Crew Overboard Lessons

Last night I was reading an interesting article published in Yachting Monthly about recovering a victim who had fallen overboard and was attached to the vessel by a tether.

Yachting Monthly Article

There were several observations that I took from the article:

  • It is awfully difficult to recover someone who is dragging alongside the vessel attached by a tether.
  • There is a good chance of drowning while attached to a tether alongside a vessel.
  • Tethers should be short enough to keep you from going overboard in the first place.
  • Jacklines need to be positioned in a manner to help keep tethers short enough to keep the crew onboard.
  • Prior planning and training are paramount to saving the stricken crewmember.

I also found it interesting that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has successfully recovered two crewmembers who had fallen overboard and that in his tenure running the Clipper Round the World Race three more individuals had been recovered successfully. That goes to show that with proper planning (and maybe a bit of luck) crew falling overboard does not need to equate to death.

Give us a call if you want to discuss your jackline or tether needs. (253) 627-6000

Maybe a tether would have helped?

Latitude 38 has an article about a British sailor who fell overboard while crossing the Pacific from Japan. The report says that he was conscious and wearing a life jacket when he went overboard. His fiancee was on-board but unable to rescue him.

ISC Snap Hook
ISC Double Acting Snap Hook

I am a strong believer that you don’t want to get separated from your boat. Staying on-board is the obvious first solution but there are situations when the elements just conspire against you and you get swept overboard. Then having a good tether attached to the vessel and your safety harness is your best bet. We offer a number of harnesses and tethers which meet most needs. A double acting snap hook is your best bet, the less expensive carabiners can get disconnected when twisted in just the right manner.