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post #11 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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Having a lifesling is a good way to go. If you dont have one, learn to tie a french bowline (explained here French Bowline demoed here Sea Scouts BSA: Double Bowline (French Bowline) ), this knot provides twin leg loops and works as a adhoc harness.

As for hoisting, you should start with your main halyard if it has adequate power, otherwise consider connecting the mainsheet to the traveller with a snap shackle, and the main sheet can be your hoist... if you get a short length of spare line and pretie the french bowline with the right amount of tail terminated ina bowline, you are ready for action. If you have a soft boomvang, that can also serve as a hoist.

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post #12 of 46 Old 06-09-2011 Thread Starter
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I was looking at the Garhauer site just now, they have 20% off their soft boomvang assemblies - so that's $88 for a 1000lb, s/s one. At that price I think I'll buy one and keep it for emergencies. Will use it with the spinnaker halhard I think.
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post #13 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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Wow, I'm fortunate that I don't have many of the problems that you guys face.

I recently lost a spinnaker overboard, so I went into "MOB Mode" for the first time.

1. My freeboard is manageable, with a gaff we grabbed the spinn, and then I grabbed it with my hands.

2. My GPS is in the cockpit, so the MOB button and position are close at hand.

3. I have a traditional block-n-tackle vang to use as recovery gear.

I plan on chucking one of my kids overboard at the dock, putting the Lifesling on them, and then recovering them with the vang and spinnaker halyard for practice on the "recovery" part of the equation.

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post #14 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I plan on chucking one of my kids overboard at the dock, putting the Lifesling on them, and then recovering them with the vang and spinnaker halyard for practice on the "recovery" part of the equation.
Let us know how you get on.

My plan on Adriana was always that, having thrown all the floatables overboard and deployed the life sling and somehow got alongside the MOB, to haul them up on a combination of a handybilly from the boom to the MOB and the main halyard to the boom end. This assumed they were wearing a harness to provide an attachment point. You just need to try this to understand just how heavy and unmanagebale an uncooperative, practically unconscious, MOB is. Forget it, unless you have a very strong crew left on board.

I once designed a boarding ladder that folded out to 6' long and, more importantly, the hinge point could be slid down to water level. This allowed you to get a 6' long 'stretcher' laying out from the boat hinged at the waterline. A halyard connected to the outer end and a block and tackle at the inboard end allowed you to lift a victom vertically to deck level. Of course, you first had the get the victim onto the 'stretcher'.

I think more work needs to be done on a system to get an unconscious, waterlogged MOB back on deck. In the meantime, the rule has to be - stay on the boat.

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post #15 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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OK - I keep reading these posts and I am very skeptical. I don't think it can be done. Period.

Given:
  1. a normal 25' to 35' sailboat without a swim platform,
  2. a normal man (they go overboard a lot more often than the lady folk) 180 to 240 pounds
  3. pretend to be unconscious

Objective:
  • With one person on board, and one person in the water, get the victim back on board.

Beginners:
  • start tied up to the dock on a hot calm day with two people retrieving the victim and try it

Medium skills:
  • do it underway with two people retrieving where you have to come back for the victim on a hot calm day

Advanced:
  • do it under sail with two people retrieving in some serious chop.

Professional:
  • do it under sail with just one retriever in some serious chop in the Gulf of Maine

I still don't think it can be done by one person.

Good luck.

And, I would love to hear a personal account (not a witness, not hearsay, not something you have read) of you getting an unconscious victim back on board.

Rik

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post #16 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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Am I being naive in thinking that the lower cleat on my boom vang could be removed from the base of the mast and tightened down to the deck rail thus forming a stable arm hanging over the side of the boat from which to lift a person from the water?

I have a head block towards the end of my boom, the main sail halyard could go through this, be clipped to the MOB and crane him/her out.

Dumb idea?

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post #17 of 46 Old 06-09-2011 Thread Starter
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I can get the boat back to the victim, under sail, in chop. I know because I've done it, many times, in a practice situation. What I haven't been able to try is the recovery. However with a lifesling, and the appropriate lifting equipment I hope I could do it.

Really all that is in my power is to a) have the equipment and, b) know how to use it. Then the best thing to do is to try to stay in the boat, as so many of us have pointed out, and with which I'm in full agreement!
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post #18 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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Rikhall, you are not instilling confidence for me (or other potential crew) with your “consider yourself already dead” admonition . I, on the other hand, will come back for you and I will get you back on board . I’ve done it before and I can do it again. We pulled in a guy who fell off of a DH boat during a race a few years ago. We were running down wind at the time, did a douse and then sailed to windward to execute a “figure 8” recovery. Got him on the first pass. Swimmer was in the water for about 10 minutes or so, and was already being affected by the cold (San Francisco Bay, about 58* water temp). I did have a full crew and my guys were great and got him up and over in no time and without mechancial aides. My rule of thumb is the swimmer will be able to participate fully in their recovery on the first pass, partially on the second and not at all on the third pass. We might be better equipped than cruising boats for this type of emergency. For example, our lifelines are lashed to the pushpit rather than clipped (ISAF Cat 1 requirement). That is so they can be cut (knife in the cockpit is another requirement) to facilitate getting “Oscar” back on board. One final note, even if Oscar isn’t breathing, perform CPR and bring him back to life! Remember, he ain’t dead until he is “warm and dead”. A cold water victim can be brought back so don’t give up on him!
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post #19 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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GeorgeB

I fully agree - I too would do absolutely everything within my power to get a crew overboard back on and in one piece. But - we cruise, not race. It seems that 90% of those we meet are a "couple". And not in their thirties.

I would do everything to get Linda back on board if she went in. Everything. But, if she (or I) was knocked "out and overboard" by the boom, I am not too confident of a happy ending.

Just thinking about reality. I can think of only one guy I sail with that could "maybe" haul me back on board. But he is a fireman, huge, in fantastic shape, strong enough and significantly younger than me.

Racing with a crew is not a couple doing lake or coastal cruising.

My question remains, any single or two person successful recovery of a non-responsive or very little responsive crew overboard?

Rik

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Last edited by rikhall; 06-09-2011 at 08:01 PM. Reason: typo
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post #20 of 46 Old 06-09-2011
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Rik, I think you are going to find that MOB incidents are pretty rare occurrences, rarer still is the notion of going over in an unconscious state. Why do people think that they only way they are going over is if they first get hit in the head? The two times I’ve come close were merely losing balance (or grip) and going under a life line. Two of my friends who have gone over were the same case – the scary thing was neither were picked up by the boat that they fell off of! Some of the benefits of racing over the years is developing the boat handling skills to have the confidence to do a recovery. Because the consequences of a MOB could be dire in our relatively cold waters, I do practice for this and carry lots of safety equipment.

You make a good point about all of our spouses. If we husbands go over, our successful recovery isn’t completely assured. I don’t know about your wife, but Mrs. B tends to take the ostrich approach to MOB drills. The best I can do is instill in her the skills that (hopefully) will take over in a true emergency. My best chance is being picked up with the lifesling as she is more comfortable doing a circle or quickstop than a figure 8. We also have a MOM-8 so all she has to do is “pull the pin” instead of throwing something. We do practice together with the lifting gear (I have a ball bearing fiddle block and tackle in a “quick deploy” bag.) But I think I’m coming back in over the sugar scoop like a tuna.
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