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Thread: Always have a life preserver

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    Used to be called "horse sense", Not too many of them around either.
    No way am I taking a horse in my dinghy.

    I pretty much agree with Chris. Easy for a Coroner to say that the drowned man was not wearing a life jacket, so life jackets should be mandatory on all boats at all times. And while we are at it, yes indeed, a torch, an anchor, flares, a personal epirb, etc etc, it's all for safety's sake after all, how can that be bad. But it is bad, it's a terrible, horrible blight, an infringement of freedom, and in reality, downright silly. I was going to say stupid, but that would be disrespectful. It's also pointless and counter productive for all the reasons Chris mentions.

    Funny that this is a discussion about life jackets. In the OP no one fell out of the boat, no one drowned. Crash helmets might have been useful. Hmmmm.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post

    In the OP no one fell out of the boat, no one drowned. Crash helmets might have been useful. Hmmmm.
    Any close call is huge warning of a problem. Everyone in the boat could have easily died with a slight change in the dynamics of the crash. In this case pfd's would only slightly mitigate the hazards.

    Unfortunately I suspect the captain and crew continue to operate in the same hazardous manner. Old dogs and new tricks etc.gets proven all to frequently.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Any close call is huge warning of a problem. Everyone in the boat could have easily died with a slight change in the dynamics of the crash. In this case pfd's would only slightly mitigate the hazards.

    Unfortunately I suspect the captain and crew continue to operate in the same hazardous manner. Old dogs and new tricks etc.gets proven all to frequently.
    Yes. Thus my suggestion that the OP at least follow up with the captain to discuss the incident and determine if it led to any change in their practices. Which I think would be the most significant action that could come out of all this. We aren't the people most at risk. The next group of passengers is.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    With respect (honestly) what's the worst that can happen if you lose a lanyard-less rowlock, in a narrow calm waterway? And how often does one anchor when rowing to a yacht?Obviously there are waterways where these things are important, but in many areas such items and others such as warm clothes are not normally needed.
    As I wrote:

    Our little local river seems to claim a life most years, and has claimed several friends, but because they drown from dinghies they don’t make it into the “yachting deaths” figures.

    It's a long time since I lost a lanyard-less rowlock; I followed the standard advice and made a loop of marline through the socket and round the oar, having a bit of marline and a knife on me. It just about worked enough for me to get ashore. Lesson learned.
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  5. #75
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    There seems to be some confusion about the difference between a commercial vessel and a pleasure vessel.
    If you are on a pleasure boat there is no requirement for you wear a lifejacket....you are free to choose when and where to wear one. I do not think it should be regulated. I largely choose to, but I understand all the arguments people make for not wearing a PFD.

    A commercial venture is different. If you fly commercially, the aircraft owner and the flight crew are responsible for your wellbeing. When you decide to fly you should not be expected to accept part of the risk. Same thing on a vessel. You may not have training or experience. You depend on the crew for their knowledge, training and experience and good judgment. The regulating authority, be it the USCG or TC or MCA etc make regulations regarding the vessel and its outfitting, and the competence of the master and crew. These regulations are generally not just for fun, they have been developed because there has been a problem in the past. It is worth noting the requirements in the different authorities are actually pretty similar.
    with regards to the OP, Transport Canada requirements...the passenger vessel is inspected annually and must meet standards of construction and outfitting. The Master and crew must have training and certification as per the regulations. TC requires life saving equipment for the vessel for the whole compliment of passengers and crew, and location of safety and fire fighting equipment must be in accordance with the regulations to be available at all times. The Master and crew are required to conduct a passenger safety briefing prior to departure (just like a passenger aircraft). This is all because the passengers are not there to accept part of the risk of the voyage. In most cases the passengers have no training, knowledge or experience and would be unable to deal effectively with an emergency.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Yes. Thus my suggestion that the OP at least follow up with the captain to discuss the incident and determine if it led to any change in their practices. Which I think would be the most significant action that could come out of all this. We aren't the people most at risk. The next group of passengers is.
    Unfortunately the window of opportunity has passed for any worth while action. Reporting the incident to the appropriate authority immediately would have been the only way to force corrective actions. This was a near death experience for all these folks whether they realized it or not. It should have been reported.

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    I am a hard core PFD wearer. Always when I'm sailing a dingy, and almost always when canoeing or rowing. The only time I might stow it, is on a really hot calm day, when the water is comfortable for swimming. When sailing cruising boats in the San Juans, we almost never took them off if we were above deck, except perhaps at anchor.

    Our dogs wear them too, though it is more for visibility and to aid in getting them back on board.

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Always wearing a lifejacket is fine and dandy for the weekender.

    You won't find many people who cross oceans while wearing a life jacket the whole time.

    Our world is so ultra sanitized of all risk. We all draw the line somewhere. A pro operation like the OP has much greater responsibilities and should have known better. On my personal boat it is a different story.

    However, I will never take the dinghy without throwing one in the bottom in case of capsize.

    BTW, better wear a pfd at anchor too as plenty of people have drowned at anchor. If you must live in fear.

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    In Canada, Coast Guard regulations for a small boat requires 1 PFD per person, a paddle, a bailer made of plastic or metal or a hand pump, an efficient sound making device, a white light if out after sunset, a 50 ft floating line and an anchor and I forget how much rode. If you wear the PFD, you don't need the anchor. Pretty strong encouragement to wear the PFD.

    I follow Ski-Patroller's PFD wearing policy. Sometimes, I guess I should carry an anchor...

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Always wearing a lifejacket is fine and dandy for the weekender.

    You won't find many people who cross oceans while wearing a life jacket the whole time.

    Our world is so ultra sanitized of all risk. We all draw the line somewhere. A pro operation like the OP has much greater responsibilities and should have known better. On my personal boat it is a different story.

    However, I will never take the dinghy without throwing one in the bottom in case of capsize.

    BTW, better wear a pfd at anchor too as plenty of people have drowned at anchor. If you must live in fear.
    I don't know what you mean by "the whole time", but on my boat you will wear one - combined with a harness - whenever you are on deck and the boat is under way, and you will clip on if on watch by yourself or if leaving the cockpit. The modern designs like the Spinlock ones are not at all uncomfortable or awkward. And you will most certainly wear one in the dinghy.
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  11. #81
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    If one chooses not to wear a seat belt while in a car.
    not wear a helmet while cycling,
    or not wear a PFD when boating,
    that's up to them.
    However, as a retired marine first-responder, I think they are fools.
    And half of them are drunk fools.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    I've always used what I hope is a "common sense" approach toward PFDs. Racing..they'e on...period. Daysailing I take a more conditional approach and allow people in the cockpit to simply have them available, but if they leave the cockpit they put them on. Offshore is "racing" rules with the addition of a tether which is worn outside the cockpit at all times and inside the cockpit if the weather's up or at night. I've done deliveries on boats that move quickly enough that they'll waltz right out from under you in the wrong conditions and it'd be really embarrassing to watch the boat do a crash stop because I wasn't clipped when the boat twitched. Dinghies I wear a PFD all the time.

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    I've always used what I hope is a "common sense" approach toward PFDs. Racing..they'e on...period. Daysailing I take a more conditional approach and allow people in the cockpit to simply have them available, but if they leave the cockpit they put them on. Offshore is "racing" rules with the addition of a tether which is worn outside the cockpit at all times and inside the cockpit if the weather's up or at night. I've done deliveries on boats that move quickly enough that they'll waltz right out from under you in the wrong conditions and it'd be really embarrassing to watch the boat do a crash stop because I wasn't clipped when the boat twitched. Dinghies I wear a PFD all the time.
    Yup, same rules.
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  14. #84
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    There is a fair number of people who have been found and picked up, even from boats offshore. For a single hander I suppose it would just prolong the agony. Certainly most offshore people I know normally wear a good harness pretty much all the time when on deck.
    "If you must live in fear." What kind of statement is that? belittling folks that wear protective clothing....Is it somehow diminishing to wear hearing protection in loud places, or to forgo safety glasses when using power tools that may throw particles?
    For pleasure boats I do not think wearing lifejackets or PFD's should be regulated. There are too many variations in boat form and size and sailing area. The regulations would be complex and un-readable. Further the regulations would be almost un-enforceable.....PFD/Lifejackets should be carried.
    Commercial vessels as discussed earlier are different.

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    I'll just note that boats are to the British what guns are to the Americans: unregulated and protected in that status by a powerful lobbying body (not that the RYA is that similar to the NRA).

    I don't think any purpose is served by any regulation of pleasure boating. We have none, for boats below 45ft, but we don't seem to have more accidents than the French or the Americans or the Japanese, all of whom are regulated to death.
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  16. #86
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    We are regulated to death, and it is stupid, annoying and useless. It's probably part of the reason I prefer not to wear a life jacket. I got my boat licence a couple of years ago, after sailing for 50 years or so. It pissed me off no end but I finally thought, why pay insurance if the bastard insurer is going to turn around and deny cover because the skipper is unlicensed. So finally, and reluctantly, in preparation for a sail from Tasmania to South Australia, yes, I sat the test and got the bloody thing. A couple of months ago I saw some cheap life jackets for sale, used, so I bought them. 5 for $50. Still in their wrappers and not coming out. We have a few others on board. But they don't get used. I've tried wearing a tether. Bloody nightmare. Most dangerous thing I've ever done on a boat. A boat our size, 50 feet, is required to carry a life raft in South Australia. I have one, but it's years out of survey. Have to get the permanent marker onto it one day and update the tag. But that's just me. I'm a contrary sort of a bugger.

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    If one chooses not to wear a seat belt while in a car.
    not wear a helmet while cycling,
    or not wear a PFD when boating,
    that's up to them.
    However, as a retired marine first-responder, I think they are fools.
    And half of them are drunk fools.
    In that case, arguably you're a fool if you do not wear a helmet in your car, when walking down the street, or in your bed. After all, the chances of dying as a result of head injuries while walking seem to be roughly as high as the typical sailor's chances of death through not wearing a PFD. Other studies have shown that even with air bags, wearing a helmet in a car can significantly improve your chances of survival. And why not wear a helmet around the house, when so many people die from falling off furniture? After all, helmets are quite comfortable these days.......

    It's also stupid to ignore the well-attested scientific truth that most people over-estimate rare but catastrophic risks, and under-estimate the chronic risks. That is probably what leads people to be so foolish as not wearing a hat while boating in bright sunlight, and therefore risking skin cancer.

    It's also damn foolish to ignore the potential issues involved with bicycle helmets. It's a very complex subject involving many factors and where a truly accurate answer is not available. To slag off anyone who comes down on the other side of such a complex, multi-faceted and indeed murky issue is the act of a fool.
    Last edited by Chris249; 09-19-2018 at 07:40 PM.

  18. #88
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    I dinghy sail and wear a PFD. When I was young I could swim a kilometer or more but not now . Something that supports me while I rest during a long swim is a good idea. I can then concentrate on righting the boat and bailing.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    I dinghy sail and wear a PFD. When I was young I could swim a kilometer or more but not now . Something that supports me while I rest during a long swim is a good idea. I can then concentrate on righting the boat and bailing.

    I agree completely. You never know when you may get hit by the boom or end up under the sail. Also It is very hard to swim with a bunch of clothes on. I don't want worry about whether the crew or I can swim well if we capsize. Pretty much the same with Canoes, especially when running Class II or III W.W. I always have a well fitted comfortable PFD for my wife and I. We have spares for guests that are good, but not custom fitted.

    When I was 14, a friend and I capsized our little sail board boat (think small Sailfish) We righted it and it was so well balanced that it sailed away without us. We had to swim to shore with one boat cushion between us.

  20. #90
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    To the OP, thanks for sharing the story.

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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Ski-Patroller View Post
    I agree completely. You never know when you may get hit by the boom or end up under the sail. Also It is very hard to swim with a bunch of clothes on. I don't want worry about whether the crew or I can swim well if we capsize. Pretty much the same with Canoes, especially when running Class II or III W.W. I always have a well fitted comfortable PFD for my wife and I. We have spares for guests that are good, but not custom fitted.

    When I was 14, a friend and I capsized our little sail board boat (think small Sailfish) We righted it and it was so well balanced that it sailed away without us. We had to swim to shore with one boat cushion between us.
    But if you get hit in the head and knocked unconscious, a PFD is quite likely to do nothing to save you. Most of the ones you'll wear on a small boat won't float an unconscious person well enough to keep their mouth and nose out of the water. Since being knocked unconscious and into the water is likely to be extremely dangerous, PFD or no PFD, why not wear a helmet? It will not just assist with drowning prevention but also with the significant issue of simple skull trauma. And of course, it only makes sense to wear a full-face helmet since the front of the head is just as vulnerable as the back.

    If you end up under the sail, what will a PFD do? It seems unlikely that the 10 lb of buoyancy created by a PFD will keep the sail up in a way that will allow you to keep your head above water if trapped under the sail. How do you get trapped under a sail anyway? Sure, occasionally you can end up under the sail but that's not being "trapped" - all you have to do is to dive underneath or slide along the sail.

    If it's hard to swim well with a bunch of clothes on, why wear "a bunch of clothes"? Why not just wear a wetsuit? They often assist your swimming, will greatly assist in fending of hypothermia, and give you further flotation. Sure, many people find a wetsuit uncomfortable, but many people condemn those who find PFDs uncomfortable.

    My point, to make it clear, is not that you should necessarily wear a full-face helmet and a wetsuit whenever you sail a small boat on a lake, but that the aggressive campaigns for PFD use seem to ignore quite a few other factors, and also that once one argues for one piece of safety equipment it's hard to now where to stop. What next, compulsory health checks and compulsory sunscreen?
    Last edited by Chris249; 09-19-2018 at 08:46 PM.

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    The simple fact that we have survived, despite our alleged negligence by not wearing life jackets or PFD's is not really a reason for not bothering to consider this important. Certainly people with more skill, operating vessels/on the water are massively less likely to become one of those statistics. The fact that some people train and can swim for extended periods in cold water, has little to do with those thousands who cannot.
    Nearly every critical investigation into marine accidents involving people in the water has made a strong comment about life jackets. Two in recent years in Canada, investigated by the TSB, Leviathan II and Catatonic both highlight persons not wearing lifejackets as contributing to fatalities and added trauma.
    I nearly always now wear an inflatable lifejacket when messing around in boats, partly to set an example to those (most people) who have less experience and skills on the water. I don't think anyone is recommending everyone be suitably LJ attired on a cruising yacht at anchor or a boat where it is large enough to be fully enclosed and operated entirely from within.

    Sadly, one state here now requires you to wear a Level 100 (ie large and bulky) PFD even in a 12m yacht at anchor, if you are alone. That's one state I'll stay away from.

    Seat Belts in motor vehicles are mandatory in most places these days. I see life jackets in a pretty similar light.
    On the other hand, PFDs and seatbelts can be seen as completely different. A PFD is something that comes into play in situations many of us get into regularly for fun - a seatbelt doesn't. PFDs are used when we're in the water. There are many of us who enter the water regularly, in different clothes, at different heights, speeds and with different degrees of warning, whether it's snorkelling or capsizing an 18 Foot Skiff at 20+ knots. We surf and bodysurf in 10ft waves. We're used to it, and we do it for fun.

    Seatbelts are used in car crashes. Very few people crash cars for fun. I have known people who cliff dive and free-dive for kicks, but never met anyone who threw themselves into their steering column at 100 kmh for a bit of innocent fun. I'm not sure how you could prepare yourself with what's going to happen to your body when you crash a car in the same way you can prepare for hitting and surviving in the water.

    While the situation is different in cold water areas, there's a surreal quality behind some of the extreme PFD advocacy in warm water areas. On a typical summer weekend, I may spend an hour swimming around my boat without a PFD. The PFD fanatics would say that when I hop back on board and start sailing gently home, I should wear a PFD because, horror of horrors, I may fall off the yacht for the first time in 45 years. The same water that I had earlier swum in so happily will then apparently become possessed of a homicidal spirit and go from being my playground to my graveyard - all because this time I fell off the boat rather than dived off it.

    It has become beyond silly when if I went interstate, I would be legally allowed to swim off my yacht, but not legally allowed to sit on the cockpit floor at anchor without a bulky Type 100 PFD on. That sort of moronic idiocy is something we should protest against. I did, successfully, but then a similarly stupid PFD law was brought in under the guise of interstate conformity, so those of us who do one branch of sailing must either break the law or risk breaking our necks.
    Last edited by Chris249; 09-19-2018 at 08:57 PM.

  23. #93
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    The difference is when you find yourself in the water a mile or even a 1/2 mile out, staying afloat is so comforting.It beats the opposite dead.
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    The difference is when you find yourself in the water a mile or even a 1/2 mile out, staying afloat is so comforting.It beats the opposite dead.
    I'll never try to convince anyone they shouldn't wear a PFD. But remember, some of us wouldn't be dead in that situation if the water were tolerably warm--we'd be perfectly comfortable.

    Tom
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  25. #95
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    I've never had a chance to sail in the Great Lakes. Are they actually that warm? I'm used to the Columbia and Pacific Ocean and they tend to be a bit on the "Friggin' BRRRRRRR Mr. Bigglesworth!" side.

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    I've never had a chance to sail in the Great Lakes. Are they actually that warm? I'm used to the Columbia and Pacific Ocean and they tend to be a bit on the "Friggin' BRRRRRRR Mr. Bigglesworth!" side.
    Lake Michigan is dangerously cold. But Green Bay (the smaller bay inside Wisconsin's "thumb") is pleasantly warm for swimming in summer--much shallower. Maybe 70 F.

    Lake Superior is deadly cold at any time of year, except in very shallow sandy bays near shore.

    The northern arm of Lake Huron (i.e. the prime cruising grounds of the North Channel and Georgian Bay) are generally cool-ish, but grow pleasantly warm (maybe 70 F?) by July and August. Even in late September it's not too cold for a pleasant swim, low to mid-60s F probably.

    I don't know Erie and Ontario, but suspect they're quite cold.

    Tom
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I'll never try to convince anyone they shouldn't wear a PFD. But remember, some of us wouldn't be dead in that situation if the water were tolerably warm--we'd be perfectly comfortable.

    Tom
    That may be true if the person went overboard in a casual manner. However the circumstances that cause a person to involuntary to leave the deck may include injuries and suggest other unfavorable conditions. What you don't seem to acknowledge is that events that cause injury and death have a confluence of conditions occurring simultaneously that combined create the potential for the incident. Some of the conditions have elements that are not in the ability of the actor to control. When this happens sometimes a close call occurs and other times death. Doing something the wrong way for 40 years without incident doesn't mean that is a safe method of completing a task. For example, a person can drive without a seat belt for years on end. However the day that person slides off the road on black ice could be their first and last car accident.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    And what many of the "always wear a PFD" brigade don't seem to acknowledge is two things; one that a PFD is often of little use if you do have such a confluence of conditions; and secondly that such incidents are very rare and it is of dubious logic to get so concerned about them when ignoring other, more likely, issues. Actually make that three things - if there is a confluence of conditions then why worry so much about just one of those conditions, in this case PFD use? Arguably people spend far more time worrying about that one condition than the more serious ones, such as charging about at speed in small powerboats that can capsize, keeping a poor lookout, and going around on icy water.

    The stats often thrown around are extremely dodgy and fail to take into account that they are looking at fatalities caused on small, capsizable powerboats and assuming that similar probabilities apply to other craft, such as slower self-righting yachts, let alone the fact that they mix boaters with people who drown by suicide, on bicycles, in cars and in the bath and often are dishonestly reported.

    Furthermore, if there was going to be a confluence then many of us would be wearing PFDs at such times. However, what confluence has a reasonable possibility of, for example, leaving Tom or I in the water in calm conditions with a steady 6 knots breeze? If such an event is likely to happen why not worry about the other factors that cause the situation?

    I still have never had a single person in any of these debates ever tell me what other 1 in 380,000 p.a. risks they have assessed and used similar protective equipment to avoid. If you live in a cold climate where black ice is an issue, have you fitted your car with a roll cage? Do you wear a crash helmet and a four point harness to protect you? Do you go out and practise skidding? Given that your chances of dying in a road accident are ten times my chances of drowning while sailing, why is it OK for you to tell me to use more safety gear while ignoring the fact that you should perhaps be busy putting a roll cage in your car and getting fitted for a full-face helmet?

    Why is it considered so unreasonable to not wear a PFD at all times, but perfectly reasonable to ignore greater or similar risks? To be honest, it can seem that some PFD fans are just looking for a simple placebo that can erase their minds of the other issues involved with safety on the water.
    Last edited by Chris249; 09-20-2018 at 07:02 AM.

  29. #99
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Wearing a pfd is not a condition that would normally contribute to the root cause of an incident. Standing on deck without a hand hold, or being hit by a large wake unexpectedly would be better examples of conditions that could contribute to an incident.

    Using your philosophy toward safety, no one need use any safety devices because we are all capable of controlling the conditions and environment around us and everyone will or can act responsibility.
    Last edited by navydog; 09-20-2018 at 08:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    To the OP, thanks for sharing the story.
    I couldn't agree more johng.
    Thanks OP, good on ya.

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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249
    Arguably people spend far more time worrying about that one condition than the more serious ones, such as charging about at speed in small powerboats that can capsize, keeping a poor lookout, and going around on icy water.

    .

    Why is it considered so unreasonable to not wear a PFD at all times, but perfectly reasonable to ignore greater or similar risks?
    Your logic is flawed, since I doubt seriously if those folks who are advocating PFDs all the time (or most of the time) on this thread are any of the sort who charge about at unsafe speeds or don't keep a look out. I strongly suspect that most of the folks who do stupid things in boats are over zealous on wearing a PFD.


    ETA: I mostly day sail. If I have anyone in a boat who 1) is young enough that the law requires it 2) is old enough or 3) are novices at sailing, I make them wear a PFD. If the weather is nice (say reasonably warm and sub 15 knots winds), I often do not wear a PFD. If it is fairly breezy, I wear a PFD and I require every one else to also wear one.

    Now, on a hot summer day, my kids have been known to shed the PFD as they slip off the transom of the boat (when I am not looking) and yell "man overboard". I don't get too upset, as we have to practice those drills sometime. But I do ask them to keep the PFD on the next time they do it. And I have them trained to not do such tricks if there are idiotic power boaters around.
    Last edited by peb; 09-20-2018 at 01:49 PM.

  32. #102
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Here's me wearing mine, windsurfing in 50 knots of wind yesterday, 2-3 miles offshore about where the guys were rescued a couple of days ago in Weymouth Bay when there boat sank. It was a pretty epic day on the water!

    Tomorrow I'm off to the boatshow to buy an EPIRB, it might come in handy one day.

    https://youtu.be/4SZswGVin_0

  33. #103
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Does an EPIRB work from inside a Great White?

  34. #104
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    And what many of the "always wear a PFD" brigade don't seem to acknowledge is two things; one that a PFD is often of little use if you do have such a confluence of conditions; and secondly that such incidents are very rare and it is of dubious logic to get so concerned about them when ignoring other, more likely, issues. Actually make that three things - if there is a confluence of conditions then why worry so much about just one of those conditions, in this case PFD use? Arguably people spend far more time worrying about that one condition than the more serious ones, such as charging about at speed in small powerboats that can capsize, keeping a poor lookout, and going around on icy water.

    The stats often thrown around are extremely dodgy and fail to take into account that they are looking at fatalities caused on small, capsizable powerboats and assuming that similar probabilities apply to other craft, such as slower self-righting yachts, let alone the fact that they mix boaters with people who drown by suicide, on bicycles, in cars and in the bath and often are dishonestly reported.

    Furthermore, if there was going to be a confluence then many of us would be wearing PFDs at such times. However, what confluence has a reasonable possibility of, for example, leaving Tom or I in the water in calm conditions with a steady 6 knots breeze? If such an event is likely to happen why not worry about the other factors that cause the situation?

    I still have never had a single person in any of these debates ever tell me what other 1 in 380,000 p.a. risks they have assessed and used similar protective equipment to avoid. If you live in a cold climate where black ice is an issue, have you fitted your car with a roll cage? Do you wear a crash helmet and a four point harness to protect you? Do you go out and practise skidding? Given that your chances of dying in a road accident are ten times my chances of drowning while sailing, why is it OK for you to tell me to use more safety gear while ignoring the fact that you should perhaps be busy putting a roll cage in your car and getting fitted for a full-face helmet?

    Why is it considered so unreasonable to not wear a PFD at all times, but perfectly reasonable to ignore greater or similar risks? To be honest, it can seem that some PFD fans are just looking for a simple placebo that can erase their minds of the other issues involved with safety on the water.
    The problem as I see it with your argument is looking at the wrong question....The question here is not how many people unexpectedly find themselves in the water per thousands...what is it? 1 out of every 500,000 person boating day's...who cares? The real question to consider is how many of those people who 'unexpectedly find themselves in the water' and then spend some time in the water.....we'll say 5 minutes or more,......what is the survival rate of the folks wearing flotation aids vs. the survival rate of those without. Every accident report I have read in recent years involving unexpected immersion have commented on the increased survival chances of folks wearing flotation devices. There is the less work in keeping ones face above the surface as one tires. There is increased insulation value allowing the wearer to continue to function for about 40 minutes in cold water. There is science in this...it has been scientifically researched....look for "cold water boot camp" on youtube... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1qbnToHhuE
    Where I sail the sea temperature on a hot late summer day would be perhaps 18C, except for shallow protected coves...we don't fall of as often in shallow protected coves. For most of the year the temperature ranges between 8C and 12C. This cold water consideration is a real concern here....Yes some temperate areas are colder even considerably colder.
    The wearing of a floatation device is facilitated by the fact that there are pretty good options, that are reasonably comfortable and easy to wear.
    Last edited by gilberj; 09-20-2018 at 03:48 PM.

  35. #105
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    Default Re: Always have a life preserver

    I think Chris's point is that if you want to save lives, then you'd mandate helmets in cars a long time before you'd get way down the list to mandating PFDs. Being forced to wear a hot bulky uncomfortable PFD when I'm enjoying what i consider to be one of the last refuges of freedom and wilderness makes no sense at all, when my chances of dying due to inadequate safety measures are far greater driving to the boat than when on the boat. I know, the witty response will to suggest that I should wear a helmet in the car. Ha ha. The point is I dont want to do either, and dont want to be forced to wear a PFD.

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