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Old 09-15-2021, 05:12 PM   #21
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To the original poster:

Do you have an electric hoist motor on your boom for dinghy recovery to the cabin top, or do you have some sort of Weaver or other davit for a dink at the stern?

Is the dink inflatable?

My primary person recovery on a GB42 (I had one a LONG time) would be into that dinghy at the stern, if so rigged. Otherwise an electric hoist using the boom, assuming you get the person to put the horse collar under their armpits.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:53 PM   #22
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Thank you all for so much great guidance. I hope this keep's us all safer.
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:24 PM   #23
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Another few bubbles to burst.

Every year would care for or pronounce people who had died or suffered anoxic encephalopathy after immersion. Not infrequently they did not drown. Rather sudden cold water immersion sets off a set of reflexes and shock. The shock produces a sudden fall in cardiac output with resultant death or severe brain anoxia.

Strongest point is don’t fall off the boat. Even in summer but most frequently in the spring and fall there’s enough temperature gradient between ambient air and ocean water to precipitate this cascade in very coastal settings. Once you’re away from water a few feet deep baking over sand the water can be quite cold so this can occur near shore. It’s not just an offshore concern.
People have faith after spending big bucks on hydrostatic triggered vests. They’re right the dissolving paper ones can trigger while you’re working on deck if you see enough green water. But then they don’t buy and use crotch straps nor a sea hood. When you’re in the water due to your anatomy you will tend to face the wave train. Aspirate that seawater you gag. You may aspirate further and die from the aspiration never having drowned per se. When you go MOB and the vest triggers without crotch straps there’s a real good chance you’re no longer in it. So for short money get the hood and crotch straps.
When doing passages if given a choice between a harness and tether v a PFD I’d pick the harness and tether.

Lastly everyone who gets on my boat gets the MOB training before we leave the dock. Don’t care if they’re a yachtmaster, CG captain or ring knocker. Want everyone thinking the same way and knowing what’s on the boat and where.
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:58 AM   #24
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The PO of my boat had a LifeSling as well as very good tackle setup to hoist someone on board. The tackle was left attached to a stanchion on the upper deck so it was always ready to use.

Good idea right? Two problems however. The first is that the Lifeslingís bitter end wasnít actually attached to the boat. Iím sure it was at one time, but someone untied it, maybe someone he had paid to wash/wax the boat. The second problem is that after 6 years out in the weather, the line in the tackle was too stiff to be really useful.

I re-positioned the Lifesling after we bought the boat and put it in a fiberglass box instead of the vinyl bag that disintegrates over time. I have not solved the issue of the hosting tackle. If I was the one on the boat, Iíd use the crane once the mob was secured. There is no way I could lift my wife into the boat and by the time I could retrieve her, she likely wouldnít be able to climb up the swim ladder after spending 10-15 minutes in the 50 degree water.

If I go in the water, it would take my wife much longer to retrieve me and currently i donít think she could get me on board. So, I likely wouldnít survive. That is a problem which really does have to be addressed better.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
Another few bubbles to burst.

Every year would care for or pronounce people who had died or suffered anoxic encephalopathy after immersion. Not infrequently they did not drown. Rather sudden cold water immersion sets off a set of reflexes and shock. The shock produces a sudden fall in cardiac output with resultant death or severe brain anoxia.

Strongest point is donít fall off the boat. Even in summer but most frequently in the spring and fall thereís enough temperature gradient between ambient air and ocean water to precipitate this cascade in very coastal settings. Once youíre away from water a few feet deep baking over sand the water can be quite cold so this can occur near shore. Itís not just an offshore concern.
People have faith after spending big bucks on hydrostatic triggered vests. Theyíre right the dissolving paper ones can trigger while youíre working on deck if you see enough green water. But then they donít buy and use crotch straps nor a sea hood. When youíre in the water due to your anatomy you will tend to face the wave train. Aspirate that seawater you gag. You may aspirate further and die from the aspiration never having drowned per se. When you go MOB and the vest triggers without crotch straps thereís a real good chance youíre no longer in it. So for short money get the hood and crotch straps.
When doing passages if given a choice between a harness and tether v a PFD Iíd pick the harness and tether.

Lastly everyone who gets on my boat gets the MOB training before we leave the dock. Donít care if theyíre a yachtmaster, CG captain or ring knocker. Want everyone thinking the same way and knowing whatís on the boat and where.
I agree, especially with the bolded. I have used the harness & tether offshore and in conditions dependent.
Now detail your MOB training as given to a noob.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:53 AM   #26
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Of course a person could fall over in the calmest conditions, but most likely it would occur when the seas are rough, the boat is being tossed around. Under the latter, retrieval by one person on board appears grim. Controlling the boat, setting up the gear and maintain visual on MOB while remaining calm/focused is a challenge.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:31 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
Another few bubbles to burst.

Every year would care for or pronounce people who had died or suffered anoxic encephalopathy after immersion. Not infrequently they did not drown. Rather sudden cold water immersion sets off a set of reflexes and shock. The shock produces a sudden fall in cardiac output with resultant death or severe brain anoxia.

Strongest point is donít fall off the boat. Even in summer but most frequently in the spring and fall thereís enough temperature gradient between ambient air and ocean water to precipitate this cascade in very coastal settings. Once youíre away from water a few feet deep baking over sand the water can be quite cold so this can occur near shore. Itís not just an offshore concern. ...
And there is Cold Water Gasp Reflex which is an involuntary gasp one makes if the head is immersed in cold water.

We have many drownings in my area each spring and I think most of them, if not all of them, are Cold Water Gasp Reflex. The water is still cold but the air temps can be hot and humid. People jump, fall, or slip so that their head goes underwater, and that is that.

Most of these spring drownings are in local man made lakes and ponds. I don't think people realize that this is not the beach, that the underwater topography can be steep and that the clay that makes up our so called soil is very slippery when wet. People wade out in the cold water, then slip on the clay which is on a steep contour and it is Cold Water Gasp Reflex time.

This has been a very bad year for drownings in NC. It was a bad spring and many people have drowned this summer on local lakes but mostly on the ocean beaches. Many of the ocean drownings have been from rip currents that people do not know how to handle. There was a 78 year old woman who drowned yesterday at the beach. Been a really bad year.

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Old 09-16-2021, 10:00 AM   #28
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Several have mentioned that the best thing is to not fall over in the first place. This is most especially true for those who remain on the boat. One MOB is bad enough, two is practically unmanageable. So, those who are left on the boat need to harness and tether in, before they get themselves into any sort of precarious position.


If you climb down onto the swim platform to retrieve the person in the water, you had better be darned certain that you are not going to end up going in with them!
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:31 PM   #29
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Found this in the ol' digital mail box about cold water survival, https://www.practical-sailor.com/saf...0914-LifeRafts. Got it a few days ago and finally had time to look at it. Tis timely for this discussion.

Hopefully, people can read the link.

Quote:
When we read about a sailor lost overboard in a storm, we think about PFDs and personal locator beacons, and accept the sea is unforgiving. When we read of novice boaters drowning in a local lake, weíre sad, but say that will not happen to us because we wear PFDs. But when we read of a PFD-equipped sailor falling overboard and dying within minutes, itís a real eye-opener.

Spring sailing in temperate climates still carries the risk of cold water shock. With the water temperature in the low 50s, true hypothermia sets in at about 30 minutes. Swimming can be difficult after about 20 minutes. However, 50 degrees is well below the accepted threshold of shock. Most likely, when the icy water slams into a personís face it causes an involuntary gasp. Itís hard to recover from inhaling water, even for a strong swimmer.

Originally known as sudden disappearance syndrome, cold water shock has been known since the 1970s. Different from true hypothermia, which results from the body core temperature dropping over a period of 20 minutes to hours, cold water shock is immediate. Being cast headfirst into icy water is one of most severe shocks a human can face, with deadly effects. It is estimated that 20 percent of victims die within 2 minutes.

Physical effects

The instantaneous reflex is a violent gasp, totally unlike the one scary movies strive to cause. This results in a massive in rush of air, which can be fatal if you are underwater. Unlike the controlled plunges of the local polar bear club, where participants walk in via a beach and are attended by rescue swimmers in dry suits, MOB sailors plunge in head first, the result of tripping over the lifeline. Even with an automatic vest, your head will plunge 6 feet underwater before popping to the surface. If the first blast of inhaled water doesnít drown you, youíll arrive on the surface gasping and unable to swim and swallowing more. Drowning will typically occur in less than a minute. The initial gasp is followed by several minutes of hyperventilation, making any physical effort nearly impossible.

Consequences include the inability to hold your breath or think clearly.

Instantaneous and massive increases in heart rate and blood pressure can cause heart failure in otherwise healthy individuals. Clear thought is impossible. Panic is likely, only serving to increase problems with breathing control and heart rate.
Thought this comment in the Conclusions was interesting. Makes sense given UK geography.

Quote:
In the UK, coldwater shock is considered to be the root cause of most drowning, including non-boating accidents.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:07 PM   #30
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Returning to the MOB

There are some really, really good comments throughout this thread, but there has not been much attention paid to maneuvering your boat as you approach the MOB.

Getting - and STAYING - near him or her is a huge part of this process. I have been involved in 3 MOB's over my 40+ years on the water - - - two as a crewmember on commercial fishing boats in Alaska and one as a skipper on a racing sailboat in Southern California. We used the same procedure in each case. Using the "Williamson Turn" mentioned in a prior post, bring the boat to a position a few boat lengths dead downwind of the MOB. Power the boat upwind until you are just past him or her, and turn so the wind is almost abeam and you are UPWIND of the MOB. Being upwind provides a few advantages: You create a calm(er) lee for the victim so they aren't fighting the waves, and most importantly, the wind won't blow you away from the victim! The concern about drifting on top of the victim is unfounded - getting blown away from them is a much more realistic problem.

Also a quick note about sailboats. Drop the headsail immediately but leave the mainsail up and flogging. When alongside and with the wind at the beam, sheet in hard on the main, It causes the boat to heel over in irons and reduces the freeboard substantially.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:50 PM   #31
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How about tossing in a fender or other floating object that can be retrieved with a boat hook. Start a stop watch and see how long it takes to retrieve that. Practice with 2 POB, one holding the stopwatch because that is the person in the water.

I still remember a course where the instructor said around here a lifejacket is for insurance purposes only as the body must be recovered to file a claim. Wear a floater coat, cruiser suit, survival suit etc., if concerned about falling in.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:06 PM   #32
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There are many truths here...but partial truths in my experience and training. They may occur or be necessary, but aren't necessarily common. Sure learn from them all, but the basics will be far more common.

Like the Williamson turn.....one of many techniques.....but remember it was designed for destroyers (I think) and mostly used by ships.

Small boats are so maneuverable... there is the chop the throttle and back down manuever. There is the lifesling or similar manuever. There is the 90 degree/270 degree turn to return to course. And more......

It really depends on how long from MOB to when the crew, especially the helmsman is alerted and can react....you can't always begin a turn for many reasons.

Thus for me, on boats less that 20m and 12 knots...I prefer either the lifesling or equivalent procedure or the stop and back down till near close to the MOB. If single engine and she starts a backing turn...just follow through.

A long, delayed return to course is the worst choice as you might lose sight of the victim and it keeps them in the water that much longer.

Also in my experience, in offshore situations (and I get stats ate pretty much useless here), but I know my own and others behavior at sea.....it is usually when it is calm and daylight that people are the most complacent and go overboard. At night or rough seas, people tend to pay more attention to their actions.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:11 PM   #33
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There are many truths here...but partial truths. They may occur or be necessary, but aren't necessarily common. Sure learn from them all, but the basics will be far more common.

Like the Williamson turn.....one of many techniques.....but remember it was designed for destroyers (I think) and mostly used by ships.

Small boats are so maneuverable... there is the chop the throttle and back down manuever. There is the lifesling or similar manuever. There is the 90 degree/270 degree turn to return to course. And more......

It really depends on how long from MOB to when the crew, especially the helmsman is alerted and can react....you can't always begin a turn for many reasons.

Thus for me, on boats less that 20m and 12 knots...I prefer either the lifesling or equivalent procedure or the stop and back down till near close to the MOB. If single engine and she starts a backing turn...just follow through.

A long, delayed return to course is the worst choice as you might lose sight of the victim and it keeps them in the water that much longer.

Agreed. Based on experience recovering dropped fenders, etc. at low speed in reasonably calm water, the best bet on my boat is often to stop and back up to the person or item to be retrieved. At higher speed or in a bad sea state, a turn and appropriate approach may be needed.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:58 PM   #34
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:39 PM   #35
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I am surprised no one has mentioned the use of jacklines. Especially when motoring alone offshore.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:52 PM   #36
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There are many truths here...but partial truths in my experience and training. They may occur or be necessary, but aren't necessarily common. Sure learn from them all, but the basics will be far more common.

Like the Williamson turn.....one of many techniques.....but remember it was designed for destroyers (I think) and mostly used by ships.

Small boats are so maneuverable... there is the chop the throttle and back down manuever. There is the lifesling or similar manuever. There is the 90 degree/270 degree turn to return to course. And more......

It really depends on how long from MOB to when the crew, especially the helmsman is alerted and can react....you can't always begin a turn for many reasons.

Thus for me, on boats less that 20m and 12 knots...I prefer either the lifesling or equivalent procedure or the stop and back down till near close to the MOB. If single engine and she starts a backing turn...just follow through.

A long, delayed return to course is the worst choice as you might lose sight of the victim and it keeps them in the water that much longer.

Also in my experience, in offshore situations (and I get stats ate pretty much useless here), but I know my own and others behavior at sea.....it is usually when it is calm and daylight that people are the most complacent and go overboard. At night or rough seas, people tend to pay more attention to their actions.
Agree with most of this post. Especially the value of the Williamson turn on a smaller (not a ship) vessel. It's much faster to simply stop or turn. It's much easier to maintain situational awareness than while doing a Williamson turn. Unless the Williamson turn is practiced regularly it is far from accurate and you'll be focusing on the precise course changes and the timing of them instead of looking for the victim and preparing to come alongside.

Most of us are using some sort of plotter that can display a track line. MFD, computer based, phone, anything. Routinely have the track line on and set to a fine detail. That is track points often. Simply turn around and double back on the track line. The MOB function only marks where you were when you became aware of the MOB, not necessarily where they are, they may have been overboard for some time before you became aware of the loss. For a cruising couple, now down to 1 aboard because of the MOB it is critical that everything be as simple as possible and the sole person on board can concentrate on finding the victim and getting them back aboard.

Regarding calm vs rough conditions. Yes, the rougher it is the harder it is to find the victim and recover them. However it is in calm apparetnly benign conditions when people drop their guard. I've never had a MOB in rough weather. I can't say the same about calm conditions. I had one deckhand simply walk off the deck. I watched it happen and couldn't believe my eyes.

Planning for recovery, what tackle you will use, how you will deploy it is critical for the age of most of us. Time was when I could haul a victim aboard single handed, yes I've done it. But I was in my 20s. I'm not sure I can get myself back aboard unassisted now.

Training can be invaluable. The relationship baggage a couple collects can make one training the other nearly impossible. Know yourselves and know if you should bring in outside help to teach the basics. Then you can practice what was learned.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:39 AM   #37
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...
Regarding calm vs rough conditions. Yes, the rougher it is the harder it is to find the victim and recover them. However it is in calm apparetnly benign conditions when people drop their guard. I've never had a MOB in rough weather. I can't say the same about calm conditions. I had one deckhand simply walk off the deck. I watched it happen and couldn't believe my eyes.
...
But what is the meaning of calm conditions.

To some extent, it depends of the vessel.

We are sailing in 15-20 knot winds for the most part. The seas are usually 2-3 feet but sometimes a bit higher. The sail boats we are using have fairly low free board so your eye level is not that far above sea level which makes seeing a head size object more difficult even in two foot seas.

We were doing the figure 8 POB drill in a sail boat and blew the tack. We had to reset, get way on, and tack again. This really put some distance between us and the "POB" which was a fender. It took awhile to find that fender and we thought we had lost it. The idea that the fender could have been a person was sobering to say the least. We really were not that far from the fender but it was hard to find after we had lost sight of it.

Which is why it is so key to have a person keep the POB insight at all times. The problem is if one has a two person crew, and one is the POB, this is almost impossible to do.

Once upon a time we were in a trawler which had a much higher free board than the sailboats we are using. Our eye line in the trawler was easily twice what it is in the sail boats. We were in 30-35 knots of wind with steep 6-8 foot seas with white caps. Out of no where I saw a crab pot buoy and I had only enough time to reach up and put the engine in neutral. We still got hung up on that pot but that is another story. The point being, that buoy was so low to the water, that the waves and white caps were hiding it until we were right on top of it. If we had been searching for a POB it would have been very difficult.

I don't think we would have lost sight of the POB fender in the trawler, like we did in the sailboat, with the same 2-3 foot seas, because of the higher view point in the trawler.

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Old 09-17-2021, 11:58 AM   #38
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I've done a Williamson Turn in training dozens of times (100?). I found it to be extremely reliable to place a vessel on a reciprocal course virtually exactly inline with path she was on. Whereas stopping a vessel and backing up can have mixed results. It does have the disadvantage of allowing the boat to add distance between it and the victim.

For a couple, Williamson Turn is an important technique as it could be some time before the helmsperson is aware of MoB. Being on a relatively precise reciprocal course is important.

But practice is key as it shows how quickly visual can be lost, and how difficult it can be to maneuver in open water. Figure out a technique that works for you and develop muscle memory so reaction is fluid in event of an actual MoB

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Old 09-17-2021, 12:07 PM   #39
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Have you tried luffing the sails, dropping foresail then laying off toward POB using mainsail only. return is almost downwind. Repeat luff into wind along side POB.
I may have missed a step, you get the idea.
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Old 09-17-2021, 12:26 PM   #40
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I've done a Williamson Turn in training dozens of times (100?). I found it to be extremely reliable to place a vessel on a reciprocal course virtually exactly inline with path she was on. Whereas stopping a vessel and backing up can have mixed results. It does have the disadvantage of allowing the boat to add distance between it and the victim.

For a couple, Williamson Turn is an important technique as it could be some time before the helmsperson is aware of MoB. Being on a relatively precise reciprocal course is important.

But practice is key as it shows how quickly visual can be lost, and how difficult it can be to maneuver in open water. Figure out a technique that works for you and develop muscle memory so reaction is fluid in event of an actual MoB

Peter
I too have done countless Williamson turns in drills and fitness for sea trials. At the suggestion of an inspector I changed to a round turn. Recovery time due to reduced distance from the victim with a round turn was greatly improved. Nowadays, as I mentioned previously, have the plotter tracking continously turned on when underway with intervals set to a fine level. Spin the boat around, lay it on the track and you'll be on a line to the victim much faster than a Williamson turn. There will be much less opportunity for the less experienced to loose situational awareness. And if there is some distance to go the Williamson turn only gets you pointed in the right direction on the track. It does not keep you on the track back to the victim. That's where following the track line comes in.

The only advantage, and it may be a significant advantage, I see to a Williamson turn over a round turn to the track line is it automatically adjusts for set and drift. You will be back in you'r own wake which may have moved off of your track line, the MOB will have the same drift. But that advantage disappars as your wake disapates. The track line remains until deleted.

Your stateemnt
"But practice is key as it shows how quickly visual can be lost, and how difficult it can be to maneuver in open water. Figure out a technique that works for you and develop muscle memory so reaction is fluid in event of an actual MoB"
is spot on. Learn what works for you and your crew. Practice it until it is second nature.

A couple cruising with no others aboard is an especially challenging situation. Particularly with regard to MOB and medical as the entire crew able to respond to the emergency is now 1. Both need to be able to handle every aspect of the emergency single handed.
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