women who sail
Join Date: May 2008
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Thank you to all those who sent condolences - we will make sure Glyn gets them a little later. She is a remarkable lady, who has had to set aside most of her grief in order to get things organized. She had a yacht to store while she takes her husband home, customs and immigration details to deal with...the media, the police...and she has made it through in one piece!
Readers may like to know that Colin released the boom brake to attend to sails in an increasing breeze - the increase was expected and planned for. In the next few seconds, he lost his life, and nobody will probably ever know exactly what happened.
Water police responded to a call forwarded by the NZ authorities that originally received Glyn's call on SSB. Not many folks know what to do when a loved one is killed in front of us, especially on a yacht that's just cleared Customs bound for a foreign port. Colin did not go overboard, by the way.
Police and Coast Guard decided the best course of action was to board the yacht, take Glyn off, and sail to the nearest port. Sailors who keep up with the latest news on legislation that deals with all manner of boating items will probably have heard that Aussie Police have the ability to remove a person/persons from a vessel if they believe it to be the best course of action, and that was what they did. It's no use second-guessing their decision at this point in time, but the helicopter standing by was low on fuel and they had mere minutes to make a decision.
Glyn therefore got a swim, but she has nothing but praise for the police and coast guard. The helicopter was forced to refuel on Fraser Island before continuing on to the mainland.
Glyn and Colin had lots of friends in Gladstone, and one couple called the local water police as soon as they heard the news. The Gladstone Water Police deserve a really large pat on the back for their handling of this whole affair - first of all because they got the couple in touch with Glyn, which allowed the couple (names withheld to protect them) to rent a car, drive down to Hervey Bay, and bring Glyn to Gladstone.
The police officer and VMR guy who got to sail Deja Vu to Gladstone had a tough time - it's not easy to jump onto someone else's boat and know how it all works - but they got her here in one piece.
Glyn has temporarily returned home (by plane) with Colin. She plans to come back here in the near future and take Deja Vu out of the country - hopefully within the 3 months that customs/etc have extended to her. However, the 'powers that be' will also grant further extensions if she needs them. And, if anyone happens to see Deja Vu out on the water, please make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth into gear?!!!
I guess by now everyone is starting to get the hint that Glyn is a capable sailor? I hope so, because it's true. Sure, she'll invite friends and family to help her sail Deja Vu to a foreign destination - but it is a rather large yacht for anyone to single-hand. Reports that it is a racing yacht are true, but it's not one of these super-light-go-fast machines they build these days. It's an older racer and well-suited to faster cruising. I ought to know because I own and older racer myself - one that used to have 8 or more crew, but is easily handled by my husband and myself.
In 30 years of being a live-aboard sailor, I've known two people who were killed by their booms, and heard of only another 2. It's my firm view that there's much more risk of going overboard, especially for the men who like to take a leak over the stern!
Blue water sailing comes with a slightly different set of 'rules' (mostly unwritten ones) than coastal sailing. The new yachties who posted here may like to consider that once an ocean passage is started, there's really no going back. One prepares for everything one can possibly prepare for, says a prayer or tosses a libation to the gods of the seas, and tries to remain aware and thinking on ones feet at all times. Accidents happen, we all get tired, but an increase in wind strength - an expected increase, well forecast - is not enough for a seasoned sailor to return to a foreign port for. Anyone who has ever sailed offshore will know that bad weather comes with the turf. You limit the risk of exposure to it, but you also prepare yourself and your boat to deal with it.
One last comment - did everyone in australia know that AMSA have moved forward the date when 406 EPIRBS are required to November 1, 2008?
Last edited by sailondreams; 05-27-2008 at 08:54 AM.
Reason: typing error, word missing