Thanks! This is a very good report of what happened on the water. There has been even more fallout, as the regional body for testing (Pruefungsausschuss Rhein- Ruhr) has been accused of issuing boating licenses without instructions and testing, but for cash.
The head of the testing commission already stepped down, and all instructors directly involved in this case were dismissed.
When 8 supposedly well trained crew are unable to hoist one man aboard then there is an issue with training.
I am afraid that this event may turn into a nasty problem for Salona, due to the issue with the boarding ladder. Luckily for Salona, this did not happen in the USA.
They were obviously not well trained and that seems to have been a total chaos on that operation. Regarding the report there seems to be several things missing:
Wind and sea state and most of all the time table of all operation.
Regarding turning a nasty problem to Salona I don't think so. The legislation permits the use of removable stairs (many other boats use them) and the ones responsible to store it on a difficult place to access is the owner/crew. I know the fixation system and it is a very safe one providing it is maintained in an adequate maintenance condition. Basically you insert the stair on a rail, push it to the end and turn a thumb wheel to get it properly fixed. For what I have understood one of those thumb wheels was not greased and did not turn, making impossible to insert one of the sides in the rail.
I guess that what this accident is going to change is the European legislation making mandatory a fixed stair accessible/deployed from the water and that’s a justifiable measure in what regards safety.
Makes for a resounding case for two things.. a practical, permanently mounted 'swim' ladder, and crotch straps for PFDs - not just for kids.
Some impressive looking credentials on that boat crew and skipper wise, but perhaps given the issue mentioned above that's all it is.. impressive "looking"...
Regarding credentials I guess Bjung got it right. Unfortunately some of the most basic ones (and it seems most of them were) means just nothing except money (“regional body for testing (Pruefungsausschuss Rhein- Ruhr) has been accused of issuing boating licenses without instructions and testing, but for cash”) and the instructor (skipper) did seem not to have the training or competence to do his job.
A fixed stair is a lot better than one that has to be put in place but it is obvious that they did not even tried to assemble the stair before going out on an unknown boat. If they had done that they would have found that a thumb wheel was stuck and would have oiled it and unstuck it. I can assure you that if that stair was in an accessible place and without a lot of stuff over it (I don’t know if the place where it was stored was easily accessible ) probably I could have mounted it in less than 15 seconds and surely in not more than 30 seconds.
.. Note the time from when he fell to his recovery was only 15 minutes until he apparently was minimally responsive at the stern of the boat. Water temp was extremely cold (46-50F). In retrospect, there were obviously actions that could have been taken, but nothing I couldn't see a lot of people doing. So be careful out there...
I don’t know if they could have pulled him out if the boat had a fixed stair. For what I understood the guy on the water was not hurt but when it reached the stair they say he was already in shock and unable to climb it.
The question that begged to be answered is how much time they took to drive the man to the stair. The guy was connected to the boat by a line and they tried first to get him out on the side of the boat and that is pretty stupid.
How much time they have lost with that nonsense? How much time takes a non blessed man to a shock state in 46/50F water? They should have been able to mount the removable stair in less than a minute and drive by the line the man on the water to the stair in another minute. All recovering operation should have lasted no more than 3 minutes .
The main reason I have posted this here was because I was shocked by how this accident was possible. Panic and lack of training can have dramatic consequences and block rational thought creating chaos.
Very, very impressive indeed.
This report opened my eyes and will certainly improve the safety issues on our boat.
Especially regarding the bathing ladder, which we also kept in a locker but will now be permanently and securely fitted, immediatly ready for use.
Yes, like yours and the Salona mine has also a removable ladder and yes I am also going to change the locker where I keep it to have it more ready.
Besides that, because I am typically absent minded and I sail solo sometimes, the first thing I have done in my boat was to rig a small rope on the transom that is inside the boat and can be reached from the water. The rope has two loops for the feet, works as a makeshift ladder and allow me to get back on board without the removable ladder in place(I have tried it).
You know I like to wake up in the morning with a jump to the water and a swim and I bet that someday I will forget to put the dam ladder in place
My previous boat had a fixed ladder.
Paulo this is a great safety report and should have it own thread, so we can vet out and learn from this tragic accident. Maybe the Mods can cut it out and move it into its own thread. So much to discuss.
Melrna, please feel free to post it on another thread if you think it will be useful, this or any other thing I post here.
Best regards to all.