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Thread: Just a PFD reminder

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    I wear a PFD but my boat will happily sail off without me. Jezzebel. So, I also carry a PLB with GPS. Fire that bad boy off and they come a looking. Itís a big ocean out here.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    While your mind is being boggled, may I ask a couple of questions?

    1 - have you calculated the chance of a PFD saving you from drowning when boating?
    2- have you calculated how your chances of being saved by a PFD compare to your chances of being saved from death by using other forms of safety equipment, such as a helmet when you sit in a chair or in your car?
    3- have you ensured that you have taken correct action to address all the causes of death that are higher in probability than drowning?
    4- If not, why not? If we should wear a PFD to address a very slim chance of death, why not wear a helmet when walking or driving? It's probably more likely to save your life.
    5- How many hours per week do you spend in the water?
    6- Since USCG stats indicate that most drowning deaths are related to going overboard or capsizing, do you wear a harness at all times and use a boat that cannot capsize? If not, why criticise those who (for example) choose craft that self right and rarely capsize?
    7- If you choose to take on a hazardous career, can you really criticise those who have chosen safer careers for their decisions about risk?

    "Of 66 deaths in British shipping from 2003 to 2012, 49 were caused by accidents, which largely affected deck ratings. The fatal accident rate in British shipping increased by 4.7% per annum from 2003, although this was not significant (95% confidence interval: −5.1 to 15.6%). During 2003Ė12, the fatal accident rate in shipping (14.5 per 100 000) was 21 times that in the general British workforce, 4.7 times that in the construction industry and 13 times that in manufacturing."

    Your career has a much higher death rate than mine. I'm not denigrating your choice of career. Why denigrate those of us who spend lots of time in the water without a PFD (surfing, bodysurfing, swimming etc) and also have an approach to risk that is based on addressing major dangers and not minor ones?
    Chris249,
    You poor sole.
    I can see a PFD isn't going to help you.
    Carry-on.
    -Tom

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Can't say I always wear a PFD, however, when fishing alone it is ALWAYS worn, Hamilton Marine had the Kent automatic inflatable PFD's on sale at the boat show for 99.00 with their show coupon for 20.00 off if you spent 100.00, so if you added a 5.00 badger paint brush the life jacket was 80.00 bucks. good cheap insurance in my book.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    Chris249,
    You poor sole.
    I can see a PFD isn't going to help you.
    Carry-on.
    -Tom
    Not the best or most polite reply to a post that asked for objective information.

    I still can't see why the concept of objectively assessing the risk, and then seeing its probability compared to other risks when considering what protection to wear, is so difficult.
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  5. #75
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    So I found 6 type 1s for sale on gumtree for $50 for the whole lot. I bought them and duly stowed them in a locker up forward. At least I'm legal now.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    I noticed today that most of the Australian ads promoting the purchase and use of PFDs show people, including young kids, in the sun without hats. Your chances of dying from unprotected sun exposure are about ten times your chances of dying on a boat. The irony....
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  7. #77
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Bulky and uncomfortable, thereby restricting movement.
    they arenít like a snug neoprene suit or comfy wool sweater but somehow the dinghy sailors and kayakers Iíve been with donít look inhibited in their athletic movements.

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    warm air and water

    http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/f...628-story.html

    Natural Resources Police and Anne Arundel County Fire Department reported three water-related incidents in Wednesday’s windy, stormy weather.

    At 8:15 p.m., rescue crews suspended their search for a man they said fell overboard between Kent Narrows and Herrington Harbor South, NRP spokeswoman Candy Thomson said. The other occupant of the 40-foot cabin cruiser the man fell from called 911 at 2:45 p.m., Thomson said.

    Four boats from NRP, county fire and the Coast Guard and three helicopters from NRP, the Coast Guard and Maryland State Police looked for the man Wednesday and will resume their search Thursday morning, Thomson said.

    He is wearing blue shorts and a dark shirt with no life jacket, Thomson said.

    http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/f...524-story.html

    Jose Gilberto Loza Ramirez, 21, and another man were working for Prestige Yacht Management when they used a kayak in an attempt to recover a floating platform that had become loose, a Maryland Natural Resources Police spokesman said. Neither man was wearing a life vest when the kayak overturned.

    Candy Thomson, a resources police spokesperson, said the investigation into the death of Ramirez is continuing.

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    "Investigators determined the men capsized in the 45-degree water. There was a small craft advisory that day with 20 mph winds and gusts of up to 50 mph. Waves were between one and two feet." The other incident occurred in "windy, stormy weather."

    45 degrees isn't warm water compared to what some of us sail on. Secondly, I don't think anyone here has said that people shouldn't wear PFDs in a small borrowed craft in 50 knot gusts on cold water. That has nothing to do with messing about in calm water in a warm place.

    Thirdly, we don't know how these unfortunate victims could fare in the water. For example, have they spent many years surfing? Have they routinely spent an hour or two body-surfing in big waves? Do they snorkel and regularly clean their hulls? Are they at home in the water, fit, strong and experienced open water swimmers?We also don't know whether a PFD would have saved them - after all, about 13% of drowning victims are wearing PFDs.

    It's a huge jump to imply that because tragedies occurred to person A, person B will be in significant danger that will be alleviated if they wear a PFD. For example, many people would be at risk of repeat capsizes, exhaustion and head injuries if they step onto a Laser or onto a Windsurfer in 25 knots of breeze, whereas many other people are in no real danger using those craft in the same conditions. If my mother in law gets into trouble sailing a Laser in 25 knots it doesn't mean that Tom Slingsby will be significantly safer if he wears a PFD sailing a Laser on the same warm day.

    Similarly, I regularly used to swim off my boat when it was moored in a fast-flowing river. I once had to rescue a guy who had jumped in off the boat two moorings down. I did it for hours at a time and never had a moment's worry (it's far safer than surfing or body surfing) and he almost died the only time he did it. So how can anyone claim we were both at the same level of risk when in the water? The fact that I would wear a rope climbing some routes does not mean that a competent or expert freeclimber has to.

    I wear a PFD when dinghy racing and have done so all my life. It's still a bit of a PITA. It's far less comfortable than wearing a bicycle helmet when walking down the street or when sitting at my table, which both appear to be roughly similar to sailing in terms of actual risk. So if you and I are going to wear a PFD when gently sailing down my local bay 100m from shore in warm water, logically you and I should probably both wear a bicycle helmet when walking, when driving to work, and when on this forum. So when are the advocates for almost universal PFD use going to start wearing comparable protective equipment whenever they face a comparable risk? If no, why not?


    PS - When windsurfing in 35-45 degree water, I wear a thick full length wetsuit, two wetsuit vests, a wetsuit helmet, wetsuit gloves, one or two layers of wetsuit boot, and a PFD. Even then the shock is massive. That's utterly different to water that one happily jumps into wearing a wetty vest or just boardshorts.
    Last edited by Chris249; 06-29-2018 at 01:10 AM.
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  10. #80
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    they aren’t like a snug neoprene suit or comfy wool sweater but somehow the dinghy sailors and kayakers I’ve been with don’t look inhibited in their athletic movements.
    I must be wrong about how they feel when I wear them. My bad.

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    I wear a life jacket because I have conducted a risk analysis. I drive a car and use a seat belt and the car has air bags and designed crash crumple areas etc. I was taught and practice defensive driving. These are are my risk controls.

    I do not ride a motorbike because I assess the risk as too high. The risk mitigation’s are not sufficient.

    When working with wood I wear ear plugs and mask. Where I cane I use a plane etc. Using epoxy I do it outside for ventilation and wear long sleeves and gloves. These are my risk controls.

    I sail an 80 year old boat. I navigate using chart, compass, trailing log and sometimes sextant for ranging. My nav lights are oil.

    I also have an Epirb, flares, torch, fire extinguisher, radio and a hand held gps with charts for 1000 miles either side of my sailing grounds. I wear a PLB and an inflatable life jacket. I check in with Marine rescue when I leave and return. Anyone coming on my boat gets a brief onwhere things are, how to use the life jacket they have to wear etc. These are my risk controls.

    I sailed dinghies for years and wore a life jacket. Nice comfy thing that saved my ribs a few times as I came off the trapeze. It also made life simpler bringing the boat upright after capsize as I could float without thinking about the swimming thing.

    Inflatables are a dream. Hopped in my car and my wife wondered if the car was going to sink? Still had my jacket on and didn’t realise it.

    The technology is there. It’s clever and light years from what used to be. Why wouldn’t you use it? Because you think someone might MAKE you? Because you don’t look cool? Because you can’t drown? Your risk assessment says chances are that nothing will happen? Fair enough.

    My boat, my rules. Your boat your rules. The loyal toast on my boat is sitting down as we can’t stand. Yours may vary.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    " . . . about 13% of drowning victims are wearing PFDs." [#79]

    Does the fact that 87% of those who drown say anything about the odds?

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiquita View Post
    The technology is there. It’s clever and light years from what used to be. Why wouldn’t you use it? Because you think someone might MAKE you? Because you don’t look cool? Because you can’t drown? Your risk assessment says chances are that nothing will happen? Fair enough.
    Nope, none of those reasons. Because my risk assessment says that the risk of drowning is normally extremely low. In fact the risk of a PFD-preventable drowning to Australian yachties is about one in 380,000 per year. So what other things do you do to avoid similarly small risks?

    It's twice as likely that you and I will die falling down stairs - do we wear protective gear when we go walking to guard against that greater risk? Our US counterparts have about a one in 30,000 chance of being shot each year - do they wear bulletproof vests to guard against that greater risk? Their chances of dying while pedestrians are six times as high as our chance of being lost because we don't wear a PFD - do they wear helmets and body armour to guard against the greater risk?

    I chose both our cars based on their high safety ratings, work hard on my fitness, wear a safety harness a lot, and I'm probably one of the very few people who regularly tests their ability to get back on board their own boat unaided after an hour's swimming. I'm paranoid about safety in many respects, however the objective data indicates that the risk is very low. Your judgements may differ but I'm not casting aspersions on your choices - for example I'm not implying that you wear a PFD because it looks salty and sailor-ish.

    I don't often leave my PFD off because I ignore the risks, I do it because I have spent my life being aware of the risks, how small they are, and why it is not logical to criticise people for not taking certain precautions against extremely low-odds events, when we do not use similar gear to protect us from much greater risks.
    Last edited by Chris249; 06-29-2018 at 06:43 AM.
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  14. #84
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    " . . . about 13% of drowning victims are wearing PFDs." [#79]

    Does the fact that 87% of those who drown say anything about the odds?
    No, because of basic statistics and analysis. For example Tink gave us an annual UK breakdown of drownings. Of those who drowned, 106 (!) were walkers or runners - I assume that we are not going to claim that they should have worn PFDs while strolling or jogging. We have no knowledge of how many walkers and runners ended up in the water in similar situations and got out with no PFD and nothing but wet clothes. It is difficult to see how such drownings are relevant to sailing.

    Ten deaths occurred while in the bath - surely we can assume that we are not going to campaign for PFDs in the tub, or claim that they are relevant to sailing. Sixteen were SCUBA divers who should have been wearing PFDS and probably were. Ten were in cars, for heaven's sake - are we seriously claiming that they should have been wearing PFDs and that drowning in a car is relevant to drowning while boating in good conditions? Ten people died while angling, seven while commercially working, one while climbing, 44 while swimming or messing about the in water, and a grand total of two while sailing.

    It is reasonable to assume that other nations follow similar patterns. Any proper assessment of the risks of drowning while sailing must discount the car drivers, the swimmers, the climbers, the cyclists, the fishermen, the commercial workers and the others who were did not wear a PFD but were not in the same situation as sailors. To imply that the people who drowned while walking, driving or cycling are relevant to a decision about PFD use when sailing appears to be stretching an enormously long bow.

    We also don't know how many people who are around the water wear PFDs. I would wager that the percentage of possible drowning victims (and as Tink's figures show, that includes cyclists, motorists, walkers, rock climbers and people in the bath) who wear PFDs is very, very low - therefore PFD wearers may be OVER-represented in drownings. Unless we adjust for such factors, mere percentages are largely useless.

    The basic odds in Australia appear to be that about 1.6 out of 380,000 yacht sailors die each year from drowning, and perhaps half of those would not have been saved no matter what they were wearing. We are therefore dealing with less than one chance in 380,000 per year that we will possibly drown. That sits far, far lower than other factors we should be worrying about.

    I also note that getting into the water from a sailing craft is something many of us do regularly, in various ways at various times. Sometimes it's for a swim, sometimes it's while crashing a skiff, cat or windsurfer at 25 knots. I've spent lots of time falling off an inverted windsurfer 20 ft in the air after stuffing up jumps, and crashing into 10 foot breaking surf. This is not like crashing a car, which very few people do regularly and for fun. The forces are also enormously smaller.

    The strange thing is that although I have asked the question many times, no one has told me what similar protective gear they wear to protect themselves against similar risks. I see from the portraits on signatures that many people seem to expose themselves happily to the far greater risk of death through skin cancer. Others run around on capsizable small boats, which are way over-represented in the death toll. Why is all that fine and choosing to not wear a PFD in good conditions on a large boat not fine, since arguably the statistical risk involved in not wearing a PFD is far smaller?
    Last edited by Chris249; 06-29-2018 at 06:51 AM.
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  15. #85
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Firstly, I'm not a safety fundamentalist. The picture of me here was taken by Emily during a Moffett Cup race. The course is usually fifteen to twenty miles around Vinyard Sound and Nantucket Sound in seaworthy boats ably crewed to handle the often boisterous conditions. The took to requiring PFDs after one very fine and much revered took a tumble during a race and was not found in time. A swimmer does not show up well in steep chop with many white caps. Despite this good practice, most of time I am out sailing I am not wearing a PFD if the weather is at all nice.

    It's just that sometimes pontifications justifying the non-use of PFDs soound like the myriad reasons people cook up for not wearing a seat belt or motorcycle helmet. Risky behavior is risky behavior. Sometimes the fun is worth it. I view each of my many back pains and massive spinal and hip arthritis as honorably earned wounds fall off horses or mountains or trees. Each ache is also a grand memory. And of course neither a PFD nor helmet would have helped me in those moments of sudden deceleration.

    But gratuitous risk is dumb. Due to limitations of rig and design, Marmalade has no lifelines. I always have jacklines laid and always tether on if I go on deck. And my very comfortable PFD is on when conditions warrant.

  16. #86
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    90% of the time I’m sailing solo. The PFD goes on before I leave the dock. The inflatable types are comfortable, so much so I’ve gotten to the car a couple times and realized I’d forgotten to take it off.

    Then again I don’t drive without a seatbelt, and when I rode a motorcycle I always wore a helmet.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    An interesting discussion--interesting in how strongly emotions become engaged for most people when discussing PFD use. It seems like many people are afraid of the water, and it is that fear which comes out in the "always wear a PFD" responses. Fair enough--I'll never argue that someone ELSE should avoid wearing a PFD. But I think an objective discussion ought to recognize that some fears are rational, and others, to some degree at least, may NOT be rational. And not all of us experience the same level of fear--nor should we.

    For some reason, fears about water are far more powerful than fears about other things that are actually, measurably, objectively, FAR more dangerous, as Chris has pointed out in his posts--car crashes, falling down stairs, etc. That's because fear of drowning is linked to breathing. Be without air for just minutes (at most) and you are dead. Be without air for a few seconds, and most people become very uncomfortable. So our bodies and brains have a LOT of incentive to make us afraid so we avoid those situations that are most threatening.

    Personal comfort level involving fitness, skill, and training and familiarity with learning to be comfortable being in the water in challenging conditions vary wildly among different people. We are evolved to be terrestrial mammals. All of our instincts, translated to a watery environment, are wrong. We lift our heads instinctively, causing our legs to sink and our bodies to go vertical, which greatly increases the risk that our heads will go under, and makes comfortable in-water balance impossible. We become panicky and fearful--not because it is APPROPRIATE to be fearful, but because we have not learned how to be comfortable, at which point irrational fears fade and judgments become more objective.

    Being comfortable in the water for long periods without a PFD is learned, skilled behavior. Not many people learn it. Those of us who HAVE learned this view the PFD debate very differently. I still have a healthy respect for water, especially COLD water. I have, however, moved past my initial discomfort and emotion-based fears. My risk assessment is for ME. I don't want to impose it on anyone else.

    I do find it discouraging, though, that some of the "always wear a PFD" proponents are dismissive of anyone who disagrees, however rational or appropriate to that individual such disagreements are. I suspect that's because, for anyone who has not developed a basic level of comfort and experience in the water without a PFD (comfortable as in, swim for miles unaided in rough water, tread water easily with no hands, etc), then it must be almost impossible to imagine that any response other than "always wear a PFD" could ever be appropriate. It must be impossible to imagine how it feels to be as comfortable and relaxed in the water as experienced open water swimmers learn to be.

    Fear is a powerful thing. It impairs judgment and makes objective discussion difficult.

    Everyone should make their own informed decisions about PFD use. It does no harm to be overly cautious. It also does no good. For those who are experienced and comfortable in the water without a PFD, the second part of that equation figures into decisions along with the first.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  18. #88
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Well said, Tom.
    It always amazes me that people gravitate (sanctimoniously) to easy to wear PFDs that make them incapable of doing much to self rescue themselves in a capsize. Cold water is a more pressing issue here, and floater suits (which qualify as PFDs) are great for warmth and dexterity. In the warmer weather a comfortable PFD vest is nice (and acts as a PFD enforcer repellant); but the dogmatism of some, is tiresome.

  19. #89
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    PFD's regulations are for nanny state politicians who think people cant swim. As Chris says its all horses for courses, sailing at night on boat with no lifelines in a freezing 40 plus knot blow- yep. Summers day rowing to shore- naaah. Old fat sandal wearing bolger boat afficionado yep, young fit 49er sailor on Sydney harbour naah. Look at that tragedy with John Fisher, fully crewed boat with the most modern tech, pfd etc etc, not a chance. From what I understand of US culture you guys believe in law and order, heavy policing etc as a way to solve all problems. Fortunately we still have a modicum of freedom here to choose our form of demise
    whatever rocks your boat

  20. #90
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    I don’t wear a PDF because of regulations

    accident
    noun

    • 1.
      an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.


      synonyms: mishap, misfortune, misadventure, mischance, unfortunate incident, injury, disaster, tragedy







  21. #91
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    I don’t wear a PDF because of regulations

    accident
    noun

    • 1.
      an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.


      synonyms: mishap, misfortune, misadventure, mischance, unfortunate incident, injury, disaster, tragedy



    It's interesting to note that airlines generally don't believe in "accidents." Events have causes. Actions have predictable results. So perhaps it pays more to practice routines that lead to desired results, and avoid or modify behaviors that lead to undesired results. In other words, it may be more effective to learn to stay safely aboard, and rigorously practice the routines that enable us to do so, than to only worry about wearing a PFD in all situations.

    Tom



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    www.tompamperin.com

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Those same politicians who would make it compulsory to wear a PFD have just outlawed 2 stroke motors in Australia. For chainsaws, whipper snipers, outboards, mowers etc. Some nunce head who did a study claims it will save something like 45 billion $ in health care costs over the next 20 years. Must be assuming people completely stop using chain saws whipper snappers mowers and outboards I reckon. I hate this sort of feel good stupid regulation.

    And yet I'm convinced that regulations requiring seat belts in cars, child restraints for infants, crash helmets on motorbikes, banning asbestos etc etc are a good thing. There you go.

  23. #93
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Strewth! No two strokes. That's a bit broad brush. No point in wearing a PFD then, the rescue boats won't be able to get parts to maintain their two stroke engines and will not show up. Better wear a weight belt, that way if I fall off the inevitable outcome will be over with sooner.

  24. #94
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Not the best or most polite reply to a post that asked for objective information.

    I still can't see why the concept of objectively assessing the risk, and then seeing its probability compared to other risks when considering what protection to wear, is so difficult.
    I can see your displeasure in my reluctance to engage your confrontational, argumentative nature.
    I won't be drawn in to your nonsensical chasm but I thank you for enthusiasm.
    May I ask: What is your life mission, what do you stand for?

    Fair Winds

  25. #95
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    [/LIST]

    It's interesting to note that airlines generally don't believe in "accidents." Events have causes. Actions have predictable results. So perhaps it pays more to practice routines that lead to desired results, and avoid or modify behaviors that lead to undesired results. In other words, it may be more effective to learn to stay safely aboard, and rigorously practice the routines that enable us to do so, than to only worry about wearing a PFD in all situations.

    Tom



    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    In Scuba diving we talk about an incident pit. Something very minor happens, you get distracted and something else happens until a chain of events lead to a big incident. I am confident of my abilities and know that I will be able to make good decisions and have the ability to keep things on track. Sailing however is dynamic sport and the weather changes, gear breaks and people get tired. I have no way of controlling those events other than stopping which isn’t always an option. I know what to do it all these events but when they start compounding on top of one another life becomes more complex.

    I understand that being a strong swimmer is good but twice I have been in the water (once scuba diving) where the spray made it impossible to face upwind and the only option was to lie with the back of my head upwind and my mouth and nose in the lee. A PDF gives you time to recover in these situations and then make a plan.

    On a side issue, the little pocket on the front. Very good for socket sachets of the high energy gels that have become widely available for cyclists, and great for fighting fatigue in tough situations.

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    young fit 49er sailor on Sydney harbour
    Actually, those guys are prime candidates for needing a PFD. They sink like rocks if they exhale. The PFD gives them the buoyancy to deal with the capsized boat, instead of worrying about staying above water.

    I used to have that kind of density. I float a lot better now, but the PFD is a habit.

  27. #97
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    Actually, those guys are prime candidates for needing a PFD. They sink like rocks if they exhale. The PFD gives them the buoyancy to deal with the capsized boat, instead of worrying about staying above water.

    I used to have that kind of density. I float a lot better now, but the PFD is a habit.
    I've always been a sinker. As a result, just treading water takes a lot more effort than for most people. With a PFD, if I unexpectedly find myself in the water I can bob around and not use any energy just trying to stay afloat. That gives me time to think things through and leaves both my hands free to do whatever needs done.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by cracked lid View Post
    I've always been a sinker. As a result, just treading water takes a lot more effort than for most people. With a PFD, if I unexpectedly find myself in the water I can bob around and not use any energy just trying to stay afloat. That gives me time to think things through and leaves both my hands free to do whatever needs done.
    Leaving the hands very as a very valid point, the whatever needs doing could be someone that needs rescuing

  29. #99
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    Default Re: Just a PFD reminder

    Sinkers of the world unite. I went down like a stone in salt water even with lungs full. Finally in my later forties I began getting enough fat to overcome my bone density.

  30. #100
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    South Australia and Tasmania
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    15,269

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    I sink too. Although not quite with my lungs full of air. But even still I'm so dumb and pigheaded I just flat out refuse to wear a PFD.


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