Sister ships night run-in with an oil rig in the gulf - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-13-2007 Thread Starter
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Sister ships night run-in with an oil rig in the gulf

S/V Hello Texas
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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Wow...the skipper needs to eat carrots AND to get a radar. What an unfortunate and bizarre way to prang your boat.

I can't really understand how the relative motion of even dim lights on a fixed rig would tell you it was quite close, rather than far away. I've certainly been in the opposite situation: on a dark shore watching boats transit at some distance and using "sixty D street" to figure out how fast they were going and how far off they were.

Wouldn't rigs also be positioned according to Notice to Mariners? I mean, once in, they tend to stay fixed for some time.

Sad story, anyway. I carry a roll-up emergency antenna for the nav VHF that allows me to use its 25 watts at deck level. It's a handy thing, and when I tested it, I predictably lost range to 4 miles or so, but was 5 x 5 inside that radius.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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ok, I'm waiting...
where are the pooh-bah's that are chomping on the bit to say
"why is that weed smoker out there"
"what do you mean he couldn't see it"
"he's going to kill himself or somebody else"
"I'll bet it was the bean sprouts or some of that tantric yoga he dances to"
"flippin' hippie"
"you can't tell me that he couldn't see it, at least he should have heard it"
"where was his radar"
"how come he's still at it"

after all these were the comments regarding the 1000 day butt-head for not seeing a freighter.

THIS WAS AN OIL RIG, THEY DON'T MOVE MUCH.

We are not primarily on earth to see through one another, but to see one another through

Some people are like slinkies: not really good for anything... but you can't help laughing when you push them down the stairs
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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OK...I'll say it!!
How the hell do you do that in calm weather with a known hazard to navigation?? Mucho big and costly mistakes there!!
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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ok, while this was a big time F up... I do have to say that oil rigs out here in the gulf can be both deceiving, poorly lit, uncharted and un-updated in the Gulf of Mexico, ESPECIALLY post Katrina where a ton of rigs got knocked over and many are left cut off just above the water line. I work in the Gulf on a research vessel and we are always going around rigs and while many of them are well lit, the abandoned ones at times have their 4 corners marked like it appeared this one had, sometimes they only have one light on one corner so that if you are coming from the opposite side of it you cant see it with the naked eye until its too late. There have been plenty of times that without radar I wouldnt have even known I was going by one of these "well heads". Its even spookier (if that is a word) to go by one at less than a mile, hear its fog signal, see it on the radar, but not be able to see it with ones own two eyes.
So, while this was a BIG mistake, it happens to people with a lot more experience transiting the Gulf of Mexico a lot more frequently than you would think, as probably once a month or so I hear calls to the coast guard that a crew boat or shrimper has hit a well head.
Hope he can get his boat back into shape and OUT of the Gulf of Mexico, because I for one know I will never bring my sailboat down into these Rig Infested waters (no offense to those Gulf of Mexico cruisers)

New owner of a Lippincott 30!
Hailing from the West River, MD
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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Doesn't this make radar pretty well mandatory in the Gulf, then? A wellhead and a just-proud-of-sealevel reef would cause similar damage, but would also show on radar (or even forward-facing sonar) well before you hit it.

And I don't buy that they are uncharted...they would be total hazards to navigation, just like picnic tables, half-sunk deadhead logs, awash tree trunks, and loose containers. And those get reported in coastal waters all the time, usually with decent GPS co-ords.

I just figure the oil companies themselves would issue lat/lons publicly in order to avoid lawsuits. I assume a wellhead could open a tanker or frieghter hull nicely at speed, causing vast ecological damage and worse publicity.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-13-2007 Thread Starter
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These are salty folks who've been living on their boat for a couple of years. It really does make the point about radar, a very expensive point!
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente
And I don't buy that they are uncharted...they would be total hazards to navigation, just like picnic tables, half-sunk deadhead logs, awash tree trunks, and loose containers. And those get reported in coastal waters all the time, usually with decent GPS co-ords.

I just figure the oil companies themselves would issue lat/lons publicly in order to avoid lawsuits. I assume a wellhead could open a tanker or frieghter hull nicely at speed, causing vast ecological damage and worse publicity.
The Platforms, satellites and well heads are charted. Since the that hurricane season over 114 platforms where toppled. Many more the flashing navigation marker lights are out. This latter are being repair as rapidly as possible.
All of the platforms are charted (Keep your charts up dated & corrected) and if you read your notice to mariners you will find where the jack ups are at. 99% of them are lighted. And the satellites have fog horns also... Even if the manned rigs do not.
But if you want to know where they are at then go to the
Department of Interior, Mineral management service, Gulf of Mexico and you will find all of the Lat/longs of every platform.
On the gulf charts they do show shipping lanes that do not have platforms in them and you can use them also.
But whether sailing the Gulf or working in it, you have to be aware of such navigation hazards. Along with shoals, reefs, coral heads and jetties.

That boat is now a momument to that owner's navigation skills and watch keeping abilities. Rule 5 from Rules of the Road & ColRegs. A lookout must be maintained at all times.
Of course this is one reason I don't like deck sweeper Genoas or jibs. They can hide little things such as ships & platforms. Especially if the watch are to lazy or tired to get up and look around them.
And added note: I've worked the Gulf for years and am aware of the hazards out there. But even if you are new to the Gulf, a proper lookout and tracking your progress on your charts you will be aware of the Navigation hazards around you.
Using radar (its a tool) helps... but not if it is down below where you can't see it. You may want to have a small generator on board to run all of the electronic/electric navigation tools. Lights, GPS, Loran, radar and Fathometer. throw in a coffee pot also to help keep you awake and alert. Two cups of coffee is equal to one tablet of No-doze.
Safety first always.

Note the Navigation marker lights on those platforms & satellites are up high, two to three stories high. So you need to see everything ahead of you and not just down at the water level.

Last edited by Boasun; 05-13-2007 at 03:28 PM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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Boas,

I'd have to guess that Hello Texas left Buds, went down Tiger Pass and his next pictures of being in Texas waters looks like Sabine. With no more incidents between Venice and Sabine, looks like he cheated death. Now I wonder what kind of experiences this guy will have in the ICW towards Houston. Heh, heh. Myself, I liked the pic in the Pensacola shipyard the best. Also nice to see someone that knows the difference between a rig and a platform.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-13-2007
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I had a freind of mine almost hit a rig platform at night and IT DID NOT SHOW ON HIS RADAR!!! Scared the crap outta him for sure but it didn't show at all.
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