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Old 03-03-2013, 15:23   #31
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A few years back, a government client of ours put us between a rock and a hard spot by asking us to take he and his wife sailing with us the next time we went. We were damn if we did and damned it we didn't. Fast forward four months, we had just tied up at Sopher's Hole in the BVI, our 'guests' were arriving on the first ferry the next morning. The only thing on the agenda was to have lunch at Pusser's and do some provisioning. We were unhappy, stressed to the max -- and, oh, our guests were mormon! We do not do this often, but this morning we decided to have a Bloody Mary (the thinking was we wouldn't be drinking for the rest of the trip), well we decided to have a second and then a third, and then decided we would go ashore for lunch and provisioning. We were really lucking that day, there was a spot right in front of Pusser's -- filled to the max with people enjoying their lunch!

Everything that happened after I climbed out at the dock seemed like it happened in slow motion, I watched my husband move forward from the back of the dinghy, I watched as he took his last step from the dinghy -- stepping on the tube. Then seeing his arms flaying, then he just disappeared! In the time it took to blink, two guys showed up from no where to pull my husband out. I remember one of the guys asking "Dude are you OK?" and then my husband throwing his hand over his heart and saying "my phone!" at which point he ran off to the restroom. As I turned to follow, I saw his new (read expensive) sunglasses on the bottom below the dinghy. I borrowed a boat hook, but it just wasn't long enough, as I stood there I realized the only way to get the glasses was to do it myself, so fully clothed I jumped in and retrieved them -- all of this taking place in front of the entire lunch crowd.

Now that the sunglasses had been saved I made my way to the restroom. Standing outside, I could hear the water running, I called to my husband who responded in the saddest voice I have ever heard "my phone is vibrating and won't stop!" I told him that more water wouldn't help and he came out. When he got out I realized why the guy had asked him if he was OK -- the entire side of his leg (ankle to knee) was a shredded and blooding mess! I got him loaded in the dinghy, with everyone watching, and as we were about to shove off I saw his hat floating under the dock -- I was able to retrieve it by hanging over the bow with half of my body hanging out of the dinghy.

Luckily, the only casualty that day was an iPhone, it continued to vibrate for another 45 minutes before it died! While my husband's leg looked bad at first glance, all of the cuts were superficial. We were hugely embarrassed! In the end, our guests had a great vacation and we got through it by opening a bottle of wine at 4:00 everyday!

P.S. Reviewed by hubby for content!
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Old 03-03-2013, 15:32   #32
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Re: Have you been Saved?

Never fallen off a boat, never crashed a motorcycle, never had a malfunction when skydiving.

Knocking on wood.
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Old 03-03-2013, 15:41   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Not exactly a MOB - but as close as I want to be! (floating around in shark invested waters waiting to be recovered). A bit lengthy.......

My simple SAR experiance........
I had an experience in Fiji about 30 years ago, in this case the boat was where it was suppose to be, but we were lacking some very important local knowledge.

I was with a research team. We were collecting soft coral (not in large amounts) to isolate naturally occurring compounds that may have properties that would fight cancer cells. We were diving a wall at about 60 feet (the wall started about 15 feet from the surface and went down 100-120 feet). I do not remember how long we had been down (we were probably about half way through the dive) when a group of 5 or 6 blacktip sharks (4-5 feet) showed up. Needless to say, our attention turned from collecting to watching the sharks that kept coming closer and closer. As we were working our way up the wall, one shark came in close enough that my partner punched it in the nose. Chicken that I am, I was sandwiched between my partner and the wall.

After the punch, the sharks backed off a bit and we were able to make it to the top of the wall. I could see the bottom of the boat fifteen feet above, but for the life of me I just couldn't make myself swim for it and my partner and I had one of those really animated, non-verbal conversations! When he started to surface, I had no choice but to go too. I have never been so scared in my life -- I thought at any moment I would have my legs bitten off or worse. I would swear I walked on water when I surfaced as I got into the zodiac!

As it turns out, the area was a popular with the locals for spear-fishing.
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Old 04-03-2013, 17:10   #34
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Re: Have you been Saved?

some old salt in the dim distant past told me "fall off your boat is like falling out of a plane with no parachute, only it takes you longer to die..." which, seeing as i do most of my ocean sailing singlehanded, is about right. Focusses the mind.
BUT - I have been rescued, boat and all, not far off the coast, by Marine Rescue, boat disabled, skipper not much better, and they were very effective and welcome at the time. We all have our moments...
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Old 04-03-2013, 17:24   #35
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Re: Have you been Saved?

About 30 years ago during a pursuit race, under full spinnaker with less than a half mile to finish, a gust hit both the lead boats. The enemy boat rounded down and broke its boom. We rounded down and the topping lift parted, and then the spinnaker pole slammed into the lifelines, parting both. Unfortunately, four crew were hiking out on that lifeline, and all four went into the water. I was in the cockpit, trimming the main, and managed to grab one of the crew as he floated by. The helmsman was yelling "BLOW THE VANG! BLOW THE EFFING VANG!!" which I interpreted as a request that I stop rescuing crew and help him get the boat back under control. Once we got the rudder back into the water, it occurred to us that we'd probably better blow the effing spinny halyard as well, since our entire foredeck crew was treading water.

There are some things they never train you to do in all those MOB drills. Hard to do a figure eight when your boat's on its side and the rudder is out of the water. I guess what I learned is that rescuing the MOB is not always the first step to take.
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Old 05-03-2013, 19:31   #36
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Re: Have you been Saved?

I went for an unexpected swim off a mooring ball when I first started working on a schooner. We were sailing onto a mooring in Castine where the tide was running at 2+ knots. The mooring balls there are large enough to stand on comfortably. I jumped down off the bowsprit onto the ball with a 1.5" line and a snap hook on the end as we normally do. The shackle on top had been replaced with a larger one and the snap hook gate jammed with it halfway on. I wrestled it on but by the time I had that done, I could no longer reach the whisker shrouds or bobstay to climb back aboard and the schooner was moving away at a really good clip. Realizing that I was about to be launched when the line came tight, I dove into the water perpendicular to the direction of the line just in time as the mooring ball got shot quite a ways. As I went past the side of the schooner, I managed to give a big kick and get a hand in a scupper which I used to pull myself up until I could grab the gripes under one of the side boats and swing myself back over the rail ~7' off the water. In retrospect, I should have gotten out of there sooner and climbed back aboard via the bowsprit. Picking up a mooring with this type of boat is really tough because even if you stand on the bob chains, your feet are a few feet off the water. Sometimes you have to launch a small boat to grab the mooring but that is problematic as well.

I have seen a handful of people fall between a dock and the boat, that is always a bit scary. Somehow, I have never seen anyone actually hit their head doing this although it seems really likely.
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