Bad Times in Mobile

Sea Scouter

Anarchist
Sure, NASCAR requires all that stuff. And guess what? The cars most of us drive meet many of the same safety goals. Rollover protection, airbags, 3-point restraint, and gas tanks that survive inversion and are buried in the interior structure. My perspective is sailing on the Great Lakes. If you go in in June without a life jacket, you have only a few minutes. So I boil it down to two groups, those who understand the dangers of cold water immersion and those ignorant of the poor chances of survival. A little dramatic but pretty scientific->


 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
28,582
6,327
Kent Island!
The perspective is different when you sail in a place that is usually bathwater warm. Odds are if I fall in the water temp could be in the 80s. OTOH this mentality can creep into early season when the water is NOT warm yet. I always think a hot day around here in March or April gets people in a summer mode and the water might not yet be 50 degrees :eek:

 

Reht

Super Anarchist
2,758
6
Blanket statements about safety devices are just inappropriate. Conditions are different place to place, on SF bay or the great lakes in the spring, the water is cold. Certainly on the lakes in the spring it's cold enough that you will be dead in minutes with or without a PFD.

Different boats present differing safety concerns. The sailors who race in olympic classes tend to wear PFDs out of habit, plus there's nowhere to put the the things except on yourself and you're certainly not going to leave dock without it. On a 4ktsb in light air (say sub-10), warm weather and sailing in warm waters you likely won't be comfortable wearing one (it is an extra layer of insulation) and there is plenty of space below to put it for when you do need it (choosing a spot that is easily accessible and knowing how to get it on fast is another topic). The guys on the AC boats are wearing them as much as an impact vest as anything else, if you fall off a foiling cat at 40knts the few feet into the water, you're going to be hurting, their vest protects them. Try jumping out of a powerboat (which is basically at surface level) at 40knts and tell me the impact isn't to be concerned about. Or jump wildly off a 14m diving board (equivalently tall to a capsized AC72) and tell me that impact didn't hurt. I'm not terribly concerned about hitting the water at 40knts or falling 14m when I'm sailing a 22' boat.

In fact, we know that PFDs and tethers can be dangerous. Plenty of examples of people in PFDs in boats that capsize, they get trapped in the rig or under the hull and can't swim down against the flotation to get out, or does anyone remember the incident in Chi-Mac a few years ago when the deaths were attributed to being tethered to the boat when it went over and being unable to get the tether off?

Conditions are way to different, from the freezing cold great lakes in spring to the bathtub water in the tropics, from windless drifters to hurricanes, squalls, and any number of powerful weather, from inshore racing on small lakes to racing in the southern ocean. You just can't apply the same rules. Try telling a sailor on a small boat on an inland lake that they have to wear a PFD and harness and be tethered in for their local racing, they'll tell you you're being an idiot. Now go tell the same thing to the crews racing through storms in the ocean and they'd say "duh, why wouldn't you". There is a reasonable limit to how much you can regulate in this sport and at some point you have to let the sailors make their own decisions. I suggest everyone make sure they really understand rule 4 as well as some of the other rules in part 1 of the RRS.

 

Presuming Ed

Super Anarchist
11,065
233
London, UK
The sailors who race in olympic classes tend to wear PFDs out of habit, plus there's nowhere to put the the things except on yourself and you're certainly not going to leave dock without it.
Olympic level competition (esp at ISAF regattas) normally have an SI requiring PFDs be worn.

Eg. 2012 Olympic Games SIs.

2. Safety regulations

2.1. Athletes shall wear personal flotation devices at all times while afloat, except briefly while changing or adjusting clothing or personal equipment.
SWC Hyeres.

7 SAFETY REGULATIONS

...

7.2 Competitors shall wear personal flotation devices at all times while afloat, except briefly while changing or adjusting clothing or personal equipment.
 
2,689
0
I'm saying this chiefly from the perspective of limiting one's liability as a Race Committee, and also limiting one's personal liability as a race skipper if things go sideways.

YRA of Northern California has had this rule in the San Francisco Bay for a number of years and I haven't encountered one skipper or crew who complains about using a PFD when racing. Same goes for a number of sailing clubs around the country, and quite a few charter outfits. I am not saying that wearing a PFD will save your life in any and all situations... I'm just saying that it does make the sport safer, and so if there's the option of making things safer, why not do it?

If you really have that huge of a personal issue with wearing a PFD, then no one is going to personally force you to do it. I'm talking about putting these things in writing as an RC or deciding if, as a skip, you want to enforce a rule like this on your own team.

If anyone notices, everyone on an America's Cup team wears a PFD at all times while on the water. They don't complain and actually see this as an essential piece of safety kit. They also wear helmets. And don't complain. Most world and Olympic racers wear PFDs, all the time, even though they are sailing small boats/dinghies, quite often in 5 to 10 knots, and are fantastic athletes and excellent swimmers.

If it's blowing 5 to 10 knots, you can still have an idiot crash gybe and knock people off his or her boat. You can still have a drunken powerboater t-bone you going 15 kts, and you can sink. You can have your keel fall off and capsize. There is no end to the crazy and strange situations that can happen. Calm weather conditions don't mean a lack of risk. Wearing PFDs is a risk mitigation strategy that is fairly simple to implement.

FYI - our Ocean YRA has even more regulations and required safety kit, such as PFDs with crotch straps, lifelines, etc. Maybe these things will or will not save lives, but you can be sure that they will help limit the liability of the OA if things go wrong out there. Tethers are required to have on board but there is no requirement that people clip in.

Already being on my second or third life... I just prefer to do whatever is possible to make things as safe as possible when taking calculated risks, such as racing big yachts.
Oh blow it out your ass. Keep your left coast whack job feelings over there.
 

RKoch

Super Anarchist
14,865
350
da 'burg
Sure, NASCAR requires all that stuff. And guess what? The cars most of us drive meet many of the same safety goals. Rollover protection, airbags, 3-point restraint, and gas tanks that survive inversion and are buried in the interior structure. My perspective is sailing on the Great Lakes. If you go in in June without a life jacket, you have only a few minutes. So I boil it down to two groups, those who understand the dangers of cold water immersion and those ignorant of the poor chances of survival. A little dramatic but pretty scientific->

Big difference between cold water lakes and warm water bays in the heat and humidity down south. I've gotten heat-stroke during a summertime regatta on Mobile Bay having to wear a SI mandatory PFD, and jumping in the warm water was no relief.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
48,071
11,722
Eastern NC
Blanket statements about safety devices are just inappropriate.

AMEN !!!

..... ...

Conditions are way to different, from the freezing cold great lakes in spring to the bathtub water in the tropics, from windless drifters to hurricanes, squalls, and any number of powerful weather, from inshore racing on small lakes to racing in the southern ocean. You just can't apply the same rules. Try telling a sailor on a small boat on an inland lake that they have to wear a PFD and harness and be tethered in for their local racing, they'll tell you you're being an idiot. Now go tell the same thing to the crews racing through storms in the ocean and they'd say "duh, why wouldn't you". There is a reasonable limit to how much you can regulate in this sport and at some point you have to let the sailors make their own decisions. I suggest everyone make sure they really understand rule 4 as well as some of the other rules in part 1 of the RRS.
You can legislate training but you cannot legislate skills. You can make equipment mandatory but you cannot legislate good judgement.

It is impossible to buy "safety" on your Master Card. That is one thing that people constantly forget, although there is a large amount of lobbying/advertising trying to convince us all otherwise.

All boats are already required to have life jackets. That leaves it to the judgement of the crew and ultimately the skipper as to when they must be worn. I agree with Wing's point about issuing requirements in order to make sure everybody is on the same playing field... about reducing RC liability, I dunno but here in duh-Merrica anybody can sue anybody for anything, so ultimately it is up to a courtroom judge. Doesn't hurt to take steps demonstrating diligence.

Good life jackets are not really uncomfortable. Sure they are not what you'd wear to lounge on your back porch, but that's not the point! Not wearing a life jacket when you know you should, because it's uncomfortable, is like back in the days when people didn't wear seat belts because they were uncomfortable.

FB- Doug

 

Reht

Super Anarchist
2,758
6
Good life jackets are not really uncomfortable. Sure they are not what you'd wear to lounge on your back porch, but that's not the point! Not wearing a life jacket when you know you should, because it's uncomfortable, is like back in the days when people didn't wear seat belts because they were uncomfortable.
A PFD may be comfortable to wear shape-wise, but there's no getting around the fact that that it adds a layer of clothing/insulation. On a hot, muggy, windless day you don't want another layer of insulation, in fact you're probably at greater risk of heat stroke from wearing that PFD than drowning for not wearing it in those circumstances.

Mandating that the equipment be on board is fine by me, then the choice to use said equipment is up to the crew and at that point I would say the RC has done plenty. You can enforce taking equipment on board, it's a lot harder to enforce using the equipment (never mind using it properly).

 

Cement_Shoes

Super Anarchist
6,239
18
A to Z
watching the video of the sailboat under power in the storm pull out and try to put on those ridiculous type 2 orange lifejackets was eye opening for me.

i would not be against a rule that required sailors to start point to point races wearing a pfd. too many boats satisy the pfd coastguard requirement with a zipped bag of type 2 jackets that may or may not have a corroded zipper and be buried under other gear.

if sailors were required to wear their pfd even for the start the pfds would be ready to be worn again quickly and a lot more sailors would be inspired to get more useable wearable pfds.

we voluntarily enter races, if giving up the freedom to choose not to wear a pfd for 20 minutes at the start greatly increases the safety factor for all our fellow racers it is a reasonable trade-off for me.

 

surf nazi

Super Anarchist
I'm saying this chiefly from the perspective of limiting one's liability as a Race Committee, and also limiting one's personal liability as a race skipper if things go sideways.

YRA of Northern California has had this rule in the San Francisco Bay for a number of years and I haven't encountered one skipper or crew who complains about using a PFD when racing. Same goes for a number of sailing clubs around the country, and quite a few charter outfits. I am not saying that wearing a PFD will save your life in any and all situations... I'm just saying that it does make the sport safer, and so if there's the option of making things safer, why not do it?

If you really have that huge of a personal issue with wearing a PFD, then no one is going to personally force you to do it. I'm talking about putting these things in writing as an RC or deciding if, as a skip, you want to enforce a rule like this on your own team.

If anyone notices, everyone on an America's Cup team wears a PFD at all times while on the water. They don't complain and actually see this as an essential piece of safety kit. They also wear helmets. And don't complain. Most world and Olympic racers wear PFDs, all the time, even though they are sailing small boats/dinghies, quite often in 5 to 10 knots, and are fantastic athletes and excellent swimmers.

If it's blowing 5 to 10 knots, you can still have an idiot crash gybe and knock people off his or her boat. You can still have a drunken powerboater t-bone you going 15 kts, and you can sink. You can have your keel fall off and capsize. There is no end to the crazy and strange situations that can happen. Calm weather conditions don't mean a lack of risk. Wearing PFDs is a risk mitigation strategy that is fairly simple to implement.

FYI - our Ocean YRA has even more regulations and required safety kit, such as PFDs with crotch straps, lifelines, etc. Maybe these things will or will not save lives, but you can be sure that they will help limit the liability of the OA if things go wrong out there. Tethers are required to have on board but there is no requirement that people clip in.

Already being on my second or third life... I just prefer to do whatever is possible to make things as safe as possible when taking calculated risks, such as racing big yachts.
Oh blow it out your ass. Keep your left coast whack job feelings over there.
+ 1. Plus very interesting to note that wang on wang seems more concerned with liability than safety ( look at the first sentence of his/her post ). One of his/her earlier posts suggested putting a pfd requirement in the SI's but not enforcing it. This clearly shows his/her concern over the liability issues rather than safety issues.

How about we all take personal responsibility for our safety and those of our crew and wear pfds when we think necessary. How about more training ? Oh wait that stuff takes a lot more time and effort than just putting it in the SI's and as long as we're protected from liability who cares who dies or gets hurt.

Wang on wang , maybe your time would be better spent tweeting bruce jenner ? Leave us alone. thank you.

 

Rasputin22

Rasputin22
14,567
4,096
What is the "UU tragedy" ?

What is a "Florabama" ?

Not sure about the first one.

Second one:

http://www.florabama.com/

13035593-lg.jpg


86.jpg


And then on Sunday you got to get saved! They don't call this the Bible Belt for nothing...

image11.jpg


 

Ed Lada

Super Anarchist
20,181
5,827
Poland
What is the "UU tragedy" ?

What is a "Florabama" ?
UU is "Uncontrollable Urge", sailboat was racing off Cali in 2013, rudder broke and the boat ran aground on San Clemente island, one crew member was killed. A thread or two exists here somewhere.

 

Guitar

Super Anarchist
I sail Northern California and never go out on the bay without a PFD. Never. Stupid to not wear one. S - t - u - p - i - d. Got it. In my honest opinion, those that don't are just trimming up the gene pool.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

MisterMoon

Super Anarchist
2,700
454
I live and sail in the hot and humid South. Even so I'm wearing my PFD over 90% of the time unless it is really hot and almost windless. I get the southern boater's point that it really isn't practical for them to wear them at all times. However I have a hard time excusing anyone from not having a PFD on during the majority of the DIR where conditions were pretty fresh before the storm hit, with 18 knots gusting to 25+ for most of the event. And to not have your PFD on when a big squall line is clearly coming, I just don't know. Call me a pussy, I don't care.

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,199
841
Oregon
Already being on my second or third life... I just prefer to do whatever is possible to make things as safe as possible when taking calculated risks, such as racing big yachts.
Don't let these bastards wear you down. You make perfect sense and have made a good case. Sensible people get the message.

You can't fix stupid, esp. the belligerent and proud. Leave that to Darwin.

 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
48,071
11,722
Eastern NC
I live and sail in the hot and humid South. Even so I'm wearing my PFD over 90% of the time unless it is really hot and almost windless. I get the southern boater's point that it really isn't practical for them to wear them at all times. However I have a hard time excusing anyone from not having a PFD on during the majority of the DIR where conditions were pretty fresh before the storm hit, with 18 knots gusting to 25+ for most of the event. And to not have your PFD on when a big squall line is clearly coming, I just don't know. Call me a pussy, I don't care.

You pussy!

One of the benefits of a shallow draft boat: you can sail a lot of places where you don't need a lifejacket, you can just wade ashore!

BTW I got used to wearing a PFD all the time racing small tippy boats. Good habit to get in, just like wearing seat belts in cars.

FB- Doug

 

shaggy

Super Anarchist
10,224
1,126
Co
Sure, NASCAR requires all that stuff. And guess what? The cars most of us drive meet many of the same safety goals. Rollover protection, airbags, 3-point restraint, and gas tanks that survive inversion and are buried in the interior structure. My perspective is sailing on the Great Lakes. If you go in in June without a life jacket, you have only a few minutes. So I boil it down to two groups, those who understand the dangers of cold water immersion and those ignorant of the poor chances of survival. A little dramatic but pretty scientific->

Great lakes vary in temp a ton so don't make that blanket statement. Lake michigan in july can be bath water....

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,368
3,025
Sure, NASCAR requires all that stuff. And guess what? The cars most of us drive meet many of the same safety goals. Rollover protection, airbags, 3-point restraint, and gas tanks that survive inversion and are buried in the interior structure. My perspective is sailing on the Great Lakes. If you go in in June without a life jacket, you have only a few minutes. So I boil it down to two groups, those who understand the dangers of cold water immersion and those ignorant of the poor chances of survival. A little dramatic but pretty scientific->

Even last year which was some pretty cold water, I would hardly have called the June temps "you only have a few minutes" cold. Not even close. Even ten feet down, the water was low 60's by June last year.
 
Top