The story shows a good reason why you should be able to clip on before coming up into the cockpit from below. Jacklines are necessary, but padeyes or a short jackline in the forward section of the cockpit are really needed for truly heavy weather, to prevent exactly what happened.
The COB drills I hold assume that the person in the water is not going to be capable of assisting in their own rescue, which is often the case in the colder New England waters I sail in.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.