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Old 09-15-2013
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sailboat and ferry collide!

Sailboat sinks in San Juans after crash with state ferry | www.kirotv.com


It was very foggy in our area at the time of the collision, we are slightly north of the San Juans. Perhaps that contributed to it, although no one mentions it in the article.....

It is a good reminder to keep a good lookout and give way to tonnage!
I am glad no one was seriously hurt!
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Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

I've been in the San Juans during the last week, though I was about 10NM from the crash when it happened.

The fog has been really thick up here. Right now I can barely see a dock that is less than 100' away. The ferries are very good at using their foghorns, I wish I could say that for others!

I'm glad that no one was hurt.
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Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

This has been a topic before but is worth mentioning again that ferries often go WAY too damned fast in conditions where visibility is limited. I guess they must use radar as an excuse but as we all know radar misses stuff, especially sailboats. Keeping a schedule is no excuse for running down small craft.
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

After a little more reading it appears fog was not an issue at all in the area.....
And yes the ferries go fast, but I don't think they go way to fast....as a frequent user of BC Ferries, I appreciate the short convenient rides they provide. As a boater I stay the heck out of their way. In our area they are very constrained to their routes and are carrying many more passengers than I am and they are responsible for the safety of all those passengers. I consider them to be the stand on vessel in all situations. I do believe Colregs would in most situations as well. There is often just not much room for them to alter course and being large they are much less manueverable than I am.
They are working, I am enjoying.
I cannot know what circumstances led to the recent collision but it seems the sailor at least was not keeping a lookout. Unfortunately he is the one who lost the most......
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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.
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Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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.
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Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

An eyewitness aboard the ferry said the sailboat captain was "below decks" at the time....
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

There was no fog.
Only an idiot messes with a ferry. It's just plan common sense to stay away from ferries.
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

I can't see how they can blame the ferry capt. I'm sure its local sailing ground for the 27 sailboat capt. and he must have known he was in the shipping channel, so to leave the helm and go below deck sounds like he was going for a Darwin award.
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Old 09-15-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

I grew up in Victoria and have taken all of those ferries, many times. Rules of the Road or no rules of the road. If you boat there, you know about the ferries. Period. You don't mess with big, heavy steel ferry boats. Period!
I am sorry the guy lost his sailboat.
I am really sorry the Ferry Captain will probably pay the brunt of this.
  • Clear visibility (apparently)
  • Sail boat captain below deck under power (apparently)
  • In a restricted narrow channel with known ferry traffic (apparently)
Lucky that this was not a fatality!

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