I respectfully disagree. There are a few immediate goals in a COB situation:
1st is to keep eyes on the COB...second is to throw everything that floats toward the hopefully conscience swimmer to provide them something to keep them afloat. Third is to get the vessel back to the COB for retrieval.
If you miss with the throws, it's unfortunate...But The idea of a type IV is to provide floatation for the COB. While you maneuver for the pick up...it's not meant to be method of reeling them in...thus the floating line...the idea is that they can swim toward the nearest floating device, if possible.
third is to get the boat back for retrieval.
Let's say I'm sailing with one other person on board...they go over: I would throw everything I could reach that floats..toward them, and then work to get the vessel back alongside. Time spend retrieving a mis-thrown horseshoe is time that I'm not maneuvering my vessel...to get back to the COB....
Trailing the horseshoe behind me while I circle the COB sounds reasonable, but the goal is to get quickly downwind of the COB and work back to get alongside and stop the boat...alongside with no way on. If you're circling the COB that implies that you're at some point upwind..?
Of course, if you're on a motorvessel...it's another story.
It is helpful to know the best way to do it, so it is worth discussing. In general I agree with what you say, especially about throwing everything that floats. If the lifesling was near the COB I would not reel it in, but I am assuming the COB has very limited swimming ability. If the line is close I would not reel it in, but if it is far from him, I would want to try to get it to him, either leaving it in the water and sailing near him, or pulling it in and rethrowing. My preference would be to try to make the circle around the victim so the line comes to him and then use the line to bring him back to the boat. I think that is how the lifesling is intended to be used. Take a look at
By the way, I also keep a polypropylene bagged throwing line fixed to a stanchion, so it is also ready to throw. I hope none of us have to use these tools except in practice.
Ok, I think I understand the issue. I'm talking about a throwable horseshoe or ring, and/or the square seat cushions that many people have... type IV 's
What west marine is demo-ing is a life sling that is designed to help bring the COB onboard. I carry both, on my vessel. A horseshoe and a Lifesling.
The horsehoe would get thrown first.....the lifesling is not really a throwable device. (type IV)
The circle maneuver would work fine under power. But under sail, the object is to return to the COB from downwind on a close reach/close haul and stop the vessel alongside by pinching into the wind with little or no boat speed. (Jib loose) Pretty much the same way you would sail up to a mooring or an anchorage. see figure 8 or quick stop.
I agree with you. I would never worry about the other cushions. I keep them all in the cockpit with specific instructions to crew to throw as much floatation as possible to the COB. I was only discussing it in the context of the lifesling.