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Old 01-11-2016, 12:36 PM   #21
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Good thread....

On my sailboat the boarding ladder on the stern hinged midway and the bottom pivoted up and was secured with a short piece of line with a slip knot in it. The end was reachable from the water. Dock lines crossed can complicate things.

I too wear my inflatable more and more. If I were to go on deck in the middle of the night in adverse conditions (a 2 knot current qualifies) I think I would slip it on.

Short Captain Oscar fireside story:

The previous sailboat was a Catalina 42. Summers it was in Rock Hall MD, winters in Fort Lauderdale. I did a total of three round trips, all but 100 of the 6000 miles outside, half of it solo.

And yes, when it was calm I peed off the stern. One hand on the back stay, legs against the top lifeline. Yes I was wearing an inflatable AND a harness tethered to the boat. Still, the autopilot would keep doing it's job and slapping on the side of the boat trying to undo the harness, hold on and work your way around to the boarding ladder at 4 or 5 knots would be a hand full.

The boat was a fixer upper and I did 90% in the first few months I owned it. One thing I hadn't done yet I took on after the first Florida trip, and that was replacing the rather grungy looking life lines. Unbeknownst to me the turnbuckle on Port side had lost it's split pin and was less than a turn from coming undone.....

No more peeing off the rail.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:05 PM   #22
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I. Pee into a bailing bucket, keeps the pee contained like me inside the boat.

Some things just can't be unseen. Like the body of a young lady found in the waters dockside where I live on board.Just before Xmas, but at least that family has closure

I have pulled alot of folk from the cold water. Non seemed to have the ability or want to scream for help in the short period of time they had to do so.

Please take a moment to at least think about this subject, not only if you are the one in the water. But to also be aware of folk in the waters that might need help.

Cold water kills fast.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:38 PM   #23
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As a single hander I don't have a choice in this one.

Richard
Then I would definitely wear a flotation device when strolling around near the edges of the deck in the middle of the night.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:08 PM   #24
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Open zipper is the indicator, so I'm told. Though I don't believe everything I read!

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I thought it was the zipper marks left of the offending members skin.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:20 PM   #25
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Bad news...not many I know could swim against a 2.1 knot vcurrent with clothes on, broken wrist, hyperventiilating, probably disoriented till well past the boat.

Good news....not many places I anchor that have 2.1 knot currents....some but something to consider then.

Even once back to the swim platform....in wet clothes, broken wrist, exhausted from swimming against a 2.1 knot current if even possible....hypothermia is starting to drain you fast....how many could pull themselves up a less than perfect ladder?

That's a grim scenario if there is no help available....but no reason not to have the ladders and/or platform for self rescue...and some sort of mechanical lift device for another to assist...even better if it could be self assist.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:59 PM   #26
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Bad news...not many I know could swim against a 2.1 knot vcurrent with clothes on, broken wrist, hyperventiilating, probably disoriented till well past the boat.
.
The disoriented made me think that the real key to survival is not panicking. One can survive and can get to the boat, but if one panics that will not happen.

However, the more important key is having a setup and a system that doesn't require any special physical skill but is a simple, easy solution.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:27 PM   #27
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I know from large amounts of rescues, survival training, training up through water safety instructor instructor and several falls into the water myself......disorientation is not panic.

One is often fatal, the other just a result of an unintentional act....they can go from one to the other, they can even coexist, but one is not the other.

An unexpected fall will usually result in disorientation. Warm water, no pain and daylight let's you see through it quickly...add all those things and disorientation can be hard to regain.

Add that to the other parameters can be a game changer from the armchair evaluation so making it to the boat isn't a given.

Thus a good reason to do what you can to avoid this situation of parameters that I see as a probable no self recovery situation. Not many might wind up with all those parameters....but risk management should have you anning to minimize those hazards.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:53 PM   #28
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Yes, I could make it back on, but only if I had the presence of mind to grab any of the (thankfully six) aft cleats as I came by and then pull out the ladder that telescopes out from under the swim step. One more justification for (most) power boats and not sail, unless they have sugar scoop transoms.

As long as we're talking about this though, I always assumed I'd be able to flop myself back into our dingy from the water (Zodiac Zoom 260). Last season just for fun we ran the dingy to a nearby swim beach, tied the mooring line to the swim area marker buoy, then jumped out for a swim. When we were ready to go back home we could not get back into that raft for anything. I always assumed I could tilt it up if I had to and just roll over the tube like a wet flopping halibut -- nope, I just could not get the height out of the water to clear that tube. We eventually had to tow-swim the raft to shore, step in, and then paddle our way back out. That experience made me buy a rope swim ladder for that dingy, although even then it's not an easy climb.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:55 PM   #29
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I know from large amounts of rescues, survival training, training up through water safety instructor instructor and several falls into the water myself......disorientation is not panic.

One is often fatal, the other just a result of an unintentional act....they can go from one to the other, they can even coexist, but one is not the other.

An unexpected fall will usually result in disorientation. Warm water, no pain and daylight let's you see through it quickly...add all those things and disorientation can be hard to regain.

Add that to the other parameters can be a game changer from the armchair evaluation so making it to the boat isn't a given.

Thus a good reason to do what you can to avoid this situation of parameters that I see as a probable no self recovery situation. Not many might wind up with all those parameters....but risk management should have you anning to minimize those hazards.
I agree you cannot depend on one being able to overcome those or even less difficult situations. Your plan should put minimum requirements on the man who is overboard and not depend on them being able to execute tasks they normally would seem able to do.

While I haven't seen directly what you have, I have seen accounts. I've read about those very close to the boat swimming instead toward a distant shore.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:11 PM   #30
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At 2.1 knots, if you dont grab something going by like a swim platform bracket or get your fingers into a through hull, you're not likely going to get back to the boat at all. Look for something you can get to like another boats anchor line.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:16 PM   #31
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BandB.....in a man overboard situation fom an anchored boat?

I would think most would start for the boat and when it turned into a losing battle like fighting a rip current, plan b goes into effect like Archie just posted.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:58 PM   #32
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My "wake up and smell the coffee" moment came when I went swimming for the first time while anchored. I'd never boarded a boat from a swim platform before and it looked deceptively easy as the platform was only a few inches above the water and I'm a strong swimmer. After finally managing to use the trim tab as a makeshift step and nearly cutting my foot I made it. The following week I contacted Hopcar and he helped me order an undermounted telescopic ladder that deploys easily from the water.

Lesson learned, never assume anything is easy. It's called a boat and that automatically makes everything at least five times harder than it should be.

Can I self rescue in the op described scenario?? No way with that much current.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:01 PM   #33
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If alone or with one or two, PFD w/strobe and PLB. Even with company everyone may be asleep. Awhile ago, we discussed the ability to get back on the boat by yourself if you fell over. Most responders kind of blew it off; some because they were always accompanied, But never tested if their company could get them out of the water.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:04 PM   #34
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Sudden cold water immersion will make you gasp (not a joke, it means you just started to drown) and that will make you panic. Now, unless you are tied to the boat and have a flotation device will likely mean you are toast (cold toast) unless someone can haul you out. Could you lift your wife back onboard? Let alone your self. Even if your wife is petite, which in middle age is unlikely; can you reach down and pull a soggy, wet, incapacitated 140 pound lump back onboard?

(Not to suggest your wife is peeing overboard too often).
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:19 PM   #35
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You don't??
With a zipper?
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:24 PM   #36
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I'd probably die. That's why there are wide decks and strong railings.

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Old 01-11-2016, 07:33 PM   #37
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Sudden cold water immersion will make you gasp (not a joke, it means you just started to drown) and that will make you panic. Now, unless you are tied to the boat and have a flotation device will likely mean you are toast (cold toast) unless someone can haul you out. Could you lift your wife back onboard? Let alone your self. Even if your wife is petite, which in middle age is unlikely; can you reach down and pull a soggy, wet, incapacitated 140 pound lump back onboard?

(Not to suggest your wife is peeing overboard too often).
59 degree water may or in my opinion probably not cause the immersion gasp reflex. But a good point that colder water presents that problem.

Correct in the reboarding info. Realistically.....one person of almost any size or shape may have a problem getting someone back onboard without a lot of assistance from the person or mechanical advantage. Plus who wants to strain something and ruin a trip wh ed n tools can help.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:54 PM   #38
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Those are some nice rails on that Coot! When the water is cold where I live, the air probably is too so I'm not going to whip anything out. How ever when when it's nice and warm like it usually is here, I'm not wearing anything at night. I do have a nice under swim platform swim ladder that's easy to reach from the water but if I'm disoriented enough to fall in, I may not get to it in time in that current. I do think the adrenaline rush might get me there though. LOL.

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Old 01-11-2016, 08:30 PM   #39
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Any event like that at night, especially if not 100% awake, is fraught with risk, even in benign conditions. The answer is avoiding the event in the first place.
I will pee off the swim step at night, but it`s one hand for the ship clamped around a rail, and the other hand....
A ladder in the water is essential to get back onboard night or day without much effort and gymnastics.
I once had a crew member on my sailboat knocked into the water hit by the boom in daytime, my other crew dived into the water in case he was unconscious, all was well but things can go bad fast.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:34 PM   #40
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When anchored we always have a float tied to a 12' line trailing behind the boat (unless we're in a mooring field or a crowded anchorage. On our Mainship the boarding ladder comes out the rear of the molded in swim platform so it's only about 3" above the water. It can be pulled out and deployed with one hand.
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