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Old 07 October 2011, 07:22   #21
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That's the one!

You obviously have a better memory for names than I do!
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Old 07 October 2011, 09:58   #22
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Best prop guard is the driver!
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Old 07 October 2011, 10:25   #23
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Best prop guard is the driver!
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Old 07 October 2011, 11:11   #24
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Best prop guard is the driver!
Obviously!!

But people make mistakes. keep in mind that these people are PBL2 but not driving the RIBs regularly and are volunteers, rather than RIB enthusiasts with lots of hours under their belts. If there is a device that helps protect people in the water from the propellor that doesn't detract too much from the performance and handling, it is worth considering.
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Old 07 October 2011, 11:47   #25
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Obviously!!

But people make mistakes. keep in mind that these people are PBL2 but not driving the RIBs regularly and are volunteers, rather than RIB enthusiasts with lots of hours under their belts. If there is a device that helps protect people in the water from the propellor that doesn't detract too much from the performance and handling, it is worth considering.
Rokraider, I am interested to know:

- have you had an accident / close call / near miss at the club?
- have you witnessed particular bad practice?
- have you had complaints about driving standards?
- are the problems widespread or "individuals"?
- are you more worried about a high speed incident with a person who hasn't been seen in the water or a low speed incident with people floating round after a capsize etc?
- do you brief them every day before you go afloat? (an opportunity to remind them of good practice of stopping the engine, and for them to highlight worries about "that old suzi not restarting").
- do you have agreed "shouts" between crew and helm to assist in understanding / communication?
- are your sailors generally prop aware?
- are you happy with the competence of people when the leave the training course? (i.e. is this inexperience or bad habits developing?) Some of the "worst" driving regarding prop safety I have seen has been from people who do it every day [so know exactly how quick the boat can turn and also get complacent because this is the 20th person they pulled out this week, and 1000th in their career with no casualties]
- do you do the PB2 in house? Does this strictly follow the "standard PB2 syllabus" or given the role of those involved is extra time spent on approaching casualties in the water?
- do you have any sort of coaching / supervision process where a PBI or similar has an overview of the general standards and can work with individuals, or where individuals a year or two after their course can go back to for a quick refresher on a particular issue?
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Old 08 October 2011, 09:42   #26
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[QUOTE=Polwart;424339]Rokraider, I am interested to know:

- have you had an accident / close call / near miss at the club?

The club has a good safety record, but there have been times where luck has been on our side. Personally I have not had any prop incidents or close calls.
I average around 30 days a year as a safety boat driver, mostly out in the bay at the larger events, although I am quite happy to help out with the everyday stuff as well.

- have you witnessed particular bad practice?

On occasions and the crews have been taken to task over it. Generally the problems are boredom when there is nothing much going on, so the crews start chatting and reduce vigilance. Usually a nudge over the radio is enough.

- have you had complaints about driving standards?

Not usually, but sometimes you might get contact between the RIB and the capsized dinghy, usually in biggish waves and wind. Some of the really fast dinghys are quite delicate and can be easily damaged if clouted by the RIB..

- are the problems widespread or "individuals"?

We do not have that many problems anyway and usually are odd individual incidents.

- are you more worried about a high speed incident with a person who hasn't been seen in the water or a low speed incident with people floating round after a capsize etc?

I would say we don't have high speed problems, The RIBs are usually patrolling around the edge of the course, ready to nip in if needed, so when needed, they are not usually far away and do not need to roar in at high speed. They will often have to weave their way through other competitors to get to the incident, so cannot go at any great speed.
I would say the prop risks are highest at slow speed with multiple capsizes on for example, a Gybe mark. You could have several crews in the water, but we may need to get to one that is not in sight, ie could be trapped under the boat. This means having to manouevre up close and holding station so your crew if needed, can dive in to perform their tasks whilst other people and boats are in the water around you. In this situation I will be yelling at the people in the water to keep clear and making sure that no one is anywhere near the RIB at all. The both crew will be constantly counting heads and comparing our counts to make sure we aren't missing anyone.

- do you brief them every day before you go afloat? (an opportunity to remind them of good practice of stopping the engine, and for them to highlight worries about "that old suzi not restarting").

We hold a safety boat briefing at the start of each days racing, where the crews will be briefed on weather, tides etc, they are issued with a plasticised guidance sheet with all the do's and don'ts and radio channels and distress calls, such as code red etc. They will be verbally reminded of what they should be doing and advised of the fleets they will be supporting and any nuances or quirks on recovering each type.
-
do you have agreed "shouts" between crew and helm to assist in understanding / communication?

I don't believe there are many "shouts" in particular, each situation requires discussion on how best to proceed. It is the crews job to be counting heads and calling out to the driver where any potential missing people are. The driver will also be counting heads, whilst negotiating the best route to the potential casualty.

- are your sailors generally prop aware?

I would say definitely. Probably the most vulnerable would be young kids who can be oblivious to danger. We have a very good Youth Training section in the club that most of the kids go through. They will be trained in all aspects of sailing and racing including what to do when rescue boats are about and how to summon them etc.
The youth fleet is large and we probably have around 200 boats in the fleet, which is very active.

- are you happy with the competence of people when the leave the training course? (i.e. is this inexperience or bad habits developing?) Some of the "worst" driving regarding prop safety I have seen has been from people who do it every day [so know exactly how quick the boat can turn and also get complacent because this is the 20th person they pulled out this week, and 1000th in their career with no casualties]

I think as in every form of transport, some drivers are better than others. Overall we are generally happy.

- do you do the PB2 in house? Does this strictly follow the "standard PB2 syllabus" or given the role of those involved is extra time spent on approaching casualties in the water?
- do you have any sort of coaching / supervision process where a PBI or similar has an overview of the general standards and can work with individuals, or where individuals a year or two after their course can go back to for a quick refresher on a particular issue?

We are a RYA certified club and all of our courses are carried out by RYA instructors to the RYA specifications. Some of our instructors are also RNLI volunteers so we get their experience as well. We run a Safety boat course that is the RYA course with add ons that cover the nuances and quirks of Chichester Harbour and Hayling Bay. It also covers the quirks of the various fleets that we are expected to provide cover for, such as a foiling Moth that will try and fly as soon as you get moving etc.
We are discussing how to implement a refresher course for all drivers, possibly in the spring each season before the racing starts in earnest.

We are also looking at improving crew training as well. It is all very well having a good driver, but your crew has to be well trained as well.

I think I should point out that we have a good safety record and are not really having many problems, but if there is a way to improve the safety standards and reduce the risks effectively, it is worth exploring.
90 percent of the time all we do is stand off chugging about keeping an eye on things and giving re assurance to the competitors.

I think we will probably try out some propguards and see for ourselves whether they are the answer.
Personally, I think I will be pushing to try out an outboard Jet unit and see how well it performs. That could possibly achieve all our goals (but at a cost!)
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Old 10 October 2011, 06:06   #27
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I would say the prop risks are highest at slow speed with multiple capsizes on for example, a Gybe mark. You could have several crews in the water, but we may need to get to one that is not in sight, ie could be trapped under the boat. This means having to manouevre up close and holding station so your crew if needed, can dive in to perform their tasks whilst other people and boats are in the water around you. In this situation I will be yelling at the people in the water to keep clear and making sure that no one is anywhere near the RIB at all. The both crew will be constantly counting heads and comparing our counts to make sure we aren't missing anyone.
Having been there both in a Laser and a rib, for the non dinghy bods reading this that rockraider makes this scenario sound quite tame. I've seen gybe marks with spinnakers wrapped round other boat's bows, three boats in a tangled capsize etc etc. I gained about 12 places one time entirely down to superior capsise drill!

I throw this in as a thought that the bigest issue in that sort of scenario isn't the risk of an "armectomy", but totally disabling yourself as the rouge spinnaker sheet finds the prop and you can't get in to pull out the trapped bod.....

Also to back up Rock's comments about crew tedium & speed, at the last Oppie nationals I rescued at, I had a premix 2 stroke 40 on the transom of an SR4 and drank between 1/2 - 3/4 of a 5 gallon tank per day......
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Old 10 October 2011, 06:54   #28
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My experience with a propguard is it really blunts performance.
There is a an improvement in safety but I'm not sure it's that significant especially in your application.

For example, going astern or with a swimmer approaching from the stern it offers little protection. These are relevant situations to recovering dinghy crews after a wipeout when there may be an element of panic and disorientation and people intent on climbing into the rescue boat from the most accessible end.

The other thing to be aware of is it will trap every thing from weed to plastic bags so you'll find yourself having to stop and lift the engine like never before to clear it.

You're doing the right thing in trying to maximize all safety factors -though I'm not sure this is an improvement plus I agree with others it could encourage complacency.
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Old 10 October 2011, 14:12   #29
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Having been there both in a Laser and a rib, for the non dinghy bods reading this that rockraider makes this scenario sound quite tame. I've seen gybe marks with spinnakers wrapped round other boat's bows, three boats in a tangled capsize etc etc. I gained about 12 places one time entirely down to superior capsise drill!

I throw this in as a thought that the bigest issue in that sort of scenario isn't the risk of an "armectomy", but totally disabling yourself as the rouge spinnaker sheet finds the prop and you can't get in to pull out the trapped bod.....

Also to back up Rock's comments about crew tedium & speed, at the last Oppie nationals I rescued at, I had a premix 2 stroke 40 on the transom of an SR4 and drank between 1/2 - 3/4 of a 5 gallon tank per day......
It can get quite interesting at times!!
That is a good point regarding getting a rope round the prop and feasible in a mass capsize situation. I was looking after the kids group at Fed Week one year and a huge squall came through preceded by a very large gust of wind that flattened around 20 Toppers and Picos about to start as well as roughly 30 Oppies! It was total carnage! One kid was trapped under her mainsail alongside the committee boat and one of the crew on that jumped in adnd got her out. We spent the half hour rounding up cold shivering kids in driving rain and ferrying them ashore whilst tying allthe dinghies on to a mark sowe could go back for them later. It was a long afternoon by the time we had righted, de rigged and towed the boats back to the club. At one point we had kids in the water all around us and couldn't safely start the engine until we had a load of them onboard and clear water behind. These are the times when a propguard could have added extra security.
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Old 10 October 2011, 14:32   #30
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I have one here for sale. orange one actually made by Prop Guard 13 inch diameter for 30-50 horse. paid a one er for it ..take 50
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Old 11 October 2011, 04:46   #31
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We spent the half hour rounding up cold shivering kids in driving rain and ferrying them ashore whilst tying all the dinghies on to a mark sowe could go back for them later. It was a long afternoon by the time we had righted, de rigged and towed the boats back to the club. .
Been there, done that etc etc.... Must have been one h*lluva squall to knock over that many Oppies!

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At one point we had kids in the water all around us and couldn't safely start the engine until we had a load of them onboard and clear water behind. These are the times when a propguard could have added extra security.
...or minced them properly as discussed above.

A couple of long ropes aboard mean not only can you tow, but also useful for throwing & recovering people.

One variation I was involved with at the Oppie nationals in Harwich back in 19canteen was they had a couple of Cheverton type launches, the idea being that the ribs did the rescue, and bar the almost hypothermic ones who were taken straight in they were dropped off in the Cheverton to stay relatively warm out the wind (high sides) which then pottered over to pick up the hull, leaving the ribs to get on with rescue. The two of them did a "ferry service" back to the shore full of kids and towing a string of de- masted hulls. It worked, although the racing was a good mile or so away form the beach (racing outside the harbour, sailing club inside) so may not be appropriate for your setup if your course is closer to the shore.
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Old 11 October 2011, 06:04   #32
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Our club first rescue boat had the ultimate prop guard - it was rowing boat!

As said before best guard is training training and more training...don't think what if or if. What next air bags fitted to bumpers of cars! The safer the cars have got more accidents - would you drive as fast if you knew if you bumped it it would kill you!


The duty of care is you have trained crews, RYA state level 2, but make it safety boat, make it a x number hrs begore going out solo. Put lower age limit on helm out club is 18 years old.

RYA don't recommend them...so infact your are going against the govern body to fit them...


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Old 11 October 2011, 06:10   #33
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ooh forgot to add , 3 mins without air means brian damage...so the rib must get there before then...every second helps ...cut arm or permanent mental damage...

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Old 11 October 2011, 07:31   #34
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Our club first rescue boat had the ultimate prop guard - it was rowing boat!

As said before best guard is training training and more training...don't think what if or if. What next air bags fitted to bumpers of cars! The safer the cars have got more accidents - would you drive as fast if you knew if you bumped it it would kill you!


The duty of care is you have trained crews, RYA state level 2, but make it safety boat, make it a x number hrs begore going out solo. Put lower age limit on helm out club is 18 years old.

RYA don't recommend them...so infact your are going against the govern body to fit them...


S.
S, You make some valid points, but just to be clear you are not "going against the governing body" by fitting a prop guard. The implication from their guidance is I think quite clear that they don't encourage them - but they don't say not to use them.

I'm also not completely convinced in the OP's situation where he has lots of volunteers that insisting they all do the full Safety Boat course is actually the best use of their time. That is one less weekend per member he can use them on the water. The course covers stuff, which whilst interesting might not be considered essential to a sailing club: e.g. rescuing kayaks, windsurfs, kitesurfers, marklaying (which with 10 ribs, presumably most don't get involved in), race management (which again with 10 ribs is easier kept separate). It sounds like they have a local programme appropriate to local needs which is great. In reality they seem to have a large number of opportunities for disaster but little real cause for concern which means they must be doing something right. I'd bet if you say "Safety Boat + X hours of on water experience" that this becomes the entry level, not "has convinced the club safety officer they are competent and confident in the situation required of them".

I'm not convinced a "lower age limit of 18" is relevant. I've seen 17 yr olds handle a boat far better than I do. Now the gravitas of a serious rescue situation is huge, but I've met 25 and even 45 year olds who I wouldn't want to be in that position of responsibility. If someone has been driving power boats since they were 8, has an advanced power boat ticket (which they can do at 17), did the safety boat ticket at 16 when the RYA let them, and is a qualified dinghy instructor (again permitted at 16), are you really going to turn them away in favour of a 19 yr old who has just done a back to back PB2 and Safety Boat course?
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Old 11 October 2011, 09:42   #35
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Yes - each to there own - the reason we have 18 was not due to skill but as I said before the emotional aftermath of an event...not messing up a young persons life during exams etc.

but really train, train and train more...if pair up inexperience with more who will let them train more...

Level 2 means they can drive in safe manner under normal circumstances, safety boat gives the skills to deal with different rescue craft but also gives another two days of training on boats handling at close quarters...

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Old 11 October 2011, 09:56   #36
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Yes - each to there own - the reason we have 18 was not due to skill but as I said before the emotional aftermath of an event...not messing up a young persons life during exams etc.
Yes and when you first mentioned it I was quite impressed with how seriously you were taking it, but:

(1) You can leave school at 16. (In Scotland you can quite feasibly leave school at 16 after your Higher's and go to University. Whilst there were still exams there, and pulling dead people out the water wouldn't have been good for my concentration, that would apply right through until about 22 for the average person...).

(2) People who chose not to go into academia (or for whom that decision is made for them) could be very good rescue boat crew and might get an excellent springboard into a world of responsibility at 16 rather than signing on.

(3) You can get married and have children at 16. The potential to "get knocked up" or to have "knocked someone up" at that age has at least as much risk to your mental well being and immediate career prospects.

(4) I'm fairly sure you'll find some 16/17 yr olds on duty at the side of your local council pool with similar levels of responsibility and the potential for being a bit messed up if if all goes wrong.
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Old 11 October 2011, 11:11   #37
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ooh forgot to add , 3 mins without air means brian damage...so the rib must get there before then...every second helps ...cut arm or permanent mental damage...

S.
Or even worse, a damaged Brian!!
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Old 11 October 2011, 11:46   #38
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Training is obviously the best way forward, but only if it is coupled to experience. In the real world, unless they are out there training in horrendous conditions pulling people out of the water in a gale and large waves, there isn't any training that really prepares you for that. You go out with as much info on various scenarios playing in your head and hope it comes together when needed. No 2 situations are ever the same.

The RYA held a race officers course at the weekend in Weymouth that some of our mob attended. One thing that apparently came out of it was that the RYA don't allow anyone under the age of 18 to drive a rescue boat without a qualified person on board. I haven't seen the documentation yet, so can't confirm this totally as yet.
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Old 11 October 2011, 12:11   #39
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Training is obviously the best way forward, but only if it is coupled to experience. In the real world, unless they are out there training in horrendous conditions pulling people out of the water in a gale and large waves, there isn't any training that really prepares you for that. You go out with as much info on various scenarios playing in your head and hope it comes together when needed. No 2 situations are ever the same.
If there was a prop guard on the RIB in these conditions, performance might be so bad they might need a rescue too!

I discourage prop guards to avoid complacancy. Ideal is a large main propped motor with a jet kicker for close in manuvering.
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Old 11 October 2011, 12:53   #40
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In Gale conditions - I doubt that an inexperience Crew would deal with it...and sailing should not been taken place...Lifeboat Job and leave the rescuing to the "professionals" (inverted commas because these professionals don't get paid!)

Polwart - re age: duty of care and legal definition child is under 18 for the PVG. yes they can do all you say but it's not the club putting them in that situation...

Train, Train Train for crew and a good course on weather and event planning for organisers!

Just because you can sail does not mean you should! I know arrogant sailors I pulled one out unconscious in marginal conditions- we cancelled the sailing activity due to weather as club but He decide he was better....he was luck myself and crew were still at the club to scramble the Club RIB.


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