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Old 09-07-2015, 12:06 PM   #1
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Reboarding a skiff or swimstep.

Earlier in the summer, I had to dive down to free the anchor of my skiff. Reboarding was ok once I remembered my life saving training in my youth and got back into the skiff just fine:

You bob up and down in the water to get your momentum going. If possible, get up as high as your waist. Raise one leg up at a time and into the skiff. I had dislocated my shoulder 6 weeks earlier and it was quite weak,but I was still able to get out.

I was taught this procedure 45 years ago. I that it really hasn't changed and I am confident I could use it to get my wife onto the swimstep.



The key, not really shown in the video is to use the up and down momentum to get the victim's waist as high as the swimstep and then bring each leg up one at a time in a scissor fashion.


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Old 09-07-2015, 12:36 PM   #2
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Good tip Jim

I discovered the "bob, hoist self to waist height, throw leg over" technique on our holiday this summer.

Zain, our 130 pound dog, indelicately fell in while moving from our new dinghy onto the swimstep. This left Zain hanging from the swimstep by his fore paws with a wild, frantic look in his eyes.

I leapt heroically from the dinghy onto the swimstep to drag him aboard, and was doing so, until my wife said, "There goes the dinghy!"

I had not tied off the dinghies bow line.

I left Zain to go after the dinghy which was drifting away in a most stately manner. First though, and this is a questionable call on my part, I took off my self inflating lifejacket (because I didn't want it to inflate unnecessarily...interesting how the brain works in 'crisis' situations, no?) and dove in after the dinghy.

Luckily it wasn't too windy and I caught up to it in about five strokes. This is where I discovered the bobbing technique, which worked like a charm.

Back at the boat, Zain was still hanging on by his fore paws, and was probably crushed in his doggy heart knowing I abandoned him to go after the dinghy.

This time, once back at the boat, I tied off the dinghy.

There was no other way to get Zain aboard other than to reach down between his back legs, and lift. We passed a gaze between us as I was doing this maneuver, and saw in his eyes that it was okay. There are times in life when Dudes have to drop normal Dude protocol and you just have to go for a major crotch gab and heave, and we both knew this was one of them.

We found a small piece of plywood driftwood on the beach later that day which gave Zain the confidence to make the dinghy to swimstep transition as smooth as silk.

Will make sure my wife sees the video above, because next time it may be her trying to get me onto the swimstep and I'd rather she didn't pull the same maneuver I did on Zain
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:11 PM   #3
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Another reason i don't use auto inflating lifevests.

I think your reaction is typical.

I rally wonder how many people have died with a PFD on, but were knocked out (the big sale point of the auto inflate) versus not having a PDF for whatever reason??

Thanks for the tips guys. I know I'll have to use it sometime one of these days.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:22 PM   #4
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The reason I wear the inflatable life jackets is I actually wear it. These are atandard practise now in the fishing industry and I don't even realize I have it on. And yes, Murray, I'd take off the life jacket while swimming after a skiff as well.

BTW, the skiff routine was in Prideaux Haven in the middle June. Flat calm and the water warm.

WRT to dogs in the water. Jenny wears a life jacket that has a handle on it. The purpose of the life jacket is to pull her to safety. On several occasions she has straddled between the skiff and the dock and that handle has saved her from falling overboard. Without the handle, I'm not sure I could get her back into the skiff.

Flying Dog...

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Old 09-07-2015, 03:15 PM   #5
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Seems to me y'all are working way harder than you need to to get out of the water onto your boats. I had a 3 step ladder that folded up against the transom and held there by a strap...lowered to get on and off the swim platform. It was aluminum, designed specifically for the purpose. Had a grab rail mounted above it...made boarding very easy.

What am I missing in wondering why the same type of arrangement wouldn't work for y'all?
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:41 PM   #6
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While hanging out in Indiantown, FL with OCdiver "Ted", i recalled how difficult it was to climb up a dock ladder with equipment and he gave me some expert advice on making sure the ladder steps are raked forward as one goes up so the weight is over your waist instead of hanging off your back where your arms have to do the pulling, actually adding weight and force on your feet. I've got no fat pad on the bottom of my feet and those skinny little ladder rungs kill me. After spending 10 boat units on my MOB system, I'm not going to skimp on the ladder.
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:04 PM   #7
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We always wrap the dog in his "Outward Hound" life jacket as it has the handle on top. He tends to attempt the leap from the dighy to the swim step before all is secure and the handle has kept us from wet-dog smell on the boat many times. Besides, if we ever went in the water, not worrying about the dog would allow us to concentrate guilt-free on the humans.

We have auto-inflate jackets and spare cartridges/bobbins. If you don't test them once in a while (years?) how do you know if they work? Did you know there is a manual toggle to inflate them and if that fails, a hose to blow them up like an airline jacket? Did you know there is also a whistle inside the folds?
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting that video. I'm going to make my wife watch it over and over and over and over. Well, you get the point.


If an accident happens that renders me unconscious, I'll be the unconscious one in the water. Hopefully she'll be able to get me out before she starts calculating the total of my life insurance policies!
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadMistress View Post
Seems to me y'all are working way harder than you need to to get out of the water onto your boats. I had a 3 step ladder that folded up against the transom and held there by a strap...lowered to get on and off the swim platform. It was aluminum, designed specifically for the purpose. Had a grab rail mounted above it...made boarding very easy.
Works for us, even without the grab rail.
Not sure it would have worked for Zain. We had a 55kg German Shepherd who got a front leg stuck in a tree fork chasing a cat up a tree, clearly it hurt, fortunately my rescue lift site was more conventional.
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