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Thread: MOB / COB Procedures for the Short-Handed Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-22-2010 08:10 PM
paulk I like the idea of a triangular "recovery tarp". (You can't really call it a sail, can you?) We plan to get one next month. It will clip onto stanchion bases so the outboard pennant end will be near our primary winches and be within range of our running backstay tackles as well. The Lifesling is really designed to only get the victim back to the boat. Lifting a victim with a Lifesling loop looks like an easy way to have him slip out, and then have to retrieve him again. Using the Lifesling to get him into the tarp keeps him secure in the tarp and then the lifting tarp makes him even more secure. Our lifelines are also tied off with line at the ends so a swipe of a knife can loosen them and allow passage to a victim if needed.

Our club is planning a MOB drill during a race in June. Changes to the sailing instructions that day will provide each boat a watermelon to carry aboard. Upon a radio signal from the Race Committee boat, all boats will jettison their watermelons and then retrieve them before continuing in the race. Boats failing to retrieve their watermelon will have 2 hours added to their corrected time. We think that finding a small, darkish, round, bobbing object, and getting it back aboard undamaged (no lifejackets or harnesses on the melon, either) is much more realistic than using a boathook to snag the strap on a big white cushion. Discussion this year has included possibly greasing the melons, but the the 18 knot breeze and 2-3 foot chop we had last year made it difficult enough without it having to be messy too. Now to get 20 watermelons...
03-21-2010 08:19 PM
davidpm I took the 103 ASA course this winter and the captain taught the heave to method of getting back to the COB.
This method seemed to work well and was well suited for short handed crew. The hauling back on part however was not discussed.
03-21-2010 07:46 PM

For shorthanded sailing, I would highly recommend MOB beacons so you don't leave behind the person who fell in the water.

Some of them will leave a GPS waypoint automatically, which will allow you make a sandwich, have a drink, and take a quick nap before you turn the boat around for all that pesky MOB business.
03-21-2010 10:31 AM
Ajax_MD I LOVE this recovery sail. I'd cheerfully buy or make one over the Lifesling any day. All it needs is an optional reduction block and tackle for the less-upper-bodily-endowed.

The winch would be enough for some people, but for others, a B 'n T would be better.

Consider how much better it would be for an injured MOB vs. being hoisted up by a sling.
03-21-2010 08:20 AM
Why didn't they just drag the guy up the transom steps?

Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
Had a good discussion today about MOB / COB procedures for husband and wife crews during a RYA First Aid course. The instructor had participated in recovery tests, and he wasn't positive about the results.

(He wasn't even positive about sugar scoop sterns, noting that they can act like hammers on people in the water. He noted that in some tests the crews moved the person overboard up to the shrouds for the lift-out even if they had a sugar scoop stern.)
I understand the "hammer" issue, but it is boat specific. Mine don't hammer, in any weather that I've seen.

There are a number of advantages, if the "hammer problem" is manageable.
* No rigging time. Take the line to the winch and crank. There is always a life line gate there. It may be necessary for a crewman with a harness to descend the stair to help, but they don't have to fully lift the person. Padding the steps (one side) with a **** pit cushion helps.
* Can be done with some way on. This is MAJOR. there is no risk of a wave smacking the victim into the boat or of drifting over them. Thus, it is easy to get and keep the victim in the recover area.
* Easier short handed, in my opinion.
* Faster, meaning that in cold water the victim is more likely to be able to help.
* There should be a boarding ladder. Why else have a sugar scoop?

No, it won't work on every boat, but recovery methods can be boat-specific. It seems it should be studied and taught. It's not theory on my part; we've tested this approach a dozen times, both when I have gone over to clear a line or just for drill. The weather was not always nice.

Yes, I've gotten on-and-off dive boats where the ladders move up and down 2-4 feet with swells. Then the over-the-side methods are best, if the MOB is injured or slow.
03-21-2010 03:08 AM
Jim H A few more notes:

The original primary winches on our boat (from 1973) were not self-tailing, so we upgraded to self-tailing when we replaced them this winter with easier single-person use in mind:

That said, the use of the end of the boom as a lifting point (as shown in the second and third videos above) doesn't make much sense on our boat. The topping lift on our boat is a light line and a light shackle, and I wouldn't trust it to handle the weight of a full size person in sogging clothes. The full main would have to be up, which probably wouldn't be a good idea during the recovery process itself.

The recovery sail appears to use the main halyard (or a headsail halyard) which makes more sense (and we have a self-tailing winch at the base of the mast). However, I wonder if that means clipping the halyard to the recovery sail is all that is needed for leverage, or if an additional six to one tackle system is needed.

On our last boat, we had the life sling with the 3:1 tackle system that was supposed to be raised on the halyard, but others have reported more leverage was needed than this (six to one, eight to one) to make the life comfortable for a single spouse.
03-20-2010 07:09 PM
smackdaddy Yeah - that's in the video Jim embedded. Did you watch it?
03-20-2010 07:07 PM
sailingdog One major reason to use the recovery sail is to prevent sudden death of the MOB. If an MOB is hypothermic and brought upright suddenly, they may suffer sudden cardiac arrest as the warm blood flows out of their body core.
03-20-2010 07:04 PM
Cal28 After multiple trips into San Francisco Bays chilly waters ... (capsizing a Laser ... dangling from the bow pulpit of the Cal 28 as we docked) .. I can attest that we are searching for a easier method of reboarding ...

presently adding a rope ladder .. to both port and starboard sides .. permanently affixed ..

looking at various mechanical assists ..

thank you for posting .. I will be watching this thread with much interest as we normally sail as a couple .. so far only in relatively calm .. but as the year progresses .. and experience with it .. will want to test our skill .. safely
03-20-2010 04:43 PM
smackdaddy Jim - great write up and very interesting question. After having seen many videos of Lifesling recoveries - it does not appear to be quick and easy by any means...especially if the person onboard is small. And I'd not heard of the blood rush issue with vertical lifts. Interesting.

The pick up sail is interesting and seems to be a good design. I assume it rolls the MOB as they're coming up - but still...very cool.
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