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-   -   Man Overboard! (https://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/f12/man-overboard-2100.html)

Lighthouse 07-23-2008 05:58 PM

"Man Overboard" is probably one of the most dreaded occurances (along with a fire aboard) that sailors can experience.

Are we cruisers well enough prepared and practiced to handle the disaster of MOB? Do we put enough into preparing for this and do we have the right equipment aboard should a MOB event occur?

Anyone have an experience to share?

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redbopeep 07-23-2008 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lighthouse (Post 23737)
"Man Overboard" is probably one of the most dreaded occurances (along with a fire aboard) that sailors can experience.

Are we cruisers well enough prepared and practiced to handle the disaster of MOB? Do we put enough into preparing for this and do we have the right equipment aboard should a MOB event occur?

Anyone have an experience to share?

https://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/pub.../Wiki_icon.png

See the relevant page on the Cruising Wiki and PLEASE edit/add to the information there.

Not a MOB but a HOB (hat overboard) but still relevant:

Two weeks ago while enjoying a nice sail with friends on their boat we had an "incident" where Hubby was wearing my favorite hat and "zip" the wind grabbed it and it went overboard. We happened to be hove to at the moment about 15 miles offshore in SoCal--all four of us kicking back eating lunch and drinking beer and enjoying the day. We decided to do a MOB drill since, well, it was a favorite hat! When the hat went overboard, like a pointing retriever, I immediately "self designated" as the "keep the MOB in sight" person. The couple we were with had not done a MOB drill before so hubby took the helm and proceeded to the Figure 8--his and my "standard" for MOB drills. Well, we learned that when hove to w/o much speed the Figure 8 takes a long time!

My drab green hat got further and further away, bobbing up and down sometimes visible in the swell, sometimes not. I wished that I'd tossed the MOB stick in as I worried about losing sight. But the stick was so far up the backstay that I worried I'd become a MOB if I tried to get it!

I felt like Tom Hanks character in Castaway as he watched Wilson (the soccer ball) bobbing away from him without the ability to do anything about it. We were finally on the way back to the HOB when I could no longer see it. The couple on board hadn't been tracking the hat, they were watching Hubby go through the maneuver of getting back to the hat. I continued to point to where I "thought" the hat should be--where I'd last seen it. As, about a minute later, we finally passed that point to starboard of the boat, my heart sunk, no hat. It was lost. Suddenly, two boat lengths later, the guy who owns the boat pointed at the HOB in the water on the port side of the boat! Hubby did a quick Jibe maneuver and the boat owner tried to get the HOB with a fishing pole/hook. He missed but we ran over the HOB! Ouch! Back with a QuickStop maneuver, this time the HOB on the starboard side of the boat--the boat's owner nabbed the hat with the fishing pole and all was well and good.

Not a MOB but a good MOB drill--and we saved my favorite hat. Lessons learned:

It was really nice having a set of eyes on the MOB/HOB and having extra people to "pick up" the MOB. In the past while practicing MOB on our boat, Hubby or I would pretend to be the MOB and the other person had to do everything on their own--launch the stick, do the maneuvering and recover the stick (which we treated as our MOB).

Have the MOB marker where you can actually access it! It was too high up the backstay to really use.

Don't run over the MOB! If it had been a person, not a hat, that would have been very risky!

From this drill, we noted that a couple things happened that ALWAYS happen to hubby or I when doing MOB drills--

We had to do "multiple" maneuvers to get to the MOB/HOB as we typically pass the target w/o being able to pick it up on the first go;

Similarly, we typically end up running over our MOB target/stick in order to be close enough to pick it up;

Things bob away from the boat faster than you can say "hey--that fell overboard" so one must act quickly.

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Auspicious 07-25-2008 01:55 PM

The good news is that people are easier than hats. They don't drift nearly so fast.

A sobering case study on MOBs that I re-read periodically: https://www.ussailing.org/safety/Studies/li...ing_history.htm

Always better to learn from the actions of others than ourselves. That said, kudos to redbopeep for doing MOB drills. Not many people do.

sail fast, dave

MMNETSEA 07-26-2008 01:07 AM

Thanks Red,

Just to add - As most cruising boats have GPSs with MOB function as standard - if/when the opportunity allows during the rescue/search --- HIT the Mob button.

Richard

redbopeep 07-26-2008 01:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MMNETSEA (Post 23807)
Thanks Red,

Just to add - As most cruising boats have GPSs with MOB function as standard - if/when the opportunity allows during the rescue/search --- HIT the Mob button.

Richard

That's a great idea if one has a GPS with that function--we don't at this time. We have two (one old Raytheon that spits out lat/long info at you...and one little "mouse" sized USB GPS for the computer chart software); though we will eventually buy a new one but that's really low on the list compared to other things safety and navigation related.

MMNETSEA 07-26-2008 02:36 AM

Here's Garmin's answer to a FAQ : - MOB ?

imagine2frolic 07-26-2008 06:35 PM

The chart software should have a MOB function.

While sailing a lonely S.F Bay during the middle of the week. My ex was steering, and we were enjoying a 15 knot wind. There was a splash, and my wife with saucer eyes looked at me, and asked WHAT WAS THAT? Pole over board I said to her. I soon realized that I better never fall overboad. 30 minutes later I sailed the boat up alongside the MOB pole, and retrieved it. My harness soon became my best friend when ever sailing alone, or with people. That day was a serious lesson to me. NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO COMEBACK FOR ME!

redbopeep 07-27-2008 03:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by imagine2frolic (Post 23830)
The chart software should have a MOB function.

Probably does. I know I could quickly set a waypoint at a minimum.

Regarding your 30 minute retrieval-- have you and your spouse done MOB drills since then?

delatbabel 07-28-2008 01:54 AM

I have had HOB incidents on Sydney Harbour as well as one offshore.

These days I have one simple rule: Every HOB incident is treated EXACTLY like a MOB incident. It means that you and your crew get some practice in the MOB drill and procedure. MOB indicents don't happen when you are planning them -- like "hey, we have a few km of nice clear flat water here, let's practice our MOB drill", they only happen in difficult conditions when you're not expecting them.

I also take pains to point out to the crew that in EVERY MOB incident surveyed to date, 100% of the people who did not go overboard survived the incident. The simple rule is to keep those harnesses on and lanyards attached when up on watch, and don't unclip to go pee over the transom. I always have spare lanyards on board so if you need to take a second to go maneuver around some obstacle on foredeck, go take one. Better to have the second lanyard get in your way than to get hit by a big wave while you're unclipping/reclipping your only lanyard and end up in the drink.

Wildernesstech 07-28-2008 06:13 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I have a friend by the name of Wendy Ousley who was swept overboard by an rogue wave in the Caribbean AT NIGHT! She was crewing on a 54' Hylas and was in the company of friends and good sailors, yet this happened. Just as she came up the companionway and before she clipped her harness in a side curtain started to blow (or something of the sort-I wasn't there). She, being committed crew leapt to fix the side curtain just as the wave hit. A sailing companion (who I moor about 300 yards from) watched her go overboard and sounded the alarm. Now both you and I know that finding a person in calm seas in daylight can be difficult... She was in confused seas at night. We all can thank God that she is still with us, but MOB drills and a seasoned crew helps also! My friend can remember "every" little detail, but the two things that really stick out when the story is told is the attitude that they approached the rescue with; "She WILL be found!", and the feeling my friends all experienced when she was safely aboard again: They just couldn't let her go! Wendy went though a varied emotional roller-coaster that night. She never gave up, but she at times started to lose hope. She knew the odds were against her. Her latest tattoo reads "Hold Fast" and give the lat/lon of the incident. No one could tell for sure just how long her rescue took because of the excitement of the moment, but I can tell you that this is one tough gal, and a very special crew that found her under these conditions. Her story was in Latitudes & Attitudes and it was Jake (Yellow Shoes) Hylas that she was on. These are the folks that hang out at my land-locked fresh-water lake in the middle of the USA. Now: Everybody go practice your MOB Drills. I got mine on the first pass last time! Oops, that was two months ago!

David

S/V Friendship

P.S. Here is a picture of myself, my wife Brenda, Wendy's Husband Doug, and Wendy L-R

Attachment 539

Wildernesstech 07-28-2008 06:38 PM

I found where the article is online: Search for Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine, the issue to download is #89, and the story is on page 62. I think that it is a free download.

David

imagine2frolic 07-28-2008 06:40 PM

Rebopeep,

That was in 92, and a couple of years later she was my ex. Although through divorce we did learn to become friends, and still exchange mail to this day.

My current wife drives the boat all the time. She doesn't know how to sail yet, but she does know how to douse the main, furl the sails, push the MOB BUTTON, and the first thing is to drop the strobe, and ring off the back of the boat. My harness is still my friend when leaving the cockpit. I still act as if I am sailing alone. I have been thrown from my previous boat before while single-handing Baja, and my harness saved my life.

Lighthouse 12-08-2009 09:30 PM

Any more experiences to relate?

JeanneP 12-08-2009 11:08 PM

Not our experience, but interesting.

Friends were sailing out to Cocos Island to meet us. They had a small Venezuelan parrot aboard, named Blue. Blue was a pretty dumb parrot, not very good at flying though very good at taking their radar apart. As they were sailing, about 250 miles from anything, Blue decided to take a little flight around the boat. Since he wasn't a very good flyer, he got about 100 feet from the boat and belly-flopped into the water.

Gary yelled, Oh, no, Blue! and jumped into the water to save the silly bird. Ingrid, left alone on the boat, did a lovely jibe and dropped the main, toddled over to Gary carrying Blue, and retrieved them both. They thought that was a perfectly sensible MOB drill.

Blue had more lives than a cat. That was not the first, nor the last, time he flew off the boat only to drop like a stone into the water. And off Gary would go to save him.

redbopeep 12-08-2009 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeanneP (Post 38890)
That was not the first, nor the last, time he flew off the boat only to drop like a stone into the water. And off Gary would go to save him.

Ummm how do you know this wasn't a game that Blue was playing with Gary? https://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/pub...R#>/tongue.gif

Coyote 12-09-2009 02:28 AM

I keep glowsticks attached to my lifevests on the theory that at night it gives rescuers a chance. It won't help unless someone is wearing it though.

JeanneP 12-09-2009 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redbopeep (Post 38891)
Ummm how do you know this wasn't a game that Blue was playing with Gary? https://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/pub...R#>/tongue.gif

I would not have put it past Blue. Spoiled little bird, but so-o-o cute!

And Coyote, glow sticks are a great idea. No batteries, last about 8 hours, rather distinctive colors, and have a really, really long shelf life. Peter and I, discussing and practicing MOB, were of the "everything that floats into the water" school. MOB might find something to grab onto, and the person left on board would have a better chance of finding the MOB among all that flotsam. I think maybe one could throw a few activated glowsticks into the water, too!

atavist 12-09-2009 01:03 PM

There's lots of talk about lighting for a man overboard, which is of course important, personally I like the CSAR Strobe VERY visible (up to 6 miles), but something I think is of equal importance is noise... We admittadly don't wear lifejackets much on my boat, but when I do deem they are needed I always make sure everyone has not only a whistle, which may or may not be heard over engines and the sea, but also a small 2.1oz airhorn. They don't last that long but if the person in the wataer can see you but you can't see them (for whatever reason) a couple of short blasts will get your attention... I figure even if someone goes overboard undetected if they have the presence of mind to give a good blast fast it may alert crew before the boat is out of range...

I'm still hunting for mini smoke... would be a great daytime marker.

JeanneP 12-09-2009 01:20 PM

What's mini smoke?

atavist 12-09-2009 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeanneP (Post 38904)
What's mini smoke?

I just meant a mini/small smoke canister (which I don't think exist), maybe 2 or 4oz size instead of the traditional/standard 12-16oz smoke canister... would be perfect for a MOB self marking in big seas during the day when a strobe would not be especially visible, and would be small enough to carry all the time without being annoying.

Here's the closest thing I've found so far https://www.bestglide.com/emergency_smoke_signal.html... smaller than the traditional grenade type smoke canister and easier to carry but not quite as small as I'd like to find.


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