Over Xmas I had an incident when sailing that meant I spent nearly two hours beside my capsised boat in a 2ft chop before I could dismantle and fix a jamed rig and finally get back in and sail home. (An added advantage of wooden spars is that they float!) I got cold but was in no danger of drowning, only of being embarassed! It was largely the result of too much haste, overconfidence and some carelesness on my part, but in different circumstances and worse weather it could have been serious. I had flares, but not in the boat for an hours sail on a warm evening, but I did have two life jackets, and wore them both in the end! A sobering experience that's sent me back to the recovery manual, some practice in safer water, and changes to the rig.
It is mostly shallow where I sail and we make jokes about 'being able to walk home' but there's 30ft of mud in some places and it can be quite dangerous to get out of the boat. I hope I've learnt something!
Now, on a lighter note, as a result of my adventure a friend with a warped sense of humour has given me a string of signal flags that read: "My vessel has stopped in the water and is not making way": "Keep clear I am manovering with difficulty": "I require a tow": and "Man overboard". All of which were relevant!
I intend to fly them at our sail in in March.