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Tim has a spare PFD with harness, tether, whistle, and strobelight (see below) that he can lend to the fifth member of the crew.
Notes on crew PFDs, harnesses, and tethers adapted from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) OFFSHORE SPECIAL REGULATIONS 2002-2003 (264Kb PDF) governing offshore racing but a useful guide to cruising boats as well:
Each crew member shall have PFD of appropriate type, equipped with a strobe or other rescue light on a lanyard long enough to allow wearer to hold the light over their head, and a strong whistle firmly attached on a lanyard long enough so the whistle can be placed in mouth. The PFD must be fitted with marine grade retro-reflective material, and clearly marked with the yacht's or wearer's name. The PFD must be compatible with the wearer's safety harness, and if inflatable, regularly checked for air retention. It is recommended that the PFD have a crotch strap.
Each crew member shall have a safety harness, and safety line not more than 2m long with a snaphook at each end. The use of snaphooks with positive locking devices is strongly recommended (e.g. Wichard Safety Hook). The safety line should be easily released under load (e.g. snap shackle at chest end) (crew members are reminded that a personal knife may free them from a safety line in emergency). Recommended, in addition to the above, is a safety line not more than 1m long, or a mid-point snaphook on an existing 2m safety line. Safety lines should have a coloured flag embedded in the stitching, to indicate an overload. The stitching on harness and safety lines should be of a colour contrasting strongly with the surrounding material in order to draw attention to wear and damage. A line which has been overloaded shall be replaced as a matter of urgency. It is recommended that the harness should be fitted with a crotch strap or thigh straps. A crew member's harness and PFD shall be compatible.
From the Sailing Foundation's Study of Harnesses and Tethers:
"...quick release snap shackles are robust, as are the locking, gated snap hooks (the Wichard and Gibb hooks). Snap hooks without a gate, even the well-respected Wichard forged models, and most of the other non-locking hardware have too high a failure rate to trust your life to them."
ISAF also recommends that each crew member shall have a knife, and a watertight flashlight.
Just FYI, here's what Tim got:
- SOSPenders Inflatable PFD w/Harness, Automatic, on sale for $149.95 from SailNet.com
- SOSPenders Rearming Kit for Automatics, on sale for 14.95 from SailNet.com
- ACR FireFly2 DoubleFly Rescue Combo Light (Strobe/Incandescent) for 69.95 from Landfall Navigation
- ACR Res-Q Whistle for $2.75 from Landfall Navigation
- West Marine Double Elastic Tether with Snap Shackle at Chest End and Wichard Safety Hooks at 1 and 2 meters (Cat# 1268853) for $129.99 from West Marine
- Universal Crotch Strap (Cat# 136536) for $9.99 from West Marine
From US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee regarding taking inflatable PFDs on airplanes:
The charged carbon dioxide (CO2) cartridge on the inflatable is a Hazardous Material as defined by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Hazardous Material Regulation (49CFR175) and also a Dangerous Good as defined by the International Air Transportation Association. These same rules apply whether you take your inflatable as carry-on or check it through. The Regulation requires that you declare the hazardous material prior to boarding the aircraft. There is a 49CFR175.10, Exception 25 in the USDOT Regulation that allows the carriage of a charged inflatable PFD (one PFD per passenger and one spare cartridge), but leaves the final decision to the Individual Air Carriers and their pilot whether or not to accept them on their flight. The difficult problem is, if you take your cylinders to the airport, you won't know if you can take it with you until the pilot that is assigned to your flight makes the final approval.
What can you do today?
- Preferred - Ship your CO2 cylinders via an air package company to your sailing destination. They normally accept these devices, though you must declare them as a Hazardous Material/Dangerous Good. Then when done sailing, return your CO2 cylinders via the air package company to your home.
- Take your chances with the airline, pilot and gate attendants.
- Leave your CO2 cylinders at home, check ahead that local chandleries at your sailing destination carry your type of CO2 cartridge, buy replacements at your sailing destination, then dispose of them before returning home, then re-install your original CO2 cylinders at home.
- When rejected at the gate, some people have turned their PFD's into the lost baggage counter at baggage claim, and upon return to their home airport, picked up their PFD.
- Let the airline confiscate your CO2 cylinders, and purchase new ones at your destination.
- If you attempt to carry the CO2 cylinders with you on a commercial aircraft, either as carry on, or checked baggage, without declaring the hazardous material, be prepared to face federal charges.
We suggest that prospective crew get their PFD (or perhaps just their CO2 cartridges) to us before our departure from Portsmouth so that they will be already on board Diapensia when you join the voyage.
Last Modified April 30, 2003