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Type 4 tied to stern pulpit

1370 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  capt jgwinks
I noticed yesterday, that the Type 4 horseshoe PFD is tied to the stern pulpit.
I can see that the advantage might be that if thrown quickly, the boat could be stopped and the MOB hauled in. However, if not thrown quickly (or close enough) as the boat moves away, so does the PFD.

Is there a "right" way? Other thoughts?


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You'll receive many answers. Some tie a line to their type IVs in order to be able to re-try should they miss, others do not. I have heard the argument that the line runs the risk of getting caught in the prop. Throwing it out as soon as you notice the person missing is a way of marking an MOB should you not have that option on a chartplotter or GPS.

We carry a ring and several "seat cushion" types as well as the horseshoe. Besides providing additional targets for the person to hopefully grab, some will throw out what they have to create floating debris that hopefully alerts other boats that something is wrong and because you've also used the radio to issue a securite, they can either look out for the person or at least be aware to slow down and try not to run over him or her. It also creates an additional way of determining the direction of the current should you or the rescuers lose site of the person.
I am not sure I understand your question. Are you concerned because it is tied on, or because it is on the stern? Generally they are in a sort of bracket that holds them. You might have them loosely tied to the bracket/stern rail, just so you don't loose them, but must be easily deployed to be effective at helping in an MOB situation. As long as they are tied down in a easy to remove way, or even better perhaps with Velcro straps you should be OK. Now if they are tied on with old stiff lines that will take a marlin spike to untie then it is a real problem. Normally tied down just so they don't blow away and perhaps so they don't wonder off at the dock but still easily deployed. One of the things I like most about the Life Sling is the case they come in as they are secure yet very easy to deploy in a hurry.
"Right way?"
As far as I know; and I'm by no means an 'expert'; but.....
Toss the horseshoe (edit* or any other floating object that's to-hand. I don't recall any boater being chastised or fined for rescuing using an un-=approved device ;) ) to the MOB immediately It may take some time and distance to stop and return. Tossing the type 4 gives tthe MOB the chance to have some sort of support/bouyancy until you return to rescue or recover and also gives the helma marker to turn to.
Once up-wind and hove-to. throw the lifesling or whatever floating line ya have. Using a 'sling first might cause yo to drag tthe line and foul it, as well as pull the floatation away from the MOB.

HTH, and I stand-by to be corrected if necessary :)

added* Mine'ss held in the bracketmount with a bungee. The original buckle arrangement was UV damaged and stuck until I ripped it off/out . The bungee is easily removed, if needs must..
US Coast Guard regulations for COMMERCIAL vessels require a Type IV with a 100 foot floating line attached to the boat. No such requirement for private vessels.
Having your ONLY Type IV tied to the boat, especially a sailboat, is a really bad idea. You can't stop the
boat fast enough to avoid towing the PFD away from your PIW, or towing him/her under should they manage to catch it.
On my commercial boats, we carry 3 Type IV's, only one has a line on it. The Lifesling is great for making the recovery, and it's an approved Type IV.
If you have a tethered Type IV, throw a cushion or something else that floats, then use the tether to reel the person when you've returned to them. This should be practiced often, we do drills monthly
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