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post #8 of Old 12-02-2009
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We've practiced MOB drills flying the 'chute in 20 knots of breeze and have been back at the "victim" (a cushion in this case) within a minute. We weren't going 20 knots in the South Atlantic, so perhaps didn't travel as far away from the drop zone as they may have, but by doing a Quickstop (tack immediately, all standing) we repeated this result several times with a variety of sail combinations in the midst of doing different maneuvers. Slowing the boat down to pick someone or something up is not easy. It often takes several passes. Getting someone back on board is difficult - we've worked with live practice victims as well. 17 minutes is simply too long for people to expect good survival rates, especially if the water is cold. I am talking to my sailmaker about making a triangular retrieval canvas, about 8 or 10 feet on a side, that we could attach between two stanchion bases and then slip under the MOB, with it's third point outboard. We'd then use it as a parbuckle to hoist the MOB back aboard using our running backstay tackle. This might help avoid the need to send someone else over the side to assist, even if the victim is unconscious.
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