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post #15 of Old 12-14-2012
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SF - South Bay
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Re: Lifesling or Horseshoe for MOB

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
We have a MOB pole, A lifesling and a Horseshoe. That does take a lot of room, but what the hell. The grill is on a support stanchion for the stern rail and can be swung out.

Ditto - except for the grill. My lifesling has a strobe; I intent to make a drogue.

As commented, horseshoe and lifesling are for different purposes. The horseshoe is designed to the thrown to the person, providing flotation and visibility; it can be thrown quite a distance (try it!). A lifesling is for retrieval. Depending on where you are, the water may be cold, so you have to assume the person cannot climb on board. Thus the lifesling.

My club did a real MOB day - by real I mean with a guy (in a wetsuit) in the water. It is really an awesome experience to try these techniques for real. A few learnings:

- Lifesling offers a choice of tackle, with different mechanical advantage. As I recall mine is a 6:1, requiring a winch. Works really well IF you know how to rig it (halyard-jib block-winch). Dealing with a real emergency is not the time to work it out.
- The instructor swore by a small strap under the lifesling - makes it easier and more comfortable to get somebody out of the water. She used a neoprene dog lead.
- Some people were a little dismissive about my pole - until we deployed it. It was simple and fantastically visible.
- Apparently a strobe is a two-edged sword. At night it enables you to locate people, but as you bring the person close the flashing light actually becomes blinding and distracting to the rescuers.
- In the SF bay, the biggest cause of drowning is no life jacket (duh), but also "cold water shock" - a psychological reaction to the shock of falling overboard. Apparently over 50% who fall overboard will just sit there, no shouting, no waving....quietly succumbing.
- If you are short of space, consider a good throw rope in a bag. They can be clipped to the rail and thrown a long way!
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