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Old 01-06-2013, 17:41   #196
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Another thing to consider when thinking about regaining the boat whilst underway: the speed through the water not only makes it very hard to get back to the boat, but as you are trying to climb up -- ladder, knotted rope, whatever -- the water rushing by keeps you from getting oriented correctly for the task.

....

This isn't exactly analogous to clambering up the transom of a moving yacht, or over the side, but it is an indication that static exercises will not accurately mock up a real overboard self recovery.

So, stay on board!

Cheers,

Jim
Jim

Valid point, indeed.

One way to mitigate this, for boats with a solo watchkeeper, is to tow a tripline.

(NOT a 'lifeline': the accent is on "Trip")

I believe this has been raised earlier in the thread, instantly squelched by a dismissal by invoking some secret cabal of 'big strong guys'. I don't know who they are, but I resent their speaking on behalf of weaklings like me.

I'm not sure why, but every time the notion of trailing a tripline comes up, the majority of respondents rule it out because the "speed through the water" will make it impossible to get back to the boat. A more nuanced dismissal contends that it will not be possible to get to it in time, and then there's the counsel of perfection: "you shouldn't have gone overboard in the first place".

Then there's the 'trailing ropes get caught in props' argument.

OK, Now we're getting into useful territory. This, I reckon, is a very valid argument.

It still does not qualify as a full dismissal: it's hardly a consideration in the case of a single-hander (eg the protagonist in this thread), or a boat with no auxiliary.

The problem can furthermore be mitigated on a boat with well briefed and/or self- disciplined and thoughtful sailors, bearing in mind that if the tripline has a handle, they are likely to be able to recover the MOB by hauling in the tripline. If s/he has lost grip on it, they should haul the tripline in if they plan to motor.

Now we have a new variation (and this isn't aimed at you Jim, it has already been raised on this thread) : we're back at the boat, but we can't climb a swim ladder or rope ladder because of the speed through the water.

People: The word "Tripline" changes the game: the point of it is that, if it's properly set up, you can stop the boat by yanking it.

So it seems to me not to make any sense to raise 'speed through the water preventing regaining, or reboarding' as an argument against triplines.

The boat may be surging about, and that may present difficulties.

That's a valid concern, and can't be magicked away ... but in extremis, people forced to abandon their boat or raft and make it up scrambling nets onto ships frequently point out that heaving is not devoid of hidden merit in this situation: you have to time your upwards rushes for when gravity is being counteracted by the vessel dropping towards you.

I would rather focus on how to make things go right than rule measures out because of things which might go wrong.

It's like addressing the possibility that my reserve chute might not open, or might not slow me sufficiently, rather than discarding the idea of reserve chutes altogether.

The notion that a reserve chute is not entirely satisfactory could alternatively be thought of as providing a useful antidote to any 'moral hazard' tendency to daydream while packing the main chute...

- - - - -

No-one is forcing anyone else to adopt this idea on their own boat, and you may not be able to imagine how a tripline could stop a boat ... but on behalf of those of us who can not only imagine but can implement such a thing, I think it would be a lot more useful to the discussion if you could find valid grounds in order to dismiss it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 17:46   #197
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

In reading this thread I have not found any mention of how his EPIRB was to be activated.

However water activation is common (refer Wikipedia and AMSA). The instructions on my EPIRB say to deploy in water if conditions allow.

I'm guessing he had a medical emergency (heart attack or stroke maybe) and this, combined with lack of sleep convinced him the EPIRB had to be in the water. In putting it in the water I'd further guess that he slipped in some way and fell in.

For me the lesson here is that putting an EPIRB in the water may be dangerous and I need to think through how I would deploy my EPIRB in an emergency.

Having a 30' length of string hand may be a good idea, together with a cradle of some kind on the cabin top.
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Old 01-06-2013, 17:53   #198
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LOLOL....
Yup.... seems like only yesterday I swam competitively... Wiesmuller, the original 'Tarzan' was my hero.. these days I'm lucky if I can mange 25 metres flat out before hitting the pain barrier...
I lost the 'Edge' a few years ago and its been a slow slide down ever since... no more deep breathing exercises... just small lazy breathing.. except when its nicotine.. crap maintenance basically...
So sudden exertion burns up the oxygen pretty fast and the ache begins..
The hell of being a lazy ole buga...

Can still do the anchor chain tho'....
Kid had a life jacket on. I don't think the kid was a smoker. I should not have left that out.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:04   #199
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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For me the lesson here is that putting an EPIRB in the water may be dangerous and I need to think through how I would deploy my EPIRB in an emergency.

.
You flip up the protective cover and push the "on" button.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:08   #200
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
In reading this thread I have not found any mention of how his EPIRB was to be activated.

However water activation is common (refer Wikipedia and AMSA). The instructions on my EPIRB say to deploy in water if conditions allow.

I'm guessing he had a medical emergency (heart attack or stroke maybe) and this, combined with lack of sleep convinced him the EPIRB had to be in the water. In putting it in the water I'd further guess that he slipped in some way and fell in.
.
Jay was well aware of how to set off the EPIRB manually; we had discussed it in the past. But then again we talked about jacklines and short tethers

Regardless, he was fit, and assuming the boat would fall off the wind he would have certainly been able to haul himself back aboard if conscious.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:11   #201
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pirate Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Kid had a life jacket on. I don't think the kid was a smoker. I should not have left that out.
Oh... sorry... I misunderstood... thought the kid rescued you... tired arms...
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:14   #202
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On mine there's a card I can't read without my glasses on. I think I have to push the green okay button while pushing the red on button and hold them both for 3 seconds. Then it gets a location and sends that to a satellite that relays the SOS to a room filled with carol brunette look alikes. Harvey Coreman evaluates the incoming transmission and decides if he needs to hit the big red button on the wall. Everyone in the room is terrified of hitting the big button. They are not sure what will happen. Usually they don't hit the button. Mine is a cheaper version but has the new frequency rating. Guess I would not rely on it saving my transom. Not sure this was not a dream but it keeps me far away from pushing those buttons at the same time.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:18   #203
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I am surprised by the assertion that this boat would turn down wind when the helm was free. Most people set up their rig to provide a small amount of weather helm, ie, the boat will come up into the wind and go into irons when the helm is freed. Sailing a boat with lee helm is a monumental pain in the ass IMO, and I can't imagine why Jay would have set up his rig to do this.

And Andrew, I am certainly in favour of a trip line that causes the boat to come head to wind (and disengage the tranny if motoring). Not always so easy to work out, but a very good idea for soloists (if they can stomach the drag of this little "warp"). I think that it is much easier on a tiller steered boat than a wheel steerer, but likely still possible.

Cheers,

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Old 01-06-2013, 18:19   #204
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I was anchored off of Boca Grande in the Keys. Beside me was a boat with 2 very healthy young men (18 and 21 perhaps) and what I perceived to be their grand-father.

The boys swam out to the beach and the grand-father took a kayak out. A few hours later they decided to return the same way. The tidal current must have been close to three knots and they needed to swim across it.

The oldest boy actually managed to make it. I was very impressed. However his younger sibling was quickly washed out to sea. His grandfather caught up to him in the Kayak and he was hanging onto it.

As I was lowering my dingy to go out and tow them back in, the older boy lifted anchor on their boat and went after them.

It all happened so fast. If no one was around to help out that swimmer, he would have very likely drowned.

So be very careful when you challenge your boys to swim against a 3-4 knot current.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:21   #205
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Seems to me that the Coast Guard really need to get some SAR drones that could fly 24/7 and can pick out and highlight targets to be further investigated by manned aircraft. Instead of always having manned crews do the all the searching. Fuel savings could be substantial and wider areas could be searched around the clock using these drones. The incident earlier this year of the parents sailing with their kids to Cuba and Jay's unfortunate circumstances points out some major flaws in security and our ability to monitor U.S. coastal waters. These two incidents are wakeup calls for a lot of reasons IMO.
There"s not much money in SAR. Unfortunately, It's more profitable to provide intelligence to the military. I was one of the founders of a company that produces very capable maritime search UAV's Insitu Inc.

We were the first folks to fly an unmanned aircraft across the atlantic. Swarms of these things can be launched and programmed to search thousands of miles of ocean.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:28   #206
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I used to keep my boat in a tidal river with up to three knots of current at times. Every summer I would rescue people who jumped off their boat while at a mooring and drifted away so fast they weren't able to regain the boat--almost nobody can make headway against three knots for long, short of championship swimmers. We would trail a long line off the stern of our boat and jump in off the bow and it was just possible to catch the trailing line if you were quick about it--falling in during the night while you're not expecting it, and with weather gear">foul weather gear on, etc., there is no way you will ever catch that trailing line. Find me one instance of a singlehander that successfully did this and I will be surprised--find one, and report back, it will be interesting to read how he/she did it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:31   #207
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Anyone remember Rockin Robin? June 1990, NE Australian coast. Fixed in my memory as I spent that entire week of precious holiday time on a tiny trailerable boat at anchor in the vicinity, waiting for the blow to subside.

The long and short of it is an epirb was activated, the boat found by the RAAF, two liferafts were dropped as the crew had managed to shred theirs. Four people got into one of the life rafts. They were never seen again.

No guarantees. Nor should there be.
Yes do recall but 23 years ago and different epirb system today. I do agree that there are no guarantees, but with all this technology about why not give yourself the best chance.

This equipment used to be soo expensive that it was nearly not possible to the mainstream community ,but like all things when patents expire and the masses can manufacture we all enjoy lower prices and in my mind a much more reliable safety net
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:44   #208
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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So be very careful when you challenge your boys to swim against a 3-4 knot current.
I'm not gonna kick them off the deck on a moonless night with an outgoing tide.

I'm gonna drag em behind the boat (the next boat) and watch em try to get back aboard. At 4 knots.

The reason they think they are able is because the last time we were in light air on the Gemini we were making 2-3 knots (OK, sometimes 4-5) and they asked if they could jump off the bow and get back on. Sure, no problem. Easy peasy. What they don't understand is that they are both 6'4"+ and 230 lbs +. This meant that when they grabbed the rope or ladder and pulled they took the boat to less than 3 knots.

They don't realize this as they are young and I am old and stupid.
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Old 01-06-2013, 18:47   #209
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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There"s not much money in SAR. Unfortunately, It's more profitable to provide intelligence to the military. I was one of the founders of a company that produces very capable maritime search UAV's Insitu Inc.

We were the first folks to fly an unmanned aircraft across the atlantic. Swarms of these things can be launched and programmed to search thousands of miles of ocean.
Yep.

Very nice.

Thank you for your service.
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:02   #210
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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..... We would trail a long line off the stern of our boat and jump in off the bow and it was just possible to catch the trailing line if you were quick about it--falling in during the night while you're not expecting it, and with foul weather gear on, etc., there is no way you will ever catch that trailing line. Find me one instance of a singlehander that successfully did this and I will be surprised--find one, and report back, it will be interesting to read how he/she did it.
It used to be not unheard of for people falling overboard to grab the trailing log line. (It's not clear to me that being singlehanders would impair their abilities to do this ...)

I posted a link a month or two back, on this forum, when we were discussing triplines, to a documented instance. This guy not only grabbed it (spinning flat out!), but held onto it, and was successfully retrieved.

The other instances I'm aware of are either from people I've sailed with, or accounts I've read in the pre internet era.

... Back when the majority still had full use of their opposable thumbs, before they were coopted and monopolised by text messaging .


You don't say how long the trailing line was in your test, nor whether it had a bridle, floats and a handle.

In my tests, I used a water ski rope of the usual length, and I was able to easily get to it in time, at a range of speeds, on every attempt, something I was not fully expecting. It actually takes quite a while for a rope that long to go past, and unless you're on an IMOCA 60, it's not going to be far away, and you will generally know which side of the centerline of the wake you fell in unless you got smacked around the head on the way.

In rough seas and with the surprise and cold factors, I'm hardly expecting that level of success.

For someone who had not practiced and is not used to swimming in surf, it seems to me that "even odds" would be a more realistic aspiration, but that should still be more than enough to justify thinking about this as a backup (first line: "a hand for yourself"; second line, scrupulous use of tethers and jacklines)

Even with the prospects of success halved, the upside still trumps the downside, to my way of thinking.
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