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View Poll Results: How often do you practice MOB procedures?
Every time we get underway 2 1.74%
On a set schedule, ie Monthly/Weekly/Annualy 8 6.96%
At the start of each passage 7 6.09%
Any time a new crewmember is aboard 9 7.83%
Not as often as we should 62 53.91%
Never 27 23.48%
Voters: 115. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15-11-2006, 16:44   #46
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When sailing offshore, I tell my crew "if you fall overboard, you are dead". The bottom line is, even if you are well drilled in your MOB procedures, the chances of finding and rescuing someone who falls overboard as slim to nil. People don't, as a rule, fall overboard in flat water or light breezes. They fall overboard in a big sea, when its blowing a "hatfull of arseholes", at night.

Of course, we would do everything properly to try to recover the MOB... and when going offshore, I always have a crew briefing that includes explaining the MOB procedure, explaining people's roles in such an event. Offshore, everyone must wear a harness in over 20 knots. Offshore, everyone must wear a harness at night, even in light breeze... and if you fall overboard... you die.
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Old 15-11-2006, 17:08   #47
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Rick, ever see the stern of a J/24? That's an example of worst-case where literally, a stern boarding ladder could not be fit because the rudder comes up the transom.

On larger offshore boats, you may find self-steering gear has been fitted to the transom, making it impossible to fit a stern ladder.

And then, in between those two problems, there's a whole batch of boats where the rudder extends under the stern, and lurks only a foot or so below the surface, almost extending to the transom. That doesn't interfere with the ladder--but it does mean there's another sharp hard thing slapping around the water in the same location where a MOB needs to be, in order to board on a stern ladder.

Cats tend to move around a whole lot less, but try working on the hull of any monohull in the water, especially at the ends if it is hobbyhorsing a bit--as it often will be when not making way in bad wx. In the cockpit it may feel like nothing, but a hull pitching up and down only one foot in each direction, is still swinging TWO foot in each swing, making it on the one hand completely out of reach, and on the other hand, putting it through your skull, or ribs. And that's when it is "just" moving one foot up and down from the mean.

If you find the balance point midships, the deck will mainly be rotating, not jumping up and down, which makes it much safer to board there. Last I'd heard, NOAA required all diving operations to be from midships for that reason. Less hazardous in bad wx.
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Old 25-11-2006, 14:33   #48
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Some friends took possesion of their new boat in San Fransisco. They did the right thing on their first outing and went out past Golden Gate to practice MOB. On the way they joked about which kid they would throw over. On arrival they tossed over a life ring, did a figure 8 and came back alongside nicely. When she leaned over to "rescue" the life ring all she saw was the jaws of a large shark taking a bite from it. I saw it afterwards, scary. Drowning isn't the only thing to worry about.
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Old 25-11-2006, 16:35   #49
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MOB Practice

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (Rushcutters Bay, Sydney) is holding an information/instruction session on MOB on Saturday 3 Dec.

Further information at: http://www.cyca.com.au/newsDetail.asp?key=2852

Fair winds

Steve
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Old 25-11-2006, 17:38   #50
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Here's one that sounds a little crazy in retrospect. On a sail training ship I used to work on, we would occasionally put someone in a survival suit and have them jump off to be recovered for real! We only did it in fair weather with light airs and calm seas but boy is it scary to watch your vessel sail away from you. Nothing like the real thing to get 18 trainees to take a drill seriously though.

I do not advise this for anyone. (well maybe for dinghy sailors)
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Old 26-11-2006, 07:33   #51
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That MOB drill teaches 2 things:

1) how to recover a MOB

and, possibly MOST importantly...

2) it's a scary thing and you DON'T want to fall overboard!!


:cubalibre
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Old 26-11-2006, 07:45   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpj23
That MOB drill teaches 2 things:

1) how to recover a MOB
Most MOB drills dont teach you this at all (and that is the really scary part)

They do teach you how to get back to the person, but because time is limited, and the buoy is normally picked up by a boat hook, it encourages very bad seamanship by trying to almost ram the poor buoy - if you were in the water for real, 95% of approaches given a well done by an instructor, would actually be so close as to cause a heart attack in the MOB

and what about the most difficult aspect of MOB recovery - getting him back onto the boat - a quick flick with a boathook is not going to work!
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Old 26-11-2006, 12:13   #53
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Valid comment from Talbot
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Old 26-11-2006, 12:22   #54
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Before they cleaned up NY harbor, we had two basic rules about MOB:

1- Do not fall overboard.
2-If you have ignored Rule #1, do NOT walk on the water. It tends to start religions.
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Old 27-11-2006, 13:21   #55
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We just did an MOB workshop following a real incident of trying to recover an unconscious person in the water. It is so far removed from the 'bucket and fender' exercises we have all practised.

Firstly, getting hold of the casualty is not easy. Secondly, pulling someone up the transom is generally a non-starter (tried it for real). Thirdly, all the ideas of swinging the boom out as a crane are generally unrealistic, on the grounds of time and difficulty.

We then tried a new recovery system that did not work for us, although it probably would have worked on a smaller boat. The manufacturer is now producing a model for higher freeboard craft.

We also tried recovery into liferaft and semi-inflated dinghy. These are possible, but not easy, and involve putting a second person (possibly the only other crewmember) into a risk position by leaving the boat.

In these tests we used a person in a drysuit wearing a lifejacket/harness. We also found that lifting someone on a harness was a painfull and debilitating experience. Frankly, of you go over the side attached to a lifeline, you will not be able to contribute to your own rescue. This was confirmed by 3 people, one of which had experienced this and said that it took six crew to get him back on board.

This was a very sobering day, and left everyone involved rather shocked. On a positive note, we have just tested a brand new prototype recovery system that worked for us, (and I have ordered production unit No 1).

Our lessons so far are to avoid going over the side, to operate with the shortest lifelines compatible with working the boat, and to have a means of raising an alarm if someone goes missing.

It was such an eye-opener that we are now setting up further workshops. In the meantime, our recommendation is to ensure crew wear auto-lifejackets with lights and sprayhoods, and have them serviced annually. Even these are not foolproof, as an ill-fitting lifejacket can actually pump water up the face of the wearer in adverse sea conditions.

Sorry if this all sounds doom and gloom, but being prepared takes much more than a bucket & fender test. I strongly recommend you not only plan for it, but actually put someone in the water in safe conditions and practise it.

steve
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Old 27-11-2006, 14:11   #56
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Quote:
our recommendation is to ensure crew wear auto-lifejackets with lights and sprayhoods
Whilst I dont disagree with the wearing of lifejackets + hood+light. I am not sold on an automatic lifejacket unless you are in danger from the boom.

Furthermore, I would have thought that your major recomendation would have been more along the lines of harness, and short lifeline. I am also a strong believer in the jackstay for the lifeline being sited on the centreline rather than near the stanchions. This way there is a much better chance of the harness keeping you onboard.
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Old 27-11-2006, 14:38   #57
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It is disappointing to hear that the systems which have worked for others did not work for you. That invites the question of user error or training, both of which are necessary for almost any system.

For instance, using the boom as a boom hoist. We keep a dedicated 4-part tackle rigged with a snap hook, so that it can be brought on deck, snapped onto the boom an a MOB, and used as a hoist that will have good purchase and lift advantage. None of the normal rigging has to be messed with--just snap the MOB lift in place, and hoist. With a 4:1 purchase it will reduce most crew to a managable load.

You don't mention many specifics, or what kind of radical new system you've ordered. Without details...your post says a lot less than it might.

You also don't mention using either of the sails as a lift, and that's another old standard for hoisting a MOB. Drop the mainsail out of the track, while leaving the main halyard attached. Let the sail go overboard and manouever the MOB into the belly formed in the sail. Now hoist the main halyard, which has good mechanical advantage, and as the sail rolls up onto the boat, the MOB will be rolled up and hoisted over the lifelines and onboard. No special equipment needed--just practice.

Of course, having a lifting point on the MOB, preferably a harness with lifting point, helps greatly if you have to tie onto the MOB. But any harness or vest without a crotch strap is likely to simply pull up and off.
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Old 27-11-2006, 15:03   #58
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Most of the crews involved sail 2 handed. Therefore simplicity and speed are essential. Our yacht, like many others, has in-mast furling, and dropping the storm jib over the side means that it has to be fetched from the forepeak.

We tried using variations on a number of blocks rigged for the purpose. However, only 1 crew managed to hoist a person out of the water with this. In addition, the lack of a ready means of locking the hoist, ie, by jammer or winch (at a working angle) defeated crews. The 4:1 was too much for most females trying to hoist their partner. One rig had a jammer, but found it unusable.

I do not want to knock anyone's method for this, or any kit, but I do want to encourage people to practice this and have something ready that works for them. The reality is that if they ever have to do it for real (and I hope they don't) it is unlikely to be when they are tied to a pontoon, but in much less benign conditions.

Talbot is absolutely correct in suggesting that centreline jackstays are to be preferred. We would have some difficulty rigging one, given our deck layout.

The point on auto jackets/harness is also a matter of personal viewpoint. If you are happy with a manual, fine. I take the view that auto saves a decision at the point you might be hit with cold water shock, let alone a bang on the head.

Totally agree with the issue of a crotch strap. Without out one, you just have a fancy scarf.
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Old 27-11-2006, 15:33   #59
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Why not Take the nearest spare halyard to the MOB's harness and put it on the biggest winch on the boat????? Don't worry if you break a few ribs, it's the lesser of two evils. Agree with comments here that it has to be fast and efficient and practiced.
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Old 29-11-2006, 18:28   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan
When sailing offshore, I tell my crew "if you fall overboard, you are dead". The bottom line is, even if you are well drilled in your MOB procedures, the chances of finding and rescuing someone who falls overboard as slim to nil. People don't, as a rule, fall overboard in flat water or light breezes. They fall overboard in a big sea, when its blowing a "hatfull of arseholes", at night.

Of course, we would do everything properly to try to recover the MOB... and when going offshore, I always have a crew briefing that includes explaining the MOB procedure, explaining people's roles in such an event. Offshore, everyone must wear a harness in over 20 knots. Offshore, everyone must wear a harness at night, even in light breeze... and if you fall overboard... you die.
Your right Weyalan and I'll go one step further. Cinch up the tether so you can't go over the lifeline. Yea it's a bitch but the alternative is worse.

We like the quick stop but there are problems, don't want to pitch someone over the side trying to stop the boat. What if you are carrying the kite? We keep knives at the corners and will cut it away cause you'll never it gt it down in time. We would be 2 miles down the course before we could get it down.

One last note, I do not like the aft boarding ladder if there is any sea, being under the counter is no place to be. Prefer to launch the mom and throw every floater in the drink for the mob. We'll bring the person along side and use the halyard to retrieve the person in the life sling.
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