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post #43 of Old 11-30-2011
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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Have another one. On this one the sea is a bit worse but the boat is not at risk. Well sailed and running downwind with a bit of sail I am quite sure that would be perfectly alright. With an floating anchor and pointing to the wind should also be perfectly alright. I believe that the boat could even be sailed against the wind and at least be maintained stationary. Of course, not with a big genoa, but with an appropriated front sail.

The skipper has an injured harm but he injured the harm in the storm and I fail to understand why he had not a rigged stay and a storm sail on it, before the storm, for control. The boat was on a rally so he knew the bad weather was coming and should have the boat ready before the bad weather. I don't see any removable stay, so the chances is that he had not one and that is inadmissible on that type of boat with a big Genoa on an ocean crossing.

They all say the boats are making water but the chances are that in a storm a boat will not be completely watertight. I guess that for some some water on the bottom is making water. They say that the pumps were not functioning. How? Both, the manual and the electric? they they not check that before going offshore? What is the chances that both pumps are not working? The manual one is bullet prove, if some maintenance is made.

A British Yacht off Sri Lanka has sunk in the Indian Ocean as reported by Andrew Brook from Yachting Monthly. The yacht which is a Blue Water rally type wasn't able to resist a violent winds in the Indian Ocean...

Keith Harding a 68 years old skipper injured his arm, and he was unable to navigate correctly. He contacted the Falmouth Coastguard in order to receive some medical advices to gain control over the boat again. Unfortunately, the situation aggravated after an hour, and he wasn't capable of handling the force 11 winds.

Keith Harding sent a mayday before Baccus, a Sun Odyssey of 45.2 meters started to sink. He from Kent and his crew, Colin Clarke from Cambridge and Sieste Hoff from Belgium, were all rescued by a merchant vessel named Maersk Surabaya. ....

In 2007, Mr. Harding along with his wife Susan (pictured above together in Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia) who is now 63 years old started the Blue Water Rally. However, unluckily, due to their old age, they had much health related issues during their time passed in the big blue sea. On many stages, they both had to go back to their country, which is UK, because of illness.

Keith Harding's yacht off Sri Lanka sinks in the Indian Ocean.

So this is the problem. Now it is "normal" to call a Mayday "before the boat started to sinking". Why as he not waited the storm to pass? The boat was intact, the rig was on. We should call for a mayday when there is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate assistance, not before it happens or in a situation where it can happen (or not) such a situation.

You ask me if someone that calls a mayday on a non life-threatening emergency that does not require immediate assistance should pay its evacuation I would say yes. Otherwise you would have maydays always a non prepared skipper or crew is frightened and want to get out of there.


Hey PCP,

I certainly agree with your sentiments on the matter.

However, the case you posted, the skipper actually chimed in on another cruising forum and explained in detail what led to having to be "rescued". He was almost killed during the process as well and had to watch a merchant ship crush his vessel because they pulled it too close despite his efforts. I won't quote him here, but I can recall something on the lines of, "Don't listen to anyone other than your own gut." (That includes wives in some cases)

I have read of some other situations when a panicky crew calls "Mayday" against the captains wishes and once the Rescue crew finally gets to you, they tend not to leave without everyone on the Helo, just out of policy. (Someone can clarify that for me I am sure)

Lets not forget the saddening tale of the S/V Satori. The captain told everyone to buckle down and ride out the storm as he had many times in that tough little lady in the past. One of crew hopped on the radio begging for help and thus began the turn for the worst. One of the crew was lost after jumping in to reach the Coast Guard cage, the captain was told he would be removed by force from the vessel if he didnt leave it and the boat of course was found in sound condition weeks later.

I just wanted to chime in that the situation you cited was vastly different than someone getting "lost" at sea and phoning in for help. Regardless, your arguments are not only sound, but I think inline with most peoples views on calling for help and risking other peoples lives when it isnt needed.

Speaking from experience here. Many, many, years ago my family chartered in the BVI right when the Moorings had just started to develop its operation there (80s). Not many people were bareboating either, you had to do an exam and sail with a captain for several hours to get the "clear". My father at that point had been sailing for close to 30 years. He also was an avid racer, commanded a sense of safety without effort and was just a hell of a captain not to mention a nice guy. We had a young family "friend" aboard that was skittish with the trip from the get go. I think what looked like a fun trip on paper turned into a nightmare for her once she stepped aboard.

During a tight and nervous entrance in to Anegada ahead of a nasty blow she did the unthinkable. It was hard to see the bottom with no sun left in the sky, but the water was still calm, so with the help of a local on a skiff we ventured, slowly. Well, while everyone was on deck keeping an eye on our route, we nicked something slightly. No big deal, was to be expected to be honest, but that sound had our "guest" hiding down below busy on the radio frantically calling Maydays on any button she could press. My father in a heart beat jumped down and grabbed the radio our of her hand and spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince other people from venturing out for no reason. He forced her topside, pointed at the front and firmly said, "You see that? You almost made people cross that for nothing." The next morning was a quick detour back to Tortola to drop her off. We continued to charter around the world as a family for the next 10 years, never once doubting our captain, never once questioning his wanton desire to keep us safe, even during a gutwretching Hurricane Mitch. Some people though, just can't handle situations in which they do not have total control and more dangerously refuse to listen to those that do.

Last edited by Patient; 11-30-2011 at 05:05 AM.
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