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post #11 of 64 Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

Sign to be installed at the helm for those of you who would tilt at ferries:

"Here lies the body of Johnny O'Day
Who died Preserving His Right of Way.

He was Right, Dead Right, as he sailed along
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong!"
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post #12 of 64 Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

The Law of Gross Tonnage dictates that you get your happy butt out of the way when you know without a doubt who the loser is going to be in a collision.
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post #13 of 64 Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
Not being terribly familiar with the area, wouldn't all of you who sail there be aware of the ferry routes and be especially vigilant when transiting a ferry route?
Though this seems a strange case, with fog not an issue, being below without any watch stander while crossing a ferry route seems a bit foolish.
Being a licensed, professional captain I have some idea of the hell that rains down on a professional USCG licensed captain (not through personal experience, mind you), and I cannot imagine such a cavalier act by one. There has to be something else going on here, or just complete incompetence by the ferry captain and it's probably a good thing this happened before a loss of life situation happened, with him at the helm.
These ferries are about as predictable as things get out here, and where they operate is fairly constrained because of depth. They are really easy to avoid. That said, the ferry captain probably had a little bit of room one way or the other to avoid him. Glad no one is hurt.
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post #14 of 64 Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

Hey,

I sail in an area with frequent ferry traffic (Port Jefferson - Bridgeport ferry's) and I am careful to stay out of their way.

However,

Of course the ferry captain has some responsibility here. Some things he could have done: stopped, honked a horn, turned port or starboard.

What if the sailboat had the captain on deck, keeping a lookout, and had a problem that prevented him from moving his boat? I guess then you think the ferry is just free to run him down?

The sailboat was wrong: completely and totally wrong. But, the ferry operator was not keeping a lookout and did not operate his vessel in safe manner.

Barry

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Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #15 of 64 Old 09-15-2013
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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.
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post #16 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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Unless their ability to maneuver is restricted in a narrow channel, they have no particular right of way in open water. I also try to stay out of their way and away from their routes but they move too fast for a sailboat to get out of the way. They are the burdened vessel when overtaking sailboats or any slow moving craft and they surely need to slow down in limited visibility.
Well.... You're in NY and clearly unfamiliar with local navigation conditions and rules. Local ferry traffic (WA, BC) is heavy and often done in restricted waters... Most of it matter of fact. Download a chart and have a look. Facts are often less interesting than speculation from afar.
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post #17 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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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.
This is valuable info, thanks for sharing.
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post #18 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
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.
I really appreciate input from someone who knows the area. I particularly agree with your point 11.

I'm familiar with BC Ferries, but Washington State Ferries are an unknown for me. I have one rule that makes life easy, regardless of coregs: never argue with anything bigger than I am. Of course, if my helm is inside a pilothouse....

Mark

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post #19 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

Lets see here....routine running every 45 or so minutes...day in and day out......
Ferry crew can work in their sleep....not miss a beat.......barge boys know what I am talkin' 'bout too......the sameness of doing the same route thousands of times.........

This is a tough gig......Unless you are gonna rotate cpts, crew, etc constantly you will get repetition fatigue. There is no solution....so the bean counters factor in the risk and voila ....acceptable...this is what insurance is for.........


Damn sorry to see this stuff happen....the "golden bb" got him.
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post #20 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
Well.... You're in NY and clearly unfamiliar with local navigation conditions and rules. Local ferry traffic (WA, BC) is heavy and often done in restricted waters... Most of it matter of fact. Download a chart and have a look. Facts are often less interesting than speculation from afar.
Rule #1: AVOID COLLISION. Have you ever been through NY Harbor? Ferries of all sizes, speeds, shapes are all over the place, transiting currents that sometimes move at 4 knots. They don't run sailboats down. The smaller ferries are VERY maneuverable and predictably abide by all the usual rules of the road. If, as a small vessel, you follow those rules there is no problem whatsoever. The more I read of this collision, the more it becomes clear that the ferry was mostly at fault.

The main problem with larger, fast moving craft in open water is that they fail to keep an adequate lookout many times. Complacency, as mentioned above is probably the cause. It seems that sometimes they put the boat on autopilot and forget to pay attention. I have seen this occur on more than one occasion. I had a near-miss a couple of years ago with a tanker that was oblivious to the fact that I was ahead of him, changed course as I was attempting to gth out of his way, and nearly ran me down. No passing signal, No radio contact, Nothing. Oblivious. If coming from behind all the avoidance in the world on your part is useless if a large, fast moving ship is not paying attention. The only thing you can do is to move at right angles to where he MAY be heading as soon as you detect him coming from behind but if he is altering course, that is impossible to figure.
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