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Old 02-03-2013, 03:33   #1
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Have you been Saved?

No, I'm not a religious nut...

There are many discussions about MOB drills and things designed to keep one on board. etc...

I'm interested to hear of anyone that has fallen off their boat (unintentionally) and has been retrieved by the remaining crew.

What were the circumstances, what equipment was involved, what was the whole experience like? Did it change your thinking on MOB equipment/techniques, etc.

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:04   #2
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Re: Have you been Saved?

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........
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:47   #3
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Re: Have you been Saved?

I went through the lifelines once in a storm; harness and jackline saved me. Took a bunch of bruises, scrapes, adrenaline, and pulled muscles, but I got my own arse back aboard.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:35   #4
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Re: Have you been Saved?

Sounds scary to have gone through the lifelines - did you change any of the arrangement in order to improve the system?

Would really like to hear from someone that has been retrieved having been separated from the boat under real circumstances (as opposed to drills)...
What lessons were learned? Are you still sailing?

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Old 03-03-2013, 07:19   #5
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pirate Re: Have you been Saved?

Technically... an attempt was made but failed...
It was in a marina near Malaga.. had been ashore with neighbors and as we got back to the marina I invited them on board for a drink.
When they saw the plank I was using as a Passerelle they baulked and tho' I said we'd been using it with no worries for 2yrs still were nervous.
"Ok" sez I... "Watch this.."
I then proceeded to bounce up and down in the centre of the plank...
"See... strong as hell.." I bellowed in triumph... just as there was a loud crack and I disappeared from view... a wood sandwich with me as the filling..
Anyway.. my partner jumped on the boat and leaned over to help me out.. me.. still feeling the effects of the evening and a lump of wood cracking me in the face reached up.. grabbed hold and heaved myself up..
When my partner surfaced she was not happy and the air during the swim to the ladder was full of her opinion of my intelligence... spiced with assorted adendums....
Lessons learned...
Think before you act..
Get someone else to do the demo...
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:35   #6
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Re: Have you been Saved?

gooood story , boaty---i can see the event as it happened.....wow...

so far, knock wood, no problem....we knock wood and pray...and we are verrry verryy careful...usually..
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:46   #7
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Re: Have you been Saved?

The biggest fear when you are overboard is being forgotten, as the boat cruises far away from you at what seems "100 knots". Thinking of swimming to shore is an idea that pops in your head, but usually the shore is miles away, not to mention battling currents, sun/darkness and high surf/waves. First and foremost, you'll need to do is to conserve your energy. That whistle, cell phone, pocket knife, small mirror, and flashlight/beacon attached to your PFD will hopefully save your life by getting you noticed.
I was SCUBA diving in Negril-Jamaica with a bunch of divers. After making a safety stop, we surfaced as planned and inflated our BCD's. Our dive boat was nowhere to be found. There was a cable-lying ship not far from us, but the noise was so high that our whistling could not be heard. There were among us, a couple of newlyweds on their honeymoon; they were petrified. We stayed put for about 45 very long minutes. A passing private dive boat saw us, and picked us up. In the meantime, our dive boat left us to go refueling and thought he could return to our original dive site in time, but lost its way. Memories are made of this! No Problem Mon! Mauritz
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:54   #8
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Re: Have you been Saved?

Wow I too can see it happening Boaty- I changed from a wood plank 2 years ago to a proprer Passerelle , after someone nearly fell off it-
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:22   #9
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Re: Have you been Saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
The biggest fear when you are overboard is being forgotten, as the boat cruises far away from you at what seems "100 knots". Thinking of swimming to shore is an idea that pops in your head, but usually the shore is miles away, not to mention battling currents, sun/darkness and high surf/waves. First and foremost, you'll need to do is to conserve your energy. That whistle, cell phone, pocket knife, small mirror, and flashlight/beacon attached to your PFD will hopefully save your life by getting you noticed.
I was SCUBA diving in Negril-Jamaica with a bunch of divers. After making a safety stop, we surfaced as planned and inflated our BCD's. Our dive boat was nowhere to be found. There was a cable-lying ship not far from us, but the noise was so high that our whistling could not be heard. There were among us, a couple of newlyweds on their honeymoon; they were petrified. We stayed put for about 45 very long minutes. A passing private dive boat saw us, and picked us up. In the meantime, our dive boat left us to go refueling and thought he could return to our original dive site in time, but lost its way. Memories are made of this! No Problem Mon! Mauritz
This kind of thing happens more than you might think- as Captain of a Commercial Dive Boat in S. Florida , I never get to dive as much as I like because I’m always running the boat, But on this occasion while the divers were up doing there surface interval I decided to go down (drift diving only here) because I had a long time Captain & friend onboard that day. He said he could handle it, I mean what could possibly go wrong right?
Wrong! when I surface the stern of the boat was only 100 feet up wind , the wind and seas had increased to about 5 feet making it hard to see someone in the water, unless you have experience and a good eye- so I blew my very load Air horn and deployed my susage- no one turned around, they were all looking for me forward,
so I layed on the horn several more times as the boat kept going further and further away the 3 knot current was taking North fast, the opposite direction, so the boat disappeared from sight and I drifted for hours and hours, sometimes speeding boats would pass with in 1/4 mile of me and I would wave my hands and lay on the air horn again , but no use-

By this time the coast Guard was looking and 10 hours had went by, night was coming soon and a big 55 ft sport fisherman almost run me over, the guy looked down and saw me !and I was found----

This may sound crazy but 10 years later I did the same thing with the same guy at the wheel with the same results, I suppose neither one of us learned much in those 10 years, me for trusting that he could handle it & him still not having developed an eye & feel for where a person might be- Its tuff to find someone in the water unless you rely know what your doing even then you need a little luck, as the Coast Guard never found me – nor did they ever call me in to give an explanation, all this pre 911 off Palm Beach Fl

I lost people weekly in those years but rarely for more than hour, it happens because these divers are suppose to stay together,with a dive flag- but never do, as soon as 1 diver finds a bug he stops while the group goes on,with the 2-3 knot current , then another diver stops for a bug, at the end of a dive I have people spread a mile apart and I have to do a search pattern to recover them all-
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:40   #10
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Re: Have you been Saved?

Well first before I tell this story you must understand that i was 19 ish ( read yound and foolsh) and thought I was immortal.

My friends and I were delivering a Hans Christian 38 back from Guatemala to Texas. We were in the the bay of Honduras, no mainland in sight just the occasional tiny island. I wanted to take a shower. I got it in my head that the inflatable dinghy, which we were towing on a 45-55 ft painter, would be the perfect place to stage this scrub down. Close to the water, acts like a bath tub, the dinghy had plenty of space for me and my accoutrements. What could go wrong? All went well with the boarding, letting the painter back out to it's 50 feet, and bath in the dinghy. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was smelling good and feeling smug with my success. Ready to say "i told you so" to the doubting Thomas's back aboard the mothership, I leaned over the bow to retrieve the tow line, I did not rig any type of trip. Anyways, leaning forward, the bow took a sudden and unexpected plunge. The dinghy immediately filled with water and became a submarine. Plowing forward, the dinghy slipped right out from beneath me and left me treading water. That moment will always be printed forever in my mind. Seeing your boat from the waterline, happily sailing away is something I hope no one here will ever see!
My best friend was at the helm, and knowing my antics, never left the cockpit. She heard my yodel of help and started the MOB drill. Frankly I think Belize heard my cries! I was in the water for about 10 minutes because the dinghy and tow line needed sorting out, so it would not foul the rudder.

Ashamed that my actions not only nearly killed me, but endangered the vessel and crew, I learned a valuable lesson. Everything you do aboard a running vessel, affects everyone aboard.

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Old 03-03-2013, 09:46   #11
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Re: Have you been Saved?

Nobody has fallen off the boat yet...knock on wood. We have had a few close calls with a wide open transom made for putting instruments and sampling devices over the side.



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Old 03-03-2013, 09:53   #12
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Re: Have you been Saved?

I've only ever fallen off when at the dock--beware marinas! It was in the middle of the winter, and I was on deck walking around with a long 4x4 using it to chop a hole in the ice around my boat so the ice wouldn't chew up the sides. I was wearing full winter clothing and some sort of rubber boots I think, slipped on the icy deck edge and went straight down feet first through the ice and into the harbor, but I was back up on the dock so quick I can't really remember being in the water. Somehow the only thing that got really wet were my feet because the rubber boots filled with ice water. The rest of my winter gear was sopping on the outside but on the inside I was warm and dry.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:00   #13
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Re: Have you been Saved?

My only experience was being the subject of MOB drills on a number of occasions--i.e., Astrid goes in the water and vessel manouvers back to pick her up all the while keeping her in sight. My only complaint was that in northern waters, it gets bloody cold really fast.

The only time I have done anything akin to a real emergency was spotting a pair of kids on a capsized dink, and hauling them aboard.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:02   #14
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Re: Have you been Saved?

A surprising number of people fall over and drown at the dock. we tend to let our guard down when in port. Kettlewell you were lucky to get out so fast or even at all.
Not to self promote but I recommend everyone read this
Project Boat Zen - Boat and Yacht Repair and Restoration

I am also looking forward to reading at sea experiences here as well.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:02   #15
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Re: Have you been Saved?

Keeping with the theory about knowing someone went overboard, we installed the Raymarine MOB Lifetags, just before we started crusing. They set off a god awful alarm when the tags are submurged or the panic button is pushed, as well as dropping a Waypoint Point on the Chartplotter and activing it into MOB mode. It works well, since we are most always double handed and at least will sound the alarm if one of us goes in the water

Once in the water, being seen can sometimes be difficult, as mentioned above... Each one of our PFDs also has a whistle. pencil flare and Chem Light Sick attached for that reason.

When I was teaching sailing in San Francisco, we took 10 instructors out on a windy day (20 knots) and did MOBs. I was the biggest instructor so I wore a wetsuit and became the MOB.

The thing I found as the drowning victim is just how hard it is to get back on the boat in rough seas

All the gadgets we tried, LifeSling Hoist, Winches with lines to the bow cleat and even the Whisker Pole used as a crane were difficult to rig and required to much time, especially when assuming you probably would not have more than one Captain and two crew left on board. With one person left on board these would be near impossible to use and control the boat.

I found that the fastest way back on board, once they got me to the boat, was the transom ladder, which still required some good timing when the boat was hobby horsing and of course no incapacitating injuries.

It is an absolute certain with an unconcious person in the water you are going to have to send a crewman in the water to assist the MOB and get a line around them. Having a line the length of your boat and a harness ready to go will expediate that.

Another thing I discovered... When they were using the LifeSling to pull me back to the boat...

When pulling the MOB back to the boat, your instinct is to get them back fast, but If you are not careful, you will drag the MOB face first through the water. Someone who is disoriented already might panic and try to get out of the sling. So once the person has the lifesling around them, watch that you aren't pulling them back to fast
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