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Leaving a fellow sailor in the water..
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benspikey



Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Leaving a fellow sailor in the water.. Reply with quote

Greetings all,

Seen quite a bit of gear failure recently that left people stuck in the water..

My question is what is the proper protocol when you find a downed sailor??

-- Seems one should make an assessment of the surroundings..

IF it is safe to help the downed sailor then STOP!! Help them derig or drop the rig depending on conditions. ( make sure the sailor has not lost their board.. if so you should remain with the person as they have no floation )

Once the downed sailor is in a position to safely float / paddle the board back in.. And you are sure the person is stable..

Make a decision to either stay with the person or sail in and find help..
Or tow that person in if possible..

Do Not sail pass someone downed in the water without seeing movement.

Do Not leave a downed sailor in the water without helping them to derig or preforming an assessment.


Being alone on the water can be very scary. Having another person to help provides a safety net.

Please everyone stop and ensure the downed sailor is responsive and make sure you help them before heading to get help.

Looking for others opinions about this as we need to look after each other when we are on the water.

This also means replacing/checking your gear to ensure you are not putting others at risk trying to recover you.. Also mean learning how to derig you gear on the water safely..

Cheers.. [/b]
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2370

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends how scary the situation IS.
At SPID, the sound side, water is chest deep. If anyone breaks, providing they're not injured, they can walk back.
In the channel between Oahu and Molokai, maybe since nobody is wearing a wetsuit, maybe tow them in, tossing their sail.
Two days ago, broke my headcap, sail dropped 4', and couldn't waterstart for beans. While derigging, everyone zoomed past, while I watched and played with my gear. This was Berkeley, down by the rocks downwind. No biggee, I was wearing a 2 mil long legged suit, water was 58, and sun was still up, and I was gonna paddle in sitting on my 100 liter board using my mast top.
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outcast



Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 2382

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have a thin little 12' line in my harness...if you need a tow all you have to do is ask.

I get kind of bored out there...always looking for something to do. Drama makes my day.

Polite thing to do is stop and ask......happy to help.

BUT....don't ask to save stuff......stuff is stuff.....if someone is in trouble get them out.....If you want to save your broken kit you are :
1. Not in trouble.
2. In Trouble, Hypothermic and thereby acting stupid
3. Just plain stupid and about to be in trouble.

I'll probably hang around anyway ....either shouting encouragement or calling you stupid....

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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2370

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post, Outcast.
I"ve been credited with over 15 rescues at CrissyFields, SteveYong almost double that.
I'll sail away if you don't listen to the first thing I say. Maybe come back later, if no one else did.
If you still don't listen, I'll usually sail away again.
Sometimes, I'll hit you hard in the face, to wake you up if you're hypothermic (did that at least 5 times). Usually an open palm, not a fist. It's called, "knocking some sense into you". And it's lawsuit resistant, that open hand.
For those who don't know, Crissy has water temps between 48-55, big blind ships heading across our path, smaller fishing boats and tour boats doing the same, and some fishies cruising around below the surface, including two big 19' 6 gills under the NorthTower.
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spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 809
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, it's a felony to leave someone in obvious distress in the water.

Rule #1 is stay with the board!

I also carry a 12' line for towing or whatever. That's 2 downhauls, and can be used to tie a broken boom head back onto the mast (done it), make a temporary harness line (done it), or tow you or them to shore (done it).

Regarding towing: De-rig in the water, trying not to drop stuff. Roll it all up as best you can, put it on the board lengthwise, and lay on it. Tie that 12' piece of line to the mast base/universal and your new best friend's rear footstrap. Slow & tiring as hell, so take turns being the tow-er & tow-ee. On a small board you might have to hold onto your own rear footstrap & drag in.

If you're one of those people who doesn't think you'll ever need to be towed and decide not to carry a piece of line, you can probably paddle in this same position. If not you can tie the gear on with your downhaul and swim alongside the board.

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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2370

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When in doubt, ditch the sail and mast base. You can tie the boom to your rear straps using the uphaul or outhaul, dragging the booms.
Masts half can be stowed in front strap. Top half makes a convenient greenland style paddle.
Sails sink, and can take you down. Mast bases can be shoved inside rear straps, allowing you to just loop the inhaul around, using the bungee to hold everything in place.
Flip your harness backwards.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1159
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spennie wrote:
BTW, it's a felony to leave someone in obvious distress in the water.



Oh PLEASE quote this law that you think you know. Because it isn't true.

The FIRST rule of ANY first reponder is not to endanger yourself. So IF you can help the person then do so, but if you can't without endangering yourself then don't, and go try to get help (such as the coast guard/sheriff, etc). Having two people in trouble is not better than one.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1220
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, that's why I carry a Trucheon (instead of extra line).

-Craig

johnl wrote:



The FIRST rule of ANY first reponder is not to endanger yourself. So IF you can help the person then do so, but if you can't without endangering yourself then don't, and go try to get help (such as the coast guard/sheriff, etc). Having two people in trouble is not better than one.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2370

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent point above.
In my numerous breakdowns, I've had to pass on quite a few "rescue attempts" when I realized the would be rescue'er would make the ordeal worst than it would be without him/her's assistance.
Life and death? Can't say I've been there on a breakdown, since I'm wearing a wetsuit, and surfed for over 25 years before windsurfing for over THIRTY NOW! Very Happy Very Happy
But always, better ONE body to give S & R some work rather than two.
Now that winter's almost due, I plan on winter sailing only in a safe spot. I cannot guarantee I will be safe, but I can only control what I can.
I certainly won't be driving up to Limantour on a stormy rainy day at the beginning of the storm, rising swells, 49 degree waters, and 11 miles from the nearest town.....
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spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 809
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnl is right, it's not a law, I looked it up, I was misinformed, sorry. Furthermore his comments about not putting 2 people in danger were right on.

The penalty for leaving a fellow sailor in trouble is burning in Hell.

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