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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 05-10-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

Yesterday - May 9th, I caught the last bit of the report,on CNN, of a boat that the guys decided to abandon, and had the coast guard pick them up. I am sure it was out off the East Coast. Does anyone out that way know just where they were, and what the boat was?

I did hear that they had been knocked down twice and that the hatch cover had been blown off.

Walt Ward -- Northern Lower Michigan
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Old 05-10-2005
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TrueBlue is a jewel in the rough TrueBlue is a jewel in the rough TrueBlue is a jewel in the rough
Abandoned Sail Boat???????

The 44 foot sailboat was caught in rough seas 400 miles off Virginia Beach. 2 sailors were washed overboard, one a 58 year old from Conn., was picked up alive by a Panamanian merchant vessel yesterday after a Coast Guard plane spotted his PFD strobe light at about 4 a.m.

Later that day, the captain, a 65 year old from N.Y., was found dead in the water. Seas were over 16 feet . . . tragic.
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Old 05-10-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

Two different boats involved here. One, sailing from Bridgeport CT, to Bermuda, is the one referred to by TrueBlue. The two were swept ovrboard by a wave when they were trying to deploy a liferaft. I believe others stayed on board and were ok; empty liferaft recovered 50 miles from the boat. An AP report available on a link on the Cruising World website thread has other details and the boat name, which I forget. The other boat, from which both people aboard were airlifted safely, was the "At Ease", a Bavaria 41 which was headed to Charleston for the Charleston-Bermuda Race. Both boats ran into nasty weather from a Nor''easter (remember it was supposed to rain all last weekend, all along the E.Coast?). The sustained wind, combined with Gulf Stream counter-current, probably made for some nasty conditions. Sailing Anarchy posters reported weatherbuoy wave heights of 5 to 7 meters in the respective areas. That doesn''t sound like anything extraordinary until you consider how quick the period between waves might be. I''ve been through the Gulf Stream, beating into an 8'' chop in 25 knots of breeze. It can really do a number on both a boat and its crew.
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Old 05-10-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

I know we discuss these offshore issues all the time but the if the one vessel was not taking on water why did these people needed to be airlifted?I do not want to seem cold here however I remmber the discussions on this board of people talking about how they would or did operate in 10 to 15 meter seas.When you go offshore you have to expect 20 foot waves,since these are not uncommon.I was not on either of these vessels obviously so it`s impossible for me to understand what each was going through however the conditions to me do not seem outrages if the boat was up for the task.(the one with the crew on board)I am not trying to belittle the situation,only trying to understand more of just what was happening.I hope people with more information on these unfortunate situations will post it,not being nosey just want to learn.Again I am stressing I do not want to show any disrespect.
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Old 05-11-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

During the ''78 Newport-Bermuda race, we had a nasty storm run through the fleet. A close friend of mine was on a boat that lost a crew member overboard. He was overwrought with grief after the race. Even though all seagoing precautions were taken for foul weather, this crewmwmber had died. The leading cause atributed to his being swept overboard and subsequent death? Seasickness!!!! The crewmwmber was so sick that he was unable to perform even simple tasks, like clip into the jack-lines as he came on deck. He was unsteady and having trouble clipping in when he was washed over.

The boats could be fine, but if the standing crew were overcome by mal d mare, their judgement could have been impared. Nothing is worse than being in a storm and becoming overcome by this insideous symptom. I have been fortunate to only been effected once. And it was no treat. I''m no rookie either, having tens of thousands of blue water miles under me. When I was overcome, it was particularly nasty out, the boat had suffered a diesel leak below, all hatches were shut, most everyone was sick, except for me. I volunteered to go below to fix breakfast for the crew, seeing I was "Impervious" to getting sick. Well after 10 plates of scrambled eggs and bacon were served up, I could not take it any longer, and became violently ill. I went on deck, clipped in and spent the rest of the storm in a haze, I just recall the arrival at port, and that''s about it.

When you are sick, every wave seems like 100'' tall and that the rolling will never stop. Small things become big things in your mind, and you may not be able to cope. This is not to say that is what had recently occured, but may have been a contributing factor. All the best laid plans can go awry if you are un-able to funtion rationally.
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Old 05-12-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????


Paulk

Thanks for the info. It was the second one you described that I saw part of the report. In one of the two partial reports that I saw they had the two guys that were on the boat, so I knew that they got off ok. Also, they showed video shot by the Coast Guard showing the boat still aflot as the sailors were being lifted out of the water. Have you heard if the boat made it through on it''s own?

Walt
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Old 05-12-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

So true Simaril.What bothers me is that most people do not understand the power of the sea.I say to go on one of those crazy fair rides where you get tossed around(zipper),then if that doesn`t bother you than go offshore.Know your limitations before hand.Let`s face it in a real storm you are going over,on a cat you are going upside down.You hear all the strageties like working the waves,try doing that in the middle of the night when you cannot even see the person beside you.Then there is the other crowd that will ride the overturned cat like a mule in 15 meter seas.All I have to say on that is make sure you get it on video.I used to go out on fishing boats in the middle of the night,in a winter storm because if you didn`t go you had no job.When it comes to real offshore stories I hear more BS then fact.When I say I used to I mean I couldn`t handle the stress of that work and I have great respect for the ocean.Our boats are toys not ocean going vessels like many people think in a real storm.
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Old 06-17-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

Last year I was pushed by circumstance to quickly get my boat out of one port and move 160 miles north. I was in process of building the boat and scrambled to get many things done, even installing fuel tanks just the day before I left.

The weather was fine and I had no reason to believe it would be any different, but then, I was working so hard I didn''t pay attention.

Too much work to do, not enough sleep. Abundant arrogance on my part.

Just when it was time to leave (I needed a specially high tide to get out of the creek) a fifty knot squall pressed me into the dock so hard I couldn''t move. It passed and I left. It was just the first squall in a series of about twenty over the next 36 hours. I didn''t know that. I pushed out of the inlet into an 8 foot chop that swept the deck twice and tore my boom loose. I retied the boom and went on.

After two days, I''d only made it 60 miles and, totally exhausted and discouraged, headed for an inlet and ducked into the intercoastal waterway, where I quickly ran hard aground.

That was it. I sat down and stared and wished for all the world I had never been so stupid as to own a boat. I should have a camp. No. I should have a tent and live in the woods. I looked at the shore and (realizing that I could WALK away) thought about leaving.

Then the radio said someone named Hurricane Charley was grinding his way straight for me.

I''m all better now. I got off and made it north and got proper berth and shelter.

The problem was not the boat or the seas. It was me. I wasn''t properly prepared. I shrugged off weather that I shouldn''t have. I allowed myself to be pressured into going out when I wasn''t ready. Operator error all the way. Good news? I made it anyway and saved the boat.
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Old 06-17-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

Well here is one of my war stories.Years ago I bought a 24 foot sloop from a guy as is.This boat was sitting on the hard for 3 years and No electonics worked not even the compass.I was in a large harbor and knew the area and was itching to take this boat for a spin.I set off just to cruise inside the harbor but I was having to much fun to stay in protected water so off I went into the North Atlantic.Large swells were alot of fun and when I was about to return some 10 miles along a rocky shoreline the fog bank moved in and visibility was to the end of your nose.No communications,shipping lane nearby and not even a light onboard because the battery was dead.Down I went looking for an anchor to at least try and hold my position.Picking through garbage I got an anchor and pitched it over.Somehow it held untill the next day when the wind shifted and blew the fog further out to sea.It was quite a night and it shows you you cannot make anything foolproof.It just breeds a more efficient class of fool.
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Old 06-17-2005
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Abandoned Sail Boat???????

FalconEddie,

We often blame others or things for our problems or discontent...it is refreshing to hear someone take responsibility for their bad decisions. We rarely have control of the things around us but we always have control of what''s inside us. When we use life as a means of learning it makes it so much more enjoyable! I am glad your lessons didn''t come at the expense of your boat or your well-being.
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