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980 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I''m looking around for a forum for this very important topic; please give me feedback.

I finally got around to reading the article by John Roussmaniere [sp?] and am once again baffled by the Quick Stop method. Why, after executing a perfect backwind and spin of the vessel back to the MOB, would a skipper continue to go past him and circle around again? I have always taught students to park alongside on the first pass; its called "heave to" and works beautifully under stormy conditions. Try it yourself the next time somebodys hat blows off.

I also teach that a Type II pfd should be carried in a position to be thrown instantly and that the Type IV throwable with rope attached should be saved until the MOB is alongside and downwind. The Type II gets the person into a pfd [which they will never be wearing] and gives them a goal. I have heard that Annapolis has a special bracket for this pfd. The IV is then thrown to the person as a recovery item with maybe 20-40 ft. of polyprop rope attached.

Other subjects I would like to see discussed:
MOB recovery into the doused jib.
Use of engine.
MOB on big heavy vessels that won''t tack.

980 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
te: Sep. 03 2000 9:43 PM
Author: somatics
Subject: Re:Man Overboard
Hi Mark Howe, Jim French here, nice note on MOB. Sounds to me like you are
right or have the
right ideas.So much depends on conditions and experience. I am just throwing this in
conversation. I always do a quick review of procedure and assignments, in the existing conditions. ON EVERY VOYAGE
There is the "Call of MOB and the POINT" usually the person that does the Call does the POINT the job of putting Eye and a Finger pointing on the mob person and keeping
the person in sight, no matter what the boat may do. Pointer may call the location in
degrees or quadrants relative to the boat but "never" takes eyes off the victim so location is not lost. the initial course and point of sail is noted by the skipper
"The Ring Toss" I think that is right toss one right on
them with a flag
and pole and strobe hopefully.Use a tethered one if you can''t come close aboard with the boat. Can I ask why are they with out a Life jacket? or float coat at the
least. Very darn important because how that overboard happened usually involves
a knock in the
head, at any rate Toss and don''t waste it,be accurate, be sure.

Boat handlilng now is the time to sail your very best. Depending on the "point of sail" You must know your sailing circle... I would recommend a standard be practiced. In all conditions you want to finish by reaching toward the victim so you can come up or fall off and so you can ease all sheets and stop next to the victim.
one wants the recovery to be safe for all and quick for several reasons.
The Classic is the figure 8., a tack, is safer than a jibe, remember watch out for all jibes, *easing all sheets, completely* as the victim is to leeward... And there one can use the "heave too" by backing the jib and easing the main (how are you going to use the jib for winching in the victim if it is backed?)
*The real caution is not to have an uncontrolled jibe on the return...when all crew standing up looking back pointing then get whacked off the boat by that wild jibe...

Recovery into the doused jib,
what are you doing? slacking a a genoa into the water and having a person climb in and
wincing them up 6 feet of freeboard? maybe, there is the problem of freeboard. But sounds like a looser to me a good way to ruin a jib and get sheets in the water where a moving prop could get
segway into several real reasons not to use a motor. As a sailing instructor I have
cut the motor off for safety reasons when flesh is outside the boat. Try several large loops in a large lilne one foot and 2 foot apart and 6 foot so both feet and one hand can grab into the line and winch in a chest line and a cusheon on the rail to avoid the broken rib on the toe rail :eek:)
Control is the issue and in those moments skills in sailing beat reliance on motors.

Be aware of lines overboard and they do get fouled around a moving prop causing a bigger problem.

By the way everyone should try to swim with clothes on and a life jacket on, or with a ring on. Swimming does''nt happen .... mob now is the time to keep
sharp and not get
panicked aboard or if you are the mob yourself.. Victim ... .. wave those arms,
don''t swallow
water and don''t panic or get wildly fearful, grab that floating thing, get out of heavy
clothing, but keep the clothing near you, did you ever hear about the navy fellow
that blew off a
carrier in the gulf of iran he tied knots into his pants and kept scooping air into them
to get some
floatation, 24 hour survivor... remember BE a SURVIVOR Bodies Float...
get a lot of air in
and keep it there.

Stories? I think it would be good discussion to hear them. I have bunch but ... one
involved my
teaching in Newport Beach California mid 1960''s in sabots one evening a great gal
up,OCC Crew base, in an all leather Gucci out fit, beautiful... I ask her "you ''re not sailing tonight?'' "you are, you can''t"
"I am " "not in that out fit, even a splash will ruin it?" "it looks unsafe " "OH yes I am I insist I
insist, "I am"
sailing tonight. JIm don''t worry about my my outfit"
my co-instructor Tracey gave an ok so out voted... so it
was ...... regardless of ones wealth or fashion sense there are clothes that are
dangerous aboard a
capsizing boat or aboard any boat... skip the leather. I was young she was insistent
she capsized...
the only rescue boat I had then ,was a sabot I raced out to her... she was hanging
on by beautiful
long fingernails, with only her nose above the water, breathing real fast and shallow,
and the sabot
turtled, had those fingernails slipped... I reached over and pulled her up on the
bottom of the boat
only to find her bare bottom her leather pants were down around her leather boots. I
said "OH!" and
asked about the pants I lowered her in half way and retrieved the pants. I''ll never be
that young
again, I will win that argument with the beautiful older than me female or male for
dangerous outfits aboard. She lived, I''m a Red Cross Certified tower trained guard
and then Red
Cross Certified sailing instructor... going down into the Bay on a deep dive for an
person that can''t tread water pants wrapped around last on my list of.. just
suffice to say,
be really wise about clothing. I have several other really choice overboard stories.
You will never be
sorry you practiced Man over board drills.


980 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jim French; I teach in Dana Point.
You brought up some interesting points, like why aren''t crew wearing pfd s when they fall overboard. Probably the ones that are are rescued and not newsworthy but the ones we hear about are not; they should have but didn''t. You mention the skipper making assignments of crew and executing sailing maneuvers, but imagine the skipper''s overboard and the crew is only one or two and inexperienced. That''s why we simply aim the boat at the person; the skipper can yell from the water "turn right", "turn left" but this only works if the driver is quick to respond. We call it "knee jerk reaction" and must be practiced. The return should be within 30 sec. which is pretty hard using the old standard techniques. We used to use the crash gybe [with heads down of course] but the heave to is quicker.

The recovery into the jib must be done with the sheet tight and sail dumped into the water making a sling. We''ve tried the elevator with the loop of line alongside the boat cranked up with the winch and found it takes a pretty agile person to balance there. The jib sling seems like the best to use with an injured MOB, even if you have to wait for rescue.

Great stories Jim!!
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