OCC Forums

Boat prep for a COB event


By Dick - 7 May 2023

Hi all,
On another venue, a COB situation came up and I wrote some thoughts on boat preparation beyond what is usual for a COB event which I thought I would share here.
I am a fan of the Lifesling, but not of their block & tackle to recover crew: too fussy and hard to set up and use, and to use, most would use a halyard (see below). It is also likely to be a lot of work, too much for many, to lift a dripping wet person in this way.
Since it likely to use a halyard, I purchased my main halyard and spare headsail halyard able to reach the water level plus a couple of feet where the COB can attach. Each halyard can reach a winch (and we have an EWincher to add to the ease of recovery). Further, our lifelines are attached with lashings rather than the usual turnbuckles and “D” shackles. This allows the lashings to be quickly cut with a knife always ready-to-hand and the lifelines dropped to the deck. In this way the COB only needs to be raised to deck level (and anything being dragged past and over lifelines gets hung up while coming up along the hull is smooth).
The article that kicked off these thoughts had crew fall overboard during the rescue. I suggest that in an emergency: any emergency, and counter-intuitively, the head-set for the swiftest response is to move slowly. Speed breeds anxiety, error, mis-steps and poor judgment. The other important prep is having practiced ahead of time so there is a bit of muscle and head memory.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy