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I see a thread has bee locked on this. I couldn't find the new thread. Hoping someone can let me know or IT can amend the locked thread with a link to the new thread.

 

Reported that he had survival gear on. Not reported that he had personal EPIRB.

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I don’t know why they don’t have a long sight flair on there shoulder and a tracker to the ships gps , I hav wall ways wondered on these points , it makes sense the tracker so the boat can drop gear and follow the track to the mob ,and the flair to help get into position to retrieve him , but very sad

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In those boats and in Sea's of that size, you can't just drop the gear and follow the locator. It is simply far to dangerous. You put both the Boat and the Crew at risk.
By the time these boats get enough crew on deck to ready to go about, the boat has already traveled a significant distance. Then they have to turn and fight back to where the man went overboard. That takes even longer, because these boat's don't go to windward that well. Then you have a boat that is not suited to "floating around" in those kind of conditions, so you have both the boat and crew at extreme risk.
 

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Scallywag has released a statement saying they crash gybed and he was hit by the mainsheet/boom. It happened as he had momentarily unclipped to move position.

 

While arguably not best practice, I seem to remember a thread on here a while ago where a bunch of us were saying that we tend to clip on once we're in position due to tethers tangling stuff as you move around. So understandable I guess.

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More info released on the race website.

Crash gybe surging down a wave, mainsheet system knocked him off the boat to the extent the crew believe he was unconscious before he hit the water. Immediately deployed a janbouy et al - couldn't locate anything in return and search.

Very sad - RIP

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Well done wheels , that’s right what time it takes to get about is marked with a locator ,for the boat to retrieve the mob , Ive done six crossings to the pacific three up three back ,I ve seen the size of the swells it’s only seconds before sight is gone of a obstacle so trackers would help ,

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Please note the following comments are not to be seen as a criticism or critique of the incident. I have no idea what the actual circumstance were like. 

 

As someone involved with marine rescue , I can assure you that finding a head in even small swells is extremely difficult.

From the air can be a bit easier as you are looking a bit less "through the swells". Unfortunately the reality of using search aircraft to find a human a long way off shore , is that both the range or the amount of time to get to the search area can make it difficult and often impossible.

Even so, the use of FLIR cameras is often the way a person is found as they show up as a different heat signature against the water. Once they are cold this no longer works.

   The addition of a tracking device on the MOB increases the chances of being found enormously. Personal EPIRBs and / or local locators . They must be water activated (along with the life jacket).  In most far offshore searches, it will be the MOBs vessel first and then any other "local" vessels that will conduct the search. If the MOB has been witnessed at the time - then unless the sea state is "catastrophic" or the vessel incapacitated, the vessel should be able to locate and possibly retrieve the MOB within the realms of surviveability.

The use of AIS SART units coupled with a compatible chart plotter should allow the searching vessel to find the MOB (governed by the constraints of the battery life. ) It is generally accepted that in the southern ocean that survive-ability of the MOB will be less than than the battery life AIS SART.

I understand that in the case in discussion AIS SART units were mandatory. 

The only equipment that drastically increases your chances in these situations is a to be strongly harnessed and tethered.

Double tethering with a clip on before clip off rule is required. 

 

Everyone can come up with justifications and exceptions , but the bottom line is statistical odds....

 

As a final though...is it good seamanship to intentionally put yourself is a position that your vessel can no longer turn back against the sea state ? 

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Idlerboat yes all makes sense the mob on the survival suits should be tested and reloaded battery wise on these voyages , and showed on the onboard gps at all times crew are there The Epirb is good but not when your in the water , there is to much down time ,waiting , etc

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MJ re EPIRB , I agree...but still more chance of finding the MOB back through a sat phone from AMSA or similar with lon and lat than visually.  EPIRB direction finders (they look like a miniature TV antennae) are not bulky or expensive.

Not as good as AIS SART beacon with chart plotter location software, but better than looking into the dark.

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Idlerboat , yes but better having a red pleeper on your cockpit gps pointing the way , time is the essence , just drop the gear and start the engine and point , order the crew on deck to spot ,I have been asking one of my today who can do anything with electronics to think about it ,come up with an idear ,

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...sorry MJ I am a bit confused.

The equipment you are talking about already exists.

A typical AIS personal SART unit  interfaces with your chart plotter.

As you say...just drop the sails ..start the engine and follow the MOB information back...

 

.

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Obviously there systerm isn’t popular or not widely used , one would think these guys would use it. ,

The guy had three locator beacons on him.

Two AIS units that show location on the ships chart plotter, with a theoretical range of 4 nm, but less in that sea state, and a PLB, that will send location to satellite, and also a homing beacon.

One of the AIS beacons is automatic on life jacket inflation. They are common now, and relatively affordable, Sailors Corner, Safety at Sea and other places all sell them. My new lifejacket has the facility.

 

The only problem is the life jackets used on the Volvo have to be manual, because of the amount of green water coming over the boat. If the causality was unconscious before going over the side, the number and type of locator beacons is irrelevant, he couldn't activate his life jacket, let along any of the gadgets.

 

There are several elements leading to this tragedy (I reckon three) that are completely different to 'not clipping on'.

For one, the protection of the crew from green waves. Several boats have injured crew by getting washed off their feet in the cockpit (at the grinding pedestals). Peter Burling took out a lady crew mate in leg three, who was injured and had to spend the rest of the leg in her bunk. They both got washed down the cockpit banging into things.

 

The design of the boats are very poor. the Vendee boats can race through the same oceans, just as fast, and the skippers (solo) can race in their slippers and dressing gowns. The Vendee boats prioritise crew safety and comfort. The Volvo boats prioritise hard core footage and 'life on the extreme'.

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The only problem is the life jackets used on the Volvo have to be manual, because of the amount of green water coming over the boat.

 

 

Are you sure about that? 

Auto-inflating jackets that use a hydrostatic trigger, need to be fully submerged to inflate, so could possibly be used by the VOR sailors.

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I've got a couple of 'hammer' style hydrostatic activators.

I've had one go off with a lot of water over the boat, it was holding a liferaft in a cradle for the Fastnet race, liferaft auto deployed and inflated... put us out of the race, that was the longest I've ever seen a grown man sulk for (the skipper), we would have got armfuls of trophies if we had just finished the course.

 

Yes Kevin, the soggy biscuit ones are hopeless, I've had one go off in English drizzle.

 

Elly, no I have not confirmed that, but given the amount of green water over these boats, I'd expect hammer / hydrostatics to auto-activate as well. I would like to think that if they had auto-activating LJ's with the auto AIS, they would have been able to find the body, but that is just speculation on my part and not based on any facts. Seastate, limited range and risk to the crew searching may not have permitted it. Wont be good publicity for the suppliers if they posh gear didn't work as intended (i.e. it activated and they couldn't find the casualty)

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Auto inflating life jacket, auto plb, AIS MOB device all linked to an electronic tether to the vessel, vessel signal lost (short range say 100m),audible alert and light to alert wearer, if false alert, the wearer can stop the gear being triggered otherwise the LJ and other linked devices are triggered.

Possible system or to techo?

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That would be a smart idea, rigger.

 

Fish, do you have a source for that info about the beacons he was wearing? I haven't seen that elsewhere.

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