Soundings - - Mail Boat -

Mario Vit­tone’s March “Life­lines” ar­ti­cle about plan­ning to fail [“Be Pre­pared By Plan­ning To Fail] and his on­line video about fall­ing into cold wa­ter came to­gether for me. I once fell into very cold wa­ter from a Ranger 26 sail­boat.

It was win­ter on Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, and I was alone on the boat do­ing some main­te­nance, not sail­ing, when I fell over­board. There was no one around. Fas­tened to the stern rail was a stain­less steel flip-down lad­der that got me out of the wa­ter quickly. I had used the lad­der for swim­ming and clean­ing the bot­tom of the boat in warm weather.

Of course, I never planned to fall over­board, but it must have crossed my mind when I in­stalled the lad­der be­cause it was held in place with light twine so it could be de­ployed by a per­son who un­ex­pect­edly found him­self in the wa­ter. Lucky for me, I had planned to fail. When I switched to a power­boat, a Parker 25, one of the first things I checked was its built-in swim lad­der.

Joseph Er­win Rock Hall, Mary­land

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