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Chase boats - use your kill switches properly


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This may be elsewhere in these forums, but a quick search did not come up. Opti green fleeter tragedy in FL. 20’ chase boat was helping a sailor, operator fell into throttle and then off the boat. Boat hit we optis killing a 10 year old.  Those kill switches are a hassle until they save a life ..

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3 hours ago, robalex117 said:

Terrible.  I have started using a surf/paddleboard leash on my ankle.  Allows you to move around a bit more and use your arms.  Perfect application for a coach that might be leaning into a boat to help a sailor.

 

 

This is a good idea and used at our club too 

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1 hour ago, mustang__1 said:

There is a thread in dinghy anarchy. Sarasota youth sailing program is where I learned to race, and I'm absolutely gutted over the incident.

sorry to hear....:-(

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The kill switch can definitely save lives, and perhaps a point that will convince more people, will save embarassment.

For regattas and for programs, a big part of it arises in the attitude of the leaders. Detail oriented, able to positively motivate people to do their best (instead of slouching along), of course getting everything done right is complex and difficult.

Taking two minutes to do a "Kill Switch Drill" for safety/mark boats?

FB- Doug

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Damn, that sucks. Sad story.

Kill switches are now required by Tx law. We had a similar incident early this year while the optis were out. RIB pulled along side a pontoon boat, driver took the lanyard off his wrist (engine running) to tend the bow line. Slipped and landed on the throttle. RIB took off, did a few circles and ran right up the back off the pontoon boat. No injuries but a very close call. 

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I’m an AU racing coach. Juniors/Youths primarily. Years ago I stitched a 25mm loop of 6mm onto the lower right side  edge my Zhik life jacket. I put one of those fake Wichard 50mm snap shackles on our kill cord instead of those little metal clips. Hook the cord onto your life jacket is way more comfortable than ankle or wrist. I’ll give the leash a bit of thinking and a trial. 
 

As others have mentioned taking it off at the last moment before docking is a liability. 
 

I learned awhile back that the safest way to talk to the dinghy sailors or fix or shroud tow or swapping sailors in and out. Is to get them to go to what we call “safety position”. It’s the equivalent of a luffing start. They are on a starboard reach and let the sail out to slow/stop. It allows you to keep your hand on the throttle and prevents anyone from accidentally grabbing hold of it. Port is a nightmare. I never have someone go head to wind. 
 

Tragic that a kid got killed. It mystifies me why so few people get hurt water skiing/towing tubes. The drivers are often idiots and I’ve never seen a prop guard other than a sailing club rib or surf lifesaving rib. 
 

 

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