I'm a sailor and wrote an article on AMVER rescue that recently ran in Cruising World magazine. GCaptain's own JohnK was one of the helpful folks I interviewed for the article - so I thought this was the best place to come for some feedback.
On one of the sailing forums, we've been discussing the case of a man who was rescued in 2011 by a large tanker in 10'-15' seas. During the alongside hoist attempt, he errantly jumped from his boat into the water (not tied in) and was quickly separated. It took the tanker over 3 hours to finally get back to him and pull him out.
He is convinced that one of the ship's lifeboats could have been launched to pluck him from the water, then towed for the couple of days to port afterward - since it was too rough to re-cable the lifeboat and bring it back up. More concerning to me, he is actively promoting this as a technique distressed sailors should "forcefully request" in an AMVER rescue.
Can you guys give me some feedback on this technique? I'm very skeptical that it's a sound technique, but I certainly don't have the experience to know for sure one way or the other. I knew this was the place to get real answers.
My goal with the article and with my continued interest in AMVER rescue is that we sailors take far more responsibility for understanding how you guys do things so that we are better partners in the rescue. AMVER participants definitely go way above and beyond. And we sailors should be willing to do whatever we can to make your job of rescue easier and safer.