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Ribble link lifejackets?


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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

If you fall overboard on a tidal river then conscious or not you'll be almost certainly swept away from the boat in a wide fast-flowing channel.

 

If you fall overboard on a canal then you won't, and if conscious the usual solution is to stand up -- or if it's deep, swim a short distance to the bank. If unconscious and you're not alone on the the boat then help is likely to be at hand.

 

So the risks are clearly much bigger in a tidal river than on a still canal, which is why many people wear lifejackets on one but not the other -- and this is perfectly rational. But (except for the Ribble link) the choice is yours, you can not wear one on a river or wear one on a canal, the risk is still quite small but it's a matter of personal preference so other people may choose differently.

 

I really don't see what point you're trying to make here... 😉 

I'm not sure what the physics of "being swept away from the boat" is. Surely the boat and the person in the water are going to be equally affected by the current? Maybe not if it is very windy, but not due to the current.

 

The point I am trying to make is that humans are very bad at applying a superficial assessment of what is dangerous and what isn't. Well I should of course say the degrees of danger, because danger/safety is not a binary thing.

As you have said, far more people have been killed by drowing on the sunny calm canals than on the Ribble. Of course in part this is due the different exposure (lots of people on the canals, few on the Ribble) but I still think there are far more opportunities to kill yourself on the canals than there are on the Ribble. It's just that we are accustomed to them so we don't see it. You say "so the risks are clearly much bigger" without presenting a shred of evidence. Blinkers firmly on.

And just for clarity let us remember that risk = severity of occurance x probability of it happening. If it hasn't yet happened in 20 years, we don't know the probability but it is likely fairly remote.

5 minutes ago, robtheplod said:

This is on my bucket list but sounds scary!!

 

Especially if your bucket has a hole in it. Maybe try it on a boat first?

 

But actually you make a good point. People are telling you it is scary so you think it is scary. In fact it might be scary, but scary does not equate to dangerous. Statistics show that it is no more dangerous than a lot of other things you do without concern.

Edited by nicknorman
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8 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

I'm not sure what the physics of "being swept away from the boat" is. Surely the boat and the person in the water are going to be equally affected by the current? Maybe not if it is very windy, but not due to the current.

 

The point I am trying to make is that humans are very bad at applying a superficial assessment of what is dangerous and what isn't. Well I should of course say the degrees of danger, because danger/safety is not a binary thing.

As you have said, far more people have been killed by drowing on the sunny calm canals than on the Ribble. Of course in part this is due the different exposure (lots of people on the canals, few on the Ribble) but I still think there are far more opportunities to kill yourself on the canals than there are on the Ribble. It's just that we are accustomed to them so we don't see it. You say "so the risks are clearly much bigger" without presenting a shred of evidence. Blinkers firmly on.

And just for clarity let us remember that risk = severity of occurance x probability of it happening. If it hasn't yet happened in 20 years, we don't know the probability but it is likely fairly remote.

 

If you go onto a river or the Ribble link and fall in, the risk of drowning is higher than if you do the same on the canal. Are you seriously denying this?

 

What you're talking about is accumulated risk across a population; since few boats brave the Ribble link every year and thousands use the still canals daily, even though the risk of a journey on the link is higher the number of deaths will be much smaller -- and is probably zero to date.

 

If your attitude to risk is not to worry about it, don't wear a lifejacket -- except on the Ribble link, where you have to. That's because the traverse is supervised, and if somebody dies then guess who'll get blamed... 😉 

 

Other people may choose to wear them on rivers but not on canals.

 

Others who are more worried may choose to wear them on canals, where the risk is smaller but still not zero.

 

It's all a matter of personal preference and attitude, and nobody is wrong or right here -- you seem to be trying to impose your views on others while claiming that they're trying to force theirs on you, which I haven't seen any evidence of... 🙂 

Edited by IanD
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

If you go onto a river or the Ribble link and fall in, the risk of drowning is higher than if you do the same on the canal. Are you seriously denying this?

 

What you're talking about is accumulated risk across a population; since few boats brave the Ribble link every year and thousands use the still canals daily, even though the risk of a journey on the link is higher the number of deaths will be much smaller -- and is probably zero to date.

 

If your attitude to risk is not to worry about it, don't wear a lifejacket -- except on the Ribble link, where you have to. That's because the traverse is supervised, and if somebody dies then guess who'll get blamed... 😉 

 

Other people may choose to wear them on rivers but not on canals.

 

Others who are more worried may choose to wear them on canals, where the risk is smaller but still not zero.

 

It's all a matter of personal preference and attitude, and nobody is wrong or right here -- you seem to be trying to impose your views on others while claiming that they're trying to force theirs on you.

Your first para: you are not really asking the right question. You can drown in shallow water, or deep water. But the risk takes into account the probability. On the canals you are often stepping on and off the boat, walking on the gunnels, climbing a lock ladder etc. On a tidal river you are doing none of those things, so the probability of falling in is massively less. Yes, once you have fallen in a tidal river probably you are more likely to drown, but as I said risk is the product of the severity and the probability.

 

I am not telling other people whether to wear lifejackets or not, it is other people that are deriding me for the suggestion that I might not want to because I have properly analysed the risk. I think someone single handing on the canals doing locks is at much higher risk than someone staying within the confines of their boat during a tidal crossing, and so if they (the former) want to wear a lifejacket I think that is perfectly reasonable and I certainly wouldn’t criticise them for it.

 

Maybe I will wear a lifejacket for the departure and arrival, and take it off when they can’t see me just to be naughty? We did this when I flew offshore in Borneo for a year, it was too hot to wear a lifejacket in flight but when we approached base we had to don them in case the chief pilot saw us. The passengers probably though I was a bit odd that the pilots didn’t wear lifejackets over water but put them on as we coasted in!

Edited by nicknorman
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The assessment is very easy, just answer one question. Can you breathe underwater? If the answer is No, then sense calls for a life jacket. Depth or conditions of water are irrelevant once the level is over about three inches. Knock yourself out falling overboard and you still cannot stand up.

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1 hour ago, nicknorman said:

Thankyou for that generous barrage of personal insults. Makes me feel so much better and really helps with the question. You might recall that my original question was whether the requirement for lifejackets was mandated, it seems that it is. I didn't ask whether it was perceived to be necessary.

 

I know that your record indicates that you will not be participating in this thread further having emitted the insults and now ducking, but since you say you live near the ribble link, do you have any knowledge of anyone actually having to use a lifejacket whilst making the crossing? No I thought not. Its just that I rather baulk at people who get a bit hysterical when their ideas about safety are challenged.

 

By the way, from ages 6 to 18 our annual family summer holiday was at St Mawes in Cornwall with my dad's sailing dinghy. Although the Fal estuary is fairly sheltered, it is "the sea" and of course we wore lifejackets mostly because the probability of getting wet in an Enterprise sailing dinghy was quite high. Although in those days before the epidemic of risk aversion plagued society, they were solid buoyancy aid type things, rather then lifejackts. Miraculously I am still here.

 

Oh and I really like your scowly face, it is so classically passive-agressive!

 

Anyway I have now ordered 2 lifejackets, a little under £100 not very well spent! I went for the non-automatic ones. I wonder how many people have automatic ones? If so what happens when the boat sinks unexpectedly whilst you are inside? Pinned to the ceiling under water is not a good way to die.

O well I have no need to duck I just don’t like getting dragged down silly rabbit holes. I sailed in the Falmouth Classics this weekend During a steady F 4/5 on Saturday there was a 15 minute squall and a Falmouth Working boat filled with water and sank like a stone. All 4 crews life jackets inflated and they were ok. Other boats were dismasted..

 

There have been a number of helicopter accidents in the North Sea. I was a Semi Submersible Rig Roughneck and was glad of the immersion suit and lifejacket even if in my day there was no training in their use
 

The Ribble Link was built and is operated by the “Nanny State”. If you had chose to abuse it and have an accident it could well be closed or its operation restricted or the very helpful CRT wallas get in trouble so I am glad you have seen sense. Enjoy it. Nobody else will laugh at you for wearing it. If you are travelling in July I may well see you going in the opposite direction. 
 

Nick I do take the Link seriously as do most people who cross it
 

 

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13 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

I'm not sure what the physics of "being swept away from the boat" is. Surely the boat and the person in the water are going to be equally affected by the current? Maybe not if it is very windy, but not due to the current.

 

The point I am trying to make is that humans are very bad at applying a superficial assessment of what is dangerous and what isn't. Well I should of course say the degrees of danger, because danger/safety is not a binary thing.

As you have said, far more people have been killed by drowing on the sunny calm canals than on the Ribble. Of course in part this is due the different exposure (lots of people on the canals, few on the Ribble) but I still think there are far more opportunities to kill yourself on the canals than there are on the Ribble. It's just that we are accustomed to them so we don't see it. You say "so the risks are clearly much bigger" without presenting a shred of evidence. Blinkers firmly on.

And just for clarity let us remember that risk = severity of occurance x probability of it happening. If it hasn't yet happened in 20 years, we don't know the probability but it is likely fairly remote.

 

Especially if your bucket has a hole in it. Maybe try it on a boat first?

 

But actually you make a good point. People are telling you it is scary so you think it is scary. In fact it might be scary, but scary does not equate to dangerous. Statistics show that it is no more dangerous than a lot of other things you do without concern.

Scary is good, makes you keep your wits about you,

I’m not a life jacket wearer, 

however whether we choose to wear one or not would we insist children wore them?

if so is that because we feel they are more accident prone or is it through some sentimentality about a child’s life over our own?

 

as an aside: Peter Lanyon was a Cornish artist who based many of his paintings on views from up gliding about the county.

He wasn’t so lucky. Maybe he was too busy drawing to spot the ground coming at him faster than normal. 

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9 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

The assessment is very easy, just answer one question. Can you breathe underwater? If the answer is No, then sense calls for a life jacket. Depth or conditions of water are irrelevant once the level is over about three inches. Knock yourself out falling overboard and you still cannot stand up.

Presumably you wear a lifejacket in the bath then?

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Don't forget the crotch straps, saves the lifejacket going over your head if you do go overboard.

 

 

 

Twins are less awkward than singles🤔

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16 minutes ago, beerbeerbeerbeerbeer said:

Scary is good, makes you keep your wits about you,

I’m not a life jacket wearer, 

however whether we choose to wear one or not would we insist children wore them?

if so is that because we feel they are more accident prone or is it through some sentimentality about a child’s life over our own?

 

as an aside: Peter Lanyon was a Cornish artist who based many of his paintings on views from up gliding about the county.

He wasn’t so lucky. Maybe he was too busy drawing to spot the ground coming at him faster than normal. 

So far the only time I've worn a lifejacket was going through Harecastle, because that's what the rules say -- and I'd undoubtedly do the same on the Ribble Link. And maybe the next time I go on the tidal Trent when there's a fresh on -- though it's notable that last time I did this the hire base didn't suggest I do this or provide them, so they obviously didn't think the risk was so high.

 

The issue with children is a red herring -- we insist that children do things to make them safer (like wearing lifejackets) because they are very often not aware of the risk (unlike Nick, obviously), just like in many aspects of life it's the duty of responsible adults. Not to wrap them in cotton wool and mollycoddle them, minor injuries (grazed knees, broken fingers, cuts and bruises...) are part of learning and help instil an appreciation of risk, but to stop them doing something potentially life-threatening.

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1 minute ago, IanD said:

So far the only time I've worn a lifejacket was going through Harecastle, because that's what the rules say


Must admit I was unaware of that rule

they check my horn and obviously they can see a tunnel light working,

but never been asked about a life jacket

 

are you sure it’s a rule and not simply advice?

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One thing about the Ribble link worth remembering is that the boat engine will be working harder for longer than it has probably ever done before and unexpected problems might arise. 

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Posted (edited)

Been through Harecastle several times, never worn a lifejacket. Our most recent passage was after the chap fell off the back and died. We did have to wear LJs going through Standedge but CRT provided them. oh and a ridiculous hard hat which meant I banged my head a couple of times because I couldn’t see the roof because of the hat peak.
 

 

9 minutes ago, haggis said:

One thing about the Ribble link worth remembering is that the boat engine will be working harder for longer than it has probably ever done before and unexpected problems might arise. 

We ran it pretty fast on the tidal Trent and there was no change in operating temperature, so I’m hoping it will be OK on that score at least.

Edited by nicknorman
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14 minutes ago, beerbeerbeerbeerbeer said:


Must admit I was unaware of that rule

they check my horn and obviously they can see a tunnel light working,

but never been asked about a life jacket

 

are you sure it’s a rule and not simply advice?

 

This was a few weeks ago. It was certainly a firm (but polite) request, whether it was a rule or advice made no difference to me, it wasn't a hill worth dying on... 😉 

Edited by IanD
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It would be of interest to see the Risk Assessment for the Ribble Link and for any craft that venture out into coastal waters, which the Link is.

 

However in the times of commercial traffic those that worked coastal waters did not have the advantages of the life jacket for a lengthy time putting themselves in danger when a craft capsized. 

 

Was the early cork life jacket designed by the RNLI the first? and part of their aim to protect the lives of their lifeboatmen. Henry Freeman had one in the 1861 rescues when he survived when the lifeboat capsized. His colleagues not wearing one perished.

 

 

Drowning can be a fact for the those who throw caution to the wind

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10 minutes ago, Heartland said:

It would be of interest to see the Risk Assessment for the Ribble Link and for any craft that venture out into coastal waters, which the Link is.

 

However in the times of commercial traffic those that worked coastal waters did not have the advantages of the life jacket for a lengthy time putting themselves in danger when a craft capsized. 

 

Was the early cork life jacket designed by the RNLI the first? and part of their aim to protect the lives of their lifeboatmen. Henry Freeman had one in the 1861 rescues when he survived when the lifeboat capsized. His colleagues not wearing one perished.

 

 

Drowning can be a fact for the those who throw caution to the wind

 

It would be interesting, but the reason for the rule is almost certainly because boats are escorted and so CART could be found culpable if somebody drowned -- so they're perfectly within their rights to insist that people wear lifejackets if they want to use the Ribble Link.

 

On other tidal rivers or coastal waters (or canals...) where safety is entirely the boater's responsibility (like the tidal Trent) you can choose whether to wear one or not, depending on your assessment of the risks. IIRC they're recommended on rivers like the Trent but not compulsory (I could be wrong here...).

 

It's like chainsaws; I have both electric and petrol ones at home, and if I cut my own leg off I've got nobody else to blame -- but I can no longer hire one from the tool hire shop just round the corner, because of liability risks to them if I misuse or have an accident with a tool they've hired to me.

Edited by IanD
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1 hour ago, Peugeot 106 said:

Falmouth Working boat filled with water and sank like a stone.

Which one was it?

 

I used to enjoy watching those working boats come and go, and I spent a lot of time listening to the old boys in the Seven Stars who had worked them. None of the old boys here anymore. 

 

 

Edited by beerbeerbeerbeerbeer
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 My lifejacket is navy blue and my 75 year old wife’s a very fetching duck egg pale blue. I should have told you that a survival suit isn’t mandatory though if you do as one boat I recently saw and make a break for the Isle of Man by missing the turn at Asland Lamp you may wish you had one.. He was ok as he saw us turn just before he disappeared over the horizon and came back. Funny thing he was a right cocky sod when we all left Savick but visibly shaking when he arrived at Tarlton!
Incidentally I don’t find driving a car scary but always wear a seatbelt. Despite a combined age of nearly 150 we have never found the the Link scary either but we aren’t fools

 

Just to prove I’m not a ducker I’m still on your very important thread and I think you may be demonstrating that you were just provoking an argument. I’m wondering if you’re actually and maybe rightly a teeny bit scared at the thought of making the crossing? And I and others are possibly enjoying winding you up? 

 

1 minute ago, beerbeerbeerbeerbeer said:

Which one was it?

 

I used to enjoy watching those working boats come and go, and I spent a lot of time listening to the old boys in the Seven Stars who had worked them. None of the old boys here anymore. 

 

 

I don’t know and aren’t on Facebook - one forum is enough. But I was talking to a man who was actually videoing it when it suddenly and unexpectedly heeled after a tack and sank so it may maybe online somewhere. It sounds like the jibsheets were cleated on the wrong side. He said the life jackets exploded and he was very relieved. It sank upright and just the top of the mast and topsail were showing above water. It was salvaged the next day I think. We saw them class racing on I think Thursday. There were about 20 of them and we were in amongst them on the Flushing Ferry. It was windy but they still carried their topsails and were magnificent. 
I have a 59 year old Wayfarer dinghy and had reefed main and jib most of the time!
Falmouth was heaving with the Classics and Sea Shanty Festival. I never want to hear I’m bound for South Australia again There must be other tunes!

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For sake of interest/comparison: for the Liverpool Link (CRT) the guidance says lifejackets for children are required within the docks and only strongly advised for adults. I'm sure it was very much mandatory on the Manchester Ship Canal/through Eastham Lock (Peel Ports) but I can't find where I read that now...

Edited by Ewan123
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3 hours ago, nicknorman said:

 

 

Anyway I have now ordered 2 lifejackets, a little under £100 not very well spent! I went for the non-automatic ones. I wonder how many people have automatic ones? If so what happens when the boat sinks unexpectedly whilst you are inside? Pinned to the ceiling under water is not a good way to die.

We do have automatic lifejackets .

You make a good point about being trapped inside  but the perceived scenario is you fall in the water or you have to jump in off a sinking ship rather than go down with the ship.

The advantage of an automatic lifejacket  is if you bump your head on the way in or if you get thermal shock the lifejacket sorts itself out and you come up on your back - face up.

 

We do wear lifejackets always while under way on the non tidal and the tidal river . It seems natural thing to wear and we don't really think about it - just like  a seat belt in a car . There are currents/turbulence that can drag you under on the non tidal river that re just as dangerous as the tidal river.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Ewan123 said:

For sake of interest/comparison: for the Liverpool Link (CRT) the guidance says lifejackets for children are required within the docks and only strongly advised for adults. I'm sure it was very much mandatory on the Manchester Ship Canal/through Eastham Lock (Peel Ports) but I can't find where I read that now...

Just to be clear the Liverpool Link bears very little comparison the the Ribble link which is more like the Tidal Thames, Avon Tidal, Trent Tidal, Severn Estuary and Wash crossing (which I haven’t been on). The dangers eg of  engine failure (generally crud being washed in the fuel or overheating))strong tidal flow, being caught broadside in waves, waves washing over the bow, getting lost, running into sandbanks, hitting very large ships/boats just aren’t really applicable on the Liverpool Link though it again needs a bit of forethought. In my view the life jackets are generally a no brainer but then I already have them and I think I understand ( the small but possible) risks and certainly don’t want to aggravate the CRT who help the passages

 

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58 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

It would be interesting, but the reason for the rule is almost certainly because boats are escorted and so CART could be found culpable if somebody drowned -- so they're perfectly within their rights to insist that people wear lifejackets if they want to use the Ribble Link.

 

On other tidal rivers or coastal waters (or canals...) where safety is entirely the boater's responsibility (like the tidal Trent) you can choose whether to wear one or not, depending on your assessment of the risks. IIRC they're recommended on rivers like the Trent but not compulsory (I could be wrong here...).

 

It's like chainsaws; I have both electric and petrol ones at home, and if I cut my own leg off I've got nobody else to blame -- but I can no longer hire one from the tool hire shop just round the corner, because of liability risks to them if I misuse or have an accident with a tool they've hired to me.

Tarleton lock and the savick brook (probably only after the 1/2 tide lock) are CRT waters, the Douglas and the Ribble are not CRT waters and there is a PRN for both. CRT are not empowered to make any demands on anyone exercising the PRN on the Douglas or the Ribble.

52 minutes ago, Peugeot 106 said:

Just to prove I’m not a ducker I’m still on your very important thread and I think you may be demonstrating that you were just provoking an argument. I’m wondering if you’re actually and maybe rightly a teeny bit scared at the thought of making the crossing? And I and others are possibly enjoying winding you up? 

 


My original question was about whether the lifejacket rule was enforced (and thus whether I needed to buy some). It was hijacked by some people being “shocked and outraged” by the thought that I might be contemplating doing it without LJs. So I was not provoking that argument, but when it arose I was minded to point out that things to do with safety are not always as clear cut as they at first seem. Unfortunately in this modern world, anyone with a different opinion from the populist groupthink is considered a pariah who probably ought to be killed to silence the heresy.

 

Never mind, I feel your post may have a hint of “olive branch” and I’m happy to accept it.

 

Most amusingly (not) I have just demonstrated my own point about unintended consequences of safety equipment. When my mother still visited us I installed a handrail in the shower/bath and in fact since my Meniere’s issues I have found the hand rail a comfort. But I don’t think it has ever stopped me falling over. 30 mins ago I had a shower, dropped the shampoo bottle, bent down to pick it up and stood upright - and in doing so I split my head open on the corner of the shower handrail. Much swearing and blood pouring out ensued! Now nursing some butterfly stitches in my rather sore head!

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