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kimberlite 10-01-2006 11:49 PM

92 footer VS coal carrier
Any news updates as to how the accident happened?
fair winds,

sailingdog 10-02-2006 07:50 AM

It is hard to imagine that they couldn't see a boat that is almost 100' long...with masts sticking up from it that are probably 60' or more in height..

nolatom 10-02-2006 11:53 AM


Originally Posted by sailingdog
It is hard to imagine that they couldn't see a boat that is almost 100' long...with masts sticking up from it that are probably 60' or more in height..

And equally hard to understand that the sailing (or motorsailing?) vessel (which if 92' likely had radar? And definitely had VHF? and one, maybe both, had AIS?) wouldn't see a 600' coal collier either. Understand both were eastbound at about 0430. Don't know what the visibility was.

Very sad that there was a fatality.

btrayfors 10-02-2006 12:10 PM

Clear weather, good visibility, early morning hours, no land, buoys, or other obstructions for miles....

Here's my bet: somebody, or somebodies, were below, off the bridge, and/or fell asleep while the boat/ship was on autopilot.

Can't think of any other reasonable explanation, except that the autopilot may have been thrown off by the huge mass of steel nearby...sometimes happens...but even if it did the watchkeeper, if awake, present, quick and competent, should have been able to disengage it.


Bob1112 10-02-2006 03:21 PM

The area of Long Island Sound where the accident occurred can have a fair amount of backlighting from the shorelines (there are two; the Connecticut shore to the North and the New York shore to the South). It can be very hard at times to pick up navigation lights or government markers. The masts are invisible at night (If the sails are also up, they can be visible, but even in that case, somebody needs to shine a light on them to make them visible). Radar can be tricky; the collier probably presented a good target, while the sailboat (even a large one) may or may not. But what was the radar range setting? If set at 12 miles in Long Island Sound, it is of limited value, since both shorelines are the main reflection (it looks like you are going through a lit-up funnel).

There are so many possibilities; we will have to see if any further facts are made public.

nolatom 10-02-2006 03:42 PM

I think I read that collision was about 0403. This would've been change-of-watch time for the typical large ship, and the relief of watch can be a distraction from lookout. Seems many collisions happen at 8, 12, and 4 as a result.

And ships usually show some house lights aside from the nav. lights, while a sailboat, even a large one, may show only a white stern light if you're overtaking her, and a white light is easier to lose in background lighting ashore than the red or green would be if you're meeting or crossing.

These are just general observations, I'm not trying to speculate here since we don't know the facts, just the result.

jgeltz 10-02-2006 08:52 PM

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