|MOB Lifesavers: How to get an MOB back on board|
A new report by graduate Reece Marcus Martin where he investigates a number of types of MOB retrieval system, finds that having a Lifesaver in the lifejacket is the quickest and most effective way of getting a man out of the drink. Read the report here;
If you crew on other people's boats you may well not have your own lifejacket. You will rely on the boat providing a lifejacket for you. If the skipper is smart they will have MOB Lifesavers fitted to all their jackets. If they havn't heard of Lifesavers yet they may not. But that doesn;t stop you having your own Lifesaver. Ask the owner's permission for you ti fit a Lifesaver. Ideally you will fit it to the lifting becket in the lifejacket and it will be out of sight. Don't forget to add a Lifesaver Fitted' to let you know there is a Lifesaver on board. But you may want to make a temporary fit rather than disturb the neatly folded bladder in the lifejacket and so attaching the Lifesaver to a 'D' ring or to the harness works fine. You need to add it to a strong point on the lifejacket and the harness is just that. Do not add it to crotch or thigh straps as they are weak. Here are some examples of how we have added a Lifesaver to a jacket. Remember the best way to add the Lifesaver is to attach it to the lifting becket inside the jacket. Always makes sure that the Lifesaver is placed on top of the bladder in the jacket so that when the jacket deploys the Lifesaver will be pushed out onto the water where it will float.
Lifesavers have been approved for inclusion in Crewsaver lifejackets. A fitting video has been added to the How To Fit page.
All models of Baltic lifejacket are now approved with the inclusion of a Lifesaver. When ordering your new Baltic lifejacket ask them to fit a Lifesaver. Or if you already have Baltic jackets you can retro fit Lifesavers to them.
Lifesavers have been approved for inclusion in the Spinlock range of lifejackets. When you get your new Deckvest, ask for a Lifesaver to be fitted.
More news on brands and models that are approved for the inclusion of a Lifesaver coming soon...
It is only the Ocean Safety kru sport Range that require 2 lifesavers. All others require just 1 Lifesaver
We have established that it is only the Ocean Safety Kru Sport range of lifejackets which fasten with a zip that require 2 Lifesavers. This applies to these models
Kru Sport Pro
Kru Sport Pro - ISO
Premier Kru Sport Pro - 180N
Kru Sport Elite
They all have fasten with a zip, have 2 'D' rings and 2 lifting beckets and require a man to be lifted on both beckets and so will require 2 Lifesavers, one for each lifting becket.
Many other lifejackets will have 2 lifting beckets. Some like the Crewsaver Ergofit 290 Ex and Ergofit 190 Pro also have 2 'D' rings, but all of them allow for the MOB to be lifted out on just 1 lifting becket - either one of the two will be fine - and so require only 1 Lifesaver to be fitted. The manufacturers provide 2 lifting beckets in case a rescuer is able to grab the lifting beckets by hand, when being able to hold onto 2 beckets will be easier than trying to manage with just 1. The 2 lifting beckets, can also double up as Buddy Handles so casualties can hold on to each other in the water.
If in doubt contact the manufacturer of your lifejacket.
DEMOS at Boat Shows
We had a fantastic time at the London Boat Show. We are now talking with British Marine to see what can be arranged for the Southampton Boat Show. There we have a proper marina with proper boats and real lifting means like halyards and winches but funnily enough Southampton presents more problems than London, where we had to make our own yacht deck and suspend the 8 part tackle from a fixed point in the ceiling, because now we are dealing with live water.
But it is not so much the live water, which we can overcome by having a permanent tether on the man and by timing shows to coincide with slack or slacker water, no the problem is that there is no ideal place to site the demonstration.
The pontoons have people, the public walking along them the whole time and the show organisers need to be very careful about causing any blockages, such as might occur if a group of people were watching our demo. Worse still, as the director of health and safety pointed out to me, if people are peering down into the water to see the MOB, perhaps craning their necks, perhaps shuffling forward, until like penguins, one plops off the pontoon and into the water. That would not be funny. So the very freedom of the location, causes us problems. We will see what can be done and where. And it may be that demos will be done ashore in a pool, just like in London. If anyone knows the layout of Southampton Boat Show and can think of any way that spectators could be on the shore and we could be demonstrating to them and not to anyone near a pontoon which might cause an obstruction as people stop to look, then do shout out.
DEMOS at Yacht Clubs and Marinas
In the meantime we are offering our MOB retrieval demos to yacht clubs and marinas. Members and berth holders who know how difficult it is to get a man back on board if he can't help himself can see how, by having a carefully thought out plan and by having the means to retrieve the man from the water already inside his lifejacket with a Lifesaver, it is possible.
We will sail Dorothy Lee to the marina or club in question and do the demos from her decks. We have our own p.a. system, so we are a fully self contained presentation unit. Our man overboard will wear a crash helmet and a wet suit and be tethered to the boat. He will be wearing a Seasafe prozip life jacket with a Lifesaver prefitted. We will of course be using the 8 part Harken tackle, caribiners all the way - never snap shackles - and the strop under the knees to bring the man out horizontally just as we did at London - and then hot tea all round.
In terms of getting approvals for the inclusion of Lifesavers in other models of lifejacket we are working with the manufacturers and hope to have some news soon.
Lifesavers are now available from Force 4, Piplers of Poole, Arthur Beale, & Sea Teach and we hope to anounce stores in Lymmington and Darthaven shortly. Lifesavers are £14.95. They are also available on line from moblifesavers.com (price inc UK p&p of £2.50, is £17.45)
I also bring Lifesavers and copies of Stress Free Sailing to all the talks.
I have a number of talks and demos lined up for the next few months when I will be telling people about all the ground breaking techniques in Stress Free Sailing to make boating that much easier. I shall be signing books and also going through MOB retrieval and Lifesavers. I ask members to bring along the odd lifejacket so we can check it out and service it if need be. That's the message today, understand your lifejacket, make sure it is serviced , up to spec and ready to do its job, with the slogan, "If you look after your safety equipment, your safety equipment will look after you."
The Schedule at present is;
01.02.16 Reading Offshore Club - talk
03.02.16 Royal Dart Yacht club - talk
25.02.16 Cardiff Yacht Club, demo during the day, talk in the evening
12.03.16 Force 4 Cardiff for an MOB along with the RNLI, signing books and demo'ing Lifesavers
31.03.16 Sutton Mariners - talk
05.04.16 Royal County of Berkshire Yacht Club - talk
21.04.16 Royal Southampton Yacht Club - talk
16.09 - 25.09.16 Southampton International Boat Show - Live MOB retrieval Demos in the marina and book signings
12.10.16 Royal Southern Yacht Club - talk
15.11.16 CA Wessex Area - talk
We are waiting to schedule talks for the Little Ship club, Lymington Town and Royal Lymington yacht clubs
Sam from Sailing Holidays donned a wetsuit, supplied by Rockley Watersports and a helmet, supplied by Craig Cohoon Water Sports and his SeaSafe lifejacket which contained a MOB Lifesaver and jumped into the pool at the Mediterranean Village at London International boat Show. His lifejacket deployed, the Lifesaver floated out onto the water. Amy Neilson from Sailing Holidays, kneeling on a platform that was 1.2 metres above the water to simulate the deck of the average yacht, showed that it was impossible to reach down to him to attach a line and that she couldn't lift him with the boathook. The audience could see just how difficult it was to get a man back on board if he can't help himself...unless...they have a Lifesaver fitted to their lifejacket. With a Lifesaver fitted to the lifting becket in the lifejacket the man in the water has their means of rescue already 'on board' their own lifejacket. Thank goodness Sam's lifejacket was fitted with a Lifesaver. Amy was able to grab the Lifesaver easily, attach it to our make believe boat and then lift Sam out by hand using the 8 part Harken tackle. Life was made harder for her because as a result of having no guard rail around our platform she was required by Health & Safety to kneel - no standing on the platform was allowed. So she could only call on her upper body strength when it came to hauling. But she demonstrated that with the purchase of an 8 part tackle one can lift a man out of the water. Amy added in a strop under his knees in order to bring him out horizontally, just in case he was hypothermic. Thank you to Andark for the crew gloves that our rescuers used to help them grip the rope.
Watch as 17 stone Barry Neilson of Sailing Holidays is lifted out of the pool on his Lifesaver by his 7 stone daughter Amy;
And that was another World First!
Here's a selfie we took on the first day when we were using 'Nigel' as our man overboard
I talked the audience through the demo but the show was brilliantly compered by Andrew Dickens, who reminded me that Lifesavers were on display on the RNLI stand. It is nice to know that the people we all respect when it comes to saving lives at sea, recognise that Lifesavers are a life saving device.
Several retailers stocked Lifesavers (£14.95) at the show, Andark, Arthur Beale, Piplers, Sea Teach and of course Lifesavers were available at Chart Co, where I signed copies of Stress Free Sailing. Force 4 also stock Lifesavers in store and online and they are available online from moblifesavers.com
A glimpse Behind the scenes
At the show we had to rig things up to simulate a yacht, the platform for example and a strong point in the ceiling instead of a halyard and of course we had to work with Health & Safety. It’s a public show, we were putting a man into cold water, there is a lot to consider and get right.
So last night I went to see David Rogers head of H&S to show him my hard copy of the RA and the updates and check all was OK.
I told him all was going well with ‘Nigel’. He wondered why I wasn’t lifting a real man out? Because we could only afford a 50kg strong point at £180 and not the 1 ton point at £500. He thought that the strong point would be rated at a good deal more than this and said to leave it him and he would have a word with the riggers.
The next morning when I came in someone had moved the 8 part tackle, it was hanging straight down in position, it had not been tied back in its stowed position. I tried to tie it back but it wouldn't reach the tie off point. Odd, someone must have raised it. I looked up and in place of the thin wired was a very stout wire. Someone had been in with a cherry picker in the night and replaced the strong point with a 1 ton point. We could now lift a man out. I went to see David Rogers to thank him. I was slightly worried that I would be presented with a £500 for the new point. I asked about the money. He said he had squared it with the riggers and there would be no charge to me. Brilliant. So he made our World First a possibility.
I have been met by incredible generosity from everyone involved with the show, from the organiser, the riggers, to Rockley Watersports and all those who have lent kit, support and in the case of Sailing Holidays, people and I am most grateful to everyone.
Voiceover; http://www.duncanwells.com / Yachting Magazine Features Writer
SeaSafe iZip and proZip lifejackets have been tested with Lifesavers included and are approved with the inclusion of a Lifesaver. Other models of lifejacket are in the process of being presented for testing for the inclusion of Lifesavers. But SeaSafe lifejackets are the only ones today where you can order them pre fitted with a Livesaver. You can of course retro fit a Lifesaver to the lifting loop/lifting becket of any jacket and that’s exactly what people are doing.
RYA Instructor, Principal of Westview Sailing, author or Stress Free Sailing, creator of MOB Lifesavers, features writer for Yachting Magazines and voiceover after dinner and yacht club speaker and general good egg…