Originally Posted by hellosailor
"it would have dropped the guy aloft towards the deck, right? "
Gravity sucks. But that's why safety lines why invented.
If you attached to a safety line with a prussik, or an ascender, it should allow you to go up without incident, and lock up under tension if you start down rapidly. So cutting a line? Well, from the writeup it sounds like the folks who could have cut it, might not be the right people to give sharp objects either.
I’m familiar with the use of safety lines and fall arresting gear, thanks… Just a hunch, that a team who used an electric winch in such a fashion, might have dispensed with other such precautions, as well… And, I purposely said "towards" the deck, instead of "to" the deck...
I simply thought it was worth pointing out the potential hazard of using powered winches for lifting purposes… Electric winches have a well-demonstrated capacity for breaking both gear, and people, when used unwisely… Anyone is free to disregard such advice, of course…
But if I were going aloft on a powered winch, I’d sure rather do it in the hands of one person operating the winch, and a second one doing the tailing – as opposed to one person using the winch in self-tailing mode, with one hand on the button, and the other hand holding a knife at the ready… Perhaps that’s just me, however… (grin)
And, as to the utility of a knife in such an incident as that at Jolly Harbour? An Amel 54 likely uses a 1/2 or 9/16 inch main halyard, and it almost certainly would be a high-modulus rope with a core of Spectra, or similar… Even with a freshly-honed Boye cobalt blade, good luck cutting through that sucker in the few seconds before it would have been fed onto the winch drum…