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When I was young I took a NOLS (kinda like Outward Bound) course and within NOLS the following piece of advice is given: When faced with an emergency the first thing you should do is have a cigarette. This advice is said to have originated with Paul Petzoldt the founder of NOLS, a former Outward Bound instructor and world-class mountaineer. Another piece of advice I heard during Wilderness EMT course is: don't create more victims when attempting a rescue. Additionally, early on in my sailing career I crewed with a captain that before setting sail (or very early on on the trip in the case of MOB drills) did the following: 1) established a chain of command, 2) discussed how decisions would be made, 3) set forth a code of behaviour and expectations, 4) reviewed and drilled on emergency procedures. It is a model I have followed ever since.
The crux of the first piece of advice is often the best thing to do when faced with an emergency is to stabilize the situation, then sit back and analysis the situation and evaluate the options with as cool a head as possible. It seems to at some point the captain and crew of Rule 62 should have taken a moment, collected themselves and developed a plan of action. When developing their plan and following the second piece of advice they would have ruled out the entering of an unfamiliar harbour at night in bad conditions because doing so did, in fact create more victims (the crew) and could have created even more victims should others have attempted a rescue in the conditions found in that inlet and on that night.
While no one here know exactly what happened, from my point of view, it hard for me to visualize the chain of bad decisions and mistakes that lead to this entirely avoidable situation that didn't have their genesis in the inexperience of the captain and crew. However, the possibility exists that the captain and crew of Rule 62 did everything right and a life was still lost.
Last edited by svs3; 12-03-2010 at 04:16 PM.