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hertfordnc 01-09-2008 09:08 AM

another missing sailor
I love traveling alone and I really look forward to sailing by myself. But a little voice tells me I am not experienced enough. I hope to be some day.

Apprently this guy wasn't either:

sailingdog 01-09-2008 10:22 AM

The guy was a novice sailor on a new to him boat. He was going to do a fairly long coastal trip (60 nm) with the Santa Ana winds blowing off the land. He had cases of Corona beer aboard...

I see so many problems with this, it ain't funny. First, he was a novice sailor on a new-to-him boat. That alone is a recipe for disaster.

Second, he didn't file a float plan. That's why it's taken three months for anyone to realize he was missing—and the boat is now in Hawaii.

Third, the cases of Corona beer doesn't lead me to believe Bunker was the type to sail sober. Sailing and drinking don't mix well. Sailing singlehanded, on a new-to-you boat and drinking are a good way to win a Darwin Award.

Fourth, the Santa Ana winds were starting up. Santa Ana winds can be truly hellacious. I don't know if I'd want to be out sailing in them myself.

I'd be curious to know if the boat had jacklines run. I'm willing to bet it didn't. I'm also willing to bet he didn't have a harness and tether.

Finally, the boat had some indications of a fire aboard, yet no PAN-PAN or MAYDAY call was ever heard. If I had a fire aboard, I'd at least want to issue a PAN-PAN about it... wouldn't you???

UGH... it's stories like this that make me wonder.

Robby Barlow 01-09-2008 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by sailingdog (Post 247621)

I'd be curious to know if the boat had jacklines run. I'm willing to bet it didn't. I'm also willing to bet he didn't have a harness and tether.

Totally agree with you SD, but I'd say he probably did have jacklines what else would a jack@$$ hold on to?

GySgt 01-09-2008 11:35 AM

That's sad. and I agree also with SD. Sometimes people think our responses to their dreams are too harsh, but I think this is why. We try to keep people from doing moronic things before they have things and skills in place to accomplish them.

ccriders 01-09-2008 11:49 AM

I'm not familiar with the term "pan-pan". You use it as I would MAYDAY or distress signal. Can you clarify?

GySgt 01-09-2008 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by ccriders (Post 247650)
I'm not familiar with the term "pan-pan". You use it as I would MAYDAY or distress signal. Can you clarify?

This does a better job than I, pronounced Pon-Pon

ccriders 01-09-2008 11:57 AM

Thanks, that's good information.

Gramp34 01-09-2008 12:06 PM

Turns out he didn't finish paying for the boat before his trip:
Bunker had made a $9,000 down payment for the boat and still owed a few thousand dollars when he told McArthur he was moving the boat to San Diego, where he said he had found another slip to sublet. (
So don't finance a novice sailor in (your) new boat doing an offshore run, either.


thesnort 01-09-2008 12:48 PM

Cases of Corona for a trip from Dana Point to San Diego? Either he got a really good buy someplace in Orange County that he couldn't pass up, or he was one serious beer drinker.

sailingdog 01-09-2008 12:58 PM

Basically, a MAYDAY is an call for immediate assistance. A PAN-PAN is a call to warn people that you've got a problem and that you may need assistance.

If you make a MAYDAY call and the USCG shows up, they'll be somewhat put out if you don't have a boat that is sinking or on fire or a person with a serious medical emergency... You don't make a MAYDAY call if you've run out of fuel, like a boat did last year... or if you're just tired and want to get off, which has also happened.

BTW, if you don't know the difference between SecuritÚ, PAN-PAN and MAYDAY you probably should learn.

SECURIT╔ calls are basically informational in nature. You might use it when you're about to enter a narrow channel and don't have a working engine, that you saw a drifting log or other potentially damaging flotsam/jetsam/debris. It is also used to report weather updates and such. It is the least urgent of the distress calls.

PAN-PANs are a bit more urgent, and generally, as I posted above, indicate that their is no immediate risk of losing the boat or imminent loss of life. This is often used if you go aground in a soft grounding... like on a sand bar, or if you are taking on water, but the pumps are keeping up with it. It basically says to the boats nearby you... keep an ear out, cause I might be calling for help if I can't deal with this myself. They're a bit more serious than SecuritÚs, but not as serious as MAYDAYs.

MAYDAYs are the most serious of distress calls. This should generally only be used when there is imminent danger of losing life or the boat, or the boat has already been lost. If you're aground, with storm waves pounding you onto a rock jetty—this is a MAYDAY situation, not a PAN-PAN. If you're on fire and the extinguishers have failed to stop it... this is MAYDAY situation. If someone has been hit by the boom and one pupil is blown... or had a heart attack... it is a MAYDAY situation...

It is not a MAYDAY situation if you are just tired and want to get off the ship. It is not a MAYDAY situation if you're out of fuel and becalmed. And finally, it is not a MAYDAY situation if you run out of cold beer, even if some of you guys think this is equivalent to the world ending. :)

BTW, if you use any of these fraudulently or without good reason, you can possibly be charged with fines, the costs of any SAR operations and even jail time in extreme cases.

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