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post #1 of 46 Old 06-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Man overboard retrieval - how to?

Over the last few years I've done endless man overboard drills, but they always end when the victim is alongside the boat. I understand that the equally hard part is getting them back onboard. So what's the most efficient way?

The boat is an older one with no swim platform. It does have a stern-mounted swim ladder. I make a point of always having the cover off the swim ladder when not docked. I have a horseshoe-type throwable mounted on the stern rail.

So questions could be summarised as follows :

1) Do I have enough equipment given the conditions in SF bay (cold water, strong winds & currents etc.)?

2) With a conscious victim would the swim ladder work?

3) How to use the horseshoe to get a weak victim onboard - use a halyard to winch it?

Ending up in that cold water has to be my biggest worry.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 46 Old 06-07-2011
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A Lifesling is much better as if the person is still able its easy to put on

The next issue is lifting and we have played with there Lifesling block and tackle on the boom end and used a spinaker haylard with the Lifesling block and tackle

We prefere the spinaker haylard with the Lifesling block and tackle

If its really cold the MOM 9 is good because the person can get out of the water much faster while you work on picking them up


In the my real world exp when its snotty with a big swell jacklines and harness as i dont care how much stuff you have its a bitch getting somebody back onboard

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post #3 of 46 Old 06-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I have a spinnaker halyard. Is it a problem that you really want the lifting point to be outside the rail while the spinnaker halyard is by the mast? Or does it matter? I was thinking you could put a turn in the spinnaker halyard around a shroud so moving the lifting point to the edge of the boat.
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post #4 of 46 Old 06-07-2011
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We just found it better to use the haylard to set a height that will work with the block and tackle as using the boom in rough water was not that all that easy


By far the hard part is getting the block and tackle on the rescue device to make the final lift


One of the other tough parts is working on stoping the boat fast without doing to much dammage as if you get much distance at all its really hard to keep the person in sight

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post #5 of 46 Old 06-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
In the my real world exp when its snotty with a big swell jacklines and harness as i dont care how much stuff you have its a bitch getting somebody back onboard
Tommays has it right. In my opinion, unless the circumstances are very benign, a man overboard is a dead person. Period.

Rule one - don't go overboard. Rules two through nine are the same. Rule ten, wear a PFD as it make the recovery of the corpse easier.

If a 200 pound person is in the water unconscious and there is only one other person on the boat, the unconscious one it the water is pretty much out of luck.

My buddy works with the police search and recovery team and it takes at least two of them to get a corpse into the big inflatable. And they have the right gear and a low freeboard.

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post #6 of 46 Old 06-07-2011
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Quote:
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We just found it better to use the haylard to set a height that will work with the block and tackle as using the boom in rough water was not that all that easy


By far the hard part is getting the block and tackle on the rescue device to make the final lift


One of the other tough parts is working on stoping the boat fast without doing to much dammage as if you get much distance at all its really hard to keep the person in sight
Make sure the crew are using safety harnesses with their life jackets. (eliminates the need for a sling). If the weather is iffy they should be using a safety line on their harness anyway.
Throw out a horseshoe (easier to spot in the water)
Throw out a Dan Buoy (you can make one yourself ) but before you need to use it Please.

Hit the M.O.B on your GPS.
Call the rescue services.
Use a catapult to fire a floating line over the persons head.
Pull them in alongside and use the boom.
Clip the end of the safety line to the boom after taking up the slack on the line undo the vang and lift the boom and the MOB with the mainsail halyard.
Alter the order as you wish.


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post #7 of 46 Old 06-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Make sure the crew are using safety harnesses with their life jackets. (eliminates the need for a sling). If the weather is iffy they should be using a safety line on their harness anyway.
Throw out a horseshoe (easier to spot in the water)
Throw out a Dan Buoy (you can make one yourself ) but before you need to use it Please.

Hit the M.O.B on your GPS.
Call the rescue services.
Use a catapult to fire a floating line over the persons head.
Pull them in alongside and use the boom.
Clip the end of the safety line to the boom after taking up the slack on the line undo the vang and lift the boom and the MOB with the mainsail halyard.
Alter the order as you wish.
Solid vang. Cannot be undone easily.
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post #8 of 46 Old 06-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapitainMike View Post
Make sure the crew are using safety harnesses with their life jackets. (eliminates the need for a sling). If the weather is iffy they should be using a safety line on their harness anyway.
Throw out a horseshoe (easier to spot in the water)
Throw out a Dan Buoy (you can make one yourself ) but before you need to use it Please.

Hit the M.O.B on your GPS.
Call the rescue services.
Use a catapult to fire a floating line over the persons head.
Pull them in alongside and use the boom.
Clip the end of the safety line to the boom after taking up the slack on the line undo the vang and lift the boom and the MOB with the mainsail halyard.
Alter the order as you wish.

Where to start? With due respect, other than single handers or double handers coming back in from the ocean, I don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing a harness tethered to jack lines in SF Bay or around here for that matter as well.

Many MOB buttons on the GPS are below deck at the nav station. It's much more important to stop the boat as quickly as possible and keep visual contact with the MOB. The GPS button doesn't calculate current, drift, and wave action on the MOB's position.

Working from a bouncing boom (this assumes you've got the main down and under control... this in itself takes time) is difficult in anything other than calm water. SF Bay in an ebb tide isn't. A spare halyard can be fine for a weak or unconscious MOB. For a MOB who's just wet and cold, yet functional, you can use the tail of a sheet. Cleat the bitter end to an aft horn cleat, drape it over the side, then up to a winch. The MOB can put a foot on the line, you winch them up. We pulled a diver with full gear on out of the water using this technique.

The idea that you're dead if you fall of the boat isn't always true by any stretch of the imagination. I've witnessed two in the past three years, both in windy, cold water conditions. Great crew work and boat handling saved the day in both cases.
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Solid vang. Cannot be undone easily.
got a passarelle? use the lines. got an outboard crane use the crane. got a spare halyard, spinaker or jib use the mast windlass. spinnaker pole, main point is to get them back on board fast even if they get injured in the process. even better make sure they don't go overboard in the first place. rope ladder, step fender. better alive and injured than uninjured and dead.

rope cleat and winch I omitted sorry! but is only effective on an uninjured person.

I am in the Med. in the Cyclades and only have a small boat the weather here can be pretty foul, I'm still repairing damage from last winter. I wont go out until every thing is correct on board


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Last edited by CapitainMike; 06-07-2011 at 07:17 PM. Reason: add text
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post #10 of 46 Old 06-07-2011
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One of the best ways I've seen to retrieve MOB is to hang a triangular piece of canvas or sailcloth over the side from the toerail with one point outboard. You then maneuver the victim into the bight, and lift the outboard end with a halyard, tackle, or whatever you've got. (I think this is called a parbuckle.) Pulling in the cloth will dump the victim onto the deck without having to get them over the lifelines, which can be a major hassle and may take longer. The best thing to do is to try something, to see if it will work. Using the transom can be problematic. A tired swimmer will find it difficult to move out of the way fast when the transom slaps down - risking further injury - and will have a hard time holding on if there is much pitching.
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