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Old 09-07-2012
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Re: MOB systems

Everybody and boat is different and what may be appropriate for one might not work for the other. I was part of a MOB recovery a few years back on SF Bay. Cold water really saps a swimmer’s energy and we figure that in the first 15 minutes the MOB is an active participant in the rescue and after that, they won’t be able to aide much in their rescue. My rescue was a MOB off another race boat (we were right behind and in an ideal position). We picked him up on the first pass and although he was a service member in his twenties and not long in the water, he was shocked enough not able enough to help much in his recovery. We manhandled him up over the side and into the cockpit. Over the stern is dangerous as it is heaving up and down in any type of swell. I’d hate to be caught under a stern in bad conditions.

I double hand extensively with my spouse and MOB is something I do worry about. I’m concerned about her panicking so I’ve tried to make it a simple process. We have a MOM8 so all she has to do is “pull the pin” instead of heaving a horseshoe and MOB pole. She then releases the Lifesling. During the rescue of the Pterodactyl crew, it was reported that it takes a little time for the Lifesling to trail out behind the boat so our process is to deploy before doing the “quickstop” maneuver. Again, we use the “quickstop” because of its simplicity and that my spouse just has to blow the jibsheet at the top of the tack. Once capturing the MOB in the lifesling, our plan is to use a primary winch (we have 48’s) to retrieve the MOB. I made a block and tackle in a quickly deployable bag that can easily be attached to the boom then to the MOB (we have a sugar scoop stern.) But frankly, I think that she’ll be grinding me up over the stern.
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