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Old 20-11-2011, 20:02   #76
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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Of course but even the best trained skill can be forgotten when you are facing death.
That's why the military pratices till you want to puke....muscle memory takes over and fear isn't perceived till the adrenaline subsides.

I'm not saying don't have a caribiner...just a really good plan "B" though "Z"....including a sharp knife if you have to cuy away quicly too....knot or caribiner.
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:06   #77
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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I would not really like to be lifted by any of the sailing harness/pfds I own. If you are planning that you damn well better have really good crotch straps (not many do) and even then it would be damn uncomfortable. I also carry a climbing harness. I would much much rather be lifted in that - its purpose designed and build for almost exactly that purpose - and much much more comfortable, and I think safer - the straps and buckles are much more heavy duty than the straps and buckles on the average pfd.
If you are doing all that thinking...probably not a life and death scenario...

Maybe YOU have a climbing harness...but are you gonna find it in waist deep frigid water?

My point is that lifting by pfd or harness will probably be the last attempt but a safety line sure could be attached when all else looks pretty daunting and hopefully the minute or so of discomfort is worth being saved.
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:13   #78
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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If you are doing all that thinking...probably not a life and death scenario...

Maybe YOU have a climbing harness...but are you gonna find it in waist deep frigid water?

My point is that lifting by pfd or harness will probably be the last attempt but a safety line sure could be attached when all else looks pretty daunting and hopefully the minute or so of discomfort is worth being saved.
Yes, I know exactly where my climbing harness is. But if I did not have it I would probably prefer to tie a seat harness out of some spare sail tie webbing (out of our coaming locker, takes about 30 seconds to tie up) and be hoisted by that, rather than tie to the pfd.

My point is that most pfd's really and truly suck for lifting people. There is a serious chance many people will slide out, unless they have it adjusted just right, and also a serious chance of rib damage unless it fits just right (And unfortunately they don't come in different sizes). If you are going to be presenting pfd/harnesses as the last resort lifting point in any sort of training, then people should know #1 what are the better devices (climbing harnesses) and #2 what they need to do to make the pfd even minimally safe for lifting (adjustment and sizing and crotch straps).

Honestly an offshore cruising boat should have a climbing harness in any case for going up the mast at sea.
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:13   #79
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

Can you tell me how do those rescuing vessels pick up an injured or unconscious sailor?
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:19   #80
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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Can you tell me how do those rescuing vessels pick up an injured or unconscious sailor?
You have to hope they have some sort of liftable stretcher or basket.

Regarding lifting devices, and my post above, I would also much prefer to be hoisted in my galerider drogue (a large webbing basket) than by pfd. and yes, It is stowed instantly available when we are at sea. We have practices using it to pick up an unconscious MOB - not easy but it is possible to use it to fish them out and lift them up.
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:26   #81
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

From the videos and from comments I've gotten on other forums - it's important to remember that you should not count on being lifted at all. You may very well have to climb 50', and need to understand how to do that on a ladder, a net, etc. - or, if you are lucky and being lifted, at least how to deal with a pretty hefty block/shackle swinging from a long cable as shown in the Gem vid.

As ps said above, it's about you and your abilities/strength. But, probably more importantly, it's about your crew's (and/or your family's) abilities/strength. THAT'S the sobering part. It' rarely pretty. And never easy. It seems to me that your crew/family need to understand this, and understand it very, very well, long before you cast off the lines.
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:30   #82
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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From the videos and from comments I've gotten on other forums - it's important to remember that you should not count on being lifted at all. You may very well have to climb 50', and need to understand how to do that on a ladder, a net, etc. - or, if you are lucky and being lifted, at least how to deal with a pretty hefty block/shackle swinging from a long cable as shown in the Gem vid.

As ps said above, it's about you and your abilities/strength. But, probably more importantly, it's about your crew's (and/or your family's) abilities/strength. THAT'S the sobering part. It' rarely pretty. And never easy. It seems to me that your crew/family need to understand this, and understand it very, very well, long before you cast off the lines.
Smack, I presume the ship and sail boat skippers are going to be talking this thru on the vhf before hand. If Beth was going to have to go up 50' of boarding net, I for one, would sure ask the skipper of the ship to drop at least a light line down that she could tie into and have someone tail it on the ship's deck in case she lost her strength and had to rest or in fact fell off.

If somehow I could not get the ship's skipper to do that, I would tie a line around my waist, go up first and tail beth up myself. But I would much rather go second, than leave her behind.

Bust most ships decks have winches somewhere - usually really big ones- often for mooring lines - that could be used for lifting a human.
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:46   #83
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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Smack, I presume the ship and sail boat skippers are going to be talking this thru on the vhf before hand. If Beth was going to have to go up 50' of boarding net, I for one, would sure ask the skipper of the ship to drop at least a light line down that she could tie into and have someone tail it on the ship's deck in case she lost her strength and had to rest or in fact fell off.

If somehow I could not get the ship's skipper to do that, I would tie a line around my waist, go up first and tail beth up myself. But I would much rather go second, than leave her behind.
Yeah, estar, I would presume, and hope, the VHF would be crackling between skippers. And your technique sounds like a very good, and admirable, way to go.

To be honest with you, though, I just don't know. I'm far from being an expert on any of this. Apart from the videos and Doug's account, I'm completely clueless on the actualities of these techniques. I just know it looks seriously dangerous and hard as hell. And that's precisely why I'm so interested in this kind of training. I WANT to know how to deal with it, and how to inform my crew/family about it. I mean, out of range of the CG - this is pretty much your only bet. Yet we know so little about it.

I kind of wonder why that is. And I wonder how many US sailors/cruisers take advantage of the SAS offerings in the first place.
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Old 20-11-2011, 20:50   #84
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Seems a lot of faith is being put in equipment but... the best thing you can do is build your upper body strength and stamina... because believe you me thats whats gonna count when the chips are down... not something you picked up in West Marine...
Last month a boat went down 80 miles W of Porto... the raft was launched and he got in but when rescue arrived in a few hours he was dead... to much for a reasonably fit 70yr old singlehander...
So get training guys... just equipment aint enough..
Yep, like I said back in post #5.....but I guess for some getting fit isn't as easy as buying some new piece of gear or private training.

Sometimes you gotta get back to basics- What do you need to climb 40 ft of freeboard? Two hands, two feet, and some strong arm and leg muscles.
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Old 20-11-2011, 21:03   #85
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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I'm completely clueless on the actualities of these techniques.

Just a random thought - there are two groups who have actually put serious attention into boarding ships at sea - Seals and Somali Pirates. It would interesting to have someone profile exactly what their best practices are and if they could be adapted at all for cruisers. The Seals will obviously be fit but they may also have techniques when carrying a ton of gear which might be usable.


I have a good friend who is a ships captain. He is now running a cruise ship but has come up all the way from a tramp cargo vessel. We discussed this some years ago over a glass of wine in a Chilean anchorage. His opinion was that it was not rocket science. By far the first choice is if the ship has the capability to launch and recover a small boat, but few cargo ships today would. Second choice is a long line to a hoist - he thought about 30% of ships could do that. Third choice is a long line to a winch - he thought most should be able to rig that - he could not think of one that could not. Fourth choice (but 2nd choice if the sea is really flat) is the pilot ladder (with a safety line)

And I wonder how many US sailors/cruisers take advantage of the SAS offerings in the first place.

Well they don't marketed it at all well. And it is somewhat race oriented and sometimes a bit dogmatic. And it is unfortunately somewhat gear oriented (or at least more than I would like) And most cruisers have some problems/issue with the associated cat 1 requirements. I happen to be a member of the USSailing SASC (that Ron is also on), so I am somewhat familiar with all this. It is good stuff, well worth doing.
......
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Old 20-11-2011, 21:07   #86
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

Good point, GeoPowers... remember that you will probably have been bashed about pretty well for at least 24 hours and maybe several days, little sleep, perhaps seasick and suffering from hypothermia and slight injuries so probably not at your peak physical condition. Climbing off a pitching deck up a jacobs ladder or cargo net is scary, exhausting and not for the faint of heart under the best of circumstances.
I recall one rescue we were involved in off Brooks Peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island with a good sea running and floating a line with a life ring attached to a pleasure boat that had lost power and was lying beam to the sea. They picked up the line and attached it to one of the two folks aboard but almost drowned them pulling them across less than 100 feet of ocean. Got them both on board but their power boat was a total loss. We were aboard a 75 foot towboat heading for Tahsis back in the early 60's. They got banged up pretty good getting them aboard our boat that had only 4-6 feet of free board in the stern. psneeld knows a lot more than I about how stupid that was but we didn't know any better and had no training on how else to handle the situation. Capt Phil
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Old 21-11-2011, 05:29   #87
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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Smack, I presume the ship and sail boat skippers are going to be talking this thru on the vhf before hand. If Beth was going to have to go up 50' of boarding net, I for one, would sure ask the skipper of the ship to drop at least a light line down that she could tie into and have someone tail it on the ship's deck in case she lost her strength and had to rest or in fact fell off.

If somehow I could not get the ship's skipper to do that, I would tie a line around my waist, go up first and tail beth up myself. But I would much rather go second, than leave her behind.

Bust most ships decks have winches somewhere - usually really big ones- often for mooring lines - that could be used for lifting a human.
You have fallen into the typical mindset that a rescue will follow some lines of thought you have preconcieved. THAT is where YOU as the rescuee can be in trouble. You wind up having to go with the flow as you are not directing the rescue. YOur radio may not be working, the wind may be howling so hard comms on your seventeen backup handhelds can't be understood...the language barrier may be tough as now you are doing something non-standard in the ships world...etc...etc.

My whole point is when something like this happens and you are being rescued by anyone except a trained/equipped rescue crew...flexibility on your part is the key...you might be expected to do anyhthing on a moments notice...because at that point the safety of the ship and his/her crew is the most important...YOU are expendable.
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Old 21-11-2011, 06:06   #88
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pirate Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

There was a time when 80% of the male population had training on boarding nets etc... it was called 'The Draft'...
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Old 21-11-2011, 06:10   #89
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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I would not really like to be lifted by any of the sailing harness/pfds I own. If you are planning that you damn well better have really good crotch straps (not many do) and even then it would be damn uncomfortable. I also carry a climbing harness. I would much much rather be lifted in that - its purpose designed and build for almost exactly that purpose - and much much more comfortable, and I think safer - the straps and buckles are much more heavy duty than the straps and buckles on the average pfd.
Just thinking about using what you got. How putting on your LIFESLING (if you have one on board) with a carabiner on a short line. The rescue craft lowers a line with a bowline you clip the carabiner onto it and they pull/assist you into their craft. Most people have Lifesling systems to rescue people to bring them back on board to their boat. I don't see a reason why it could not be used to get you onto another one in a rescue situation too. Am I missing something?
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Old 21-11-2011, 06:17   #90
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Re: Rescued at Sea - Are You Prepared ?

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Just thinking about using what you got. How putting on your LIFESLING (if you have one on board) with a carabiner on a short line. The rescue craft lowers a line with a bowline you clip the carabiner onto it and they pull/assist you into their craft. Most people have Lifesling systems to rescue people to bring them back on board to their boat. I don't see a reason why it could not be used to get you onto another one in a rescue situation too. Am I missing something?
No reason why it wouldn't work assuming they lower you a line and you have the strength not to fall out of your lifesling...if you have never been hoisted and JERKED by an underarm sling setup...then you may not know that it's better suited for short lifts like back on a sailboat...yes a climbing sling is better..but in most survival situations you often only have what you have on your back when things get ugly...thus the concept of PFD with lifting ring harness built in.
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