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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Man overboard
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-21-2007 10:13 PM
tenuki Ever try 'real' COB drills with someone in a wetsuit/drysuit? Some folks at my sailclub were talking about it, sounded exhausting. I think I'm gonna round up my crew, go up to lake washinton this summer and practice full recovery in warmer water near a beach I could swim to. Reading through that report you linked scared the living daylights out of me. Wives just sailing the boat straight for 17 miles up on to land while dragging their drowned husbands along side on a tether..etc.. yikes.
03-21-2007 07:24 AM
sailingdog Tenuki-

Exactly my point... someone who is hypothermic and/or unconscious is not going to be able to assist in their recovery aboard.

Most MOB drills are fine for locating and getting to the MOB, but neglect the very real and often most difficult part of the recovery—getting the MOB back on board. Even in this, they're often a bit "easier" than the real thing would be... have you ever tried to spot a person, in dark colored clothing, in the water... it is like trying to spot a coconut... unless they're wearing brightly colored foulies or a brightly colored PFD.

Lifeslings are nice devices, but basically useless unless the MOB can participate in their own rescue.

If your boat has significant freeboard, then how do you get the unconscious person back aboard. They can't climb the swim ladder...and if they're hypothermic, it is probably best to keep them as level as possible

That was the point behind my friend's weighted dummy MOB drills.
03-21-2007 03:52 AM
tenuki From what I've read most COB rescue attempts get to the point you mention, ie finally getting a grip on the COB and bringing them to the boat. Sadly some of them, especially in cold water end there. Getting someone onboard who's been in cold water for any length of time is _extremely_ difficult it seems. Getting to them and putting a hand on them is the easy part.

Make sure your COB drill include practicing techniques to get them aboard as well. Lifeslings with tackle in our waters ( I sail in Puget Sound too ) are pretty much mandatory as far as I can tell ( more experienced people chime in please ).
02-18-2007 05:48 PM
stlcat22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgiguere

You can also do an immediate "hove to" move, and theoretically you'll float back to the object....but I haven't tried that technique.

It's a fun exercise. The real hard part is getting someone back on board.

Anyway, we should all be practicing this.

Moe

I just finished a class and the instructor suggested the hove to method for inexperienced crews. This is because the crew doesn't have to do much of anything and hoving to should calm down the boat nicely (important in a panic situation). Just make sure they don't release the jib sheets. Also the lack of gybing makes it less likely the problem will get worse instead of better.

If it becomes necessary you can make sure no lines remain in the water, then start the engine and recover that way.
01-30-2007 08:13 AM
sailingdog Actually, unless the conditions are relatively calm, MOB recovery is generally a less than even bet... especially if the cause of the MOB is a problem on the boat to begin with.
01-30-2007 01:50 AM
sailaway21 The topic reminds me of the story about the Indian, loading his canoe for the winter trip south, with family and all possessions. When asked about tipping over and losing all in the frigid waters he replied, "I darest not." Experience in MOB drills strongly reinforces the point of not going overboard in the first place. Recovery may be an even money bet.
01-27-2007 12:23 AM
RayMetz100 Thanks for all the tips. I'll have a look at the video links and keep on practicing.
01-25-2007 09:01 PM
paulk I keep thinking it would be useful to do MOB drills using greased watermelons to give an idea of the difficulty of seeing someone AND the difficulty of getting them back aboard. Speedy recovery would provide the benefit of a less waterlogged dessert prize.
01-25-2007 11:12 AM
johnsail
COB/MOB Visibility

The quick stop is my favorite go-to maneuver, too. But if the SF Bay tests summarized in the COB Symposium Final Report and other experiences show anything, it's that different boats -- heavy, light, multis, monos -- can require different maneuvers. The points on visibility are 1000% correct. Below is a photo taken one flat day. Even at less than 50 yards, if the swimmer weren't wearing the yellow helmet, if there were no objects behind him, and if nobody was pointing at him -- all that and you wouldn't know he's there.

Attachment 326
01-25-2007 08:27 AM
sailingdog A better example of how difficult it is to see an MOB is toss a coconut overboard an look for it... It is about the size of a human head and about as easy to spot... which is to say almost impossible. Wearing bright colors, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse, will help a lot. People who buy foul weather gear in blue, green, black or white are just asking to become statistics.
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