The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

The Most Dangerous Thing Offshore Cruisers Do

Last week I linked to a well-done report and some associated testing over at Practical Boat Owner that made a convincing argument that sidedeck jacklines are worse, at least when used with a standard 6′ long tether, than not clipping on at all, because of the risk of being killed by dragging.

And then a few days later I came across a Scuttlebutt article titled, “Nearly half die when falling overboard”, with statistics from the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch supporting the title.

At first I was going to link to the latest piece in a tip with a scary title like “Why We Clip On” or some such.

But that felt kinda wrong so close to the first tip—when does informing turn into scaremongering?

So I decided, instead, to just remind us all that offshore sailing, at least when done with common sense and basic seamanship, is pretty safe.

Sure, people die by falling overboard. But people also die by their furniture falling on them at home.

So what’s the most dangerous thing most cruisers do? My guess is getting into an automobile…that is, unless they are wingsuit BASE jumpers, too.

Oh yes, here’s a link to the Scuttlebutt article, worth reading…at least as long as we keep things in perspective.

And if you are wondering about the photo, that’s Phyllis with our good friends and experienced offshore voyagers Wilson and Thelma, taken in Quebec during our drive of the Trans-Labrador Highway in 2019.

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