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Entrapment: Incidents, preventative training, rescues


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In a topic on 29er hoist systems  

There has been a thread drift to talking about dinghy entrapments; incidents that had occurred (so we can learn from them), training issues or other things we do to try and prevent them and rescue techniques, including incident reports of actual rescues.

The suggest was to either rename the earlier thread (which is strongly contaminated for the first half of it by the original thread topic) or start a new one.

I've now done the latter.  

Any useful stuff from the first one can be copied into this one.

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To keep the conversation going, this is the last post from Mustang_1 in the other thread

I've had two trap hook incidents that gave me pause. Once on the xx in light air, I think I was passing from in front of the shrouds to aft, and I think the hook got caught on the lowers. No capsize, nothing happened, but I was aware of a similar incident with, if I recall, a laser 4000? Or is that the incident you are referring to?

The other we were doing tacking drills and I botched unclipping and brought the boat over on top of me. Popped up between the hull and the boom, and my skipper got to the board before the boat turtles. My rwo trap ring (somewhat v shaped) got stuck sideways on a dakine (overly large beak). It took more than a few seconds to clear it. Again, nothing bad, but it stands out in my mind as "oh yeah. Things can happen". It'd have been a lot more tenuous if my helm didn't get on the board right away. I replaced the harness shortly after, and the rings a while later with ronstan rings. Don't recall ever having anymore issues. 

 

This going to two aspects of what i try and teach to those coming through my skiff training group. https://www.facebook.com/Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465

Firstly, when going forward (usually to fix a spinnaker problem), I try to stop them crawling under the lowers. It just looks like a trap if the boat capsizes as they go there. Going between the lowers and main shroud still offers a fairly obvious risk of hooking on the lower if things suddenly go wrong, but is a lesser risk. Going around the outside of the upper shroud would be better but usually results in a capsize, bringing the boat on top of them.

Secondly, as mentioned in the last thread, I specifically teach them to call out 'stop' if there's an unhooking or entanglement problem in going into a tack and for the skipper to react to that by stopping the tack (even if that means going into irons). In practice, the 'stop' usually just comes out as a squeal (they are mainly female trainees) so you need to react to that. 

This maybe goes to the essence of (what little I know about) the 420 incident, which is one of my nightmare scenarios. 

When I first read about this incident (in a past thread I could find for this purpose), I understand one of the responses was to develop a fast rescue approach from the coach/ rescue boat where they keep a specialised line with a snap or quick hook on the end. As L understand it, if the boat is upside down, the snap hook is attach to the shroud on one side, the boat drives around the other side and applies power perpendicular to the hull, pulling the boat back onto its side and hopefully bringing the person back to the surface.

I'm hoping someone more knowledgeable will cut in and expand on this.

Of course, this might be nice if boats are in a tight coaching circle. On a race course, by the time the rescue boat notices the problem, gets to the boat and identifies what needs to be done, some very valuable time will have passed. 

 

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4 hours ago, Rambler said:

...

This maybe goes to the essence of (what little I know about) the 420 incident, which is one of my nightmare scenarios. 

When I first read about this incident (in a past thread I could find for this purpose), I understand one of the responses was to develop a fast rescue approach from the coach/ rescue boat where they keep a specialised line with a snap or quick hook on the end. As L understand it, if the boat is upside down, the snap hook is attach to the shroud on one side, the boat drives around the other side and applies power perpendicular to the hull, pulling the boat back onto its side and hopefully bringing the person back to the surface.

I'm hoping someone more knowledgeable will cut in and expand on this.

Of course, this might be nice if boats are in a tight coaching circle. On a race course, by the time the rescue boat notices the problem, gets to the boat and identifies what needs to be done, some very valuable time will have passed. 

 

 I'm wary of suggestions to use a powerboat in order to right a capsized dinghy. While the theory looks good, there seem to me to be a LOT of things that can go wrong in what's already going to be a tense situation. In particular, using a powerboat close to a capsize is fundamentally dangerous.

 In addition to this, In my (varied) experience it's totally unrealistic to expect all PB crews at an event to have sufficient real world safety boat experience to be able to do this. I can see that we might want to get to that point but unless I'm misunderstanding the description then I think it's a stretch. For a more controlled programme with a regular group of coaches then sure, it may make sense, but as a general recommendation I would need some convincing (feel free to convince me! I'm open to the idea, just sceptical).

 The RYA recommendation is to right the boat as quickly as possible (I appreciate that that's what the manoeuvre above is aimed at) but by using people, rather than propellers.

 Again, my experience suggests this is likely to be effective: It doesn't take any special training to brief (and ensure) PB crews that one person on board any safety boat must be ready to go into the water, if necessary, and it's pretty common at events for the crews to be ex/current dinghy sailors who know how to right a boat. It's also impressive just how quickly a coach or parent will volunteer to right a boat with someone, especially a kid, drowning underneath it, pretty much regardless of what they are wearing, what the temperature is and what they have in their pockets... 

Cheers,

               W.

PS I'm focussing on two-man dinghies, here, mostly youth/junior ones, as that's where much of our activity is centred. I appreciate that bigger boats might need a different approach (and have no experience with bigger, multi-crew skiffs, for example).

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In the programs I am involved in, we don't sail trapeze boats, so that makes it simpler. Yeah, boring, but we get enough action for our simple wants.

Practice righting a capsized dinghy is VERY worthwhile. Long experience with racing dinghies is a big plus, good maneuvering skills with the coach boat is a necessity. I've pushed for more hands-on practice righting boats. We do practice capsizing in a swimming pool, and part of that is training our senior students in helping rescue others; right now all our coaches are old hands and tend to resist more practice for themselves. So I have to be diplomatic about this, we're all volunteers.

But one point I take away from all this, when it happens for real, the biggest way to see time slip away from you is to try a series of ideas that don't work.

- DSK

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The method with the line to the power boat was in a newsletter of the 49er/nacra association a year or longer ago... Can't find it right now, maybe @JulianBcan go into more detail on that?

Issue was, and is, that the 49er can be an absolute bitch to right when it is fully upside down. You can do it even alone, but it takes a long time... Too long, especially when another crewmember is trapped beneath and makes it even more difficult as well as pressing.

The method described above then was devised to flip the boat over as quickly and reliably as possible.(did some live tests to figure out options, including someone jumping into the water to help and found that that the line and motor power variant was reliably fast and could be repeated reliably often in similar timeframes) It helps that you can do it when you're alone as a coach.

Idea is that you approach and throw the line to the crew member still free who then loops it over the side and clips it into the shrouds opposite of the motor boat that then reverses with as much power as possible and dragging up the rig in a short time frame. The boat then flips on its other side which gives a window for the trapped sailor or ideally ends with him dangling in the air. Other crew quickly moving to get him clear or scambling onto the centerboard to keep the mast from going under again if at all possible.

May missrember some parts here. Julian?

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I haver no doubt there have been many un-reported incedents in 49ers.

The only one that I am fully aware of is the Magnbus Gravare one and in that instance, MY shrouds where cut by a super astute Honney Abascall (ESP coach, Gold Medalist (FD), all round super cool guy) and his insight saved Magnus's life.

Completely un-aware of rope/speed boat thread, but if I was in a RIB, and I was in that situation, going in tying a rope, etc etc, would simply be too long, I would be ramming the hull to get it to rotate fast.

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59 minutes ago, JulianB said:

 

Completely un-aware of rope/speed boat thread, but if I was in a RIB, and I was in that situation, going in tying a rope, etc etc, would simply be too long, I would be ramming the hull to get it to rotate fast.

I'm pretty sure this all came out of the 420 event and the trick was to have a rope with a snap hook already attached. So no knot tying. The rescue boat should be set up for the eventuality in advance. Snap it on, back away.

If there is a 49er document, it would be interesting to uncover it.

Ramming seems to involve some risk to the person somewhere unknown under the water and while the inertia of the rig in the water while you're pushing the boat about with the RIB might induce some tilt, there's a limit to what can be achieved before the rig interacts unfavourably with the RIB. And that all assumes the boat doesn't ride up over the hull instead of pushing it.

But the whole thing seems to work best in the situation (I understand) it was responding to when first thought about - a coach boat shepherding a closely bunched group of trainees. Where you are talking about a rescue boat operating on an extended racecourse, there's a whole lot of other time delays come into operation. And if just a passer by, it different again, since they usually won't even have a rescue line handy..

Our Fifteens also tend to turtle unless you get to the board fairly fast - more so if the capsize was downwind and the boom's in the air - and (like the 49ers are described as) are difficult to bring up to the horizontal quickly with just one person.

I'm not really wanting to cause argument. It is just a case of that 420 incident is definitely my nightmare happening. Every time we capsize, obviously the first question is "are you free". If the capsize is in a tack or gybe - which is most of the time - I can often get on the board as the boat goes over, leaving the crew in the cockpit to tidy up the boat for a righting while I try and stop it turtling.

But if there's any suggestion of entanglement, a whole lot of questions confront you...

  • If you get off the board to help them, the boat turtles/ turtles faster. What do you do (My default is to stay on the board and give them time)?
  • At what point do I change that approach
  • If they do go under, can you find them (you can't see them while standing far enough down the board to prevent a turtling, so must be voice led to the approximate location), can you identify what it is binding them (visibility can be poor, ropes are thin, they might be pulling at you in panic while you're trying to search their legs).
  • Will whatever knife is carried cut the line quickly enough
  • With gloved hands and in a panicky situation, how high of the risk of dropping the knife.

Of course, these very questions suggest that both crew should carry their own knife on their body, because the second person may not be positioned to rescue the other.

But them what is the right sort of knife?

I have a Gill Hook knife, but the scabbard it comes in is useless. The first one, attached to my trap belt, was dislodged from the scabbard and lost the first time I had to climb on the board. So that means it has to be carried in my lifevest pocket. How do I keep it in top conditions there (when the tendency is just to wash the vest and hang it to dry)[I know, the answer is to take it out and separately dry it... but...]. Will I be able to access it from the pocket, under my trap belt, while in the water in a stress situation.

Is there a better knife and if so how do you carry it on your person safely?

Can you use it safely around a struggling person?

I'm hoping all these things can be discussed and real life experiences - like Julian's - can be flushed out

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The right answer is probably to transition to the ball and slot design. I don't think that'll ever happen unless olympians can prove it is just as fast, though. I don't like the idea of mandating devices, that can lead to the rediculous over foamed uscg life jackets or the once proposed detachable hooks. The other important thing is training, to know that you can get tangled and that you need to remain calm to untangle. In flying, I was once mentored, you should wait at least a full second before acting on impulse. If you're under the boat, and under water, it may be a good strategy to take there as well. 

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This is on-topic but not directly relevant to the discussion so far.

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/capsize-and-full-inversion-of-self-righting-keelboat-rs-venture-connect-sail-number-307-with-loss-of-1-life

 Summary- if you are relying on a retractable keel, it needs to stay extended when you need it and those involved need to know that, how to achieve it and have practiced what to do if it doesn't.

Cheers,

              W.

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18 hours ago, JulianB said:

Completely un-aware of rope/speed boat thread, but if I was in a RIB, and I was in that situation, going in tying a rope, etc etc, would simply be too long, I would be ramming the hull to get it to rotate fast.

Looked around again and the RYA made a bulletin(not the first one with the incidents through the years) about it. Including your option of pushing the hull directly.

Found the difference between attaching a line to the shrouds and to the bow interesting. Where for the shrouds a crew needs to clip into the opposite side(see video) or afterwards motor around the hull before righting it. And the forestay being easy to reach in any case, issues with seastate aside, but only lifting the mast to 90° as far as I understood it.

Certainly explains the 420er rule regarding tow lines that they changed in... 2010 or so to that you not only have to carry it but must have it attached to the mast and secured semi permanently on the bow.(we usually used velcro)
I agree that all of these rely on prey rigged lines with quick carabiners on either the rib or dinghy.

 

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Good Stuff. To add to this. the topic of PFD comes up often. To wear or not to wear.

Personally I like a bit of flotation (buoyancy aid) that I can remove if necessary. Streamline and tight to the body minimizing any snagging on the boat.

Not a fan of the PFD inside of harness or rash guard over everything. I like the ability to shed gear quickly if needed.

Too much flotation can trap you in hazardous areas. Not enough can drown you.

It's also smart to have a knife on you. I have one mounted in it's sheath in the cockpit of my 14 and another on me.

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34 minutes ago, Irrational 14 said:

 

It's also smart to have a knife on you. I have one .......................... on me.

Just out of interest, what sort of knife do you carry on you and how/where

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We have a ceramic knife on the gantry

I have a basic folder in my pfd

 

the cowboy "clip the shroud, reverse like a maniac" approach is taught in US Sailing Instructor Level 2

It was developed after the young girl drowned in light air with the boat just falling over on top of her. the instructor and skipper went to the board but it took too long. Fucking tragic and I hate to think about it.

We practice the maneuver, using an older boat and with folks well clear. You could swamp the coachboat as well if a windy/choppy day but who cares?  We're using Whalers so they won't sink, a RIB would be better. My coaching backpack has the line and carabiner ready, I just connect it to the anchor point when we leave the dock, then take it home with me.

 

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22 minutes ago, Rambler said:

Just out of interest, what sort of knife do you carry on you and how/where

Spinlock knife. The pocket is sewn to my harness left shoulder strap. Easy to reach and tethered in case I drop it.

Adopted from my 18 footer buddy. Light, compact and inexpensive but effective at cutting if needed. The knife on my gantry is a dive knife in its own sheath with serrated blade and the workhorse of the bunch. Keep the Spinlock sharp for emergencies only.

 

spdwctrq.jpg

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I have an Allen Keyball harness and handles, very expensive, and one of them broke first time out, due to manufacturing defect, causing a capsize that broke my mast.  They replaced the faulty manufactured set easily enough, but I haven't been able to trust them again.  I remember it felt pretty good not having to think about the hook, or damaging the boat with the hook.  The product seemed to lack articulation for having the body relatively upright, and are a little bit hit and miss to hook on.  Am going to try again with them next year, once safety cover for races resumes, just to try and justify sunk cost.  I keep going back to a set of 20 year ild 2 position trapeze rings, and a 10 year old harness, and somehow it feels more secure.  Humans, eh?

I have no interest in detachable hooks due to expense and unreliability, they either seem too easy to detach accidentally, or hard to detach in an emergency.  (plus, spares cost more than winch handles, basterds) 

I keep a Spyderco folding knife in my PFD pocket always, but usually wear my PFD over my harness, making it hard to ditch.

Thanks for the thread, every day is a school day.

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I've looked at several of these videos. Back in my sailing instructor days (a long time ago), we used to approach the capsized boat from the side (tender perpendicular to the dinghy, motor away from the boat), move to the front of the tender, grab the shroud at the anchor plate, and either pull up on the shroud (laser II, 420)  or pass a line through the shroud, hold onto its free end, put the tender in reverse at very slow speed (larger boats, small cats). We would easily get the capsized dinghy on its side, then holding the mast at the base of the forestay, turn it into the wind from where righting it was trivial. At slow speed (idle forward or backward), operating the tender by standing in front of the console (power and stirring behind you) would also give you good visibility and access to the front and side of the boat while staying close enough to the console that unhooking from the dead-switch was not something that we would even consider doing. 

What was wrong with this method? I liked that you could remain in neutral and engage the motor only once far away from the capsized boat and that it did not require. a particularly powerful boat (9.9hp is what we had).  I never had to deal with entrapment (only kids panicking for being under the sails), so I may be missing something.

Regards,

Blaise

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1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

Yep, that's it.

Quick shout out to the kill cord thread in the main SA sub... where the risks of operating PBs adjacent to dinghies is being thrashed out in the context of a recent runaway rib incident.  I have to admit that as I watch this video, I'm looking nervously for a head popping up from under the boat(!). 

 I get the value of the technique (it's effective for righting stubborn Wayfarers at my local club), and I can see how it might be a good option to have practiced, but the thought of it being recommended as the go-to process to inexperienced rib drivers who have to maneuver quicky around a boat when there are known to be people in the water worries me. 

Thanks for reading,  sorry to bang on.

Cheers, 

              W.

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30 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

Quick shout out to the kill cord thread in the main SA sub... where the risks of operating PBs adjacent to dinghies is being thrashed out in the context of a recent runaway rib incident. 

Since it's relevant to the discussion, I'll link it here.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

Quick shout out to the kill cord thread in the main SA sub... where the risks of operating PBs adjacent to dinghies is being thrashed out in the context of a recent runaway rib incident.  I have to admit that as I watch this video, I'm looking nervously for a head popping up from under the boat(!). 

 I get the value of the technique (it's effective for righting stubborn Wayfarers at my local club), and I can see how it might be a good option to have practiced, but the thought of it being recommended as the go-to process to inexperienced rib drivers who have to maneuver quicky around a boat when there are known to be people in the water worries me. 

Thanks for reading,  sorry to bang on.

Cheers, 

              W.

I don't see it as the go to for capsize recovery, I let the kids figure that out themselves. It's more about emergency response. He was quick, I htink I saw 1 minute and change. I've gotten it down to 1:30

I need more practice

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Very obviously it is far better to be pro-active than re-active always.

Pro-active means you have some control on the out come.   Being re-activce, means you need to react to something you have little control over.

So as a designer, WRT the 29er, we have very few controls (2 per side, and one on the boom) and the ropes are keep very short.    The mainsheet is tied to the jib sheet so it is effectively continous and again is very short, plus its shock-corded into the center of the hull.  Spinnaker sheet is also continous, so none of the sheets has a loose end to go whipping around a limb.   As already noted, spin halyard/retractor is one continous rope and is fitted as std with a shock-cord take up system so it can't pig-tail.   Plus wire trapeze lines.

And when someone comes up with a good idea, such as synthetic shrouds that can be cut with a knife, then I take that seriously.    But all I can do is offer my support, it's up to the class to further the matter.

WRT clubs, my home club, NSC, part of the training program is the capsize drill, which has become a bit of a spectical and right of passage.   For-warned as in having gone through it once before take 99.999% of the stigma out of it when it inevitably happens again.

I have that many friends who don't use kill-cords and I just don't get that.    I'm not a stickler, but more a avid advocate of them, and I would use one 95% of the time, when I am at the controls of a open power boat.

Re prop gaurds, remember I'm not a coach, and rarely in close proximity of youth sailing, so I have rarely used them.    I have rarely used them because a) prersently I don't own a open power boat and the boats I use, the owners have not fitted them & b) they have not fitted them because most the the prop gurads are pretty crude and relatively expensive.

Maybe there is a opening there, a good looking efficent prop guard mass produced.   hmmmmm, you could sell it on saving props, the number of times you touch a rock.   

The problem is it will cost the same or a bit more than the prop.   the other problem is it will have to be aluminium, because 100% of outboard legs are aluminium, so if it's say Stainless you will get electrolysis, and it becomes a 2 year life span.

 Need to look into that and see whats possible.

                                jB

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Becasue outboard legs tend to hit things, on the boat ramp, being backed into parking spots, log in the water, etc etc.

All the ones I have seen are mangelled, and that is there biggest draw back, maintance.

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1 hour ago, JulianB said:

Becasue outboard legs tend to hit things, on the boat ramp, being backed into parking spots, log in the water, etc etc.

All the ones I have seen are mangelled, and that is there biggest draw back, maintance.

Yes

I've seen our club's one get mangled (plastic if I recall)

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10 hours ago, JulianB said:

Very obviously it is far better to be pro-active than re-active always.

.....

So as a designer, WRT the 29er, we have very few controls (2 per side, and one on the boom) and the ropes are keep very short.    The mainsheet is tied to the jib sheet so it is effectively continous and again is very short, plus its shock-corded into the center of the hull.  Spinnaker sheet is also continous, so none of the sheets has a loose end to go whipping around a limb.   As already noted, spin halyard/retractor is one continous rope and is fitted as std with a shock-cord take up system so it can't pig-tail.   Plus wire trapeze lines.

 

I'm not sure whether endless lines are better or not for entrapment.

Certainly while twin wiring, I find its easy for the jib/main sheet to get wrapped around my foot and because it is endless, a tug won't release it. Once its tightened up (which it always does) you have to bend in, pull the slack and then lift your foot to shake it off (all while bouncing over waves in 20 knots B))

And if you don't notice in time and take the loop around your foot across the boat in a tack on the wrong side of your trapeze line retaining shockcord, you're really cactus.

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Rambler, anything is possible, but the likelihood of a continuous line doing a nice hitch or a clove hick around a leg are infinitesimal smaller than a loose end.

And if they do, a small tug and it normally comes out.

But at the end of the day, be proactive, don't sit on your hands and wait for the next tragedy.    (I know you’re not, but in-action is sitting on your hands with your head in the sand)

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9 minutes ago, JulianB said:

 

But at the end of the day, be proactive, don't sit on your hands and wait for the next tragedy.    (I know you’re not, but in-action is sitting on your hands with your head in the sand)

Which is why I started this topicB)

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