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Old 12-09-2009, 02:20 PM   #21
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Oh, now I understand. But how would a MOB be able to strike this to light while in the water?

An idea I've had for years is a CO[sub]2[/sub] cartridge attached to a large mylar balloon. Somehow get it to inflate the balloon when MOB hits the water. Probably completely impractical, but I wish there were a way to try making this, just to get it out of my mind.
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In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 12-09-2009, 03:46 PM   #22
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2[/sub] cartridge attached to a large mylar balloon.......
Maybe, I misunderstood but a luminious shiny fluorescent ballon or one carrying a small light/reflector on 5-10m of strong line sounds like a great idea to me

I am assuming something like helium rather than CO2 and that triggering the release mechanism is not beyond the wit of the engineers among us - most difficult bit is probably detaching the relatively heavy cartridge from the ballon so that it could rise unburdened on its tether.

Strange to think that this has not been considered before.

Peter
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:00 PM   #23
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Oh, now I understand. But how would a MOB be able to strike this to light while in the water?

An idea I've had for years is a CO[sub]2[/sub] cartridge attached to a large mylar balloon. Somehow get it to inflate the balloon when MOB hits the water. Probably completely impractical, but I wish there were a way to try making this, just to get it out of my mind.
The striker is integral I think, Should be in the cap. Better than the big bulky grenade style but I'd like to find little grenade style orange smoke ... just twist-pull pin and drop it next to yourself in the water for a good day signal... unfortunately I've never actually been able to find this type.

I definitely like the baloon idea... shouldn't be too hard to rig up... i'm not sure where you'd get them but they make one way balloon inflators, you blow in and it doesn't let the air out... you'd just have to figure out a way to trigger the little helium canister to go off into it... if they even make little helium canisters??...
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #24
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I definitely like the baloon idea... shouldn't be too hard to rig up... i'm not sure where you'd get them but they make one way balloon inflators, you blow in and it doesn't let the air out... you'd just have to figure out a way to trigger the little helium canister to go off into it... if they even make little helium canisters??...
I didn't really care if they rose into the air, so a CO[sub]2[/sub] cartridge would be okay, I think. And they're easy to come by, that's what is attached to inflatable PFDs and life rafts. So, if you can figure out how to rig it with the usual large Mylar party ballons, please share it with us here. Please.
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In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 12-09-2009, 05:24 PM   #25
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I did actually miss Jeanne's point; sorry. I guess that the normal (automated) lifejacket inflation mechanism could be modified or replicated to inflate a largish balloon which would be much easier to see than a person's head in a lifejacket. Helium probably just overcomplicates matters but .....

.... maybe we should be addressing this to any manufacturers we know?

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Old 12-09-2009, 06:59 PM   #26
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.... maybe we should be addressing this to any manufacturers we know?
I don't know any mfrs., but anybody out there with connections and the motivation, go for it. Just ask that they name it the Silver Watermelon
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In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 12-09-2009, 07:00 PM   #27
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I'm certainly no expert, but... I agree that every hat overboard should be treated as a man overboard drill... and always do on whatever boat I'm on.

We had the Real Deal about 20 years ago, when I was working as engineer aboard a fast ferry doing daily tourist runs from San Diego to Ensenada and back.

We were doing about 30 knots in fine conditions, just past the bullring in Tijuana, serving morning margaritas... when a passenger runs to me and says "My Friend Just Fell Off The Back Deck!"

And I knew he wasn't kidding.

My first reaction, as I ran toward the stern, was to shout at a deckhand to tell the captain we have a man overboard. There were about ten passengers on the stern deck and all were looking toward the MOB. I spotted him and stood on top of a bollard (so the captain could see me) and kept my eyes glued to his head and my arm pointed at him. In about 15 sec I felt the vessel turn hard to starboard and then she turned hard to port... at full speed, as the captain executed a classic "Williamson Turn" which will theoretically put you right back in your track.

I kept my eyes glued upon the MOB despite the antics of the passengers as my fellow crew members arrived with life jackets and began rigging our Jacob's Ladder. We approached at full speed and backed to maneuvering speed when we were about 50 meters away. I could see the captain had come to the aft helm above us and ordered the crew to stay on board and that we would back to the MOB. One of the crew threw a life ring with a line which landed beyond our MOB.

Our victim simply swam to the ladder, climbed it and was back aboard in less than two minutes - according to the captain, later.

As everyone was patting each-other's shoulders, I noticed that the starboard chain "gate" was hanging open... and most of the passengers still had drinks in their hands. Our victim said he was just leaning against back talking to his friends and fell backwards off the side... didn't really know how it happened. I examined the gate chain as I re-attached it and noticed the pelican hook was hanging open but otherwise in good order. My conclusion was the guy was leaning on the chain gate and telling seastories with a margarita in one hand while fiddling with the pelican hook with his other hand... I reckon he simply fiddled with the collar, the hook opened and he spilled himself and his drink right over the side!

The conditions were absolutely perfect... the MOB was a healthy, young, adult, swimmer... it was a flat calm day and visability was unlimited

But it was no accident that we got him back as quickly as we did because we did MOB and Fire Drills regularly on that boat and we all knew the jobs for whatever position we found ourselves in at the moment.

Of course... I'm not too proud to admit that I've fallen overboard three times myself, too. But each time was due to carelessness on my part during dock-side maneuvering... and it hasn't happened again in more than 25 years.

One feels pretty stupid and embarrased while treading water waiting for your mates to come fish you out of the water.

But practice drills are what makes the difference between embarrasing moments... and moments of tragedy.

On a sailing yacht at sea with your mate sleeping below - it is imperative to stay aboard.

Harness Harness Harness!

To Life!

Kirk
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