Monday, October 12, 2009

How do I Get out of the Water?

An occupational hazard of bar pilots is falling into the water while transferring from the pilot boat to the boarding ladder. For that reason pilot boats always have a permanent boarding ladder built in at the transom.

When I read an account of a man overboard, it seems that one of the moments of crisis comes when the man is alongside the boat. At that point, if the man is conscious and has strength, an effort is typically made to ship a boarding ladder, which means not only getting it out of some locker but trying to make what is essentially a swim ladder function in the open sea. Not so easy, and sometimes the man is lost at that point.

Maybe all boats should have a permanently installed means of getting out of the water and into the boat. We have one on Journeyman, a simple chromed bronze step that snaps down for use.

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