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This is sad news, indeed. So far nothing. Can't add much at this point, sorry.

A 63 old Swiss sailor was lost at sea yesterday in the Portuguese waters. He was sailing with 2 others on a French flag boat. (a nice 55 foot aluminum boat). I'll try photos tomorrow, today only with my cell phone.


He fell overboard 100 meters!!!! off the Cabo Carvoeiro, (north of Cascais), the furler/stay broke lose, and apparentely the man removed his harness to go forward. And was never seen again. Distress call received at 4 am..

At this point there is not much of a news I can give.

Conditions as you know from my previous posts were seas in excess of 23 feet and winds gusting to 40 knots true.

I don't know if he was alone on deck or not, and don't have more details other than the boat is next to mine, and the genoa looks really really scary..shreded to 1000 pieces, and wrapped around the mast and shrouds.

here is the boat, as I left today to sail.

Let's hope he is found, but the seas here are what they are...unforgiving...and horrible lee shores. I pray for his finding.





 

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Giu - I gotta a serious question. The more I read, the more I see that very few sailors wear life vests. Many have tether harnesses - but rarely go beyond that - even in heavy weather. What's up with this? Why don't more sailors wear them? Is it that big of a pain when helming?
 

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Splashed
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Life vests and harnesses

Giu - I gotta a serious question. The more I read, the more I see that very few sailors wear life vests. Many have tether harnesses - but rarely go beyond that - even in heavy weather. What's up with this? Why don't more sailors wear them? Is it that big of a pain when helming?
Smack, I think it's like the seatbelt. When you get used to it you feel naked without it. We've learned to ALWAYS wear life vests (due to some bad stuff that has happened, which I'm not going to talk about), and it's become second nature (we use vests with harnesses built-in). But I have to admit that I've logged many miles without life vests before. My advice would be to wear a vest ALWAYS, even in calm weather!
 

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It's just been perplexing to me as I've read "Fastnet Force 10" and "Proving Grounds" that many of these guys only had on foulies - in these insane gale conditions! They didn't don the pfd until they were getting into the life raft.

Granted, may of those that were wearing pfds were still lost (as were many who went into the rafts) due to the conditions - but it really made me wonder. I've been guilty of it as well - but I'm starting to think different.
 

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Giu - I gotta a serious question. The more I read, the more I see that very few sailors wear life vests. Many have tether harnesses - but rarely go beyond that - even in heavy weather. What's up with this? Why don't more sailors wear them? Is it that big of a pain when helming?
It is a group think thing. Most sailors do not wear life vests. So nobody wants to be different.

I always wear a life vest under the theory that if I fall off the boat even at the dock in calm water I'm probably having a bad day. Trying to keep my head above water is just one more thing that may make it more difficult.
 

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Aquaholic
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The last 100 yds from shore, the last five miles before home, the last trip to the bathroom before bed ............ Familiarity - Danger's Camouflage


Incredibly sad


the furler/stay broke lose, and apparentely the man removed his harness to go forward. And was never seen again.
Isn't this exactly the type of situation where you would DON your harness?, not take it off?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Smackdaddy,

this is a weird issue..I allways use the PFD when I sail alone, together with a thether, that I place in such way that even if I fall overboard, I get to stay on the boat, or hanging over the board...

However...apparentely he was tehetered and as he moved forward he removed it...at 30 plus knots in 25 foot seas, batteling against a furler possed by the devil must have been hard....rummours he was un-conscious (sp??) when he felt over..

Tomorrow I will try to find out more..

Please guys...let's use this as an example, and make sure we return to our beloved ones, please,
sail safe, return home..for the love of your loved ones....

Saddest thing...one of the crew is still inside the boat at the marina...God only knows what must be going thru his mind...his friend's stuff is still there...as if he never left....must be horrible...

one only sees these things when they come near you...really

Be safe...
 

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Simply trying to grab hold of a wayward halyard is bad enough, trying to catch hold of a whipping stay, wow, not something I'd like to try and do in the conditions you've been describing Alex.

The surviving crew member has got to be in bad shape....poor bugger....

Anyway, not good news but yep a salutary warning . Hopefully he was unconscious the entire time.

ps - Alex, looking at the pics of the marina....has the madman moved on ?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
His boat is still "stable"...the guy hasn't showed up in over 6 months...

He has a house in Brasil or something..and he must be there for the winter...

His boat is just like it was...the bow in the water (as he removed all the weight from the back), the rudder 1 foot off the water..and now..both sails were destroyed..

other than that..he pays the marina..so all is normal..

me?? I am more than a mast away from him..just in case
 

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His boat is still "stable"...the guy hasn't showed up in over 6 months...

He has a house in Brasil or something..and he must be there for the winter...

His boat is just like it was...the bow in the water (as he removed all the weight from the back), the rudder 1 foot off the water..and now..both sails were destroyed..

other than that..he pays the marina..so all is normal..

me?? I am more than a mast away from him..just in case
As would I be......obviously a very wealthy whacko.....or at least his old man is.....

end of hijack

let us know the end of this story when it comes out.

salute
 

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Telstar 28
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Unfortunately, being close to shore makes a lot of sailors complacent... same thing happens with drivers and automobiles.... as most serious accidents happen within 5 miles of home. I hope he is found, but the seas and winds don't look very forgiving.
 

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I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing an inflatable vest most of the time. I figure that I’m usually the most experienced sailor on board and that rescue might take awhile. Life vests are mandatory here for racing and I’ve seen boats take a DSQ for a crew member not properly attired. Life vests can be cumbersome and uncomfortable while actively sailing a boat. I’ve had my auto inflate go off while rail sitting (we took a gynormous wave) and once my pull cord got pinched in the steering wheel and inflated my vest while going around Pt. Conception (very, very embarrassing for a helmsman). Down below, the fear is if the vest inflates, you will be trapped in a capsized boat (happened in the Texas Tech tragedy?). The problem with tethers is you do a lot of unclipping in order to get around obstacles like other crew members and such. Also, they have a bad habit of getting hung up on things and they hinder rapid movement. One nasty night we had to take down the mainsail and I inadvertently tied my crewmate to the boom when I accidentally grabbed his tether thinking it was part of a sail tie. That said I wear mine most of the time. It all boils down to your prevailing conditions and your personal approach to risk.
 

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Giu,

That is scary stuff -- those photos. I am very sorry for the loss of the sailor -- may he find peace.

We can talk all night about harnesses, tethers, and PFDs. If this thread is any indication, I think more and more experienced sailors are coming around to their importance, and beginning to wear them habitually.

What I'd really like to talk about is WHAT TO DO IF THE HEADSTAY PARTS and you have a furler and extrusion flailing around wildly on the foredeck in heavy weather??!!

Assuming it parted at the lower terminus of the stay. It is still attached at the masthead. It is swinging wildly in circles over most of the foredeck -- a deadly weapon.

What should a sailor do? Thoughts, suggestions?
 

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Wish I never found SN!
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Ok, I will put myself out there for ridicule, and I don’t think I am alone in this. When at sea on my own, I know I should be tethered on at all times, but I don’t. When in the cockpit in normal conditions I rarely wear my vest and harness, but it is there ready to be put on, and I do every time I need to leave the cockpit. Am I alone .....I don’t think so.
 

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Well, the first concern is to determine whether the mast itself will come down with a parted headstay. Mine isn't likely to, given that I have a fixed staysai stay, but on a boat with a long foredeck and a deck-mounted mast? Go head to wind, if possible and drop the main. Use engine and autopilot if possible. Use a teather, a PFD and lash a throw cushion to your head (don't laugh...you can get brained!) Lash two boat hooks in an X shape, and move cautiously forward. If you can go head to wind, you can usually catch even a moving stay and furler using the boat hooks as hooks and as a shield to protect yourself. Lash the furler to the mast and run BOTH jib halyards to padeyes forward. Tension them well, but not too well...the object is to stop the mast from destructive movement. You should be able to continue under reefed main or trysail, and if the wind moderates, you can hank on a storm jib or a wire luff staysail.

That would be my choice and instinct. I blew up a genoa rounding an island once and the leach line hooked on a spreader and hooked the sail. I had my heavily pregnant wife keep the boat nearly head to wind under a hard-sheeted main only until I could cut the genoa a bit and shake it off the spreader, get it down on deck and into the forehatch. At that point, we fell off and continued sailing, and I brought out the No. 3 I should have had in 22 knots!

Yes, I always wear a knife on deck.
 

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Ok, I will put myself out there for ridicule, and I don’t think I am alone in this. When at sea on my own, I know I should be tethered on at all times, but I don’t. When in the cockpit in normal conditions I rarely wear my vest and harness, but it is there ready to be put on, and I do every time I need to leave the cockpit. Am I alone .....I don’t think so.
I'm not always tethered alone, but I always have a PFD since that one time I didn't sailing solo and got laid down by a gust on the lee side with water up to my waist and the skin of my fingers peeling off on the mainsheet moving at 100 km/hr as I tried to ease it from the wrong side of the traveller...

When I am in a dinghy alone, I wear a float vest in case I am knocked out and the auto-inflate doesn't work.
 
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