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Maxingout
18th April 2010, 03:18 AM
The first time we sailed to New Zealand, there was a husband and wife team sailing to New Zealand from the South Pacific, and the husband went overboard while wearing his safety harness. The tether was long enough for him to be dragged in the water beside the yacht (monohull), but there was too much freeboard for him to pull himself back on board. The wife was not strong enough to pull him back on board, and he drowned as he dragged in the water beside the yacht. The New Zealand Air Sea Rescue had to lower someone down to the yacht to help the wife get the boat safely into port, and to recover the body of the husband. The cruising couple were in their late sixties. I suspected that if they had been in a multihull with a sugar scoop on their stern, the outcome would have been different. It was obvious that their man overboard recovery system was inadequate on their yacht.

We carried three types of man overboard recovery systems on board Exit Only.

One of the systems was conventional, and two of the systems were unconventional.

The conventional system was the well-known Life Sling. As long as the individual could get in the Life Sling, we could winch him on board.

The unconventional systems consisted of a Mast Mate - a device used by people to climb their mast, and a Gale Rider Drogue.

Before I installed folding steps on my mast, I used the Mast Mate to climb the mast and inspect the rigging. Once I installed the folding steps, I no longer needed the Mast Mate to go to the top of the mast. I decided to keep the Mast Mate on board as a man overboard recovery tool. If there was a malfunction in the Life Sling system, I planned to toss the Mast Mate into the water with one end attached to a halyard. The man over board would then pass his arms and legs through the loops of the mast mate, and we would winch him out of the water and back on board.

The third unconventional man overboard recovery system was our large Gale Rider Drogue. This drogue has a large stainless steel hoop at the mouth of the drogue, and when you take the drogue out of the bag, the stiff stainless steel hoop opens up like a large hoola hoop, and the webbing deploys that is attached to the stainless steel hoop. This creates a very large cargo net configuration, and in an emergency, an injured crew member could be lifted out of the water inside our large Gale Rider Drogue that is attached to a halyard.

I am not advocating any of these methods for getting people back on board the yacht, but in an emergency, you do what you have to do. My kids and my wife all knew that they had these options available in the event of someone going overboard.

In a storm north of New Zealand, we ended up with a three foot gaping hole in our port side trampoline. If someone had stepped on the trampoline in the dark, we would have lost someone overboard. Fortunately, we discovered the blown tramp in the daytime rather than having someone go through the trampoline at night during a storm.

What is your plan for recovery of a person who goes overboard on your multihull? How will you get them out of the water? Do you have any unconventional methods of recovering a member of your crew?

catwanted
18th April 2010, 09:29 AM
this looked interesting .. does it work ?

http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-magazine/2008/november-2008/Man_Overboard


http://www.afloat.com.au/images/magazine-articles/MAGAZINE/2008/1108/1108p21-Man-Overboard.jpg

Maxingout
20th April 2010, 03:55 AM
That is definitely an unconventional way of getting someone back on board. It looks like it would be especially helpful if you had to hoist an injured person on board depending on the type of injury that happened when they went over the side.

Thanks for the link to the article.

Talbot
26th April 2010, 10:40 AM
It is not as well known as it should be, that if someone has been in the water for a long time, you should recover them in the horizontal position. Thus your recover system needs not only to be able to pick them up out of the water, but also to be able to lower them into the cockpit if at all possible. Solid biminis make this a tad difficult!

Assuming they have not been in the water that long, a very long ladder that goes down into the water sufficiently to be able to use your legs to get up (i.e. at least 30 inches below water) makes things a lot easier.

Recovery from midships rather than the stern. It is not bouncing up and down as much, and minimises the risk of the casualty being smacked on the head by several tons of vessel -

Maxingout
27th April 2010, 04:22 AM
Recovery from midships rather than the stern. It is not bouncing up and down as much, and minimises the risk of the casualty being smacked on the head by several tons of vessel -

You make an important point about the amidships recovery being safer in terms of risk to the individual. I have a real respect for our sugar scoops when seas are running. It's not always easy to get on board, and if one of those sugar scoops smack you in the head or shoulder, you could get hurt bad. It looks like it would be easy to get back on board on the sugar scoop, but that doesn't mean that it would be safer. Our props are also very close to the sugar scoops, and if someone had the engines in gear, there is a real risk of injury from the props.

Autodafe
28th April 2010, 01:53 AM
It is not as well known as it should be, that if someone has been in the water for a long time, you should recover them in the horizontal position. Thus your recover system needs not only to be able to pick them up out of the water, but also to be able to lower them into the cockpit if at all possible. Solid biminis make this a tad difficult!


Interesting point, could you elaborate on that?
How long, and what are the risks?
Is it a hypothermia/bloodflow thing or what.

Thanks.

Talbot
28th April 2010, 10:09 AM
Interesting point, could you elaborate on that?
How long, and what are the risks?
Is it a hypothermia/bloodflow thing or what.
Thanks.

I am not a medically qualified guy (other than 1st aid) and tend to remember what I am supposed to do rather than the why! However it is tied in with hypothermia and blood flow, and I understand that recovery in a prone position for someone who has been in water for a long time will significantly reduce the risk of major problems following arrival onboard.

Perhaps someone with medical knowledge can give better details


Dave . . . . . . . .;)

Autodafe
28th April 2010, 10:52 AM
Thanks Talbot,

Just knowing it's to do with hypothermia is a big help in knowing when it's likely to be important :)

The way my memory works I can never remember the what to do unless I remember the why...

lhsmith
30th July 2010, 12:30 AM
How about using the dinghy? Or are you talking about conditions too rough to easily launch and retrieve it? If not, then it would seem that the davits should be able to lift the dinghy with a person in it to a level that gets them on a stern platform.
BTW -- I think the halyard+bosun's chair amidships idea is near perfect for a person who can sit upright.

Capt. Terry
5th September 2010, 09:29 PM
When in the Marines, they would slow the pickup vehicle down to about 40 knots and we'd slip a ring into one armpit and the momentum would fling us onboard in a barrel roll. Now that I'm older, weaker and wiser, I wouldn't ever suggest doing it the hard way.
A few points here...
In strong currents, it's important to not panic and fight it. This goes opposite most people's automatic survival mode, so letting the person know to sit there and "float" is half the battle. Toss them a floatation device, even if they are already wearing a vest. This will give them something to hang on to, and will keep them from using precious strength swimming, that they may need to pull themselves onboard later. Relax, establish positive bouyancy, stay visible. I have a bright roll up inflatable tube in every vest. These give visiblity from a greater distance. Also, it is imperative that EVERYONE on board knows what to do to stop the boat, even if it means killing the engines, or cutting the sail's lines, especially in a dragging incident as discussed above. Have a brief before EVERY outing, and let everyone know what to do in a man overboard situation. Knowing how to stop that boat could have prevented that tragic drowning.

Talbot
15th August 2013, 07:50 AM
If you have a small storm sail, or even a hammock and a spinnaker pole, it should be possible to rig something simple to get someone out horizontal. The temperature of the water and length of time immersed will make the difference between someone climbing out on their own via an appropriate ladder or a lifesling, and a decision that a horizontal lift is essential.