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Thread: Don Elliott's Rescue Pack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    World traveler

    Default Don Elliott's Rescue Pack

    Here is an interesting post and some great drawings by the late Don Elliott from the Yahoo! Groups "smallboats" list more than 20 years ago. While the Kaino Rescue Ring seems to be no longer available, something like it and/or Don's pack concept could still be useful to small boat sailors now and in the future, so I am reposting it all here for future reference. See also the related series of Don Elliott's thoughts on Phil Bolger's Storm Petrel.

    "Sun Feb 11, 2001 8:03am

    Having your boat capsized or holed is not what most sailors like to think about but it can happen and usually when it does it happens quickly, with little or no warning. If and when this situation arises it's best to be prepared to deal with it in an organized manner. That will be the subject of this article.

    Remember this drawing of Storm Petrel in peril:

    We are using Storm Petrel here as an example, however, the procedures and methods can be applied to any boat.

    You can place rescue attempts into a few categories. The first would be that you hope someone has seen your plight and comes to rescue you. The second is you hope to signal someone with a flare or
    other signal device, they will then come to your rescue. The third is self-rescue, not relying on outside assistance at all. When I was actively skin-diving it was always best not rely on someone else for assistance, and I still take that approach when boating.

    The equipment for the types of rescues listed above will be slightly different. In the first case all you need are something to keep you afloat till help gets there. The second requires the addition of more elaborate signaling devices. The third means you must be self-sufficient, it will require you to make the necessary repairs to the boat so you can press on, rescuing your self completely. For the last you will need some tools for the repairs, for the others you don't need any at all.

    Here's a sketch or a truly innovative rescue device. It's called the Kaino Rescue Ring; a fisherman invented it, his name is Jon Kaino.

    It's a small life ring and will support 92 pounds of weight. It has four clip-on tethers and various signal devices. It is truly a great idea but it lacks some things we need to be able to rescue our boat and if we can do that we can get to shore, with the Kaino Rescue Ring it will only keep you a float and make signals for outside help (Which hopefully won't be totally ignored).

    The following drawing is of what I call Don's emergency pack.

    It must be place on board where you can reach it with the boat in any position. It is inexpensive (The Kaino Rescue Ring costs $500.00 dollars) to prepare and requires no special equipment. It can be slung around your neck or tied to something; the neck strap allows you to reach inside even if you are in the water. The illustration above describes the contents of the emergency pack and the only thing I might point out is the use of the heaving line. If a ship comes along side in an attempt to tie up to you it must keep its distance or it could cause great damage to your boat. That's why the heaving line is there. If any readers can think of anything else that should be in this pack please let me know. (If you can afford it I would include an EPIRP, but remember this emergency pack is for small boats and not for offshore use.)

    There is one piece of safety equipment that is not in the pack but is attached to you. See the following sketch:

    The knife is on a 1/8 piece of line that line is long enough to reach from your belt to the tips of your fingers with you arm fully outstretched. Notice it goes around your belt and not a belt loop.
    When not in use the line and Knife goes in a pocket. The knife must be one that you can open with one hand. (Not a survival knife with a lot of gadgets on it).

    Anytime you leave the bay and go onto the ocean or a large body of water, put a harness on. The tether that goes to that harness should be attached to a solid pad eye on the boat. Watching your boat sail away with your emergency pack on board will totally ruin your day. See the following sketch below:

    Matthew Long
    Bolger fan (Brick, Yellow Leaf, June Bug, Tortoise and half a Teal)
    Dreaming of a small cruiser from Atkin, Bolger, Buehler or Parker (I also like homebuilt airplanes!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Don Elliott's Rescue Pack

    Good post, thanks.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

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