2005 Crew Overboard Symposium
(Click on the title above to see the full PDF report.)
By John Rousmaniere
June 26, 2006
The accident known as “crewoverboard,” “manoverboard,” or “person-in-the-water” presents the most demanding and agonizing challenge that any sailor or powerboater will face. It is no wonder that rescue methods and gear are in constant development. Rarely, however, are they tested side-by-side in a variety of boats.
At the Crewoverboard Rescue Symposium on San Francisco Bay, California, held August 9-12, 2005, some 400 tests were conducted of 40 items of gear and numerous rescue methods by 115 volunteers in 15 sail and powerboats of many types, including multihulls, cruisers, and racers. Conditions ranged from a light wind and flat sea to a 35-knot blow and steep chop. Out of these tests came findings of considerable practical value, including:
- New rescue techniques for several types of multihulls and powerboats
- Improved rescue techniques for keel sailboats
- New understandings of standard maneuvers, the advisability of matching them to boat
types, and the need to be prepared to improvise on them
- Appreciation of differences between various emergency lights and alarms
- Identification of problems with rescue equipment, operator’s manuals, and trends in
boat design and construction
Written by John Rousmaniere, this report is based on observations made by him, symposium participants, and the other members of the organizing committee (all of whom reviewed drafts and contributed Lessons Learned).
It is a lot of work to organize and execute a study of this nature, thank you to the following:
The US SAILING Safety at Sea Committee had representatives on hand:
Studies like this do not occur unless funding is raised.
Thank you to the following supporters:
Bonnell Cove Foundation of the Cruising Club of America
Boat US Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water
The Sailing Foundation, Seattle, WA
The Organizing Committee:
John Connolly (head instructor, Modern Sailing Academy)
Chuck Hawley (West Marine, safety-at-sea seminar moderator)
Karen Prioleau (Newport Beach, Cal., US SAILING Instructor Trainer/National Faculty, Orange Coast College instructor)
John Rousmaniere (New York, N.Y., author The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Fastnet, Force 10, etc., North U instructor);
Ruth Wood (Alexandria, Va. President, BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water).
The following supplied boats, equipment, and services:
Modern Sailing Academy (John Connolly)
West Marine (Chuck Hawley, Phil Cowley, Sheila Hubbard, and Nick Degnan)
The BoatUS Foundation (Ruth Wood and Joni Sralla Turken)
Landfall Navigation (Captain Henry Marx)