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post #15 of Old 09-15-2013
Courtney the Dancer
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Juan Islands., WA, USA
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

I can see where this happened from my front windows and I was at the location half an hour before it happened in our power boat. This is what I know from reading the news reports and talking to some people here.
1. There was no fog where the accident happened although there was fog in other areas very close by (when I went through there I had the radar on but didn't need it).
2. The ferry was approaching the sailboats port side (sailboat was the stand on vessel).
3. The ferry did not sound any sound signal.
4. The ferry took evasive action only during the last few seconds before collision.
5. The sailboat was a Fisher pilothouse and none of them that I've seen have an outside steering station, the helm is inside.
6. The sailboat did not take evasive action or sound a signal.
7. The sailboat went completely under the ferry.
8. The skipper of the sailboat survived but is in the hospital.
9. The ferries here are not constrained by draft in any of the channels and have no special privileges or designation, I've had them detour around me while sailing a number of times, they are actually pretty maneuverable.
10. Only one channel that I can think of would be tight enough that a ferry wouldn't have room to change course in order to go around another boat (Wasp Pass).
11. According to the rules both vessels share responsibility for this accident IMHO- the ferry should have sounded the danger signal and either changed course or slowed down to avoid the sailboat and obviously wasn't maintaining a proper watch and the sailboat also should have sounded the danger signal and taken evasive action when they determined that the ferry was not going to alter course.

SV Laurie Anne

1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse

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