Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanked 58 Times in 50 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Could you do COB recovery by yourself?
How prepared are you for a COB (crew over board) scenario.
We had a couple of hyper boys 13 and 14 years old on a Catalina 30 yesterday. They were wearing PFDís but it was their first time on a boat and between playing, food and hyperactivity I consider myself lucky that one of them didnít go over board during our 6 hour sail. We have a ďLife SlingĒ, came with boat never opened by us. Wind was about 15 knots about one foot seas. We had a great sail but it got me thinking about COB.
I looked up the subject in the Annapolis book and frankly it doesnít look easy.
If someone goes overboard a decent size boat I think a dislocated shoulder or cracked rib is a very likely possibility. It is a pretty good fall and you will likely be trying to hang on with one hand and have an arm wrenched and be banged against the boat.
A one foot chop and 10 knots could easily be a 4 foot chop and 25 knots which makes the C30 slap around sickenly.
Iím 57 reasonably strong but still out of shape and wear a PFD all the time. Not one of those blow up doll ones either. I work on computers for a living and anything that requires directions I distrust. My standard PFD comes with pockets which my inner geek likes anyway.
The captain is a rock climber, competitive cycler and of course an excellent swimmer. He will not wear a PFD.
I can sail the boat but still the idea of being in 4 foot chop and 25 knots of wind and Captain A overboard and I have to figure out how to get him on-board without his help is frankly terrifying.
Iíve got about 20 things to do at once. All the directions in all the books assume you have a crew of about 20. Someone to push the button on the GPS. Someone to point. Someone to handle sheets etc, etc.
Lets assume I get the boat somewhere near Captain A. How do I get a harness on him if he is non-responsive? If I get the harness on him how do I get him on board?
If Iím working off the swam ladder and the stern of the boat is going up and down even a very modest three feet what are my chances.
The main halyard winch is on the mast. I drop the sail, we have no dutchman so the sail is all over the deck. I try to get the line on the halyard to the harness I magically got installed previously. Now I have to haul from the center of the boat?
Even if the best of conditions at the dock this looks like a half-hour project.
I know a lot of you guys go out all the time with your wife or GF. How many of you are confident your SO could get you aboard. The way I understand it just a few minutes can exhaust someone that is not even hurt so they canít help themselves.
I have a very strong suspicion that most sailors could not single-handed get a non-responsive crew member back on board could you? How do you know?