Skip to main content

Cruising: Safety Lessons Learned

It didn’t take long for “Koz” Khosravani to prove his mettle as a mariner

It didn’t take long for “Koz” Khosravani to prove his mettle as a mariner

It’s not often that sailors get a chance to put their rescue and MOB training to the test, rarer still that they do as quickly as newbie California sailor Khosrow “Koz” Khosravani did recently. If and when an emergency situation ever arises, though, it pays to be prepared.

This past September, Khosravani, and three crew were about an hour into a trip from Marina del Rey to Paradise Cove, off Malibu, when they noticed a pod of dolphins swimming across the bow of their Catalina 25, Defiant. At the time the boat was about three miles offshore. Next thing they knew, they saw—or at least they thought they saw—a human hand just above the surface near where this same pod of dolphins was now milling about. Steering closer—the crew was motorsailing at the time—Khosrow spotted the pale shape of a young woman in the water, naked and barely afloat.

Immediately, the training he’d received as part of the American Sailing Association ASA 101 and 103 courses he had taken at the Blue Pacific Boating in Marina Del Rey just two weeks earlier kicked in. “One thing that the ASA Instructors at Blue Pacific taught me was how to pull someone out of the water if they went overboard. They taught me this not just once, but many times. It was all fresh in my mind,” Khosravani says.

After approaching the victim from leeward to ensure he didn’t accidentally run into her, Khosravani threw the victim a PFD-4 cushion. However, she was too weak to hold onto it. He then made another pass, at the same time deploying an Acelane Water Rescue Bag with a 70ft rope, which the crew was able to use to pull the victim alongside the boat. From there, Khosravani and his crew were able to get her safely aboard.

That done, Khosravani contacted authorities, who sent a boat that rushed the woman to the hospital, where she spent the next three days being treated for hypothermia. As to how the woman, who was in her early 20s, had ended up in the predicament she’d been in: apparently, she’d been skinny-dipping around midnight the night before and had been in the water a good 12 hours by the time the Defiant crew found her.

“I am a scientist and I do not believe in divine intervention,” says Khosravani, a former Teaching Fellow in Computer Science at Harvard University. “But thank God for all that did go right that day. The important thing is to be prepared. When I was buying my safety gear and taking my ASA classes, some people said, ‘Why do you spend so much money? Just go out and teach yourself.’ But I told them they are wrong. This is serious business. I used all the equipment that I bought and everything that I was taught by my ASA Instructors to save that woman.”

Let that be a lesson to us all! Great work Koz, and here’s wishing you plenty of safe and satisfying years of sailing to come. To learn more about American Sailing, as ASA is now called, and the organization’s sailing and sail-training courses, visit asa.com.

January 2022

Related

00LEAD-Thomas-on-%22Melody%22-2004

The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for ...read more

VIPCAshowbynight

USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-11-21-at-9.48.33-AM

Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year ...read more

tracker

EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. ...read more

99640-victoire-de-charles-caudrelier-a-bord-du-maxi-edmond-de-rothschild-r-1200-900

Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond ...read more

DSC_1879

Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has ...read more

01-LEAD-SPICA-Forest_3

Know-how: All-new Battery Tech

Until very recently, the batteries in sailboats used some form of lead-acid chemistry to store energy. Different manufacturers used different techniques and materials, but in the end, the chemistry and the process by which the batteries charge and discharge electricity remained ...read more

01-LEAD-Bill-Sailing2

At the Helm: When Things Go Sideways

I don’t like sea stories. My number one goal on every passage is to get the crew back in one piece. My number two goal is to get the boat back in one piece as well. If I can’t do both, I’ll take the former. Do this long enough, though, and things are going to happen, no matter ...read more