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Old 07-10-2018, 03:16 PM   #21
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Thanks everyone for your ideas. Even though it turned out OK, we should have put a rope around him. I think the trick is early response with whatever is at hand. Intend to discuss the incident with the marina management. (and maybe take some gymnastics classes!!) Cheers, Richard
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:51 PM   #22
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This is timely.

Yesterday afternoon and elderly man fell into the water across the dock from me. He jumped from the 22 ft boat to the dock as the owner was just backing into the slip.

Luckily he fell into an empty slip and more luckily we had company on the boat. So between the 2 of us we pulled the swimmer back onto the dock.

If I were alone I don't think I could have gotten him up.

This morning I am going to the marina office and ask for ladders of some sort.


I asked our manager about safety ladders on the dock (or why we didn’t have any) and asked if the condo HOA board had considered it. I was prompted to ask after the pushing incident a few weeks ago.

He said that the board discussed it, but eventually decided that they’re didn’t want to. The reasons, as he recalls them were;

1. There is one ladder in the center of the marina on the main dock.

2. They were afraid of complaints from slip owners regarding their placement, ie “If Fred has a ladder at the end of his finger I should have a ladder at the end of mine, even though they are right next to each other.”

3. The argument was made that a “responsible boat owner” would make provisions for falling in before doing any work around the boat, such as rig a ladder, put down their swim ladder etc...

He did say that I could install one at the end of my slip if I chose. I think I may end up doing that.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:55 PM   #23
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You should check out this book, "Suddenly Overboard: True Stories of Sailors in Fatal Trouble" by Tom Lochhaas.

A really sobering chronicle of tragic stories. The water is NOT our domain, but we easily get complacent.

I recommend this to anyone who ventures out.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:33 PM   #24
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I asked our manager about safety ladders on the dock (or why we didn’t have any) and asked if the condo HOA board had considered it. I was prompted to ask after the pushing incident a few weeks ago.

He said that the board discussed it, but eventually decided that they’re didn’t want to. The reasons, as he recalls them were;

1. There is one ladder in the center of the marina on the main dock.

2. They were afraid of complaints from slip owners regarding their placement, ie “If Fred has a ladder at the end of his finger I should have a ladder at the end of mine, even though they are right next to each other.”

3. The argument was made that a “responsible boat owner” would make provisions for falling in before doing any work around the boat, such as rig a ladder, put down their swim ladder etc...

He did say that I could install one at the end of my slip if I chose. I think I may end up doing that.

Ask them if you have really good liability insurance if someone drowns because they could not get to the one central ladder. I think that is a really bad answer. What about a non swimmer that falls in and can’t make it to the one ladder. They are trying to put the onus on a really responsible boat owner who should rig a ladder before anyone falls in, if you knew when you or a guest that isn’t knowledgeable about boats were going to fall in, don’t you think that nobody would ever fall in. Since you know you are about to fall in, just don’t do it... I would not want to be a part of a condo association that takes this point of view. Especially after they were asked about having ladders and they don’t do it, it makes it hard after the fact to say they were responsible.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:24 PM   #25
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Ask them if you have really good liability insurance if someone drowns because they could not get to the one central ladder. I think that is a really bad answer. What about a non swimmer that falls in and can’t make it to the one ladder. They are trying to put the onus on a really responsible boat owner who should rig a ladder before anyone falls in, if you knew when you or a guest that isn’t knowledgeable about boats were going to fall in, don’t you think that nobody would ever fall in. Since you know you are about to fall in, just don’t do it... I would not want to be a part of a condo association that takes this point of view. Especially after they were asked about having ladders and they don’t do it, it makes it hard after the fact to say they were responsible.

I didn't mean to imply that I endorsed their rational. The Manager was also quick to point out that he didn't share the viewpoint but was just recounting what he recalled when it was discussed a number of years ago.


I intend to ask the board to consider the idea again. Most of the board are new since the last time it was discussed and the HOA had other very pressing issues to contend with at the time.


I didn't mention but there also is an emergency ladder that is designed to go over a cleat on the dock. Great solution if you happen to fall in with someone there who can get the ladder out of the emergency box, return to where you are clinging onto the dock, set the emergency ladder in place, and then be strong enough to help you get out of the water with the ladder. Assuming of course that you haven't drifted away or drowned in the meantime.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:35 PM   #26
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No, I was not thinking that you were happy about the reply they gave you, but you are a part of the association so you do have part of the responsibility. I agree that you should give it another try.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:43 PM   #27
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Hmmmm making me ponder as I think of this every time I step on the swimstep as to what I would do

http://www.savajake.com/SOT-Kayak-Se...BoC9WMQAvD_BwE

And found this one

https://www.overtons.com/modperl/pro...BoCtOgQAvD_BwE

Any experience with either? I think I will buy a couple to hang off of cleats permanently!!!!
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:55 PM   #28
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Hmmmm making me ponder as I think of this every time I step on the swimstep as to what I would do

SOT Kayak Self Rescue Ladder - Hi Viz Yellow/Orange

And found this one

https://www.overtons.com/modperl/pro...BoCtOgQAvD_BwE

Any experience with either? I think I will buy a couple to hang off of cleats permanently!!!!
Get a real ladder mounted under the swim platform. A problem with those rope solutions is keeping your self upright rather than going horizontal. Better than nothing? Absolutely. But not by much.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:12 PM   #29
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Get a real ladder mounted under the swim platform. A problem with those rope solutions is keeping your self upright rather than going horizontal. Better than nothing? Absolutely. But not by much.
Keep in mind that the person you're trying to help is exhausted, overweight, can't swim, and isn't coordinated. All those things may not apply but the athletic, alert, swimmer is going to be able to get out, that's just not who we're normally dealing with.

You read stories of strange drownings daily, that seem like they should have been so easily avoided but they happened. There was a drunk guy on our lake who almost drowned in 6" of water, but the wildlife officer saved him. I've seen a dock that had a turn in it and a guy under the influence didn't turn, just walked straight into the water in cold weather. Had we not been there, I don't know if he could have made it out. While I'm not very tolerant of the excessive drinking, I do keep in mind that the drunk who falls in is someone's father and son or mother and daughter and husband or wife. They are important to family and friends.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:13 PM   #30
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I've got a rear ladder that when deployed has rungs below the waterline, but someone would need to be there to deploy.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:34 PM   #31
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Keep in mind that the person you're trying to help is exhausted, overweight, can't swim, and isn't coordinated.

I resemble that remark.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:38 PM   #32
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An old women at the marina fell off her boat.
She was in the water and we heard a faint help cry.
I was on the hard and had a tall step ladder, so we put ladder in truck drove over, ran down the dock, dropped the ladder in and she climbed right out.

Any ladder would work, extension ladder would be great to have at a marina for people to climb out. She also was a live aboard, and she no longer has the boat.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:43 PM   #33
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Get a real ladder mounted under the swim platform. A problem with those rope solutions is keeping your self upright rather than going horizontal. Better than nothing? Absolutely. But not by much.


The PO of my boat did just that. The NP43 has a nice swim ladder on the swim step. I would be able to deploy it from the water if I fell in, was uninjured, and hadn’t been in the cold water that long. Otherwise, no way. However, most of the time we have a dinghy on the swim step that prevents the swim ladder from being deployed by anyone.

Because of this, the PO put a swim ladder under the port side of the swim step. It was deplorable by someone in the water and there was a good solid handhold to use when climbing out. Unfortunately, in this location even a good SS ladder was subject to corrosion, and worse, it wasn’t installed very well and resulted in water intrusion into the cavity in the swim step and saturated the plywood framing underneath the fiberglass. I had the yard remove it when the boat was hauled and the the swim step repaired.

If someone knows of a good quality swim ladder that can be mounted under a swim step I’d be interested.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:02 PM   #34
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I've got a rear ladder that when deployed has rungs below the waterline, but someone would need to be there to deploy.
Doesn't do much good if there is no one there to deploy it... never single hand or work on the boat alone?
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:06 PM   #35
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Keep in mind that the person you're trying to help is exhausted, overweight, can't swim, and isn't coordinated. All those things may not apply but the athletic, alert, swimmer is going to be able to get out, that's just not who we're normally dealing with.

You read stories of strange drownings daily, that seem like they should have been so easily avoided but they happened. There was a drunk guy on our lake who almost drowned in 6" of water, but the wildlife officer saved him. I've seen a dock that had a turn in it and a guy under the influence didn't turn, just walked straight into the water in cold weather. Had we not been there, I don't know if he could have made it out. While I'm not very tolerant of the excessive drinking, I do keep in mind that the drunk who falls in is someone's father and son or mother and daughter and husband or wife. They are important to family and friends.
Having a ladder vastly aids a rescuer in getting down to the person in the water and helping them, rather than bending over / reaching down to them.
A lot of this gets back to the recent discussion about Life Slings.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:24 PM   #36
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Mine gets used throughout the day during the summer, and stays out all night when at anchor or in the marina..just in case. People with disabilities have used it - no problema.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:50 PM   #37
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Can you put one foot on the "wing" of the outboard skeg ??

If not, you could take a 3 foot length or rope, thread it through a 1 foot piece of pvc pipe and put a carabiner on each end. Just clip that on the bottom rung before you dive in, and remove it after your re-board.
Or tie a bowline or an alpine butterfly loop into a line to use as a step. More than one if you need a ladder-like series. If you had a piece of PVC pipe handy, thread the line through it while tying the knot for the step.

Bearing in mind that a rope by itself is not as useful as a ladder. But if you're in a dinghy and have someone hanging over the gunwales, a quick bowline loop might give them just enough to stand on to get into the boat with your assistance.

It's important to realize that someone in the water may not have the strength to properly exit from it. Knees, backs, arms, etc, beyond just body weight. For that something like a harness would help. But the chance of someone already in the water being able to do this by themselves is unlikely.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:00 PM   #38
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I didn't mean to imply that I endorsed their rational. The Manager was also quick to point out that he didn't share the viewpoint but was just recounting what he recalled when it was discussed a number of years ago.

I intend to ask the board to consider the idea again. Most of the board are new since the last time it was discussed and the HOA had other very pressing issues to contend with at the time.

I didn't mention but there also is an emergency ladder that is designed to go over a cleat on the dock. Great solution if you happen to fall in with someone there who can get the ladder out of the emergency box, return to where you are clinging onto the dock, set the emergency ladder in place, and then be strong enough to help you get out of the water with the ladder. Assuming of course that you haven't drifted away or drowned in the meantime.
Surprisingly it doesn't seem there's a lot of regulation regarding ladders. There is awareness of the problem and some places do have recommendations.

I'd think it would be useful to raise the liability concern to the board. A single lawsuit would likely well exceed the cost of any kind of ladders. Find which regs best suit your marina's layout and use that to bolster the argument on placement. Make it a 'regulated distance' argument, not one about convenience. As in, the regs say X feet/meters apart, so you're getting one HERE regardless of you like it or not. Or conversely the regs say X distance apart, so any more than that would be a waste of the board's money both now AND over time for maintenance.

Then think about it from a person that's in the water's perspective. Where, in a panic, are they going to be able to SEE there's a ladder?

A quick search turned up these:

Research on Marina Drownings Reveals Need for Industry Standards on Ladders and Life Rings | Marina Dock Age

https://www.robsonforensic.com/artic...expert-witness

Quote:
SAFETY LADDERS

Planning and Design Guidelines for Small Craft Harbors, ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practices No. 50:

“Ladders are generally provided on fixed and floating docks to allow emergency access from the water. In addition, where the tide range and fixed piers may not provide convenient berthing access at all tidal stages, ladders are also provided adjacent to the berths (from the finger piers). According to the requirements of UFC 4-152-01 (NAVFAC 2005), ladders to provide access to fixed piers (or floating docks) from the water should be provided at a maximum spacing of 120 m (400 ft) on centers [sic] or within 60 m (200 ft) of any work area.

Ladders should be a minimum of 406 mm (16 in.) wide and reach the lowest water elevation anticipated. Retractable or flip ladders may be used as an alternative to fixed ladders to avoid marina fouling of the lower steps, but they can be difficult for a swimmer to reach and pull down in case of an emergency. There are numerous commercially available ladders made typically of marine-grade aluminum or stainless steel.”

Various forms of “lifting ladders” are convenient for floating docks, where they can be kept in the retracted position until needed. For recreational small craft harbors, ladders are generally spaced according to the management’s anticipated needs, clientele usage, and safety plan. They are often placed at the ends of T-heads of finger piers (so as to not affect berthing in the slips), in fairways, or adjacent to bulkheads so that anyone who may fall into the water can easily swim to a ladder without crossing under or through piers and vessels or across main navigable waterways.”

California Code of Regulations: #4405. Working Over Water:

(a) – “Permanently installed or portable ladders available for emergency use shall be provided on all waterfront docks.
Such ladders shall extend from the face of the dock to the water line at its lowest elevation;
Spacing between ladder installations shall not exceed 400 feet; and
The ladder shall be secured to the dock or pier before use.”
29 CFR 1917.26 (f) First Aid and lifesaving facilities:

“A readily available portable or permanent ladder giving access to the water shall also be provided within 200 feet (61 m) of such work areas.”
National Park Service Marina Standards 2016:

“Access ladders are well-maintained and secured, and appropriately located throughout the marina.”
Safety and Health in Ports, International Labour Office, Quayside Ladders, section 3.3.5:

“Permanent ladders should be provided at the edge of any structure in a port from which persons may fall into deep water to enable them to climb out of the water.”
“Ladders should be spaced at intervals of not more than 50 m (164 ft) from each other or from steps.”
Unified Facilities Criteria (UCF), Design: Piers and Wharves: 7-9.1 Safety Ladders.

“Provide safety ladders from pier or wharf deck to water at a maximum spacing of 400 feet (122 m) or as noted below with regard to life rings. Such ladders should be at least 1 foot 4 inches (0.41 m) wide and should reach to the lowest water elevation anticipated.”
PIANC RecCom WG Report n° 149/part IV – 2017: Guidelines for Marina Design:

“Ladders should be located along quay walls, fixed piers, pontoons, and in whatever place where they could be useful for safety, at a distance of not more of 50 m from each other.”
FURTHER NOTES ON LIFE RINGS AND SAFETY LADDERS

Other interesting notes concerning life rings and safety ladders:

California Code of Regulations: #4405. Working Over Water:

“The dock area immediately adjacent to ladder locations shall be painted a contrasting bright color.”
Safety and Health in Ports, International Labour Office, Quayside Ladders, section 3.3.5:

“Ladders from the water should be conspicuous so as to be easily seen by anyone falling into the water. The tops of the ladder should be clearly visible to persons on the quayside.”
Unified Facilities Criteria (UCF), Design: Piers and Wharves: 7-9.2 Life Rings.

“Co-locate life rings with permanent ladders.”
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:14 PM   #39
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Mentally reviewing the comments made to this point, confirms that placed ladders in strategic locations without the marines is a prudent investment, both fiscally and humanal . I know of one such investment, the port of Wrangell, Alaska. There are numerous ladders of commercial construction located in said strategic positions. I have thought many times as I view them, that somebody was on the ball. Wrangell was a leader in placing children life jackets for free use on all of their harbors.
Wrangell is one of few remaining harbors where one can witness young children enjoying the freedom of messing around in small boats, rowing, paddling and more exciting, running OB's without adults onboard. To see kids of under 12 years operating boats in responsible ways is an outstanding moment. Yes, they do have life vest on. so it is obvious that these children have had the training of adults and the confidence of same to have the kids free to roam the harbors."Kids" town. a bit of history, every Fourth the local fire trucks and there are several, are overloaded with the children of all ages who as a tradition, ride the trucks in the parade throwing candy. The result of years and years of this tradition is the near automatic enrollment to the community fire department. It is a 'Rite of Passage' for the youth to look forward to joining the volunteers who years later are the drivers and drive of the fire department.
So, while it is noted regarding the ladders, it is not a surprise.

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Old 07-12-2018, 01:22 PM   #40
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Mine gets used throughout the day during the summer, and stays out all night when at anchor or in the marina..just in case. People with disabilities have used it - no problema.
Nice ladder. The handhold loops above the water make climbing up so much easier.

I just upgraded mine, adding some hand holds, as a couple overweight friends were struggling getting up it. The ladder is easily pulled down by someone in the water if ever needed in an emergency.
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