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Old 17-01-2016, 10:25   #1
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how to transfer from sailboat to ship

Does anyone have experience of transferring crew (some or all or injured) from a sailboat to a ship in bad conditions? I've seen a video of someone abandoning their yacht by coming alongside a huge car carrier and climbing off onto a ladder. The mast was banging hard against the the side of the ship as the boat rolled next to the ship and I'm sure that would have damaged the rig beyond repair? Is there a recommended way to do it that does not wreck the boat eg stern to, to keep the mast away from the side of the ship , or using a liferaft or rib to get from the boat to the ship?
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Old 17-01-2016, 13:49   #2
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Re: how to transfer from sailboat to ship

Usually the merchant vessel puts the distressed vessel on the leeward side, trying to break the seas with its bulk. Depending on the freeboard ladders or cargo nets are deployed. Sometimes the rescued just hop aboard as a wave lifts their craft. Seldom is it possible , in bad conditions, for the merchantman to launch a boat to help. Although a cruise ship did this recently. A liferaft or small rib is useless in these conditions and will be blown away fairly quickly. In most cases the sailboat is abandoned and a little damage is the least of their worries.
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:05   #3
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Re: how to transfer from sailboat to ship

We had calm conditions when we did it. We were in the lee of the ship.

This was a medical evacuation.



We blow out some fenders, scratched the rub rail and destroyed the starboard side light.
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Old 18-01-2016, 09:43   #4
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Re: how to transfer from sailboat to ship

Seems that the good times have been in calm seas. The bad times the boats were lost and sometimes the sailors were hurt. Don't remember anyone dying from doing it but it may have happened. I sure hope to not have to do it.
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Old 23-01-2016, 17:42   #5
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Re: how to transfer from sailboat to ship

Don't forget that they use rope ladders and cargo nets to get 18 year-old Marines into shape. They're NOT easy to climb, and the decks of many rescue ships may be 50 or 60 feet UP. That's five stories high, without the benefit of stairs. The nasty weather that's likely to have caused your problem will not have left you in top condition either. Rescue at sea is dangerous .
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