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Thread: Crew member Volvo Ocean Race overboard in Southern Ocean

  1. #1

    Crew member Volvo Ocean Race overboard in Southern Ocean

    Yesterday, lots of sailing related websites and blogs filled with the tragical news that a member of the VOR boat 'Skallywag' went overboard in the Southern Ocean.

    John Fisher (UK) fell overboard roughly halfway between New Zealand and Cape Horn. Winds are 35 knots with even higher gusts. The water is just above freezing point. Despite the fact that was wearing the proper gear, things don't look good.

    I opened my laptop for an update on the VOR website this morning. Sadly there's no other news. He's now in the water for almost 8 hrs. It's really sad for family and friends. His crew needs to decide what to do; how long can they keep on searching in these conditions? Terrible.

    (It's more or less a scenario like the one in 2006 when Dutch sailor Hans Horrevoets fell in the water on the Atlantic in May. In more or less the same weather conditions. Amazingly, he was found by his crew, but he was no longer alive when he was picked up. A Dutch Marine vessel took Hans over from the VOR racer and brought him home. Hans was married to a grandniece of mine. So from a not-to-far distance, I've witnessed a similar situation).

    M

  2. #2
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Currently in New Zealand and the news does not sound very positive TBH.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  3. #3
    Very sad, you'd think they could put GPS trackers on them in the event they go overboard. The technology is available and cheap too.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Itís 22.55 at night here (NZ) and the latest news reports are suggesting the search is Ďgiving up as lostí.

    Sad loss.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  5. #5
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Very sad. I saw it on the BBC site and wondered what ocean race was in the 'Atlantic' at the moment (that's where they put 1,400 miles west of Cape Horn). They may have corrected it by now...I did contact them about it.

    I've been following the race on their website and this is their latest message:


    UPDATE 0830 UTC

    An update on Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag crew member John Fisher, from Richard Brisius, the President of the Volvo Ocean Race:

    This morning I am extremely sad to inform you that one of our sailors, John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, is now presumed to have been lost at sea.

    This is heart-breaking for all of us. As sailors and race organisers losing a crew member at sea is a tragedy we don't ever want to contemplate. We are devastated and our thoughts are with Johnís family, friends and teammates.



    It's nothing to do with this accident, but Scallywag had been doing their own thing and making the race interesting by not following the rest of the fleet. Following the fatalities from Turn the Tide's collision, this is going to cast a pall over the final legs and any victory celebrations. Let's hope that there are no more incidents.

  6. #6
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    Very sad, a man at the top of his game doing probably one of the toughest things you can do. Clipper lost a couple of people this year too I think.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    Very sad, you'd think they could put GPS trackers on them in the event they go overboard. The technology is available and cheap too.
    They have Ďm on them. Spinlock supplies the Personal Safety Gear with the MoB1 (Man Over Board) devices. An array of features including a GPS. But, donít forget that it takes a while to stop and turn a racing machine like Scallywag: turning upwind, lowering the sails, starting the (rather small!!!) engine, sailing upwind to the MOB spot.
    During that time, the casualtee is in the water, in waves as big as a house.

  8. #8
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    Very sad, you'd think they could put GPS trackers on them in the event they go overboard. The technology is available and cheap too.
    The organisers supply a plethora of 'AIS SRS' units to each boat for the race (pdf link). In the past, this has been Kannad equipment, eg the SafeLink R10 (link).

    That doesn't seem to have been enough in this instance.

  9. #9
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    I'd normally be on the lookout for the accident investigation report, but I see that Scallywag seems to be registered in the UAE (Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag - mmsi 470437000 - callsign A6E2498 - aka Azzam). Looking at these two sites:





    ...I'm not sure how routinely they investigate maritime accidents.

  10. #10
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, the first boat has reached Cape Horn and the fleet is now spread out a bit as the boats used different tactics on the approach.

  11. #11
    I wrote: ...it takes a while to turn the boat... etc.

    The Volvo Ocean Race publishes YT vids on a daily basis. The one below is a real 'show and tell' how things are down under. Wind gusts up to 50 knots. That's enough to bring daily life to a grinding halt over here in Europe and we speak of 'stormageddon' or similar when we're battered by that sort of wind. The video also shows the power of nature when the boats are hammered by the waves. The video shows that Brunel has reefed the mainsail, just to de-power the boat! At a certain point, the boats are going so fast that they will act like submarines going under; the bow will bury itself in the waves, slamming tons of water over the deck and reducing speed too quickly. Some helmsmen where a helmet with a visor just to be sure that the power of the waves hitting their heads will not injure them

    We don't know exactly yet what happened to John Fisher. Scallywag is on its way to Chile, out of the Roaring Forties where the wind is a little more forgiving. And once moored, we will learn more. Simon Tienpondt mentions 'I know what they're feeling right now' He was a crewmember on ABN Amro back in 2006 when Hans Horrevoets drowned in the Atlantic.

    According to Ian Walker (last VOR's winner), it takes 45 (!!!) minutes to prepare the boat and start searching. He's explaining this in the video. It's a drill that has been practised over and over again. But always as a drill. When things go horribly wrong, I reckon that it's harder to keep your mind focused.

    Currently there's a discussion about safety when sailing smaller boats as well; in fact it comes down to: wearing a helmet on a dinghy, just to be sure not to suffer an injury from a boom. The kids won't hear about it. So the Dutch RYA as issued a rule that, when sailing on high performance youth boats like the 29'ers, and Nacra 15 a helmet is mandatory now. Funny thing is that 15 yrs ago, it was not even mandatory to wear a PFD (personal floating device). Nowadays, no sailor will even think twice about wearing a vest! The boats improve, the boats are 'shedding weight', the speed is much higher than ever before. It's riskier nowadays.

    At the same time: we, as parents of sailing youngsters, are aware that some of these 15 - 18 y/o sailors will be part of the next VOR generations. And we know the risks and hazards - especially in our family as I wrote in my opening post. It's not really an issue, but we are aware that sailing can be dangerous. So are the kids. We've discussed this in our family. Somewhere in my son's mind is a plan to become a full-time, professional sailor. VOR sailing et all. Despite the risks, we support him.

    Menno

    Last edited by thieuster; 29th March 2018 at 16:11.

  12. #12
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^

    "It's a drill that has been practised over and over again. But always as a drill." Unfortunately that's not quite the case...Scallywag has 'form': YouTube - man overboard rescue on Scallywag! But, in that case, they did "get the Australian back onboard in less than 15 minutes!"

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    ^^^^^^

    "It's a drill that has been practised over and over again. But always as a drill." Unfortunately, that's not quite the case...Scallywag has 'form': YouTube - man overboard rescue on Scallywag! But, in that case, they did "get the Australian back onboard in less than 15 minutes!"
    Yes and that was in calmer waters and during the daytime. Fisher went overboard around 11 PM. In the video, Walker was undoubtedly referring to the real-life conditions in that area the moment Fisher went overboard. He clearly states that everybody has to suit up as well to prevent another person going over the railing. During a normal shift, a limited number of crew members drive the boat, the others are down below, eating and sleeping. So a lot of guys (and gals!) need to suit up in a rather small cabin...

  14. #14
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^

    I agree, getting the casualty back in 15 minutes, even in those more benign conditions, was good going while racing.

    Going by "just after 1300 UTC, Race Control for the Volvo Ocean Race were informed of a man overboard" (link), I believe that John Fisher went over as dawn was breaking. Their message at 1855 UTC included:

    The incident took place approximately 1,400 miles west of Cape Horn. The wind in the search area is a strong 35-knot westerly, with accompanying sea state. Water temperature is 9-degrees Celsius. There is daylight, but weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate in the coming hours.

    In those conditions it was always going to be difficult getting back to and finding a MOB. We've been told that JF was "on watch and wearing appropriate survival gear when he went overboard", but there has been no mention of gear failure, so my only question is "was he clipped on?"

    However, any speculation is purely academic at present. I've no doubt that there will be an investigation and lessons to be learnt (hence one of my earlier posts).



    Re-edit I've just found an update from VOR (link)...OK, I should have looked earlier...that says:

    • Weather conditions were 35-45 knots with 4 to 5 metre seas with showers reducing visibility. It was 15 minutes before sunrise
    • The team was sailing with a single reef in the mainsail and the J2 jib. The Fractional 0 (FR0) sail was hoisted but furled
    • At roughly 1300 UTC SHK/Scallywag surfed down a large wave leading to an accidental crash gybe
    • John Fisher was on deck, in the cockpit. At the time, he was moving forward to tidy up the FR0 sheet and had therefore unclipped his tether as was standard procedure when moving between positions.
    • As the mainsail swung across the boat in the gybe, the mainsheet system caught John and knocked him off the boat. The crew on board believe John was unconscious from the blow before he hit the water
    • He was wearing a survival suit with a wetsuit hood and gloves and a lifejacket

    Last edited by PickleB; 29th March 2018 at 19:31.

  15. #15
    My brother is very heavily involved in the technical side of the VOR - itíll be interesting to catch up with him but heís very busy at the moment I imagine. Very sad business all round.


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    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    The Southern Ocean has taken a toll, MAPFRE suspends racing, fortunately it's mechanical damage this time:

    A section of the mast track came unglued from the mast five days ago, but until now the team has done a good job of limiting the impact of the damage on its performance through various jury-rig solutions.

    But now, with 2,000 miles of racing left to the finish line in ItajaŪ, Brazil, skipper Xabi FernŠndez has elected to suspend racing...

    ...The penalty for suspending racing is that you must remain out of the race for a minimum of 12 hours, and return to the same location where you suspended before resuming the race. Given the speed of the other boats, this latest development has the potential to knock the overall race leader back significantly.

    The forecast, however, works in MAPFREís favour. A ridge of high pressure is expected to slow the frontrunners and allow the trailing boats to catch up.

    ďA complete restart just after the Falklands,Ē is how leg leader Bouwe Bekking describes it.

  17. #17
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    It's not going too well out there:

    • 17:30 UTC on Friday afternoon, Turn the Tide on Plastic informed Race Control it had reduced sail to slow down, so the crew could ensure the integrity of its mast/rigging. An initial inspection has revealed an anomoly in the spreader (a piece of rigging that helps to support the mast) set up. The team has slowed down while it determines what needs to be done before returning to full-load sailing (link).

    • Vestas 11th Hour Racing has dismasted while racing in Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team is safe and reports there is no immediate danger to the crew. The team reported that the mast broke at 15:59 UTC and Race Control was informed of the situation at 16:15 UTC on Friday afternoon (link).

  18. #18
    Luckily they are all safe. After days and days going downwind, they have to face an upwind part of the race. In short: even more shaking and rattling.

    These boats made out of composite materials need constant care. Having said that: breaking masts is something that's familiar with sailors the moment they step out of the optimist into another type of boat. And not only the sailors are familiar... also their parents' (and later sponsor's) wallet.

    Menno

  19. #19
    I heard Volvo are pulling out of the whole sailing thing....and I think they actually own the race as it were, rather than sponsor it???

  20. #20
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Point Nemo

    I hadn't heard of it before:


  21. #21
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Rounding Cape Horn:




    ...before their mast fell down:


  22. #22
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    When did you last use an angle grinder to repair your mainsail...www.youtube.com? (I suspect is was actually a sanding disc, but still...)

    That was yesterday. Today there is footage after the dismasting and of Turn the Tide's spreader problems...YouTube.

  23. #23
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    The two leading yachts have made port...meanwhile from the tracker it would appear the MAPFRE has problems once again. On the other hand their eccentric course may be down to vary variable winds (YouTube).

    Scallywag reached the other side of Chile and the local police have begun an investigation (link):

    Chilean police on Tuesday began investigating the disappearance of British round-the-world sailor John Fisher, who was lost overboard from the Volvo Ocean Race yacht SHK/Scallywag.

    The racing yacht made landfall in Puerto Montt in southern Chile at dawn on Tuesday. Fisher's bereft crewmates filed ashore without comment, an AFP journalist said. Crewmembers were interviewed "and on the instructions of the prosecutor, members of the homicide brigade and the forensic police carried out their investigations in relation to the accident," police spokesman Cesar Fonseca said.
    Last edited by PickleB; 3rd April 2018 at 23:01. Reason: add MAPFRE YouTube link

  24. #24
    Reading this thread with interest - I donít follow sailing but my brother is very heavily involved with the Volvo Ocean race, I imagine heís rather busy at the moment


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  25. #25
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Both 11th Hour Racing and Scallywag are on their way to Brazil (link) and hope to be ready for the next leg. The former has pressed an old streetlamp, found on the Falklands, into service as a jury-rig mast.


    Last edited by PickleB; 12th April 2018 at 16:17.

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  27. #27
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    The organisers supply a plethora of 'AIS SRS' units to each boat for the race (pdf link). In the past, this has been Kannad equipment, eg the SafeLink R10 (link).

    That doesn't seem to have been enough in this instance.
    And now we know why...see Volvo Ocean Race Scrutinizes Safety Measures for:

    For Scallywag, this lifesaving new technology went away when, two days out of Auckland, the boatís lone A.I.S. antenna at the top of the 100-foot mast was damaged in the strong winds.

    ďIf we had our A.I.S., we would have found him,Ē Witt said. ďIíve learned that redundancies in this system is an example of change, like a second antenna.Ē

  28. #28
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    And they've arrived...Scallywag arrive in ItajaŪ:

    Team SHK/Scallywag pulled up to the dock at the bustling ItajaŪ Race Village at mid-afternoon on Thursday, completing its delivery trip from the west coast of Chile.


    Update Scallywag into port and out of the water: YouTube.

    Vestas 11th Hour Racing back into the water: YouTube.
    Last edited by PickleB; 20th April 2018 at 11:23.

  29. #29
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    I opened up the video below expecting to see what I'm used to calling a Chinese gybe (example on YouTube) but what happens is dramatic enough:






    I learn, from wiki (link), that their use of Chinese gybe may be the correct one and my expectation is simply called an uncontrolled gybe (wikiLink).

  30. #30
    The boat hits the wave and is thus more or less halted within seconds. There's still power in the sail. Look at the jib at the front: it is turning 'the wrong way' (there's a term in Dutch, but i don't know the English term) the moment the the boom comes over the boat. You can see clew end of the boom being lifted. The vang wasn't 'on' so to speak. I personally think that the sudden stop in the water has caused the boat to rock, the top end of the sail then twisted the wrong way due to the shock causing this gybe. Chinese gybe is probably correct.

    What interests me is the calm and collective reaction of the crew! Mind you, all of them are used to this sort of situations ever since they learned to sail (6, 7, 8 y/old). And they know how to get the boat sailing again! Smaller boats like skiffs (29'ers, Olympic 49'ers etc) are prone to this sort of situations. In fact, in essence, you cannot even sail downwind with these boats! Compare this with that America's Cup racers that went bow down in the waves. That's exactly why they will not be using a 'foiler' for the VOR! You don't want to feel your boat go 'submarine'ing' in the middle of the Southern Ocean...

  31. #31
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^

    Indeed...they seem to have this well rehearsed. The second crew member on deck appears and immediately starts to wind in the main sheet ready for the recovery and (I presume) to get the boom off of the port running backstay.

    In my parlance it's not a gybe as that involves passing the wind across the stern. That's where I get confused. I might call it an accidental (or simply unintentional) 'going about'.

    After the boat hits the wave, to my mind, the helmsman has a couple of seconds to turn the boat back away from the wind. Instead they pile on port wheel and that, together with the roll, takes the head of the boat through the wind....so waking up the off duty watch and bringing all hands on deck.

    But yes, once the jib is 'backed' there's not a lot they can do to avoid what follows.
    Last edited by PickleB; 20th April 2018 at 13:27.

  32. #32
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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  33. #33
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    I would have loved to have gone sailing through seas like those shown in the video. Experience and working as a team in these situations really appeal to me... but as I now have young children I know I would never choose to take the even limited risk.

    Locally there are lots of fisherman who spend their life as sea yet never learn how to swim.... because they have no intention of ever leaving the boat. I wonder if you find any racers who donít know how to swim for similar reasons. I suspect itís very unlikely.


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  34. #34
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^

    Racers should be wearing a lifejacket. It's difficult to swim in one and it's not something you'd take off so that you can swim around waiting to be rescued. It's when things get relaxed in lighter weather and you're cruising that lifejackets might not be worn. The problem is then that, while it may be quite warm out of the water, when you fall in the water is cold(er) and your ability to swim is rapidly impaired.

  35. #35
    ^^^^^ Everyone who is in a boat should wear a buoyancy aid.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  36. #36
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    ^^^^^ Everyone who is in a boat should wear a buoyancy aid.

    R
    In general, I agree, but I must say that there have been times when I have chosen not to do so, and others when I have relaxed the requirement for my crew to do so (that is, to wear lifejackets...I don't canoe or row and so wouldn't countenance them wearing buoyancy acids).
    Last edited by PickleB; 21st April 2018 at 10:37.

  37. #37
    Last Summer, a Dutch yacht lost its keel. The boat capsized near Ostend. It happened so quickly that the crew had no time to send a mayday. 3 members of the crew drowned, 3 were saved. Among the survivors a 17 y/o teammate of my son's sailing team. He'd been in the water for almost 7 hrs before he was picked up by a vessel after staying on the hull of the capsized boat.

    Two weeks later, he and his family were moored next to us in Lelystad Harbour. Like we did, they used the boat as their 'caravan' because the boys were attending the World Championships. Despite being discrete, we hit the subject of the disaster. That's when I heard about the pros and cons of certain PFDs (Personal Floating Devices).

    The boy who'd survided (and the other two) were wearing a 'dinghy vest', this exact version, to be precise: (sorry couldn't find a smaller pic)



    This vest made it possible for him to swim back to the hull of the boat and climb on top(...) of the hull. The three who'd drowned were wearing inflatable life jackets. Brilliant to stay afloat but in this case, they were unable to swim back to the hull. My son's teammate saw them drown in front of his very eyes. One of them being his granddad.

    As said, two weeks later, they sailed the North Sea on an identical yacht from Breskens (near Flushing) to IJmuiden and then inland via Amsterdam to Lelystad. Father and son told me: "We're sailors, we're from a family of fishermen. We cannot stay on shore. We have to sail. And sailing is the best way to deal with the grief and loss." Who am I to argue...

    Menno

  38. #38
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    He's a lucky lad and it goes to show that a PFD may be better than nothing. Plus he had youth etc on his side.

    It was a very sad event and I'm sure that there are lessons to be drawn from it.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post

    This vest made it possible for him to swim back to the hull of the boat and climb on top(...) of the hull. The three who'd drowned were wearing inflatable life jackets. Brilliant to stay afloat but in this case, they were unable to swim back to the hull. My son's teammate saw them drown in front of his very eyes. One of them being his granddad.

    As said, two weeks later, they sailed the North Sea on an identical yacht from Breskens (near Flushing) to IJmuiden and then inland via Amsterdam to Lelystad. Father and son told me: "We're sailors, we're from a family of fishermen. We cannot stay on shore. We have to sail. And sailing is the best way to deal with the grief and loss." Who am I to argue...

    Menno
    I know nothing about sailing so maybe daft question, but do inflatable life jackets auto inflate?

    Why not a dingy vest that could be inflated if required (swimming over)?

  40. #40
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    I know nothing about sailing so maybe daft question, but do inflatable life jackets auto inflate?

    Why not a dingy vest that could be inflated if required (swimming over)?
    The short answer is that automatic inflation is generally an option. It's a matter of weighing the risks of some scenarios likely to cause accidental inflation against the benefits of entering the water unconscious and the jacket inflating automatically.

    The main difference between lifejackets and PFDs is that the former will rotate the person in the water onto their back and support their neck/head such that their face is out of the water. That is vitality important if there's a risk of going in unconscious or recovery may take some time.

    There are various standards for both devices that specify the buoyancy level and other options depending upon the intended use.

    It's worth noting that many dinghy regattas and similar events have safety boats on patrol to assist in the case of difficulties and / or carry out a rescue.



    Edit The best place to learn about these things is from the RYA, see this link: Buoyancy Aids & Lifejackets.

    They start off by saying "The RYA recommends that you wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid unless you are sure you don't need to".

    More info on equipment and safe practice can be found at: Safe Boating .
    Last edited by PickleB; 21st April 2018 at 14:48.

  41. #41
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Given the topic of this thread, some may be interested to read a Safety Bulletin from the MAIB, Use of safety harness tethers on sailing yachts - Fatal accident on board the sailing yacht: pdf link. Their full report is pending: link.



    I speculated above (#9) about the investigation into the accident that is the topic of this thread. I'll post a link if I ever find it, but there are plenty of completed MAIB reports to learn from (link), including:




    The first of those two links allows you to download their full report and it is quite comprehensive.
    Last edited by PickleB; 21st April 2018 at 14:37. Reason: add final sentence

  42. #42
    First and foremost: over the years PFDs (Personal Floating Device) have saved thousands of lives. My example that a 'dinghy vest' works better than an inflatable jacket is only one single case.

    In most cases, a crew member trips over an item and goes overboard. Or gets hit by a boom or failing block, so he/she's unconscious when going overboard. In those situations, a floating device is better: the 'lungs' are on the chest side and keep the victim's head above the water. In most cases, the boat has to make a MoB action to pick up the crew member. The situation I mentioned above was on a calm sea, mid-July. No need to wear a life line, only a PDF (all 6 crew members were wearing theirs). Proof of a calm sea: they were able to swim back to the hull! No way that you're that lucky in a rough sea!

    When on a boat (sail or RIB) I wear a (UK brand) Spinlock Deckvest 275N. Currently the most comfortable jacket on the market.




    When my son is with me, he's wearing his Zhik (Australian) dinghy vest. Zhik is market leader when it comes to dinghy gear. 80+% of all dinghy sailors wear Zhik because it has a soft touch fabric and it sits quite high on the chest, making it easy to slide under the boom when tacking.


  43. #43
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    "When on a boat (sail or RIB) I wear a (UK brand) Spinlock Deckvest 275N." So do I...almost all of the time.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    In general, I agree, but I must say that there have been times when I have chosen not to do so, and others when I have relaxed the requirement for my crew to do so (that is, to wear lifejackets...I don't canoe or row and so wouldn't countenance them wearing buoyancy acids).
    I used the term 'buoyancy aid' as a general one for some form of flotation device, my wider point being that anything is better than nothing (IMO) when you unwillingly leave a boat and end up in the water. I've always insisted on something being worn when I've taken people out on my boats - even to the point of flotation devices for dogs.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  45. #45
    Master Incredible Sulk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    The short answer is that automatic inflation is generally an option. It's a matter of weighing the risks of some scenarios likely to cause accidental inflation against the benefits of entering the water unconscious and the jacket inflating automatically.
    Sometimes they auto-inflate when you are least expecting it. This was taken when I was into offshore racing - we'd shipped quite a few green ones the previous night. Many of the lifejackets started inflating at random at random times the following day.

    It was more of a surprise to those off watch down below.......


  46. #46
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Hello Menno...will you be in Den Haag on We 27 June? See link for why.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    Hello Menno...will you be in Den Haag on We 27 June? See link for why.
    Yes. But not for that reason. Two years ago, a few sailing fathers suggested that we (Netherlands) should be hosting the European Optimist Championship. http://2018europeans.optiworld.org/e...ult/races/race

    The drew up a plan, made some flyers and handed them out during the various international regattas in NW Europe. The quality of the flyers wasn't great, so I suggested to help them with a better text. Which I did. I wrote the Bidbook for them. Initially, there was the plan to ship all contenders to The Hague for a 'VOR day'. Things changed when the VOR organisers heard about the plans. They suggested welcoming the European Championship on the premises of the VOR, including the VIP village, meet and greet for the Optimist sailors and the crews. Brilliant. I am no longer part of the committee because Maurice my son has moved on to the Laser Radial and I am far to busy to get involved in the whole of the event.

    Here's the bidbook: https://issuu.com/valentijnvanduijve.../160429bid_def

  48. #48
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    With the VOR final leg coming up three teams have one point between them. Whichever of them can finish first on this leg (700 nM) wins the race overall. I don't think the organisers could have wished for a better finale...well, maybe a little more wind in places.

  49. #49
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Last Summer, a Dutch yacht lost its keel. The boat capsized near Ostend. It happened so quickly that the crew had no time to send a mayday. 3 members of the crew drowned, 3 were saved. Among the survivors a 17 y/o teammate of my son's sailing team. He'd been in the water for almost 7 hrs before he was picked up by a vessel after staying on the hull of the capsized boat.

    Two weeks later, he and his family were moored next to us in Lelystad Harbour. Like we did, they used the boat as their 'caravan' because the boys were attending the World Championships. Despite being discrete, we hit the subject of the disaster. That's when I heard about the pros and cons of certain PFDs (Personal Floating Devices).

    The boy who'd survided (and the other two) were wearing a 'dinghy vest', this exact version, to be precise: (sorry couldn't find a smaller pic)



    This vest made it possible for him to swim back to the hull of the boat and climb on top(...) of the hull. The three who'd drowned were wearing inflatable life jackets. Brilliant to stay afloat but in this case, they were unable to swim back to the hull. My son's teammate saw them drown in front of his very eyes. One of them being his granddad.

    As said, two weeks later, they sailed the North Sea on an identical yacht from Breskens (near Flushing) to IJmuiden and then inland via Amsterdam to Lelystad. Father and son told me: "We're sailors, we're from a family of fishermen. We cannot stay on shore. We have to sail. And sailing is the best way to deal with the grief and loss." Who am I to argue...

    Menno
    Not being very clued up on this type of thing, why would the people wearing 'inflatable life jackets' drown whereas the ones wearing the other type didn't? I thought they all prevented drowning.

    Interested to hear from you guys 'in the know' so to speak.

    Thanks

    ook

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Not being very clued up on this type of thing, why would the people wearing 'inflatable life jackets' drown whereas the ones wearing the other type didn't? I thought they all prevented drowning.

    Interested to hear from you guys 'in the know' so to speak.

    Thanks

    ook
    I think the inflatable type keep you afloat on your back, (which is better to prevent water getting into your mouth if youíre unconscious), but this makes it very hard to swim wearing one.

    Iíll stand to be corrected from others more knowledgeable than I on the subject though.

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