Sailor stranded up mast - solve this one! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-05-2012 Thread Starter
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Sailor stranded up mast - solve this one!

From a Canadian sailing site:

"In another, more comical than serious incident, a man British sailor recently spent three and a half hours in the rain waiting for the fire brigade to work out a way to get him down when his pulley system jammed while he was at the top of his 13 metre mast. On that occasion the existence of a nearby 10 metre lock allowed the fire fighters to sink the yacht, then topple the boat slightly with a rope and place a ladder against the mast for the embarrassed sailor. Quoted local Avon firefighter - 'I have never had a rescue like this before!' "

As a climber, I can think of several ways I could have safely descended in a few minutes. Even more likely, I would have gone up and solved the problem. This is the sort of thing that happens to climbers with some frequency (rope jams in the jagged crack you're climbing), so we barely consider it an event.

The simplest would be to put a sling (loop) around the mast in a larks head, put your foot in it to transfer your weight to the back-up line, and lower away.

What's your solution? Really, you should have one ready to go.
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(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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post #2 of 26 Old 02-05-2012
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Send a heavy line aloft somehow, assuming there is a messenger or another way to get a new line up to the stranded person, place the heavy line trough the chair and use the chair as the turning block, tie a bowline in the heavy line and slide your leg into the bowline up to your crotch. Hey, I never said it would be comfortable. Slide out of the chair and hug the mast as the personnel on deck lower you away.

Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-05-2012 Thread Starter
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Assuming there is not a safety line to the masthead...

* Send up a heavy line (clearly, you ALWAYS trail a line, if for no other reason than to haul tools).

* Secure a sling around the mast with a prusik knot (like a double larks head).

* Place 2 carabiners through the loop, gates opposed and reversed. A single locking biner would be OK. All of the biners must be climbing biners (never climb without ~ 6 on-hand, preferably a few on your harness). Loop the heavy line through these.

* Set up a carabiner brake rappel (or other rappel device), transfer weight as described in first post, and slide down.

As for using the chair as a turning block, be careful. Climbers have been killed using webbing as a turning block; under load the rope can cut right through 4,000-pound test webbing. It's happened a few times, though the rope had grit on it and they were lowering a greater distance.


Go any more ideas? Safe ones?

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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post #4 of 26 Old 02-05-2012
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Get someone else to go up and then supervise his rescue from the deck

I fell off the roof shoveling snow off of it and was saved by a line secured from above but the climbing jam cleat kind of thing couldn't be loosened with my weight on it. My wife was going to cut the line from the porch but I convinced her to get me a pair of pliers to unlock the jam cleat (don't know the proper term for it) a little at a time. Sounds like Sailor's fix might work even if you hurt for a few days, better than falling through the deck or being plucked off by a crane

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post #5 of 26 Old 02-05-2012
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Un hook and dive in!!!!
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-05-2012
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GREETINGS EARTLINGS; Nice one CorvetGuy but on decent says the words starting with our farther wich art in haeven HA HA HA. Get a prusick knot up to the bod up the mast and ask where is the back-up systems belt braces string and prayers GO SAFE
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-05-2012
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Great ideas guys - except corvette....[re: Newtons Laws = equal but opposite etc]
[just out of interst, I thought a corvette was some kind of muscle car or a warship ???? mmm]

I clip on 2 halyards and wrap a tether twice about the mast as a safety. Obviously the 2nd halyard is redundant, unless....

I dont like going up repeatedly because I have forgotten something so I take most possible tools [inc a knife] and a can of lanolin so all metal moving parts get a bit of maintenance!
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-05-2012 Thread Starter
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How about a ladder?

We don't know how far he was up.

Really, this is a catamaran thing; they don't sway much and there is a nice broad deck. I've used an extension ladder a number of times, and it has a number of major advantages:

* easiest to climb
* easiest to make multiple trips
* easiest to use solo, particularly if an acsender on a static line is used for the climbing safety
* familiar
* best leverage by far-- no spinning
* does not rely so completely on halliards
* most comfortable
* very safe if harnessed and safety line are used

It won't reach the masthead, but it's very nice for work around the spreaders.

Do remember to pad the top rung (don't want to scratch the mast) and to tie the top of the ladder off (loop around the mast). Do secure the bottom of the ladder with multiple lines. A spare halliard can be used to ease in raising the ladder. Wear harness and a safety line as normal.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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post #9 of 26 Old 02-17-2012
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Now i got some ideas on what to do and what not to do when we are fixing a mast problem. Good laughs,
Jill
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post #10 of 26 Old 02-17-2012
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Quote:
Really, this is a catamaran thing; they don't sway much and there is a nice broad deck. I've used an extension ladder a number of times, and it has a number of major advantages:

* easiest to climb
* easiest to make multiple trips
* easiest to use solo, particularly if an acsender on a static line is used for the climbing safety
* familiar
* best leverage by far-- no spinning
* does not rely so completely on halliards
* most comfortable
* very safe if harnessed and safety line are used
And if you fall toward the bow... you can bounce off the tramp, and do a graceful twisting flip into the sea
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