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  #11  
Old 07-10-2011
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They were reefed though. A bad enough blow to need to reef, could have limited their ability to manuever. Add poor visibility, no time to do position fixes, and heavy current, and then there you are, on a reef with no easy way off.

Broken is a relative term, the mast may be damaged in ways not imediately apparent, (halyards, sheaves, furling, etc...), broken at step.

Apparently aproaching the coast of Australia in heavy weather requires some caution, this is not the first boat I've heard of in this situation.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
Apparently aproaching the coast of Australia in heavy weather requires some caution, this is not the first boat I've heard of in this situation.
Ain't that quite the understatement!

The latest reports indicate they had an "exhausting journey" from the US. That, and the comment that they were "considerably north of their presumed track" and "Emergency services were notified at 5.30am" yells to me of navigational error - and nothing else.

Time will tell, no doubt, but I'd suggest that they simply ran onto the reef in the dark, not knowing it was there. If a reasonable wind was blowing with quite a bit of easterly in it, by the time they heard the waves breaking it would have been far too late to get away - engine or no engine - especially if they weren't exactly wide awake...

A shame. It looks like it was a reasonably nice boat, too.


As for heavy weather: I can't think of any part of Australia's coastline that can be approached in a blow in the same relative safety that other parts of the world enjoy.
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Last edited by Classic30; 07-11-2011 at 12:03 AM.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2011
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Crap happens. And it can be really crappy at times.
"Initial reports from mainstream media" are pretty astounding when you think for a second this is a remote reef on the other side of the world. Maybe the folks reporting this bit of info are not stupid or lying. Perhaps the boat was not photoshopped and actually ran onto the reef as described.
Maybe the photo was taken an hour or two before the latest info arrived.
(also true, perhaps they are faking it all in a fish tank to get our sympathy and donation dollars, but I see no deep sea diver with a clear 1/8 inch hose which would be a clue to the deception).
Certainly the two on the boat would have rather not ended up on the reef, probably did everything in their power to avoid it in fact.
Instant armchair analysis from folks thousands or figuratively millions of miles from the scene is nonsense.
People go to sea against some odds every day and carry the dreams of the puddle or lake or bay bound sailor - or the folks who want to but are somehow afraid to do the really, really BFS.
Apparently they're safe. My guess is the power of a couple hundred emails or posts saying " glad you are okay, must have been a mess, you survived and we are glad you are okay" has to have more value than a half assed ad hoc post mortem from the other side of the planet.
The few that go to sea carry our dreams - all of us that did, do, wish, would or could - but are not there at the moment when crap happens. The few who really go deserve our support, even or especially when it does not turn out as dreamed.
I'd love to know who these folks are, where to send some encouragement, and if a couple bucks will help them out. Crap happens, the folks on that boat do not need to be reminded of that central fact of life.
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2011
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"..a remote reef on the other side of the world"??? Might be for you, Pal - but for some of us here it's a little closer than that.

Yes, crap happens, but also, yes, folks DO need to be reminded of it, because they seem to forget. Approaching Australia can be a nasty business (and if you include Customs and haven't followed procedures, that can be in more ways than one) and most folks are actually able to learn from other people's mistakes.

In this case, given that it seems these people did the right thing after running aground and in consequence lived to tell the tale, there seems to me to be at least a few "lessons learned" from their unhappy saga for the benefit of the rest of us:
1. Don't approach the Queensland coast in the dark in a blow unless you're REALLY sure where you are. In most cases, it's a one-way trip.
2. An alert lookout is essential - especially at 5 in the morning.
3. Make sure you have an EPIRB close at hand and know how to use it.

..and there are probably others as the full details come to light. Feel free to add them.
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Last edited by Classic30; 07-11-2011 at 01:27 AM.
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2011
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Stay on the boat as long as she is above water. Liferafts should be the last option. If aboat is on a reef the probability of sinking is very low. If you move to the life raft stay connected to the boat as long as it is above water. It is more easier to find asaling boat than a liferaft.
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  #16  
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Part of that mainstream media is for better or worse we all find out a once ( if we're awake). When a guy in Philadelphia runs a barge over a duckboat whether I'm 10 miles away or you are 10,000 miles away neither of us is there.
Granted - it is your reef, and apparently a bad one. Still, neither of us were there when crap happened. Do you believe following your 1,2,3 rules would have absolutely insured their safety? Are you certain that "crap" will never happen to you?
What bugs me is the immediate need to find fault. Some imaginary guy in bumsquat, netherlands instantly assessing that the batteries in the epirb were alkaline not lithium, or that there was no watch paying attention without knowing both folks aboard may have had the craps from soap in the morning coffee..Whatever.
We all love the idea of going to sea, sailing, adventuring, but as soon as it isn't perfect, "safe" or in accordance with some mythical SOP someone gets dumped on.
My point is give the folks a break, tomorrow it could be you unless you are perfect or lucky.
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Old 07-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfok View Post
Crap happens. And it can be really crappy at times.
"Initial reports from mainstream media" are pretty astounding when you think for a second this is a remote reef on the other side of the world. Maybe the folks reporting this bit of info are not stupid or lying. Perhaps the boat was not photoshopped and actually ran onto the reef as described.
I was simply pointing out that initial reports from the mainstream media are often misleading, rarely paint a complete picture of what occurred, and are often related by reporters or writers with little first-hand understanding of sailing or offshore voyaging…

In this account, for instance, I do not know of many distance cruisers who would apply the term “a long but successful voyage” to one that ended with the loss of the boat on a reef… No more than a real pilot would describe a flight as “successful”, right up to that crash upon landing… (grin)

The mainstream media has the extraordinary capability of spreading any story far and wide in a virtual instant, but that by no means is a guarantee of accuracy, or completeness… I’ve seen accidents on protected bodies of water, or an estuary like Chesapeake Bay, attributed to “a rogue wave”, for instance… The initial reports of the loss of RULE 62 described the event as a “capsize… after being smashed by a giant wave…” , as if it were a single, instantaneous “accident”… Of course, that is a highly misleading description of the totality of the tragedy, the absence of the overall context and chain of events needed for a fuller understanding of what really happened, and how easily it could have been avoided…

All this is understandable, of course, it’s unreasonable to expect all the relevant facts to be assembled immediately… That was all I was suggesting, there’s little point in making judgments until the picture becomes more complete, and hopefully filled in by sources with perhaps a deeper understanding of sailing/voyaging…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfok View Post

I'd love to know who these folks are, where to send some encouragement, and if a couple bucks will help them out. Crap happens, the folks on that boat do not need to be reminded of that central fact of life.

For anyone looking to help out a fellow sailor after the loss of their boat, these folks sure sound like they could use some help, as well… A few bucks better spent than buying someone a pizza, perhaps:

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