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Old 06 August 2004, 13:31   #1
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Seat belts/harness

Are these a godd idea on a Rib in rough weather? It seems to me the biggest danger is getting thrown out of the boat - also small kids would be a lot safer strapped in.

I suppose the main downside is if the boat flips over but surely a quick release would work ok.
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Old 06 August 2004, 13:47   #2
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I've got one and although it hasn't saved me yet it does give you a bit more confidence. It is made by Baltic and is easy to release should you flip the RIB. Two important things, firstly be sure that you are fastened to a strong point and not a backrest or the like. Secondly and most importantly be sure the harness line is not long enough to enable you to go overboard and be dragged by the boat, as this would cause more injury than without a harness.

Mostly common sense I know, very helpful on those rough journeys especially in awkward situations like refuelling, recovering anchor, etc.
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Old 06 August 2004, 13:48   #3
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I would say no the last thing I would want is to be strapped to the boat, if you fall out you can be picked up!
if you can't hold on comfortably then slow down!
Turned over boat, tided in with all the buoyancy from the life jacket, no thank you!
IMO!
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PS
"refuelling, recovering anchor, etc."
This bit I would agree with.
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Old 06 August 2004, 14:16   #4
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IMHO they are not a good idea. If you have a short strap & you are injured, or panic, you may not be able to release yourself. If you have a long line & you are flipped out you could get dragged back towards the engine.

Fit some foot straps for the adults & slow down when you have kidds on board!

People who know much more about boating than me have told me that if you get thrown out of a boat it is always best to be thrown well clear. Then let your life jacket do its work.

Cheers.
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Old 06 August 2004, 15:53   #5
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The Southwold Voguer (12 seater RIB which does trips on the Norfolk Coast) has fitted seatbelts (like the ones on aircraft). Interestingly the safety briefing doesn’t include anything about how to undo your seatbelt in a capsize!


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Old 06 August 2004, 16:58   #6
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For MCA Cat 3 coding you are meant to have 2 safety harnessess on board with safety lines. My surveyors at MECAL agress with me that they would actually do more harm than good if someone fell overboard off the RIB so I do not have to carry them.
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Old 06 August 2004, 17:06   #7
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I have had several thoughts about this in the past but always came to same conclusion not to be of any good as in bad sea conditions or at reasonable speed it is not good to be stuck in the seat and not beeing able to use your legs/body as a suspension towards the waves, I must however admit I do not use seat belt driving car inside towns only when driving in the countryside and abroad so this may reflect partly my feeling.

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Old 07 August 2004, 08:19   #8
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Eh?

Do you mean a seatbelt type harness to keep you in your seat (which would sound like a bad idea for the reasons Bogib gave), or a harness/lifejacket combination to use with a safety line?

We've got life jackets with the harness built in, and we've got some lines - but will probably only use them if not sat at the helm. I hadn't really thought about tethering myself on if I was driving......

Dylan...
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Old 07 August 2004, 08:49   #9
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DGR, we use the same setup as you with harness lifejackets and safety lines. The harness line is long enough for me to use my knees to absorb shock and sit comfortably but short enough so that I cannot go past the tubes. We generally only use the safety lines when in extremely rough weather and when there are only 2 people on board as it can be quite difficult to recover somebody from the water single handed, whilst maintaining control of the boat (ie: keeping the bow pointed towards the waves).

We don't wear harnesses if there are 3 or 4 people on board though as at least then I will have help to recover anybody who goes overboard.

I find that their is no substitute for well located grab rails and good crew communication, harnesses only add to these safety precautions in situations when preventing somebody from going overboard may be better than an unsuccessful attempt at recovering the person from the water, which may even end up in both people being in the water.

I must stress though that the safety line must be short enough to not allow any part of the body to go past the tubes.

All IMHO of course!!
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Old 07 August 2004, 09:38   #10
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I was actually on about the multi point harness as used by racing drivers - pilots etc - with quick release naturally!

On helicopters operating offshore a safety cert is a must - one of the tasks involves releasing yourself from a harness upsidedown in the dark under water!

I would have thought most offshore/racing powerboats would use similar arangements.

The only real danger is if you are knocked out when you flip but a crash helmet would prevent that.

Obviously you would need to be seated for this but most smaller racing powerboats use seats - not bolsters. In fact looking at typical RIBs it seams their CG is way too high.
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