Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

Saving Sailors' Lives - the Sea Scoopa

by Des Ryan on 3 Nov 2008
UK Halsey video image exerpt .. .
Most of the inventions and innovations in the history of sailing have come from sailors themselves, and now Sydney sailor Bob Wright is keeping that tradition alive with an invention that could save many sailors' lives - the Sea Scoopa. What's a Sea Scoopa? Read on.

One of the early lessons you learn as a sailor is just how difficult it is to get a crew member who has fallen overboard back on the boat.

A couple of years ago, UK Halsey produced a safety video, showing man overboard procedures, and the video showed it all. Three burly crew, ready for the task, in reasonable conditions, had enormous difficulty in wrenching their crew mate, conscious and cooperating, from the sea. With a short-handed crew - and the vast majority of cruising sailors are short handed - the difficulties are immense, if not impossible.

Enter Bob Wright, veteran sailor, with 32 years of sailing experience and a penchant for invention.

Bob says he had always been concerned about the difficulty of retrieving crew from the water. So when - after over 40,000 miles on the water - he did his yachtmaster ticket two years ago, it was very apparent to him that the current methods being taught during his training were unsatisfactory.

He decided to look further afield and found that overseas evaluations of numerous methods including the Elevator, various Parbuckles, Proprietary Lifters and the Lifesling showed that all had significant problems; but of these the well-credentialed Lifesling was considered the best. 'However, he says, 'the Lifesling is effective only as long as the victim is able to assist and this is sometimes not possible in the case of hyperthermia or injury.'

So, after giving it a lot of thought, Bob came up with the invention of the Sea Scoopa, which, as its name implies, scoops and lifts people out of the water. Instead of lifting them vertically it rolls them up the side of the boat like a barrel. By using the Sea Scoopa and a winch a small crew member with very little upper body strength can rescue the heaviest of overboard crew members. The Sea Scoopa is designed primarily for yachts as it requires a mast and a winch in order to hoist people out of the water


This invention basically comprises two processes.

1. 'Scooping' the MOB into a net whilst the boat is still moving at a speed of up to one to two knots. With this device, the boat can be steered under power so as to pass close to windward of the victim and the engine put in neutral so that propeller injury does not occur during the scooping process. Sails should be lowered to allow more room to operate on deck. Using the engine allows greater manoeuvrability when approaching the person to be rescued.

2. 'Parbuckling' the MOB in the net up the side of the vessel so the victim can be rolled horizontally onto the deck. This revolves the victim like a 'chicken on a spit' and is an adaptation of an old technique used to lift barrels from the dock onto large sailing ships. Despite its long history and many attempts, a successful parbuckle for rescuing MOB has hitherto eluded manufacture, victims can drown in the parbuckle. Horizontal lifting is important as the hypothermic patient can collapse when lifted vertically in the 'Lifesling'. (detailed description below)

The Sea Scoopa, which was recently chosen as the winning invention on the ABC TV program 'The New Inventors', is a work in progress, and Bob, who has already spent two years on the project, is keen to progress the device, and keen for assistance and suggestions from other sailors.

As yet the Sea Scoopa has not been tested in heavy weather, because of the risk to a volunteer MOB. However it is planned to simulate this in the future using a variety of MOB manikins.

Bob is highly conscious of the issues involved. 'Violent rolling and pitching of a vessel will certainly increase the difficulty of Scooping,' he says, 'but should not affect Parbuckling once the victim has been securely netted. In theory pitching should pose less of a problem than rolling as the Sea Scoopa is positioned amidships at the pivot point. In a heavy roll a small steadying sail can be used, however it is critical to control the boom to avoid crew injury. More than one attempt at scooping from a direction that minimises roll may be necessary.

'In these circumstances a Lifesling, throw ring or the Sea Scoopa specialised boathook can also be used to help manoeuvre a victim into the net.'

However, Bob points out that many MOB situations happen in calmer weather. 'Paradoxically MOB should be less likely in severe weather when the crew are justifiably fearful for their lives and the skipper who is mindful of his legal responsibilities has the commonsense to instruct even the most macho of the crew to wear life jackets and clip on their safety harnesses.'

While Bob is keen for continuous improvement in his design, he has had interest from rescue organisations, and he also has a small manufacturer ready to go.

As Bob says, 'The Sea Scoopa offers a different and hopefully more effective approach to this difficult problem. Its development has been a continuing process of evolution and refinement over the last two years and constructive comments are welcomed.'

Below please find detailed instructions and diagram on the operation of the Scoopa. As further progress is made, Sail-World will be here to report and applaud his success. However, whatever the outcome, one thing is sure. The world needs more sailors like Bob Wright.

For more information and pictures of Sea Scoopa, and to follow its progress in the future, go to the Sea Scoopa website.

..................................................................................................................

Instructions for Use - the Detailed Version, by Bob Wright:

The Sea Scoopa can be mounted on either side of the boat but ideally it should be placed on the side where the engine controls are mounted so the helmsman can continuously sight the MOB, steer with one hand and operate the engine with the other. Bob and his crew have demonstrated a single person who is securely harnessed to the vessel can deploy the Sea Scoopa within 3 minutes. In short-handed situations the bag can be left permanently mounted on the gunwale for even more rapid deployment.

The Sea Scoopa, in its compact self-contained bag, comes with meticulously detailed instructions, as follows:


PLEASE NOTE

1.THIS DEVICE IS SIMILAR TO A SPINNAKER - IT MUST BE PACKED, DEPLOYED AND USED IN AN ORDERLY AND STEREOTYPED SEQUENCE
2.BEFORE YOU TRY IT 'YOUR WAY' PLEASE TRY 'OUR WAY' FIRST. READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS VERY CAREFULLY.
3.BE AWARE REPEATED PRACTICE IS ESSENTIAL TO ATTAIN AND MAINTAIN PROFICIENCY.


STEP ONE – PREPARATION

The vessel must be properly set up.


1.The Sea Scoopa can be rigged on either side of a vessel. However it must be placed on the same side as the cockpit engine controls. This ensures the helmsman can do three things simultaneously – continuously sight the MOB alongside, steer and operate the engine controls. The greatest danger is propeller injury, which can be fatal. The engine MUST ALWAYS be 'out of gear' when the MOB is coming alongside.
Also the winching apparatus should be positioned on the same side as the Sea Scoopa so that the MOB can be continuously monitored during lifting.

2.On a yacht the device must be positioned amidships adjacent to the shrouds. This ensures the rescuers, who should be wearing life jackets and clipped on with safety harnesses, have

something extra to hang onto.
It should also be positioned with its centre portion midway between tw

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNaiadAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

Spain’s Xabi Fernández to skipper MAPFRE in Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18
Xabi will return to the Volvo Ocean Race after finishing his work for Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup campaign. The 40-year-old Xabi, who has taken part in the Volvo Ocean Race four times, won Olympic gold in Athens 2004, and followed that up with a silver in 2008 – both times alongside his long-term sailing partner Iker Martínez.
Posted on 17 Feb
Volvo Ocean Race - MAPFRE name Xabi Fernández as skipper
The Basque sailor Xabi Fernández will be once again skipper of the VO65 MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 The Basque sailor Xabi Fernández will be once again skipper of the VO65 MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, a responsibility that he undertook in the last edition of the race, alongside Iker Martínez. Xabi, born in Ibarra (Basque Country, Spain) in 1976, has a lengthy professional career as an elite sportsman, and an outstanding list of achievements in all the major world sailing events.
Posted on 17 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ christen AC50 100 days from Cup
Emirates Team NZ christened their AC50 in a rain-marred ceremony at the team's Beaumont Street base Just 100 days out from the first race of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, Emirates Team New Zealand accomplishes the most significant milestone of its challenge for the 35th Americas Cup by christening their America’s Cup Class catamaran that will begin racing in Bermuda in May.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Images from Oracle Team USA AC50 launch + Video
After unveiling their AC50 yesterday, Oracle Team USA launched their Defender today in Bermuda. After unveiling their AC50 yesterday, Oracle Team USA launched their Defender today in Bermuda. Top international photographer Carlo Borlenghi was on hand to capture the moment. Catch the moment on video, too
Posted on 15 Feb
Just 100 days to the start of the 35th America's Cup
Right across the beautiful island of Bermuda, preparations continue apace for the incredible events. Right across the beautiful island of Bermuda, preparations continue apace for the incredible events that will unfold, with racing taking place on the Great Sound.
Posted on 15 Feb
America's Cup - Images from Oracle Team USA AC50 unveiling in Bermuda
.Top international photographer Carlo Borlenghi was present in Bermuda at the Oracle Team USA unveiling of their AC50 Top international photographer Carlo Borlenghi was present in Bermuda at the Oracle Team USA unveiling of their AC50 and provided this gallery of images of the occasion. The AC50 was revealed for the first time, but was not launched or sailed.
Posted on 15 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
Oracle Team USA celebrate completion of new America’s Cup Class boat
Oracle Team USA held a ceremony at its team base to reveal its new America’s Cup Class boat, “17” On Tuesday evening, Oracle Team USA held a ceremony at its team base to reveal its new America’s Cup Class boat, “17”, the foiling catamaran the team will race this summer in Bermuda.
Posted on 15 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand reveal big AC50 breakthrough
Emirates Team New Zealand have splashed their new AC50 in Auckland this morning and revealed another break-though. Emirates Team New Zealand have splashed their new AC50 in Auckland this morning and have revealed another break-though. In the 2013 America's Cup the team designed the first foiling catamaran even though that concept was not contemplated in the rules. It was widely reckoned that they revealed their secret too early and other teams were able to copy in the time available.
Posted on 14 Feb