Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-06-2013, 08:02   #1
Registered User
 
Abrain's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Puget Sound
Boat: 1977 WESTSAIL 32 #731
Posts: 125
Child Overboard.

I posted on my blog and figured i could share with other live-aboard's with children.

Quote:
Last week while we were working on the boat we heard the splash. We knew instantly what it was and the second we heard it, it was our child and he went over board.

Our son is three and somewhat independent. He likes to have dad put his shoes on yet he can build with great detail on his own a helicopter using Lego's. He was potty trained earlier than most and has a curious knack for things that are engineered. He always wears his life jacket even out to dinner or on road trips. Hes not obsessed with it like he is with Star Wars but he will wear it without any complaints. He states that while he was working on the bow sprite he went swimming with the fish in the deep water. That translates to, he was playing on the dock with Jack ( our dog ) and reached for the whisker stay and fell in. Mom warned him earlier that he was going to fall but I guess he remained curious and ignored her wisdom yet again. We heard the splash from inside the boat and ran top side to see the little man bobbing around doing a improvised doggy paddle towards the dock. I encouraged him to come towards us but the instant my last word left my mouth mom jump over and grabbed him. The two of them swam that long 3 feet to the dock and I reached over pulling the little man out by his life jacket. Mom was a bit more of a challenge to pull out and I began to things were about to get serious. Our marina has no swim ladders near our sailboat and the dock sides were populated by mussels and other sharp ocean creatures. She could not leverage herself to help with the extraction. I could only pull her out half way by doing a curl type of motion, like body builder do in the gym. after two attempts she insisted I grab her belt loops so on the third try I pulled her out by grabbing her shorts and giving her a somewhat large wedgie. All in all this event was a good experience. Our son finally learned that the water is cold and he can fall off the docks. Mom learned to let him figure his troubles out and that he was going to make the swim back to the dock. I learned that a family is the best thing a man can have and I cant curl much weight in my older age.
A funnier story was when the cat fell over board but that's for another time.
__________________

__________________
__________________________
The Blog: www.LeavingLand.com
__________________________
Abrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 10:23   #2
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Child Overboard.

I've recently thought of this very same problem. I can pull pets and small children out easily, but I would have this difficulty with my wife and she would be hopeless with attempts to help me out. We do have a "Life Sling" on a long line that could be hoisted on our mizzen halyard, but I have not shared the planned technique of putting a quick loop in the sling line for receiving the halyard shackle with my wife. Cold water, no ladders and sharp maine growth on the pilings requires a plan discussed in advance. I'll need to do this!
__________________

__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 10:33   #3
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Child Overboard.

Happy all worked out.

On the learning things I would also include, adding a ladder to boat and not letting a 3yo on deck without someone with an eye on them - lucky there was a splash, easy enough to slowly descend. Also thinking before leaping also wise.

Of course I have no kids!, but I did start on boats at a similar age - and never fell in. and never learnt to swim either! (but nonetheless very comfortable in water, as long as something floating on me or within 10 feet of me)......the good thing for kids on deck is that all the handholds are in easy reach!, and also the deck so scampering like a chimp! and using all four limbs for balance very easy and natural. For me a skill honed by lots of scrambling over rocks (many years later I went to do the same thing - nearly broke me neck trying to move at the same speed I once did!)....survival skills on the foredeck also honed from being the sole foredeck crew for sail changes (pre dating R/R!). Back then of course no lifejacket or harness........nowadays me father would likely be arrested! But to be fair, by then I was 9 or 10 and not 3! (when I was 3 he had a powerboat!).
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 10:34   #4
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Child Overboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
I posted on my blog and figured i could share with other live-aboard's with children.



A funnier story was when the cat fell over board but that's for another time.

Why couldn't the child just climb up his own boat's ladder? That would have avoided all the barnacles.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 10:59   #5
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Child Overboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Happy all worked out.

On the learning things I would also include, adding a ladder to boat.........
A ladder set in place would be wise. When our children were young, up to 7 & 9, we had steps up the transom starting from the first step at the top of the rudder. Our current boat has a stainless steel pie ladder that stows under the solar panel atop out davits and takes some skill to extract and deploy. Once again, if my wife falls in, in would have all the steps covered to get her out; however, if I were to be in the water, she would not easily be able to get me out. I need to have a plan that works for her for and my own safety.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 11:09   #6
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Child Overboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
A ladder set in place would be wise. When our children were young, up to 7 & 9, we had steps up the transom starting from the first step at the top of the rudder. Our current boat has a stainless steel pie ladder that stows under the solar panel atop out davits and takes some skill to extract and deploy. Once again, if my wife falls in, in would have all the steps covered to get her out; however, if I were to be in the water, she would not easily be able to get me out. I need to have a plan that works for her for and my own safety.


Although pooh-poohed by some at the time, the story I posted about the man I know who fell while getting on a boat last December was true. In the fall he broke his thigh bone badly, and it severed his femoral artery. The water was very cold.

He pulled himself to the back of the boat, deployed the ladder (tied up with a half-bow tie like you use to secure your mainsail to the boom) -- it had a long tail -- and dropped the LONG ladder.

Even gravely injured, because the ladder was long enough, he was able to get on the ladder, up the ladder, and into the cockpit. He had already heaved his backpack into the cockpit, and he called 911 with his cell phone.

That ladder saved his life. He wouldn't have lasted long in the water with bleeding like that (the skin wasn't broken, so he was just bleeding into his leg.

It isn't enough to have a plan. You have to have a FAST plan. I have been told by a medical professional since then that it's not really uncommon for a piece of bone to sever the femoral artery, and that it can easly be a fatal injury. The doctor told him that also.

One option would be to have a ladder on the side of the boat, free of the davits.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 11:17   #7
Registered User
 
DumnMad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nelson NZ; boat in Brisbane
Boat: 45ft Ketch
Posts: 1,247
Re: Child Overboard.

Good story. Last year in our marina there were several yachts with a couple of under 5'vs wearing life jackets and free ranging the boat and docks while Mum & Dad went about there business. Like Abrain the alert parents were not deaf and intuitively knew what was going on. Never saw one fall in but was impressed to see their agility and confidence, swinging on halyards a frequent site. Just like the kids playing on our large trampoline the only kids at risk were visitors who needed visual supervision.
__________________
DumnMad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 11:54   #8
Registered User
 
Abrain's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Puget Sound
Boat: 1977 WESTSAIL 32 #731
Posts: 125
Re: Child Overboard.

I suppose I left out the ladder detail. We in fact do have a swim ladder on the stern of the boat and the fall happened near the bow. If I was unable to pull her out she would have had to swim aft I suppose. The water was very cold but not freezing cold. I'm just happy I did not jump in first because there was no way she could have pulled me out and I would have had to swim aft in that cold water.

I'd add that I think I could pull myself out of the water even near the dock etc, but I often forget that I'm getting older.

I do have a lot of strength, in my mind as it seems now.
__________________
__________________________
The Blog: www.LeavingLand.com
__________________________
Abrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 13:06   #9
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Child Overboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
............................... I'd add that I think I could pull myself out of the water even near the dock etc, but I often forget that I'm getting older.

I do have a lot of strength, in my mind as it seems now.
Yes, I remember thirty years ago being able to lunge out of the water at my bow, pull up on the rub rail and grasp my bow pulpit to lift myself onto the deck. I remember the move, but I don't see that happening now!
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 13:39   #10
Registered User
 
scotty c-m's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: catalina 400 MKII
Posts: 188
Re: Child Overboard.

I grew up on boats, my (3) kids grew up on boats, the grandkids - yep- are an the boat too! I've thought of a couple of things: 1) Make up some rope ladders (with wood or plastic treads) and position them on the deck, and on the dock, for fast deployment. 2) Make it easy to deploy the boat ladder (mine is on the stern) from the water. A trip line works fine. 3) Plan "exit the water" procedures. Where are nearby ladders? Where are swim platforms? How do we handle this and that scenario? 4) Our boat has a swim platform as part of it's design. If your's doesn't, could you build one? Lots of boats have done that, or added a "sugar-scoop", and it makes getting aboard a lot easier - and it's nice for the dingy too! 5) Leave a snatch block rigged to a high point so that you can hoist someone up easily. Mine is on the outboard hoist. 6) Remember that a simple line draped over the side (like a jib sheet) can be used as a foot hold, and can winch a person up. I leave a couple of loops rigged and ready at the stern cleats that I can drape over the side. Be careful that any lines can't, and don't, foul the propeller or rudder! That can make matters much worse.

Here are some ideas that some people like, but some don't: 1) put netting on the lifelines 2) use tethers for the little ones when you're sailing.

I personally am a big fan of lifejackets, even at the dock. I remember that our kids had to be able to swim around the boat 3 times before that could be on deck without the lifejacket when at the dock! "Swimming the boat" was quite the ceremony in out family!

I've enjoyed sharing my thoughts, and hope you might find some useful ideas.
__________________
scotty c-m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 14:53   #11
Registered User
 
Abrain's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Puget Sound
Boat: 1977 WESTSAIL 32 #731
Posts: 125
Captforce

That is what I'm talking about. I'm at the age where 20 & 30 year olds are starting to be competition and I'm slowly realizing I'm loosing my edge. Lol I guess it's time to workout a little more just for safety. What's that saying.... You know your old when younger men no longer fear you.

The dinghy is now tethered up to the dock near the bow. I don't think this marina would allow for me to place a swim ladder near the dock, I sort of live on the snoot side of the marina, gawd forbid I ruin some rich guys image with a swim ladder. But good points Safety is a priority on my boat so we will practice more baby overboard drills, our son actually wants too.
__________________
__________________________
The Blog: www.LeavingLand.com
__________________________
Abrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 15:09   #12
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Child Overboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
I suppose I left out the ladder detail. We in fact do have a swim ladder on the stern of the boat and the fall happened near the bow. If I was unable to pull her out she would have had to swim aft I suppose. The water was very cold but not freezing cold. I'm just happy I did not jump in first because there was no way she could have pulled me out and I would have had to swim aft in that cold water.

I'd add that I think I could pull myself out of the water even near the dock etc, but I often forget that I'm getting older.

I do have a lot of strength, in my mind as it seems now.

I know about that! I'm 30 years old -- between my ears!
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 15:19   #13
Registered User
 
Kashmir cat's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Boat: Prout 46
Posts: 152
Re: Child Overboard.

There's an ingenious product called a Pool Safety Turtle. It's composed of a base station (receiver) and small plastic wristbands that are shaped like turtles (transmitters). They are used primarily to sound an alarm if a toddler or pet accidentally falls into a swimming pool. The water activated wristbands are small,lightweight, and can be locked on a wrist, life vest, or pet collar.
We use them as overboard pet alarms on our boat. They work great and you can pick up a used system on ebay for around 100 bucks. The transmitter has a range of over 100 feet and the alarm is LOUD.
The only catch is that they are designed to work in fresh water. Salt water will activate the transmitter(close the circuit) but if the wristband is fully submerged in salt water, it will not transmit. That's why we attach the transmitters to the top of the dog collars so they will activate with the initial dunking, but then be out of the water to trigger the alarm. I've tried attaching the wristband transmitter to the top of the shoulder of a life vest and it works just fine in salt water. Pretty cheap insurance for kids, adults, dogs, and cats on or around boats.
__________________
Kashmir cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 15:39   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Re: Child Overboard.

No ladders on your boat? even one that is not always mounted can be deployed. Better figure this out before it happens at sea.
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 16:10   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Child Overboard.

Our boarding/swim ladder is pretty solid and goes several steps underwater. Before we spent time living at anchor in crappy conditions or swimming a lot we really didn't understand how big a ladder needs to be.

Regardless, the first rule in rescue courses is to not increase the victim count. Throwing yourself into the water before you've really thought things out isn't going to help anyone and you can potentially put other people's lives in danger.

My wife and daughter were in the water and our ladder, basically, didn't work (old pos). Rather than throwing myself in I ran over to the surfboard and paddleboard, and chucked them both in the water. Took an extra few seconds but we had tons of flotation in the water. Once on the boards it was a trivial task to stand up and then leg-up onto the boats.
__________________

__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
overboard

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Girl Overboard ! TigerLilly Health, Safety & Related Gear 82 24-02-2016 23:07
Child Overboard Procedure Blissopia Health, Safety & Related Gear 35 13-02-2012 11:42
Parrots Overboard ! Tori Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 23 14-07-2011 10:01



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.