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Old 10-09-2021, 15:19   #16
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

Originally Posted by Manateeman View Post
I don’t think the proper way to discuss it is by asking for stories because it tends to become less serious as those who survive often hide or downplay the traumatic experience.
And it demonstrates the classic flaw of "survivorship bias".

It would be more useful to analyse situations where people fell off a boat and didn't survive!
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Old 10-09-2021, 15:44   #17
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

not a fall off my boat story, but we did pick up a guy who'd fallen off his boat

we were coming back home...early evening in autumn on pittwater (sydney). just getting dark and no-one around. for some reason we just caught sight of a chap hanging on to the back of a moored boat

went over and found he was in a bad way...70's...hypothermia...heavy clothing. he did not have long

anyway, dragged him aboard (fairly easy access on a cat + my 2 young fit & strong sons), dried him off and deposited him at the local yacht club

turned out he had slipped getting into his dinghy, which flipped & drifted away in the tide. no way to get out on his boat so he had swam to another nearby boat with an open stern. the swim & cold had exhausted him and with wet clothing he was unable to pull himself out.

another 20mins and i reckon he was a goner

lessons to learn ;

- never take any boating activity lightly, no matter how experienced you think you are or how many times you've done it
- always have a means to access your boarding ladder from the water. if it folds up, a string & a slip knot can save your life. if you don't have a boarding ladder - GET ONE

"home is where the anchor drops" onboard in French Polynesia...maintaining social distancing
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Old 10-09-2021, 16:33   #18
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

I was making a dodger for NURDLE, my Bristol 35.5C which I kept at a private dock behind someone's home. It was a Saturday morning, and I was a surgeon on call for the weekend and going in to the hospital to do surgery on a child (I had not yet met) who had been admitted the night before. The boat was only a few minutes out of the way, so I left a bit earlier than usual. I had adjusted the frame and was stopping by the boat to quickly check the fit. Carrying the frame over my shoulder, as I stepped aboard from the narrow rickety catwalk, the trailing end of the frame caught on the far edge of the catwalk, halting me in midstride about 6 inches short of the rail. In I went, whacking the back of my head on the edge of the catwalk. Fortunately, the water was shallow and I was fit enough to climb out over the seawall.

I arrive at the hospital in wet scrubs, bleeding scalp, squishing shoes and a drowned phone with a weekend on call just starting.
The nurses, after they stopped laughing, glued my scalp. I put on a dry pair of scrubs, ditched my wet socks, put on a surgical cap to cover my wet hair and shoe covers to muffle the squish and met the patient and family who, I hope, never knew of my misadventure. Following surgery I went directly and bought my first iPhone.

We still laugh about it.

It could have been MUCH worse. Unlike the Nordhavn story, there was no one around. If knocked unconscious, I would have drowned in 3 feet of water.
John Churchill Ocala, FL
NURDLE, 1979 Bristol 35.5 CB
Currently hauled out ashore Summerfield FL for refit
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Old 10-09-2021, 20:44   #19
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

The “lifesling case histories” document describes over 100 cases.
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Old 11-09-2021, 04:22   #20
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

There's a lot of good material for reflection here.

A couple of years ago while walking back to the boat, at dock in a marina late at night, I looked at the dock configuration and started thinking about how far I would have to swim to get to land if I fell in right there. I'm now likely to wear a pfd on dock if there's no one else around.

And going through locks - in my view that's the most dangerous place on a canal - you're out playing on deck and there's no place to walk ashore if you fall in. But hardly anybody wears a pfd in locks.
My boat is like me. People look, and say "... pretty good shape ... for its age ..."
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Old 11-09-2021, 04:57   #21
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

I have only fallen overboard once, as a kid. We were about to head off for church on that Sunday morning. I got back on board, and had to change my clothes, but did not have a second pair of shoes. Needless to say, we were late for church, and the only open seating was up front, so we had to walk all the way up front from the back entrance with my shoes making a definitely loud squish noise with every step that was easily audible with every step. Just that sheer embarrassment as a pre-teen has cured me of any and all recklessness while on the boat. Nowadays safety is priority #1.
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Old 11-09-2021, 05:56   #22
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

Originally Posted by StuM View Post
And it demonstrates the classic flaw of "survivorship bias".

It would be more useful to analyse situations where people fell off a boat and didn't survive!

Yes. We could interview them.
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Old 11-09-2021, 06:35   #23
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I will add a bit of humor to my falling out of my open bow runabout. I was wearing a straw hat. When I went over I went under water but the hat did not. Just a straw hat floating on the water. Again I was launching solo on an inland lake. I was amazed how fast it happened. Probably 10 - 15 mile an hour constant wind. I knew to be extra careful but somehow ended up out of the boat. Other people at the launch area had a good laugh.

I had be boating 25 years previous to this in small runabout open bow type boats on in-land lakes in warm(ish) water.

I do not plan of being in cold water or on the ocean. MOB would be catastrophic in either of those situations.

Oh, I have been in water 42 degrees with a dry suit and it was still very cold in my younger days as a waterskier.

when I take people on board my first go over is
I do not have an MOB system, I do have an IOB Idiot Over Board system.
If you fall overboard is because did not follow all prescribed procedures, I feel MOB implies there is a system to get people back on board.
My promise is to do my best to get you back, If the sharks do not get to you first, If you do not die of hypothermia first
If I fall is all over.
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:01   #24
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

This happened on a C&C Redwing 30.
We were anchored up a creek that regularly saw tide changes of 9 feet twice a day and 3.5 to 4 knots of outbound current. This particular night had a storm from the south that pushed more water than normal up the creek on the rising tide. I estimate close to 11 feet.
We were anchored with two anchors 1 off the bow and 1 astern, but due to sheer laziness our kedge anchor was the upstream anchor. I knew I should switch them, but figured I would be on the boat to take care of any problems...
Fast forward to 2 a.m., the tide had switched, and my wife and I were sound asleep in the nude. I was woken by crazy acceleration. Running out into the cockpit I was confronted with the site of our boat going backwards at at least 6 knots heading towards a barge (who provided illumination) that had been quite a lot below us in the creek. We passed in front of the barge and came to a stop before being sling-shotted forward across the creek away from the barge. As we came to the end of our forward run the kedge anchor was pulled free before setting again, and sending us on a collision course stern first with the barge. Fortunately when we impacted the barge we were slowing down as we were close to the end of reverse run and we did catch a tire hanging from the barge, but damage was done nonetheless. We were shot forward again at over 6 knots, and again at the end of the forward run the kedge anchor was pulled free and it reset. This next collision with the barge was going to be bad.
I had already figured out that if I let loose of the kedge anchor and fell back on our oversized main anchor we would be alongside the barge instead of heading toward a 6 knot collision with it. But I did not want to just lose our kedge anchor so I had decided to move the rode from the starboard(downstream) cleat to the port side winch where I could hopefully winch it in. That is not what happened.
What happened was that the instant after I released the rode I was in the air. Our boat being sideways to the current instantly synced with the speed of the current which I am conservatively guessing at 5 knots with all that extra water. The lifelines caught me in the shins and I did a complete somersault before hitting the water completely naked and heading out to sea at a very rapid clip. What saved me that night is that the boat was falling back on the main anchor going the same speed and direction I was. My wife disappeared momentarily to grab the tiller for some sort of control, and I had enough time to plead, "Don't leave me." before I had swam back to the boat. Grabbed the gunnels, and launched myself back into the boat propelled by shear terror. I was in the water less than 4 or 5 seconds.

We came alongside the barge on our main anchor, and with the current pushing slightly sideways on us we were for all purposes welded to the barge till the tide changed. Trying with all my might I could not have gotten a frog's hair between our boat and that barge.
Learn what you can from this experience. Personally I never anchor fore and aft anymore, and I do not put off taking care of something like switching the anchors to be on the safe side.
I'm not saying all vegans are as militant as Hitler. I'm just saying it's a top down culture.
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:14   #25
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

Good Question, I have a R21EC Ranger tug on a lake. I was pulling to shore to walk my dog. I would tie up to a tree. Got to messing around an drifted out so when I jumped off into 4 feet of water (I thought) I was well over my head and did not touch bottom. The Tug is not made for someone in their 70's to scamper back on. I managed to reach the gunnel and work my way back to the swim platform and deploy the ladder. I was very concerned, it was not easy. Bottom line is falling off a dink by a dock is alot different than falling off a boat even within a few feet of the shore under the right (wrong) conditions. Do not take boating lightly, it can kill you.
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:26   #26
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

It is probably one of my biggest fear and I try not to leave the cockpit. If do I keep my center of gravity close to bottom, walk of the windward side, lean low toward the center and grab everything I can while cautiously moving forward.

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Old 11-09-2021, 08:49   #27
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

On two different occasions I had to pull someone out of the water at a marina. Both individuals were in a bad way and unable to assist in any way. Since these two events, I have looked at marinas and noticed that few have ladders. Even the few that do have ladders are often not conveniently located or are far away.

It pays to be aware of the surroundings and have a way to get out in case you do go in.
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:51   #28
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

As long as my boat was not moving or I was injured,I think I can climb back on by using my Monitor steering wind vane. Unfortunately I’m also sometimes an idiot and go forward on deck without wearing a safety harness.
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Old 11-09-2021, 09:10   #29
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

Yikes, caught in a tide change is terrible and extra scary. I know I can not swim against the tide let alone a 9 - 11 foot change.

Not sure if it is just my imagination or because I am not protected as well has a house - the worse storms I have been in have been on the water. Wind, lightning, waves - if I fell in during a storm all bets are off if I could make it back on a boat. When I was in my 20's and 30's I could but maybe not now.

I have been in a river during a tide going out. Seems the water was moving about 2.5 to 3.5 mph. I can not swim against that.
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Old 11-09-2021, 09:21   #30
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Re: Who has fallen off their boat?

It's not the fall it's getting back onboard. Unless you whack your head on the way down.
I miss stepped as a kid to a fixed finger pier. It's amazing how fast you are blowing bubbles.
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