Originally Posted by LauderBoy
I'd think body parts would fail long before a D ring did, unless sailing harnesses are just that less well made than harnesses and lines in other sports.
And while I don't think a harness would keep you from dying all the time, it will keep you with the boat so other crew members don't have to search for you.
You might be surprised to hear that there are many cases where the D-Rings have sheared on sailing life vests. There was an incident just north of Pt Reyes a few years ago where a father/son were washed out of the cockpit; the son was wearing a tethered lifevest. The D-Rings on the vest failed. The father was rescued but the son was lost to the sea.
Tethers and harnesses keep you aboard in the event that you slip/fall on the deck. No guarantees if you fall over the side, and certainly none if you take a breaking wave. My comment on clipping in was also with respect to jacklines; which would almost certainly let go if 3 crew were clipped onto one nylon webbing jackline.
Read this article; there is a video of harness failure testing on the web somewhere (several models failed) but I cant find it.
Safety Harnesses and Tethers