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Old 06-11-2013
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Re: Coast Guard rescues 4 "sailors" off Charleston...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
I was thinking of that same incident. If I recall correctly from my reading of Junger's "The Perfect Storm", however, his crew wanted off the boat and had been communicating with the USCG, while the captain wanted to stay with the boat (a Westsail 32?). The Coast Guard refused a partial evacuation and ordered him off the boat, too. The boat was doing fine, experiencing the normal scary stuff that happens in a storm (knockdowns, water above the floorboards, no engine, no electrical power), but his crew were pissing in their panties.

The lesson: don't let your crew start talking to the USCG or get anywhere near your EPIRB or PLB, if there is no reason to abandon the vessel. Or prepare your crew for those eventualities: we will lose electrical power, we will get knocked down, there will be water in the boat, the engine won't work anymore, etc. Too many people are psychologically and emotionally unprepared for these events and think the boat will sink next, they panic and endanger themselves, when in the vast majority of cases, the boat is found floating intact several months later, waterlogged with shredded sails. The sailboat is tougher than the people are.
Quote:
Too many people are psychologically and emotionally unprepared for these events and think the boat will sink next, they panic and endanger themselves, when in the vast majority of cases, the boat is found floating intact several months later, waterlogged with shredded sails.
I do not agree. So could you prove this? How do you endanger yourself when calling the CG for help? They mitigate the danger.

If everyone wants off the boat, but the Captain doesn't the others are forced to stay? This is too broad a sweeping statement I think.

How do you prepare psychologically and emotionally for 30 ft. waves, loss of all power, ripped sails, and constant knockdowns?

I have personal experience in this. In my early 20s I signed on twice to help bring two different boats across the Atlantic from Falmouth England to the US. Both boats were blue water cruisers over 42 ft in length with crew of 5.
The first delivery was uneventful, the second was terrifying. 1200 west of Falmouth we got into a period of 36 hours of Force 6/7 with waves 20-30 ft.
Battered the boat and crew. We hove to for two of the days. Many things broke on the well designed boat, including all the electrics. We all were sick.
At the time there was no way to abandon as this was 30 years ago. No EPIRB, no Sat phone. SSB knocked out. I though I was prepared as well as I could be, but once in the situation it was overwhelming. I did think as did the rest of us we were going to not make it. Had their been an option I think we would have taken it.

So if 4 of us wanted to take that option, and it is available, and the Captain didn't, does he have the right to prevent us from taking it. ( Don't get into the legalities of the Captain being in charge, I understand them). Just because abandoned ships are found after rescues doesn't mean the p[people who abandoned them wouldn't have been badly injured or killed.

Suppose the Bounty crew decided they wanted to get off the ship and told the Captain that. Are you saying they are signing onto a death sentence if conditions change and they have no say in the matter. I can only imagine the SN outrage if people found out they wanted off earlier and that the Captain said no.

Its fine to comment on that you shouldn't go in the first place, and we will differ in what's safe to have and what not in terms of equipment and crew, but you cant plan, practice for every condition or emergency you will face. If you think you can you are deluding yourself. Mother nature has its own agenda you can practice for. Machinery breaks. Not sure I understand what you are saying here, but I hope people don't follow this advice if they get in a situation in which they are overmatched, its bad advice. Call for help

So if the criteria is the ship can survive or as you stated
Quote:
The sailboat is tougher than the people are
how does this scenario work out.

You decide to circumnavigate the Delmarv singlehanded. As you head north along the Delaware coast, sleep deprived, muddling you decisions as well as your motor activities as you've been awake 20 hours , a T storm blows up. As you attempt to reef or bring down the sails the boat is struck by a wave and you fall breaking both your legs and arm in three places. Excruciating pain. You cant perform even the simplest of tasks. 20 miles offshore. You are in no threat of dying. The T storm passes and its calm The wave has knocked out your communications except for the EPIRB or PLB.

I wouldn't go alone in the first place as that's an irresponsible risk just because situations like this can happen easily but that's another issue to be argued.

Do you call for help? I would. If my crew mate ( because I wouldn't be stupid enough to be alone) needed medical assistance, even though it wasn't immediate life threatening, Id call for help.

BTW if they remove you off the boat your boat will float ashore surviving the accident.
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