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Man overboard and near drowning on my boat-gctid405787

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    Man overboard and near drowning on my boat-gctid405787

    Last night my brother in law almost died on my boat. He is extremely lucky to be alive. I donÔÇÖt think he realizes just how lucky he is.



    Heres what happened



    We were scheduled to stay out last night (Saturday) but there was a gale warning for the Gulf of Alaska for today so we decided to head back to Seward Harbor yesterday.



    We docked the boat around 7:00 PM, and I started cleaning our fish. Jay went for a walk to get some items at the store. Around 9:30 he volunteered to take one of the dogs for a potty walk while we finished up cooking dinner. He ran a little late and at around 10:30 having finished dinner the admiral and I decided to load up the other three dogs in the excursion and take them for a potty break. We met Jay out on the dock as he was returning.



    We left for the doggie rest stop and returned probably ┬¢ hour to 45 minutes later. I was about 150ÔÇÖ behind the admiral with 2 dogs, and she had the other 2. She turned from the fairway and was heading down the dock finger. A few seconds later I heard her yelling, help, help! I ran down the dock finger, and found her in the water clinging to the swim step of our 4788! Then I looked down and found my Brother in Law clinging onto a dock line! Both were in the frigid arctic water!



    Rescuing the admiral was pretty easy. I just grabbed onto her hoodie and drug her onto the swim step. Getting my Brother in Law up was tougher. We deployed the 4788ÔÇÖs boarding ladder and tried several times to get him onboard. He was getting pretty cold, and is a very large guy, but somehow we got him onto the boat as well.



    Once he could talk again he told us that he had slipped boarding the boat, and had been in the water since we left, 30 to 45 minutes earlier. He is extremely lucky to be alive. By all rights he should be dead. We think the only reason he was not severely hypothermic is because he is obese and the extra insulation saved his life. He had little strength when we got there. I still do not know how we lifted him. He has lost allot of weight but is still 300 lbs.

    The admiral having gotten there first heard his faint call for help and fell into the water trying to get him out. Since I arrived seconds later, and found them both.



    OK, so now you know the story, of what happened, now we can get into why it happened, and why IÔÇÖm completely bent out of shape over it.

    Alcohol was a factor in this accident.



    I have always been a pretty relaxed captain, but that changed yesterday. I never drink while underway. Even at anchor I might sip a glass of wine, but never even finish one small glass, or a single beer over the course of an evening. I am the responsible one, the designated driver if you will. This carries over to my dockside behavior, as well, although I will allow myself a couple glasses of wine when weÔÇÖre safely tied up at the dock. What others do is their own business. I sometimes take notice of what others drink, but as long as nobodies out of line behavior wise it hasnÔÇÖt been my business to judge.



    Well, starting at probably 6:00 PM my Brother in law started drinking wine. By the time we docked he had polished off a bottle. Then on his visit to the store he bought a 500 ML bottle of Jim Beam. By 9:30 he had consumed that bottle as well. I was concerned that he might be too tipsy to walk the dog, but well, heÔÇÖs my brother in law, and the admiral thought he could walk a dog just fine. Besides we were docked, it should be a safe situation.



    Now my entire attitude has changed because of one overindulgent Brother In Law. He has a habit of binge drinking, and is no longer welcome on my boat. IÔÇÖm not going to ream him about it(any more than I already did); heÔÇÖs just not invited anymore. Moderate consumption of alcohol is ok, but I now have to set rules, and IÔÇÖm not very happy about it.



    IÔÇÖm glad he lived through this, but IÔÇÖm not glad it happened. I have also re-visited my initial training of the admiral regarding the operation of the boarding ladder, and have installed a permanent boarding line to help anybody that falls overboard get back onto the boat. I have also reviewed the first rule of rescue with my admrial which is "do not become a victim". I explained to her that if I had fallen in the water, one or more of us would have probably died last night.

    I cannot believe that at 50 yeard old I still have to police people like they were adolecents.


    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
    www.transferswitch4less.com

    Whats the weather like on our boat
    https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


    Where are we right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

    #2
    They are very very lucky. I don't blame you one bit for cracking down on your boating rules. I may only be 24 years old and a first time boater, but your absoluetely right... Should have the same rules on water that we have on land.. Its a different kind of danger, but non the less, still a danger. Good job Cap'n!

    Comment


      #3
      wow I am glad he is ok to tell about it being in the waters that long here. I bout get frost bite from tap water here. We have zero tolerance for it in our boat, wont risk it or the liabilities if God forbid something serious happens.

      we made our boys (13/14) jump off the swimstep in full clothes (with life jackets) 2wks ago so they know what the water felt like here, had a rare sunny day. It was staged so they couldnt get the full effect. The youngest jumped out and ran off the boat and on the finger.. I went after telling him its ok, he did great. Walking back down our little finger, mom caught him off guard. PLOP over the side he went, THATS what we needed to test him.. totally unplanned Alaskan cold water.

      Now, take a breather and try and relax, I know your nerves are shot with the "what if's" with your BIL and Admiral. You did the right thing, keep on doing that.. the waters here claim too many... and Saturday angels were over your boat watching out for them both.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank goodness no one was lost. You did well to save them both.

        I agree a line needed to be drawn.
        Jim McNeely
        New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
        Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
        Brighton, Michigan USA
        MMSI # 367393410

        Comment


          #5
          Glad it ended positive. I think banning the BIL is not. I think bing drinking on the boat is done and maybe a glass of wine is OK at the dock. To ban him because of your lack of responsibility to monitor him knowing he had drunk a lot is not right. JMHO. Is it really worth it to put the Admiral between you and her brother? Hopefully you will think this over and allow him back but with the new rules, what ever they are. Since the Admiral is the Admiral, she needs to be in the decision of banning or not. It sounds like this decision was one sided and she will go along with it because she is the Admiral but I think she would feel better if you both sit down now with cooler heads and discuss it at length.

          Life is too short to blame one person in this... Use this as a learning event, change the rules but be lenient in them as well.
          Doug ;}
          MMSI: 338068776
          "Go Aweigh to" Photos < click on red letters... 2001 Bayliner 2452 w/6.2 HO (paid for)


          sigpic

          Comment


            #6
            Go Aweigh2452 wrote:
            Glad it ended positive. I think banning the BIL is not. I think bing drinking on the boat is done and maybe a glass of wine is OK at the dock. To ban him because of your lack of responsibility to monitor him knowing he had drunk a lot is not right. JMHO. Is it really worth it to put the Admiral between you and her brother? Hopefully you will think this over and allow him back but with the new rules, what ever they are. Since the Admiral is the Admiral, she needs to be in the decision of banning or not. It sounds like this decision was one sided and she will go along with it because she is the Admiral but I think she would feel better if you both sit down now with cooler heads and discuss it at length.

            Life is too short to blame one person in this... Use this as a learning event, change the rules but be lenient in them as well.
            +1

            You never told him how much he can drink.When You saw him drunk You should keep him in the cabin

            Comment


              #7
              Go Aweigh2452 wrote:
              Glad it ended positive. I think banning the BIL is not. I think bing drinking on the boat is done and maybe a glass of wine is OK at the dock. To ban him because of your lack of responsibility to monitor him knowing he had drunk a lot is not right. JMHO. Is it really worth it to put the Admiral between you and her brother? Hopefully you will think this over and allow him back but with the new rules, what ever they are. Since the Admiral is the Admiral, she needs to be in the decision of banning or not. It sounds like this decision was one sided and she will go along with it because she is the Admiral but I think she would feel better if you both sit down now with cooler heads and discuss it at length.

              Life is too short to blame one person in this... Use this as a learning event, change the rules but be lenient in them as well.
              Thanks Doug

              I am pertty aware of the lines that get drawn between inlaws and myself being "just" married. Crossing one of those lines will result in a harsh butt chewing from the admrial.

              The banning in this case was mostly on her part, if I'd come up with it, then I'd be typing this from the boat (IE dog house). I think when she gets calmed down it'll be recinded somewhat. Of course there are other issues, I guess thats why its family.

              What twists me is that I do not like having to be the behavior police. I just want to enjoy my boat. Now I have to draw lines and make intoxication judgements. That just puts me at odds with the admrial (since its her brother). I can alrerady tell you that will be a no win situation. Here's the problem. If 50% of the time we go out I'm having to ride someones butt (remember my BIL is a binge drinker), then how much enjoyment am I really getting out of boating? I have to be honest, in my opinion if I do not have 100% support from the admrial to limit drinking on the boat then it won't work. I'll be carefully be monitoring this situation with her, but in the past she'd been a pushover where her brother is concerned.

              Another thing that bothers me is that my wife of over 20 years could have been killed because of another persons actions. Her and I have talked about that at length. Not becoming a victim is the first rule of rescue. I've got to work that one out, but possibly some first aid and or survival training might be in line for her. I go to that type of thing every year buy she has never attended formal triniing of any kind.

              KEVIN SANDERS
              4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
              www.transferswitch4less.com

              Whats the weather like on our boat
              https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


              Where are we right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

              Comment


                #8
                My first experience with a drunk I was in 7th grade and was with a group in the Grand Canyon and a fella got so drunk he made a complete *** of himself. He was vulgar and crude to the women present. I asked my Dad what was the matter with this guy and got the explanation.

                I just don't like drunks and won't be around them. They are NOT funny or entertaining and should be made aware of that fact. Being drunk is not an excuse for ANY bad behaviors as some in our society believe still. I am not a tea-totaler but drink very lightly, if at all; as you do Kevin, around the boat and equipment. So, there are some pretty strict rules aboard Flyboy.

                I suppose somebody should have had an eye on him but does that fall to you when ashore? Maybe not...

                Eventually you might have him back aboard but the rule would be no drink at all for him (because once they start it can be hard to stop at one glass of wine-just like Lay's potato chips). Up to him whether he can handle that.

                There was a great article in Pacific Yachting a month or so ago related to getting a person back aboard after they have gone over and the difficulty accomplishing the task.

                Cheers,

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'll throw my 2 cents in here - and it's not meant to be argumentative - simply stating facts from (multiple) personal first hand experiences.

                  Alcoholics cannot control their drinking - PERIOD!!! For you or anyone else to think you can moderate them - forget it - will never happen, and in most cases it only creates more of a problem for you and everyone around you. I am speaking from first hand experience - and no, I won't go into any further details.

                  Alcoholics only know 1 thing - how to bring everyone else around them down. Doug, I completely understand and appreciate your perspective - and I hope you will never, ever, have to be in the position I (or Kevin) have been in.

                  There is only 1 way to get along with an alcoholic - remove all alcohol.

                  Being this is a family situation, it puts Kevin in a very troublesome situation - one that does not have an easy answer. Do you ban the BIL forever? If alcohol is involved - ABSOLUTELY!

                  Sure, give it time and allow the situation to cool down before making any permanent rules - then talk it over with everyone involved. One possible solution is to sit down with the BIL and tell him up front why he is/may no longer be welcomed on the boat - not simply because of the danger he posed to himself, but because of the danger he posed to everyone else around him. If he wishes to be allowed back on the boat, then he is not allowed to drink - period! If the BIL can agree to that, then it's HIS choice.

                  You will NEVER be able to control an alcoholic - and to think you can monitor/control their drinking and behavior once they've had a drink - as Kevin said - it simply isn't worth the aggrevation, and it puts EVERYONE else's safety at risk - it just isn't worth it.

                  Take the fight/friction with the admiral due to family over the risk to everyone else - it only takes one lapse in judgement for someone "innocent" to die. Then try to explain/justify why you allowed a binge drinker BACK on your boat.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If I drank a bottle of wine and a 500ml bottle of whiskey I'd not have had a chance to hit the water- I would have most likely died of alcohol poisoning there in the cabin!

                    Kevin- really glad everyone survived. Very sad to hear the circumstances causing it.

                    I am with you about light drinking while away from dock and anchored out or on the water. I'll have a beer maybe or a glass of wine or if out for an entire day perhaps 2 beers over the 10 hour venture and combined with lunch, dinner, snacks and most likely a nap! But- that is about it. There are too many things that can go wrong either via boat systems or via nature and weather. Also, I just don't like being drunk at all. I gave that nonsense up in late teens. IMO life is best enjoyed truly living, though I do enjoy a good glass of wine and a good beer in moderation.

                    The big lesson here though is safety. On my 45 and on my Monk 36 trawler one of the first things I did to both of them was replacing the typical flip up ladder that looks like this:



                    and replaced them both with an undermount ladder with 4 rungs. An undermount ladder is accessible from the water and can be easily deployed from someone in the water should the need ever arise. The 4 rung ladders are not much more $$$ than the 2 or 3 rung ladders and it makes it easier and safer to board and allows someone to essentially stand up easily on the ladder without having to scrunch up in a ball with their legs raised up high to get on the ladder. To me this is an important safety feature and extremely cheap insurance should someone go overboard.

                    This also reminds me I need to show my wife how to operate our dinghy davit so she can possibly pull me out of the water with it. My almost 10 year old son knows how to use it so hopefully he is around should I or someone go overboard. Pulling a full sized person out of the water without assistance is NOT an easy thing to do.
                    ~~1987 Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse & 17' Boston Whaler Dauntless~~

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Well first off - Kudos and the best of karma to you, Kevin for getting them outta the water. YOU get a boat ride next time you're in the Adirondacks!

                      But if I may:

                      I don't think that anyone said he's an alcoholic. Yes, he got himself hammered and slipped and fell in, nearly causing a catastrophe that would have involved your wife. Possibly even yourself.

                      Yep, it was a huge F'up on his part,,,,,and unless he's a complete idiot, he well knows it and is likely ashamed and embarrassed by it.

                      If you do like the guy, and you do want to continue being friendly with him, I say to let him know exactly how you feel and how he really screwed up and how you cannot have that happen EVER again.

                      So I say: no banning from the boat - but he no longer brings his own booze and he is limited to what you provide. And for your part, keep your supply modest when he is aboard. This should keep everyone happy, and more importantly SAFE.

                      2 last points:

                      - MY docks are loaded with 'gotchas' to trip over and fall, maybe yours are too. Maybe your boat was bouncing, maybe your dog added to his slip and fall. (oh yes, the bottle of whiskey helped too!)

                      - Your BIL owes you & your wife a terrific lobster and steak dinner and you should take tell him you're hungry NOW.

                      Again, nice work Captain! Be thankful and pleased that you saved the day for all involved. I'm thankful that you're still around cuz you're one of the folks that make this site so pleasant and your posts are helpful and enjoyable. Don't deprive your BIL of your good nature. Unless he is a complete idiot,,,,,give him the benefit of teh doubt that he's learned an important lesson.

                      And don't forget,,,,,,,you have a boat ride waiting for you on Lake Champlain!

                      Sarah

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What a scary situation. Worst part in my mind is that he almost took your wife with him. Good reminder that we are all one mis step away from potential tragedy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Not to defend your BIL's behavior, but I have slipped twice getting the dog on the boat, no alcohol involved. Unpredictable boat bounce and dog behavior caused it, and once a wet swim step. I agree with some of the others, a severe a$$-chewing is in order, and a huge apology should be forthcoming. And if it were me, the new rule for all in general, and the BIL specifically, either no drinking, or at the least, limit him to the same amount you have, and the same times, ie, anchored or docked. Then tell him, my way or the highway. Also, I would makes damm sure he understands that he not only almost killed your wife, but his sister. Glad you're all OK...
                          Jeff & Tara (And Ginger too)
                          Lake Havasu City, AZ
                          |
                          Current: 2008 Playcraft 2400 MCM 350 Mag B3
                          2000 Bayliner 3388 Cummins 4bta 250s (SOLD 2020)
                          2000 Bayliner 2858 MCM 7.4 MPI B3 (SOLD 2018)
                          2007 Bayliner 305 MCM twin 350 Mag B3s (SOLD 2012)
                          2008 Bayliner 289 MCM 350 Mag Sea Core B3 (SOLD 2009)
                          And 12 others...
                          In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. 7-2-10

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It is certainly a "thinker".

                            We all need to think about things like this as boaters. We have to be responsible for our crew.

                            I watched a boat today that had a 'special needs' kid on board. I don't know what their "rule" is with him, but he was NEVER on the dock when someone wasn't holding his hand.

                            We need to take care of ours, especially on the boat.
                            Tally and Vicki
                            "Wickus" Meridian 341
                            MMSI 338014939

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Kevin does not strike me as an idiot. I am guessing if he is banning his BIL from the boat there are repeat issues here that justify the measure, especially if his wife is on board with it. Heck- just being an inlaw is reason enough not to have them on the boat and drunk and almost dying and almost killing my wife would be the last straw in my book. Then again, my inlaws are crazy!!!!
                              ~~1987 Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse & 17' Boston Whaler Dauntless~~

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