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Old 11-01-2016, 06:49 AM   #21
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Having taught safety classes for many years and having some experiences come back to haunt me, I would like to add one of the biggest issues is with couples where one person is the boater and the other to some extent goes along for the ride.

If the boater falls in, or has a heart attack etc, the non-expert boater is left to pick up the pieces and often does not have the knowledge to do so.

Example, a couple sat through my class, in which (back then) I stressed several things the wife should know. They were attentive good students and the woman did learn those items.

However, that summer the couple added a new item to my list for the non-boater to know. While sailing in their trawler northbound on Lake Michigan on a perfectly beautiful, calm summer day the husband fell overboard in full view of the wife. The husband was not wearing a PFD. The problem, the wife couldn't figure out how to turn off the autopilot as the boat kept going northbound.

In this case everything turned out OK. Husband was rescued. Couple sold their boat and gave up boating.

I added autopilot control to my list of necessary knowledge items for the non-boater.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:13 AM   #22
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In this case everything turned out OK. Husband was rescued. Couple sold their boat and gave up boating.
No lives lost but the joy of boating killed and so "ok" is a matter of degrees. That is one of our safety issues though that we focus on. We don't want an event that then takes away the pleasure we derive from boating, makes us no longer participants.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:42 AM   #23
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US Power Squadron offers a half day seminar called "Partner in Command" that focus's on exactly what Marty cited above...what happens when the skipper becomes incapacitated?
I recommend it to anyone / everyone that is a boater - runabout to trawler - weekender to full timers.

The Cruising Club of America also makes available a seminar "Suddenly Alone" which is based on a boating couples true experience.
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:05 PM   #24
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Suddenly Overboard

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Most drownings could be avoided if the person was wearing a PFD. Hard to argue with that.
All boaters should read this very sobering book, written by a life-long sailor after cheating death in frigid water, right in his slip!

"Suddenly Overboard: True Stories of Sailors in Fatal Trouble" by Tom Lochhaas

Be safe!
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:52 AM   #25
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Keith, Hypothermia is important and I'm glad you brought it up. I'm also curious as to what other issues were mentioned in your course that you think that either you, or some of the rest of us may have become lax with over time? So, if hypothermia is at the top of your list, what are some of the other safe practices on that list?
Dave

It isn't so much what was taught in the MBFA (Marine Basic First Aid) that prompted me to start this thread, other than the hypothermia video, but the overall mindset difference when going aboard the FRV (Fast Response Vessell) of the RCMSAR station once I became a member, from the mindset that I have become familiar with among my boating colleagues.

This difference is partly liability insurance inspired, as there are things that need to be taught to/learned by anyone who becomes crew before they can be included in the station's insurance coverage.

But that is only a threshold issue. Then the real training begins.
Emphasis is on navigation, since navigation has to occur at 20 to 30 knots, and if the FRV is tasked on a very urgent matter, the speed may go up to whatever the FRV is ultimately capable of doing, in the hopes that we are not too late to save a life.

I have only been part of this group a few months, but my participation in training exercises has covered many things already: MOB drills, Nav by Radar alone, nav in a rock strewn, narrow passage in the dark, night time shoreline searches, familiarity with all of the fixed and floating aids in the entire coverage area, complete weekly and monthly gear and boat inspections, boat handling in adverse conditions, day and night, familiarity with SOPs for all possible scenarios, and more.

I have come away from all of that with a much enhanced awareness of what is a "safe practice" and what may not be.

With most of our (TF now) boats cruising in the 8 knot range, nav at speed is relatively low on the urgency scale, but still worth mentioning. How many of us have made it a regular practice to do any navigation drills, to demonstrate nav techniques to our spouses, to do a MOB drill, as mentioned above; to show our spouses how to operate the AP, the Radar, Plotter, Sounder?

Ideally, the Admiral/First Mate, should be able to step in while we are using the head, getting a cup of coffee or having a nap and operate our boat just as competently as we can. I know I have become more lax in that department than I should, over the years, and now need to gently pull my own spouse up into a greater level of competence/confidence. That, surely, is the next most important thing that I have learned so far.
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:44 AM   #26
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Keith

I think all the points in your latest post are valid. Safety first has to be more than just a slogan. I've struggled with making it paramount in business, especially manufacturing, over the years. But it needs to be in the rest of our life. It can be without us obsessing over it as well. It can become natural, where we retrain even our instincts. It's not sometimes so much what we do that is smart, but not doing something stupid. Not taking unnecessary chances and covering the "what if's." We can't make boating risk free. We can't make life risk free. But we sure can reduce the risks. We can also make behaviors come naturally through training and preparation.

Certainly what you've been through recently has given you a heightened awareness. I'm sure psneeld has a list of "do not's" a mile long from his experiences. Fire fighting courses don't just make you better prepared to fight one but more knowledgeable of the risks that might lead to one. First aid and medical person in charge equally makes you more aware of risks and prevention. Every new guest we take on our boat gets a full walk through and a list of boat rules. It doesn't matter if they have more experience than us, they get our rules.

One of our rules is sunscreen. Boating is an outdoors activity with huge sun risks. We live in the Sunshine state where we combine sun with very skimpy bikinis and bathing suits. Someone commented one time that we must buy sunscreen by the case. Actually we do by the gross. We consider it a failure on our part as hosts if someone gets injured and sunburn is an injury in our minds.

We are largely creatures of habit. Safety is a matter of instilling good habits.
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Old 11-05-2016, 12:04 PM   #27
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Dave



It isn't so much what was taught in the MBFA (Marine Basic First Aid) that prompted me to start this thread, other than the hypothermia video, but the overall mindset difference when going aboard the FRV (Fast Response Vessell) of the RCMSAR station once I became a member, from the mindset that I have become familiar with among my boating colleagues.



This difference is partly liability insurance inspired, as there are things that need to be taught to/learned by anyone who becomes crew before they can be included in the station's insurance coverage.



But that is only a threshold issue. Then the real training begins.

Emphasis is on navigation, since navigation has to occur at 20 to 30 knots, and if the FRV is tasked on a very urgent matter, the speed may go up to whatever the FRV is ultimately capable of doing, in the hopes that we are not too late to save a life.



I have only been part of this group a few months, but my participation in training exercises has covered many things already: MOB drills, Nav by Radar alone, nav in a rock strewn, narrow passage in the dark, night time shoreline searches, familiarity with all of the fixed and floating aids in the entire coverage area, complete weekly and monthly gear and boat inspections, boat handling in adverse conditions, day and night, familiarity with SOPs for all possible scenarios, and more.



I have come away from all of that with a much enhanced awareness of what is a "safe practice" and what may not be.



With most of our (TF now) boats cruising in the 8 knot range, nav at speed is relatively low on the urgency scale, but still worth mentioning. How many of us have made it a regular practice to do any navigation drills, to demonstrate nav techniques to our spouses, to do a MOB drill, as mentioned above; to show our spouses how to operate the AP, the Radar, Plotter, Sounder?



Ideally, the Admiral/First Mate, should be able to step in while we are using the head, getting a cup of coffee or having a nap and operate our boat just as competently as we can. I know I have become more lax in that department than I should, over the years, and now need to gently pull my own spouse up into a greater level of competence/confidence. That, surely, is the next most important thing that I have learned so far.

All good points Keith. I know that I can certainly improve my own practices and definitely need to help bring my wife up to speed.

BTW, thank you for volunteering with the RCMSAR. Volunteers such as yourself add to my own safety when boating in those waters. I've previously noted how much I appreciated the volunteers out of the Ladysmith CG Auxillary that responded to my fathers medical emergency a decade ago. There is a special place in heaven for folks that spend their own time to volunteer to make boating safer for the rest of us.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:30 PM   #28
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Dave
Just to confuse, Coast Guard Aux decided to express their separate mandate from the real CG a few years ago by "re-branding" as RCMSAR.

Those folks at Ladysmith when your dad encountered them are still around as RCMSAR. Maybe even some of the same individual members.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:42 PM   #29
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Dave
Just to confuse, Coast Guard Aux decided to express their separate mandate from the real CG a few years ago by "re-branding" as RCMSAR.

Those folks at Ladysmith when your dad encountered them are still around as RCMSAR. Maybe even some of the same individual members.

I wasn't aware of the change in naming. Good to know.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:49 PM   #30
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BTW, Keith how did the rest of your crossing go back to Vancouver?
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