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Old 12-08-2012
elspru elspru is offline
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Re: Kid overboad plan

The most common drowning victims are typically adult males that don't wear life jackets and drink alcohol. Vast majority of drowning 80%+ are due to not wearing a life-jacket.

Children, especially young boys are likely to follow their fathers example -- are the second most likely group.
In adverse weather, or night time sailing a jacklined tether is advisable.
If you'd like to practice KOB, when the time comes, you have to be there.
In Canada at least, 43% of people that drowned were within 7feet of shore, i.e. on dock.
So you have every reason to be wearing a life-jacket, on boat AND on dock much like a seatbelt.

Our KOB plan starts at birth, with infant "swimming" or acclimating our child to the water, teaching them to relax, enjoy it and float. Eventually when they are 2, they should be able to do some basic swimming autonomously.

Of course everyone in the family is to wear lifejackets on the dock and the boat, though can take them off in the cabin.
Jacklines are to be installed on the boat, fore-and-aft, stopping a few feet short of transom,
so if fallen overboard rather than being dragged behind, are alongside it.
2 tethers, one 3ft another 6ft, so can switch jacklines safely. 3ft recomended length.
To have lifejacket on before climbing stairs out of cabin,
To hook tether in to the jacklines before stepping on deck.

In the case a tether snaps, or some other unforseen circumstance..
Considering they'll already be wearing their lifejacket properly,
can throw in a bouyant flag pole for easier location in higher sea,
train them to swim towards the flag and hold onto it.
Have wife as the spotter, with boat hook, and rope ladder ready.
come to a halt near the flag, catch it with boat hook, make sure kid is on it,
bring them around to the transon to get on with the ladder,
or have winch ready to hoist them up by the safety harness straps.

In terms of lifejackets, I only trust the solid kind, too many points of failure in inflatables.

Jumping in after someone is potentially fatal and should be avoided,
I've heard of, and had my own personal experience, that saving a drowning person is dangerous, since they aren't swimming properly and so try to climb on top of you, thus not letting you breathe. The only way to save a panicking person by swiming to them is to knock them out first, which I would strongly discourage for children with their thin skulls and all. So the best method is to give them something to grab onto, i.e. flag-pole, boat-hook, rope-ladder, until they are safely aboard.

The whole acclimitizing to water and teaching them basics of floatation and swimmiing helps reduce chance of panicking. Up here in Canada, also winter-swimming is on the agenda, in order to get over "cold-water-shock" where in the first few seconds of hitting cold water, heart rate and breathing rate increase, unexperienced people may inhale water by accident, wheras experienced people can use it to swim to surface, get to the flag, get into heat-saving position, and then can do rapid "breath of fire" tumo meditation while they wait for the boat to return and pick them up.

In cold water, it is good idea to have winching system ready, as after 10 minutes in freezing water, fine motor skills don't function, so climbing boarding ladder may be difficult. In terms of hypothermia treatment, warm dry cabin, warm blankets, warm hugs, warm water, warm fire, warm dry clothing, and encouragement on a job well done, exhileration of living. Later on another day, can go over what went wrong, and make plans to avert similar scenario in future.

Last edited by elspru; 12-08-2012 at 12:25 AM.
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