Join Date: Apr 2010
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I totally agree with the absolute difficulty of trying to pull yourself back aboard. Even if you are able to get alongside, then you must negotiate 2 feet or more of freeboard. You are already fatigued and hypothermic.
Boarding a small craft at an aft swim ladder could be fatal because of the sledgehammer effect of the stern. And that's when the vessel is hove-to or lying ahull. Most people who go overboard are never found. Or, if they are, they drown alongside, because of the horrendous difficulty of pulling a person back aboard.
I worked a search and rescue desk in the Coast Guard for 5 years and ran small craft as a SAR coxswain. We rarely recovered overboard victims. That's after weeks of searching, thousands of flight and sea hours, and dozens of resources searching day and night in tough weather.
Don't become a "Case Suspended Pending Further Developments" statistic. Stay aboard.
Last edited by skippertips; 05-10-2010 at 09:43 AM.