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MOB

MOB

Your
recent series of MOB incidents spurred me to tell you about our MOB last
week during the South African IRC National Championships sailed in Table
Bay, Cape Town. Water temperature was 14C.

I
sail a J27 "Smackwater Jack" – We were lying a very close second
in the second race of the day; going downwind with the kite up in 18 knots
of breeze closely covering the leading boat and cooking along nicely at
around 10 knots boatspeed. During the gybe for the finish line, our mastman
struggled to get the pole onto the mast, slipped and in a flash went bouncing
like a skimming stone alongside the boat before sinking down to his armpits.
One of our crew did nothing but point at the swimmer. One of the golden
rules is to not lose sight of the victim.

We
often discuss MOB drills and we ALWAYS wear life jackets, regardless of
the weather – one of only two boats at our club (RCYC) who do this. Our
man in the water waved us an OK as he receded rapidly behind us. We got
the pole down, buried the kite down the hatch and sailed back to the casualty
under main only; parked to weather; hauled him onboard; immediately turned
back downwind – pole up – kite up and still finished 2nd. We were 42 seconds
adrift of the leading boat, which meant we had recovered our crew member
in about 35 seconds without the use of a motor.

He
was fine. We got him into dry kit and went on to win the next race as
well. I just dont understand the reluctance by yacht crews to wear life
jackets. – Trygve Roberts.