Latest News: Forums Cruising Harnesses and lifelines Re: Re: Harnesses and lifelines

#9745

You have available three personal survival aids: a harness which is not used by many, buoyancy aid which is used by the great majority and life jacket (self inflating) which is used by a small minority. Each have their place. I know one Wayfarer who has sailed offshore wearing a buoyancy aid over which he has a life jacket and he is clipped on to a lefeline. Personally when at sea I use a buoyancy aid with safety harness under or life jacket and a 6 metre lifeline. The end of the lifeline which is attached to me is secured by a double clip hook which can be obtained from Jimmy Green; the inboard end has a large bowline and the lifeline passes round the thwart and back through the bowline. I do not find it gets in the way. Commercial lifelines have a clip on each end but tend not to be 6 metres of suitable rope. I once watched the video of Frank’s voyage to Norway with a group of non wayfarers who noticed that Frank wore a lifeline but no lifejacket.
It does not matter if you fall overboard 200 yards off the shore with an offshore wind in a deserted area or 2 miles out at sea you chances of survival will be approx. equal. If at sea it would be prudent to make sure somebody with sailing knowledge knows where you are going and when you will return. You should also carry a handheld VHF radio secured to yourself or the boat. Flares should also be carried. A personal locator beacon might be considered for serious sea passages.
A celebrity was sailing in the Solent some years ago with a number of friends when the boom knocked him overboard. Nobody on the yacht knew how to sail, neither could they start the engine or operate the VHF radio. By the time help arrived he had drowned.
It will never happen to me? I notice the use of the word “we”, is the other person more competent than youself? Would they be able to take command and sail back to pick you up?
Sorry if this appears a bit negative. This should be taken as only a personal opinion.
John.