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Old 15-05-2015, 08:02   #46
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Don't know if it would actually work when needed (because we have not yet tried it) but we have an emergency plastimo ladder that pulls down from the rail. We also have a very low freeboard (about three feet at midship) and our rail is only about 1 foot off the waterline when sailing. I'm hoping that would help in pulling someone back on board, assuming they fell off the leeward side.
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Old 15-05-2015, 08:37   #47
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
I am really confused why the man couldn't pull himself back in the boat. Isn't that what tethers are for? If you are sailing solo, you won't have another person to help you. But it's unclear if he had physical ailments, was injured, or intoxicated when this happened.

It's also possible the man had a heart attack, fell in, and he was too heavy for his wife to pull him back aboard.
While at anchor in a nice calm bay, jump overboard with your tether attached and then try to haul yourself back aboard via the tether line...good luck with that.

We have all seen the cruising wife that doesn't know how to do anything aboard the boat...some because the guy is an ass and won't take the time to teach his wife, but some because the wife doesn't want to know.

If every crew member doesn't know how to rig a MOB line to a winch, then the Captain has failed in their responsibilities of keeping the crew (and themselves) safe. If members of the crew are too weak to work the winch...then they should have a WinchRite aboard to haul the crew back aboard.

Sad story indeed...
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Old 15-05-2015, 09:06   #48
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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While at anchor in a nice calm bay, jump overboard with your tether attached and then try to haul yourself back aboard via the tether line...good luck with that.

It would be no problem at all. I wouldn't climb up directly amidships, with 5' or more of freeboard, but instead simply go aft to the swim platform, handholds, or whatnot (depends on what kind of boat). If your tether is long enough, you would be able to do that without unhooking yourself.

I think all boats should have some method available to climb back in, even when the transom is up. At a minimum, just a few handholds, or a pull down rope ladder. If it doesn't, that's another problem.

But obviously, this is all a moot point of the person is unconscious, which was the case here.
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Old 15-05-2015, 09:20   #49
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
r i p .
i hope folks will start being smarter with tethers and jacklines.
i have seen way too many jacklines proudly installed along toe rail.. is a bad place for a 6 ft tether to be affixed.
please centerline your jacklines.
Actually, since you clip to the windward line, that would make it worse.

And yes, 6' is too long near the bow.
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Old 15-05-2015, 09:20   #50
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

slight amendment,
don't do it at a quiet bay, do it at the dock ....... just in case

Bill
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Old 15-05-2015, 09:22   #51
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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Everyone should carry a knife at all times and there should be one secured in the cockpit and at the mast.
Since she could come back and get him, that wouldn't help much (if she could have she wouldn't have need the CG to do that).
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Old 15-05-2015, 09:42   #52
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

As someone had posted this is not an isolated incident plus some years ago I saw a movie with 4 strong man trying to pull aboard a crew member and they had done it with the utmost difficulty. More recently in Germany a crew member died in the process of being pulled aboard (too much time, to much water on the lungs).

I try to have the harness with short lines and fixation points as far from the edge has possible but on the eventuality of someone falling overboard and stay attached to the boat the first thing i will do (after losing the sails and if the crew member is not injured) is to give him a buoy and cut the line, then turn the boat around and recover him from the stern with the ladder off.

I carry with me at all times an effective rope cutter, a light one that you can close like a pocketknife. It will serve also to free myself (after calling the attention of my wife) on the eventually of being stupid enough to put myself on that situation.

If solo it is really very important not to fall out of the boat. To the water or hanging from the boat, if this has any speed the chances are that sadly it would be a terminal accident.
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Old 15-05-2015, 10:11   #53
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

My condolences to the family and my regrets that a fellow sailor has died.


I would like to add that when I tried to re-board my previous boat while at anchor after a swim off the stern, I quickly found that I could not, because although I had a sturdy ladder to climb, it was impossible because it did not descend into the water far enough to get my feet onto! Like so many, it only dipped into the water about 6 inches. You cannot get your feet onto the bottom rung in that location.


The only solution was to buy a second ladder and attach near the tip of the first with a hinge so that it went down about 3 feet into the water. It worked really well and I climbed it with ease. It folded up onto the first ladder and then they both folded up out of the water. I have never seen another one like it.


I had also intended to have a length of floating line hanging from a trigger mechanism that could be pulled by someone in the water because it was otherwise hard to release. I sold the boat before I could make it.


I am making serious plans to make boarding easy on our present boat. My crew are all shown how to stop the boat - and more. Fortunately, being a tri, it is much harder to fall off, and the floats aft are very low to the waterline, helping a great deal, but I plan on a triggered, deep ladder anyway.


Imagine how much harder it is to board when the boat is moving....!


We all owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to give serious thought about staying alive in our chosen sport and lifestyle!


RR.
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Old 15-05-2015, 10:18   #54
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

I should have added - don't think it is easy to climb a rope ladder on a boat - I found that when you put any weight on it with your feet, it will curve in underneath the hull, making it very hard to use. A solid ladder is the only way to go - unless you are uber-fit and young.


On my previous boat I also had a crane for my dinghy outboard that could be used to hoist someone out of the water at a point where the lifelines could be removed.


RR.
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Old 15-05-2015, 10:44   #55
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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...
I had also intended to have a length of floating line hanging from a trigger mechanism that could be pulled by someone in the water because it was otherwise hard to release. I sold the boat before I could make it.
..
RR.
Like you I tried to climb aboard and find I couldn't. My boat has an open transom and it looks possible but it isn't. The ladder is a removable one and it is not the first time that I take a swim forgetting about the ladder.

For taking care of that situation I have a piece of 12mm soft rope at all times attached on the back of the boat that I can get from water. On the rope I have two loops where my feet can get in and with that I can re-board the boat. It hurts like hell on the feet but I kind of find I deserve it

That could be bettered with two pieces of wood not to let the loops close around the feet but I use the rope also for securing the dinghy to put the engine on.

The good news is that the boats that enter the European Market from just some short years from now will mandatory (RCD) have a swimming ladder that should be accessible and fully deplored from the water giving an easy access to the boat, so with time all boats will have that problem solved.
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Old 15-05-2015, 11:14   #56
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
It would be no problem at all. I wouldn't climb up directly amidships, with 5' or more of freeboard, but instead simply go aft to the swim platform, handholds, or whatnot (depends on what kind of boat). If your tether is long enough, you would be able to do that without unhooking yourself.

I think all boats should have some method available to climb back in, even when the transom is up. At a minimum, just a few handholds, or a pull down rope ladder. If it doesn't, that's another problem.

But obviously, this is all a moot point of the person is unconscious, which was the case here.
I'm afraid you missed his entire point. His intent was to show the difficulty of getting back onboard or not tethered amidship even at anchor.
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Old 15-05-2015, 11:55   #57
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Another reason to have a self steering vane. Built in boarding ladder. I'm sure you can figure out how I learned that trick.

Seems most people go forward on the windward side. Personally always go forward on the leeward side. Leaning into the boat, you almost always have something solid, not a lifeline, to hang onto. Leaning into the boat is way more stable than going up the windward side so less chance of being thrown and injured by a fall across the deck. If I am unfortunate enough to go overboard, at least have a chance of climbing back aboard. The heel of the boat means a very short distant to lift myself and, if it's at all rough, could probably just roll back on to the deck.

Centerline Jack lines are fine but how do you get them back to the cockpit with a Dodger in the way. Feel it's more important that I hook up than worrying about what will happen if I do go overboard. Keep a permanent tether attached to a pad eye in the cockpit sole that I hook up to before exiting the companionway. Have seen numerous reports of MOB's of crew that came up from down below and went into the water before they'd had a chance to hook up.

My Jack Lines run from bow to near the stern in the walkway. 6' harness tether has a two hooks, one at the end and the other at midpoint. When I need to go forward or further aft than the cockpit sole tether will allow, hook on to the Jack Line before unhooking from the cockpit tether. When I get to where I'm going use one of the tether hooks to attach to any convenient hard point before disconnecting from the Jack Line. A Harness, Tether, and Jack Line do you absolutely no good if you aren't clipped in.
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Old 15-05-2015, 12:15   #58
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

If understood correctly, this unfortunate guy fell from his mast and was knocked unconscious, which suggest logically a head injury.
Nobody yet has mentionned the benefit of wearing a helmet ?
Is it something that you just do not do on a boat (protecting your head) ?
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Old 15-05-2015, 13:14   #59
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Rohan,
Getting back on board in protected waters is usually not an issue. A boat moving forward at a few knots creates massive drag that is near impossible for the average person to fight against (unless its in the movies). Then, there is the vertical movement to contend with. Assuming you can release your harness you then somehow need to get aft without loosing the boat. On the basis that the boat has somehow stopped forward movement (a miracle) the stern is usually rising and falling quite violently. It looks tame from the deck but witness it from a swimmers perspective. A couple of years ago in the Caribbean, on a friends boat, his towing eye ripped out of his dinghy. What a mission it was to recover the dinghy in 25 knots of breeze and a 3ft chop. Had it been a person I dread to think of the outcome.
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Old 15-05-2015, 13:16   #60
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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I'm afraid you missed his entire point. His intent was to show the difficulty of getting back onboard or not tethered amidship even at anchor.

I understood his point, but he was answering my question. I wanted to make it clear, that my question wasn't necessarily about climbing up the sheer side of the boat admidships.
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