Sinking of Rule 62 - Page 33 - SailNet Community

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  #321  
Old 12-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
This is one of the most important lessons of them all.

Another that should be added to mc's list is; be able to do each of these things when people you love are begging and/or screaming at you to get them out of what you got them into. That makes all of the above much, much more difficult.
Great point Smack!

Do any of us know, for certain, the stress the captain was under? I must assume we do not. Do any of us know, for certain, that he had any assistance in controlling the vessel. Maybe all others were sick, maybe he had on board one or more crew who were, in his opinion, terminally sick or injured. Maybe that injured crew was Laura. Maybe he took this chance as a last attempt to save the life of a terminally injured crew member.

I say he knew better, but went against his own knowledge and experience because of something stronger pulling on him at that moment. Something stronger than a desire to get to calm water, something very serious.

In any event he will live with his decision for the rest of his life, If he sleeps much it will be the first thing he thinks of when awakening every day from now on. May God bless this man.
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  #322  
Old 12-11-2010
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Not really smack. It makes it easier to make the right decision when comes to the begging & screaming. Do we know they were begging & screaming? I don't think we do know the exacts of what happened before. What we do know for what ever reason the decision was made to go in, was wrong.

I think as far as calling the man an idiot, is wrong. This man has to live with his decision the rest of his life. We can learn from his error without being cruel. It's obvious he thought he was making the right decision, as wrong as it was. I cannot believe he intentionally thought I will crash my boat, and possibly lose lives. If he was thinking properly he could've made other decisions. Like simply turning south........i2f
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  #323  
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nothing being cruel about an idiot who kill somebody by mere incompetence. if somebody on board needed help that bad, he should have activated the epirb instead of going on the reef or call for help!

I have been cruising 4 years, whole Caribbean and South Pacific. I have never entered a reef pass at night, and waited for daylight many times before entering. I even canceled going into some atolls upon arrival during DAYTIME because of bad conditions. you GOT to be prudent, that's it.

Excusing that guy is like saying it's OK to drink and drive, and it CAN happen to anybody.
Again, there are old seamanship rules, and they should be followed like laws.

A cruising sailboat is not like planes. It is very forgivable, it is very slow, so you have time to think. And if it seaworthy and capable, it will take care of you in most conditions.

Of course this guy thought he could made it. that what most people who speed with their cars, or drink and drive, think as well. They are either ignorant or idiot. in both case, they should not be on the road risking people's lives.
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  #324  
Old 12-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leocat66 View Post
Great point Smack!

Do any of us know, for certain, the stress the captain was under? I must assume we do not. Do any of us know, for certain, that he had any assistance in controlling the vessel. Maybe all others were sick, maybe he had on board one or more crew who were, in his opinion, terminally sick or injured. Maybe that injured crew was Laura. Maybe he took this chance as a last attempt to save the life of a terminally injured crew member.

I say he knew better, but went against his own knowledge and experience because of something stronger pulling on him at that moment. Something stronger than a desire to get to calm water, something very serious.
So, you’re suggesting that even with a gravely ill crewmember or otherwise dire emergency aboard, he doesn’t even MENTION that in his routine rally roll call shortly before the attempt to enter? Or, makes no effort whatsoever to alert BASRA or contact anyone in Marsh Harbor about such an emergency, or solicit advice or inquire as to the possibility of an escort or assistance in transiting the cut? (Seems unlikely Laura was incapacitated, BTW – as she was on deck with the skipper when RULE 62 was knocked down, “swamped”, or whatever.)

Sorry, but I think we can safely file that one under the heading of “Not Bloody Likely”…
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  #325  
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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
So, you’re suggesting that even with a gravely ill crewmember or otherwise dire emergency aboard, he doesn’t even MENTION that in his routine rally roll call shortly before the attempt to enter? Or, makes no effort whatsoever to alert BASRA or contact anyone in Marsh Harbor about such an emergency, or solicit advice or inquire as to the possibility of an escort or assistance in transiting the cut? (Seems unlikely Laura was incapacitated, BTW – as she was on deck with the skipper when RULE 62 was knocked down, “swamped”, or whatever.)

Sorry, but I think we can safely file that one under the heading of “Not Bloody Likely”…
I am not suggesting anything in particular. I am not excusing the actions of the captain. I am reaching inside for some logical explanation, to myself, for such a suicidal decision on his part. I feel that he was a very desperate man to have even considered, let alone made, such an attempt, especially under those conditions. We all know the rule, which he violated, very well.

Is it possible that they lost the rudder on the way toward the cut, at the course change? Was he trying to get close enough to evaluate the conditions near the cut first hand before reaching the point of no return. If so, did he see or hear something which caused him to abort the attempt too late, being rolled, while trying to come about and reverse course, when coming beam to the waves?

Do we know for certain that they did not attempt radio contact with Marsh Harbor, or other yachts for input? Was the radio still transmitting or receiving? Did they loose the GPS at the point of the course change without first securing a compass heading?

Hopefully someday we will know more as I feel certain that we do not know the entire story at this time. We do know for certain that Laura was somewhat handicapped from the beginning and at a great disadvantage after entering the water.
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  #326  
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fyi rally roll calls were ONLY for position reporting and wind reports. Requests to speak to rally sponsors outside of the roll call might be made but nobody went into any details of problems they had during the actual roll call.
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  #327  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
fyi rally roll calls were ONLY for position reporting and wind reports.
Therein lies the problem. Emergency calls should be encouraged and not discouraged regardless of the established rules! I grant you that the threshold for an emergency will vary depending on individuals, but even a "low grade" emergency can develop into a life threating situation under extreme fatigue and stress.
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  #328  
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Originally Posted by Leocat66 View Post
I am not suggesting anything in particular. I am not excusing the actions of the captain. I am reaching inside for some logical explanation, to myself, for such a suicidal decision on his part. I feel that he was a very desperate man to have even considered, let alone made, such an attempt, especially under those conditions. We all know the rule, which he violated, very well.

Is it possible that they lost the rudder on the way toward the cut, at the course change? Was he trying to get close enough to evaluate the conditions near the cut first hand before reaching the point of no return. If so, did he see or hear something which caused him to abort the attempt too late, being rolled, while trying to come about and reverse course, when coming beam to the waves?
You may be right, of course – perhaps there was some extraordinary circumstance that compelled him to go against all that he should have known in that situation… Still, I’m a bit mystified by apparent need to find some extraordinary cause to this tragedy, what is so hard to accept about the notion that this skipper simply lacked the experience to fully understand how dangerous the attempt to enter that cut would have been?

After all, another tragedy in the 1500 was narrowly averted less than 100 miles from the start, when another boat made the decision to bail out, and go into Oregon Inlet… they had some crew aboard who were seasick, and were frightened by the prospect of spending another night offshore around Hatteras. Given the reported conditions at the time (10+ seas, 30-40 knots), however, coupled with the fact the guy had never run Oregon Inlet before, his decision to attempt to enter one of the most treacherous inlets on the East Coast in those conditions was just plain nuts, IMHO… He obviously lacked the experience to appreciate the conditions he was likely to encounter running that gauntlet – and as a result, his Hallberg-Rassy was dropped on the bottom crossing the bar, and seriously damaged… The skipper later confessed, that he and his crew were “lucky to be alive”…

Again, I see cruisers out there all the time making extremely poor choices based on their overconfidence in GPS, and the predominant accuracy of today’s charting… As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, entering reef passes at night or in times of poor light, such poor and imprudent seamanship is becoming a virtual EPIDEMIC in places like the Bahamas, or western Caribbean… So much so, that in his latest cruising guide to the NW Caribbean, Steve Pavlidis has refrained from placing a lat/long grid on his charts for the northern coasts of Guanaja, Roatan, and many other reef passes throughout the region… In a lengthy explanation in the guide’s forward, he now feels the need to do so “in order to protect cruisers from themselves”, as he is convinced that the modern tendency to watch a cursor on the chartplotter screen instead of the water around them has become so commonplace…

I don’t get it, what is so hard to understand about the notion of a modern sailor finding himself in a circumstance of which he has no complete understanding or previous experience? GPS has become the Great Enabler to an entire generation of modern sailors, who can now so easily “outsail” their home waters, and level of prior experience… As someone else mentioned earlier, it is highly unlikely RULE 62 would be heading for the Caribbean to begin with, were it not for GPS, and they actually had to find their own way there… Or at least, they would have had someone aboard with the experience to navigate them to their destination, and the wisdom to have overruled the skipper’s overwhelming desire to get off that ocean, and off that damn boat…
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  #329  
Old 12-12-2010
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+1. Well said, Jon.

In fact, we don't know ANYTHING about the skipper, his abilities, experience, training, etc.

Thus, we have no reason to believe that he KNEW how deadly the Atlantic inlets can be in a rage or, in fact, in any rough conditions.

What we do know is that any experienced captain with knowledge of the dangers of Atlantic inlets in rough conditions --- not to say at night and probably unfamiliar --- would have chosen another of several safe options, including heaving to or heading further south for a wide deep-water passage.

No need to call him an idiot; we don't know if he is or isn't. But, it's clear that the decision was just that...whatever the reason. Making excuses for the decision IMHO is just reflecting ones own fears, sympathies, and/or inexperience.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 12-12-2010 at 09:19 AM.
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  #330  
Old 12-12-2010
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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
“in order to protect cruisers from themselves”, as he is convinced that the modern tendency to watch a cursor on the chartplotter screen instead of the water around them has become so commonplace……
We had this need to watch the water illustrated for us by some friends who had to heave to off of South Africa for days in a storm, waiting, along with a bunch of 1000 foot tankers, for a harbor to open. Our firends explain that the risk of getting run down by the tankers was better than the certainty, if they entered the channel, of having the first wave simply trip over the windward breakwater, pick them up thirty feet, and drop them on the leeward breakwater. Some people don't comprehend the ocean's capabilities because they're too busy watching screens. We can all learn more.
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