Crotch Straps!!

July 28, 2009   

Recently the OYRA (SF Bay) has basically instituted Cat 2 regs to their racing which are rules I believe strongly in. Some people don’t think that complying with the crotch straps is necessary and they are also not finding a place to purchase them. RYM is making them so email me at amperrin at and I can make you a set for $7 each. See some examples below of why they are important.

In the early stages of a Fastnet Race on a OOD34 Haley’s Dream lost a man overboard. He was wearing a lifejacket, adjusted as he thought correctly. Recovery was not as quick as he had hoped and he was thankful that the lifejacket gave him plenty of buoyancy. But soon he found that he could not breathe. The powerful up thrust of the lifejacket under his chin began to suffocate him. “I had to summon up my energy to use one arm to force the lifejacket down every few seconds than I took a great gulp of air rested my arm then had to do it all over again. Efforts to wave or shot were severely hampered and it would have been very difficult for him to have operated a torch or any other device.

As part of an arduous assault course, British combat troops wearing lifejackets were made to swim the length of a pool. Officers conducting the course noticed that several men had serious difficulties caused by lifejackets riding up and decided to add crotch straps which became standard equipment. Many services do likewise.

A yacht taking par tin a race from the RWYC was sailing across the bay of Biscay when a crewman disappeared at night. The next morning his harness and tether were found over the side empty. The harness had no crotch straps.

In the Hobart 1998 in different incidents, four sailors had harnesses pulled over their heads but fortunately none was lost. John Campbell was unconscious when he was pulled out of his harness build into a jacket but without a crotch strap. He said At some point while trying to hoist me over the lifelines still unconscious the jacket turned inside out and I slipped out of the harness. It happened in just a split second. There was very little warning – one second I was in the harness and the next second it was turned inside out….

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