary for the rescuer to do to get back onboard, would be to step on the fender and pull himself forward to rise up. Once back onboard, unclip from the halyard and use the halyard to raise the MOB.

Picture rock climbers, being held fast to the side of the hull.
Ah yes, the boarding step fender would let you snug in the line. If you didn't have that I don't think you could re-ascend by solely pulling the cockpit end of the halyard.

You'd also want to make sure the tether was long enough so that you aren't also lifting the MOB out of the water as you step aboard. The issue with a too-short tether length is that with the halyard making a tensioned line to the MOB, you risk difficulty moving off that path or unclipping. Unclipping once aboard also means the MOB is free to swing again. You should be able to test this at the dock easily enough though, and I think you're close to a solution.
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Old 07-04-2019, 22:22   #13
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

Eureka! I think I’ve found it!

Revised Plan


I woke up from a sound sleep with this plan that uses only rigging that’s already in place, doesn’t require special equipment like the snatch block and can be done by one person!

First, this assumes rigging is in place as it is on our Oyster 53, Oyster 62 or our previous Hunter 450, but this can be revised to accomodate any boat of any size... even our O’Day 20 from the 1980’s.

1. Have an extra halyard in place, we use our stern passerelle halyard which is easy to grab and run forward with it in hand.

2. Jack lines in place along the port and starboard decks (we also have them running more inboard/centerline).

3. Fender step in place at the boarding break in the lifelines near the widest part of the beam. We always have it in place and deployed for boarding the dinghy on a daily basis. It’s position is 18 inches below the rail in order to step up from the RIB.

Procedure

1. First recover the MOB using standard LifeSling method and bring MOB along side the boat.

2. Wearing a safety harness and life vest or something similar to what I purchased earlier today like the Spinlock Deckvest Vito which will be tethered to the Jacklines by a six foot tether with caribiners at each end, I run to the stern of the boat and disengage the passerelle halyard which already has a medium size caribiner in place. The length I need will already be approximately correct, or I’ll mark the correct setting on the line and secure the halyard at the base of the mast and clip the halyard to my lifevest/harness. This should only take 30-40 seconds.

3. Clip on a second tether with two caribiners to the halyard shackle so it’s separate from the connection to me. 10 seconds

4. Go to the boarding fender and step down while holding onto the halyard and lower myself back to a 90 degree angle to the boat with the boarding fender securing my feet to the boat. The halyard will be supporting my weight like a rock climber repelling and my tether securing me to the boat, which should now be stretched taught. I should now find myself securely held in place with both hands free to attach the loose caribiner on the end of the extra tether dangling below me to the MOB. I should be approximately 18 inches to 24 inches above the water line at this point.

5. After I secure the MOB using the extra tether caribiner, I simply bend my knees and bend forward at the waist, release myself from the halyard, grab onto the toe rail and stand up, all the while secured with my own tether. This procedure doesn’t require me to lift the MOB using my muscles, since the halyard will now be supporting their weight and not mine.

6. Step up onto the deck, then haul up the MOB using the mast winch at the base of the passerelle halyard.

7. MOB is back on board

8. I can also add the option to secure the MOB to the boarding ladder/dock fender via a short double caribiner line if necessary which would hold their head above the water and hold them against the side of the boat during retrieval.

What do you think?
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Old 08-04-2019, 00:28   #14
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

You have your back to the water when you're "standing" on the side of the hull, right? So the mob is below and behind you? Sounds like something I'll have to try doing at anchor...
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Old 08-04-2019, 00:55   #15
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Re: MOB Recovery Technique

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You have your back to the water when you're "standing" on the side of the hull, right? So the mob is below and behind you? Sounds like something I'll have to try doing at anchor...
I would try to position the MOB to the side of me and below to hopefully clip the tether onto something being worn by the MOB.
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