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Old 15-05-2015, 13:59   #61
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
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.
I must have missed the unconscious part. A short tether and not going into the drink seems to be the best solution, at least my preference.
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Old 15-05-2015, 14:28   #62
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Knee pads.

I learned a long time ago, as a beach cat and dingy sailor, that knee pads are great. Not only are they great sliding across the decks on tacks, they are great on larger boats when cleaning, maintaining equipment, and ...

Working on the bow. They allow you to crawl when that is the safe way.

I have a tramp on the front of my cat, and that is wonderful because you can kneel when fooling with a sail or the anchor instead of standing up, all unstable and stupid looking. Kneeling I am below the lifelines and could NOT go over. Otherwise, it would be knee pads.

They aren't just for racers.
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Old 17-05-2015, 04:02   #63
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Tethers properly used can save lives with the proper jacket (in case you get hurt.) I wish I could get the sailboat and sail it back to her. RIP to her husband and my condolences to her and their family/ friends.
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Old 18-05-2015, 16:18   #64
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

we all die. I hope I die doing something I enjoy. R.I.P.
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Old 18-05-2015, 18:36   #65
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
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.
No. It is a basic tenet of MOB recovery that a casualty with wet clothes (so jackets etc) is often EXTREMELY hard to get aboard, even in a motionless boat. The force of being dragged even at 2 oor 3 knots is huge. Double it and it becomes impossible to resist. Climbing onto a boat while being dragged, unless flipped back up or assisted by big rolls is next to impossible. This is one o f the many reasons sailors should ALWAYS have an accessible knife on a lanyard READY TO HAND.
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Old 19-05-2015, 07:43   #66
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

This was one of the reasons I installed a swimming platform with a telescoping ladder underneath. It may bang me a little bit when trying to climb aboard if the boat is moving (don't ask me how I know) but it'll definitely give me a better chance than the previous setup which was a swing down stern ladder.
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Old 06-06-2015, 14:50   #67
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Knee pads.

I learned a long time ago, as a beach cat and dingy sailor, that knee pads are great. Not only are they great sliding across the decks on tacks, they are great on larger boats when cleaning, maintaining equipment, and ...

Working on the bow. They allow you to crawl when that is the safe way.

I have a tramp on the front of my cat, and that is wonderful because you can kneel when fooling with a sail or the anchor instead of standing up, all unstable and stupid looking. Kneeling I am below the lifelines and could NOT go over. Otherwise, it would be knee pads.

They aren't just for racers.
Yeah knee pads are a great idea. I'm always forgetting them it seems.

My boat gets kind of tossed around at times. Even when it's not getting tossed around it seems kind of odd to stand up and walk around on deck.

Under sail when going forward for me it's more of a crawl than anything else most of the time. When the boat is getting tossed around every movement becomes a chore and requires singular focus to avoid getting banged up and using more energy than necessary.

But I like that usually. I find a certain meditative pace to having to place each hand and foot individually and carefully while predicting what the next move will be. It's very much like rock climbing.

When it's tossing like that I'm almost always connected to the boat even in the cockpit. With the long tether on the padeye at the hatch I can steer the boat, tack the boat, get up to the mast etc. If I need to go forward for a sail change I'll clip to the jackline which is a permanently attached wire on my boat.

Another thing I've done is to weave a net from the toe rail to the top of the life line aft to the mast and then from the toe rail to the middle life line aft of that until getting to the cockpit where it's laced to the top again. The cockpit actually has weather cloth's on the lower half which I'd like to ultimately carry all the way around the stern. The weather cloth's really add to the sense of security in the cockpit. The only way you're falling out of the cockpit is to go up over the rail.

This lace is done with Amsteel and it's plenty strong enough to hold you should you get pushed over the side by a wave. I figure several strands would catch you so even with a heavy hit you'll be prevented from going over. You can see some of this in the picture attached.

I've gotten very comfortable with the lacing and when I step on a boat that doesn't have it, which is most, I feel exposed to the sea. It seems odd and unsafe to me to have those wide open spaces under the lifelines.

It's also very convenient in other ways. I can toss bumpers up onto the deck and they don't fall over. I can set a sail up there and it doesn't fall over. Groceries, water bottles, gear, etc are all easier to deal with when you don't have to worry about them falling over the side.

You've all seen this on racing boats on the foredeck to keep sails aboard. All I did was to make it crazy strong using Amsteel and bring it all the way aft but leave the midsection upper lifeline free so that you can reach through to run a buoy line or whatever.

If you've done this and you are crawling on your knees you are very unlikely to go over the side. If for some reason you do you'll have to go up over the lifelines and the tether will keep you from going much farther whereas without it you can be washed right through the lifelines at deck level and possibly drown quickly if your tether is too long.

Of course none of that takes care of the problem of letting your guard down in calm weather. I just keep reminding myself that death awaits me on the other side of the rail and that one little gasoline powered wave unseen and coming from a boat over the horizon can throw you over the side as it disturbs the otherwise regular motion you may have adjusted to. So I use the harness when it's almost ridiculous to do so, and if I'm not clipped in I'm down on my knees.

But we're thread drifting I guess. It sounds like this story started with going aloft. That brings up another can of worms in my infinite list of opinions. I go aloft in a climbing harness. There's no possibility of falling then but of course you could still get banged up. A climbing helmet might not be a bad idea for going aloft at sea. One of my peeves has been steps on the mast. So you climb up those 'oh so useful' steps and get to where you need to do something then you let go and start working on the thing.....? Steps on the mast.... don't get me started with steps on the mast.
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Old 06-06-2015, 15:16   #68
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by korrigan View Post
One of my peeves has been steps on the mast. So you climb up those 'oh so useful' steps and get to where you need to do something then you let go and start working on the thing.....? Steps on the mast.... don't get me started with steps on the mast.
Yes this thread is drifting, but also raising some interesting questions.

Steps on the mast: I always understood that they were there to make getting up the mast easier WHILE being hoisted on the bosun's chair AND attached by a harness. Other information, anyone?
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Old 06-06-2015, 16:39   #69
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

People laugh at me I single hand and wear a helmet.
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Old 06-06-2015, 16:47   #70
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
People laugh at me I single hand and wear a helmet.
Just duck the boom. Probably not to laughable single handed. Don't think I would.
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Old 06-06-2015, 16:49   #71
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by korrigan View Post
Yeah knee pads are a great idea. I'm always forgetting them it seems.

My boat gets kind of tossed around at times. Even when it's not getting tossed around it seems kind of odd to stand up and walk around on deck.

Under sail when going forward for me it's more of a crawl than anything else most of the time. When the boat is getting tossed around every movement becomes a chore and requires singular focus to avoid getting banged up and using more energy than necessary.

But I like that usually. I find a certain meditative pace to having to place each hand and foot individually and carefully while predicting what the next move will be. It's very much like rock climbing.

When it's tossing like that I'm almost always connected to the boat even in the cockpit. With the long tether on the padeye at the hatch I can steer the boat, tack the boat, get up to the mast etc. If I need to go forward for a sail change I'll clip to the jackline which is a permanently attached wire on my boat.

Another thing I've done is to weave a net from the toe rail to the top of the life line aft to the mast and then from the toe rail to the middle life line aft of that until getting to the cockpit where it's laced to the top again. The cockpit actually has weather cloth's on the lower half which I'd like to ultimately carry all the way around the stern. The weather cloth's really add to the sense of security in the cockpit. The only way you're falling out of the cockpit is to go up over the rail.

This lace is done with Amsteel and it's plenty strong enough to hold you should you get pushed over the side by a wave. I figure several strands would catch you so even with a heavy hit you'll be prevented from going over. You can see some of this in the picture attached.

I've gotten very comfortable with the lacing and when I step on a boat that doesn't have it, which is most, I feel exposed to the sea. It seems odd and unsafe to me to have those wide open spaces under the lifelines.

It's also very convenient in other ways. I can toss bumpers up onto the deck and they don't fall over. I can set a sail up there and it doesn't fall over. Groceries, water bottles, gear, etc are all easier to deal with when you don't have to worry about them falling over the side.

You've all seen this on racing boats on the foredeck to keep sails aboard. All I did was to make it crazy strong using Amsteel and bring it all the way aft but leave the midsection upper lifeline free so that you can reach through to run a buoy line or whatever.

If you've done this and you are crawling on your knees you are very unlikely to go over the side. If for some reason you do you'll have to go up over the lifelines and the tether will keep you from going much farther whereas without it you can be washed right through the lifelines at deck level and possibly drown quickly if your tether is too long.

Of course none of that takes care of the problem of letting your guard down in calm weather. I just keep reminding myself that death awaits me on the other side of the rail and that one little gasoline powered wave unseen and coming from a boat over the horizon can throw you over the side as it disturbs the otherwise regular motion you may have adjusted to. So I use the harness when it's almost ridiculous to do so, and if I'm not clipped in I'm down on my knees.

But we're thread drifting I guess. It sounds like this story started with going aloft. That brings up another can of worms in my infinite list of opinions. I go aloft in a climbing harness. There's no possibility of falling then but of course you could still get banged up. A climbing helmet might not be a bad idea for going aloft at sea. One of my peeves has been steps on the mast. So you climb up those 'oh so useful' steps and get to where you need to do something then you let go and start working on the thing.....? Steps on the mast.... don't get me started with steps on the mast.
I enjoyed reading your post up above.

I agree with much of what you wrote, but do have some differences too.

You mentioned something about going under lifelines as a risk. It is. I had that happen to me when I was working on the foredeck and the boat I was on did an accidental gybe. Despite my normal good traction and care and experience on heeled boats beating to windward, I went under the lifelines and over the side (MOB) instantly (in a second or two). Consequently, on my boat I will have lifeline netting on the foredeck area (at minimum) and all around when voyaging.

I also like knee pads and often wore them when working the foredeck during races. As I have gotten older, I will continue to use them when doing deck work etc. Pads are more comfortable and easy to replace and cheap. Knees are something I don't want to replace.

Regarding the use of mast steps, I feel very differently. See my next post for why.
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Old 06-06-2015, 17:30   #72
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Forgive me if I hijack a little. I read this thread with sweaty palms because being dragged by the boat while the boat is sinking has been a frequent daydream for the past 30-odd years and at times felt so severe it kept me from sailing.

1) Assuming you are conscious and do not have a knife or obvious means to get free, what is the solution?

2) If you are at sea, solo or with crew, and could get free, would it make any difference? Is it better to bob in life jackets with no rescue around or finish it and go down with the boat?

If anyone thinks i should start another thread, i can.
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Old 06-06-2015, 17:49   #73
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
People laugh at me I single hand and wear a helmet.
I am not laughing at you.

My thoughts on helmets worn while sailing:

Personal safety is ultimately YOUR responsibility and you should not care if anyone laughs at you for your choices. It is YOUR life you are protecting, NOT theirs.

While some people may not want to wear a helmet while caving, rock climbing, sky diving, cave diving, hang gliding, auto racing, white water kayaking, bicycle or motorcycle riding (or other sports or work activities where blows to the head are not uncommon and where head injuries that merely cause even temporary unconsciousness can be fatal), they do make sense to me and I would have no qualms about wearing one.

Some people laugh at someone because of their choice of their personal car or clothing or choice of shoes. But those things are not as important as something that may save your life if it is needed. I feel the same way when I see boat crews that use peer pressure (usually snide remarks) to discourage others from wearing PFDs. IF it saves your head (life) just ONCE from serious injury or death, that will be enough.

Of course I don't think one needs to wear a helmet on all boats or at all times. But I can think back on times when I think having one on would have been smart.

Need an example? I will give you four.

Example one:
When you have to go over the side to examine or clear the prop, while the boat is pitching and rocking with the waves. While you are UNDER the boat your head is in a vulnerable position. One CONK on your head down there and you might be knocked out cold and underwater too. Not a good scenario.

Example Two:
I recall reading of a sailor who was knocked unconscious due to a blow to his head while he was in the shower of his sailboat. He was knocked out when the boat capsized (he was lying ahull at the time). He also chose to wear a helmet at some other previous times but did not have it on his head in the shower (a natural enough choice). Still, he was knocked out. The boat was lost due to the capsize, but while he was dazed after recovering consciousness, he had to depend on his crew (one other man) to help him safely exit the boat and put on his PFD etc. As I recall the story, he wrote that the other man saved his life.

A sharp blow to the head can cause unconsciousness (or death) and the blow on a boat does not have to be from a swinging boom. It could be something as simple as falling.

In some activities, even if the blow only causes momentary unconsciousness, it can prove fatal if that unconsciousness leads to a further accident (e.g. falling overboard, drowning, falling from a height, etc.).

Example Three:
While working on the foredeck of a boat that is sailing.
For example, another CF member (TacomaSailor) wrote of being hit by the flying clew of a foresail when he was on the foredeck. I used to work the foredeck on racing boats in SF Bay and the wind and wave conditions when beating upwind could make for a very rocky and pitching deck. I have almost been hit on the head several times, by sheets and by spinnaker poles etc. A swinging boom or spinnaker pole, could cause instant death. I think a flapping clew could too. Even a large knot or a metal shackle on the clew can be enough when it whips around.

Example Four:
On a boat with a low boom and/or with a helmsman that is not good about announcing the change of tack or not good at preventing an unplanned gybe. I have been on many boats where the skipper or helmsman seemed to think it was "cool" to tack without loud warning to the crew. And I have seen many people ALMOST get whacked by booms on many boats.
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As I see it, your helmet looks "smart" and if it helps YOU feel more secure while also possibly preventing a more serious injury if YOU have an accident, then that is good for YOU. Remember that and just smile at the hecklers next time.
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:09   #74
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesV View Post
Forgive me if I hijack a little. I read this thread with sweaty palms because being dragged by the boat while the boat is sinking has been a frequent daydream for the past 30-odd years and at times felt so severe it kept me from sailing.

1) Assuming you are conscious and do not have a knife or obvious means to get free, what is the solution?

2) If you are at sea, solo or with crew, and could get free, would it make any difference? Is it better to bob in life jackets with no rescue around or finish it and go down with the boat?

If anyone thinks i should start another thread, i can.
Hi Charles.

Your daydream reminded me of at the climactic scene in "Captains Courageous."



I do think your questions or scenario would be an interesting NEW thread topic and suggest you use a title like this: "What IF My Boat Sinks While I Am Tethered To It" or something like that.

But, I think your question is not quite clear (to me). Are you concerned that you will be wearing a harness and tether when the boat sinks below you, dragging you down? Is that it?

Or are you concerned that you will be caught in the rigging while trying to get off the boat? (Like Manuel in the movie)

Or that you will be in a capsized boat that sinks with you caught in something like rigging?
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:35   #75
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Re: Man dies dragged by sailboat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
Yes this thread is drifting, but also raising some interesting questions.

Steps on the mast: I always understood that they were there to make getting up the mast easier WHILE being hoisted on the bosun's chair AND attached by a harness. Other information, anyone?

_____________

I have some more thoughts on this (Mast Steps) but will start another thread to focus on that instead of adding more thread drift here (I have done enough of that already).
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