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Old 03 July 2009, 06:40   #41
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Good luck with the recovery mate. From when a minor motorbike accident happened all I can say is get back on and out there as soon as you can. Well done to the mates for sorting you out too.
My 2 pence is that the emergency services are generally pretty welcoming about people contacting them in such events. They can prioritise as they see fit - don't be worried about clogging the airwaves if there are concerns about recovery, injuries or a distance to travel to port. Perhaps a pan-pan/mayday procedures card next to the vhf might aid?

With regards to the accident itself, these things happen and I'm sure it will be a lesson learned. Shame it had to come so soon after your post asking how to handle waves!!

Don't be afraid of waves/jumps etc, but just think smooth is key for both speed and safety. Once out the water don't try and turn as you will dig in and get spun around a bit. Take them at a straight course (anything from straight on to 30-40 degrees to the wave) and do your turning when back in the water and trimmed down. If you want to practise something else you could throttle up when going up the wave, throttle back just before taking off and throttle up just before the landing. However if you're worried about the wave, straight on and dead slow will also work! Good luck!
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Old 03 July 2009, 06:56   #42
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someone back aong this thread mentioned complacency ,good point ,if you in a situation and there is a chance some thing may go wrong ,eg water sking ,big possiblity your going to have a dip ,its not as bad ,not nice but you are expecting it ,its like in my case i wasent at all expecting it ,and like most accidents its when you get complacment that the unexpected can happen .lifejacket that i was using was an air/foam which i think caused me to have a faster harder stop ,thing is when i was falling ,it was a hard boat ,i instinctivly put my arm out to stop my fall into the water ,dhuuuh,remember and felt the crunching of my shoulder , also another reason why any boater should have a man overboard recovery plan for an unconcious person ,/injured person regards mart ,
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Old 03 July 2009, 07:47   #43
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always when least expecting it

Hope you are feeling better. Dont feel stupid, as many have reported it has happened to them with plenty of experience, including myself with 15 years and my dad with 45 years.

Last year after a lunch in the pub, one pint only i might add. Myself, father and respective wives were aboard, cruising home with another rib. Flat calm like glass, sunny, few boats about.

Went over the wake of the huge cruiser at about 2 knots due to the size of the waves then started to power up. My dad was sat right on the bow facing me and said " go on, open her up". Instinctively i did virtually to WOT after checking said wives were aware and sat down. My dad, and i, hadnt seen the rolling wash behind the cruiser. Very subtle but as we accelerated the speed and sequence of waves conincided badly and lifted the bow and my dad up in the air. On realising, i pulled back on the throttle, only to mean as we hit the next wave my dad was bounced up in to the air and forwards in front of the boat! A combination of slamming in to reverse and then neutral to stop the prop hitting him was within inches of killing my own dad. The hull hit him square on the thigh and then he floated up on the starboard side face down. Tears and screaming ensued, but he lifted his head and i pulled him in. A very shaken, cold and scared 60 year old. Took his clothes off and wrapped him up. Not a pleasant way to end the day.

Everyone on board had a life jacket.....but him. He always refused unless very rough, he seems to wear one now though!!!

My concern is that with these automatic ones, how do you know they will work. I dropped one on the beach the other day and the tide came in, ooops. Didnt inflate!!!!!!!! Hmmmmm

Only 24 months old. But how can you test without ruining it?
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Old 03 July 2009, 07:59   #44
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Hi Neil,

Glad you're ok.

It's great to see an open and honest account of how things can very easily go wrong in an instant. I've never been thrown out of a rib but have had a few 'close shaves' - who hasn't?

I've been ribbing for quite a long time now and I generally drive quite hard, often on my own.

Some of the points have already been covered but for 'personal' safety I ALWAYS:

1.Wear the kill chord - speaks for itself. Our Mariner optimax can be restarted if the killchord has gone for a swim with the skipper. There is a small toggle switch which can be depressed with the ignition key.

2. Wear a fully automatic lifejacket - if you go overboard at 20/30/40 knots there is a good chance you'll get injured / knocked unconcious. We use the Crewsaver Freedom jackets that have the hydrostatic valve. These cannot go off by spray / dampness. They need 10-30cm of water pressure before they inflate. Spare arming kit carried on board.

3.Use an AquaPac for my mobile:
http://www.aquapac.net/ukstore/mini-...04-1119-0.html

If I do go over and I'm conscious I can make and receive calls from within the water. If you're solo this 20 bag could be a real lifesaver. I also attach is to a belt loop so that if I go over or drop the phone my primary means of attracting attention isn't lost. You can also sms your mates if you get bored waiting for them to turn up ;-)

Codders' freezer bag won't be up to the job and for just 20.........

Anyway, glad you're ok and as others have said - get back on it!
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Old 03 July 2009, 08:17   #45
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Why is this site so much more addictive than writing a particularly boring letter to a past employer? Anyway, back to thread...

The only injury I've had was on a flat calm day with a small wake and an overenthusiastic helm, so easy done.

A phone in an aquapac may be ok, but I'd go for a handheld vhf with a loop round the lifejacket instead? I know the impact might be hard and it may come off, but at least most are now floating and waterproof unlike mobiles and get you straight through to the right people...
s
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Old 03 July 2009, 08:40   #46
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Originally Posted by HUMBER P4VWL View Post
A combination of slamming in to reverse and then neutral to stop the prop hitting him was within inches of killing my own dad. The hull hit him square on the thigh and then he floated up on the starboard side face down. Tears and screaming ensued, but he lifted his head and i pulled him in. A very shaken, cold and scared 60 year old.
Yikes. That sounded nasty.
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Old 03 July 2009, 08:43   #47
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Hi Steve,

I know that a VHF is a good option. We have these too. However, everyone already has a mobile and if you dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard you'll get to the right people.

My own opinion is that the waterproof icom that we have was a bit heavy and a faff to wear, therefore was less likely to actually get used.

Also, the aquapac saves the phone phone getting wet in every other 'non-emergency' situation. For example, general comms when at sea.
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Old 03 July 2009, 09:06   #48
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Codders' freezer bag won't be up to the job and for just 20.........

Anyway, glad you're ok and as others have said - get back on it!
They are - I have tried it!!!

The point is that freezer bags can be handed out to all the passengers - most people carry a mobile phone and most keep it in their pocket so in a sudden emergency it may be all they have with them!!!

Obviously an Aquapac will be better but unless you buy them for everyone............
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Old 03 July 2009, 09:36   #49
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Fascinating reading these posts & thanks to all who contributed. Glad it had a happy ending but what a reminder to everyone out there on boats how quickly & easily it can all turn horribly wrong. One minute blasting about wondering what's for supper next a near disaster.

I have learnt so much from this forum & feel I have deffo avoided a few accidents myself so thanks to you all.

Hope you get better soon & the pain isn't too great.
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Old 03 July 2009, 10:34   #50
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Few things it'd like to add to the mix;
  1. Don't ever feel embarrassed or that you wasting resources by calling the coastguard. Its better to have them aware of the situation, not only in case things get worse, but also because you can draw on their knowledge and years of experience dealing with these situations.

    Case in point - last weekend a yacht lost a child over board, they recovered them quickly, and decided he was OK so didn't call the coastguard. An hour later they had to issue a Mayday as the casualty started to become dizzy/drowsy (secondary drowning?) - helo transferred the casualty to hospital.

    Any unexpected entry into the water, regardless of sea temperature, weather conditions etc, can be nasty. Don't under estimate it.

  2. I always wear a life jacket, even when just on pontoons. I've seen too many situations where people have almost died, or at least got into serious trouble, because they weren't wearing one. Personally I think auto jackets are the way to go. I don't believe the arguments for manual jackets really apply to leisure users.

    With regards to reliability - you need to check the CO2 cylinder and auto mechanism before each use. Make sure they are both tightly screwed in and the auto hasn't passed its expiry date. I have opened so many life jackets, while working as an RYA instructor, that would have been completely useless because the CO2 cylinder had worked loose. Also, occasionally inflate the jackets manually and make sure they stay inflated overnight.

  3. Always wear the kill cord. Again there are so many stories that illustrate the importance of this. I often hear the argument that they are only needed while at speed, in rough conditions or when on your own etc. You're just as likely to fall out the boat while doing 4 knots sorting the lines and fenders out as you are at 40kts. Either way you don't want to be bumping into the prop or the boat trundling off without you.

  4. As the skipper you are responsible for your crew. That means that a safety briefing really does need to be done. You may be the one dying, laying face down in the water, but if the crew are stuck on a drifting boat and have no idea how to get help (this has happened) then they are in trouble too.

    Make the briefing relaxed - don't scare everyone witless before they go out. Show them the where all the safety kit is, how to use the radio, kill cord etc.. I find most "guests" are quite interested in it all anyway and actually enjoy becoming "crew".
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