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  #111  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
Maine, you are correct, these are the first fatalities since the Full Crew Farallones Race started in 1907.

The other deaths had nothing to do wiith the farallones as I think they are races that go half way to the islands and back
The Double Handed Farallones race is essentially the same course. The light bucket race goes to the "SF" approach buoy and back; about half the distance.
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  #112  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post

Originally Posted by JonEisberg
Quote:
Agreed...

Actually, 4 sailors died in the Doublehanded Farallones Race in 1982...

Another died of hypothermia after a capsize in the 1984 running of the same race...

2 more sailors disappeared in the 2008 Lightship Race...
Were any of those deaths the result of the Farallones shoals break..?
No...

From Kimball Livingston's blog:

Quote:

agree with Bob that I hate bodycount references, but I was a daily newsman in ’82 when a southerly buster surprised the Doublehanded Farallones Fleet—those were different times, and an updated weather report was broadcast at 0800 while starters were in sequence—and four lives were lost in the racing fleet. Boats returning from the islands in low visibility were swept north by a combination of current and storm (no GPS in those days), and many could not make efficient southing. No lives were lost on the island shore; everything happened on the return (and two non-racers perished aboard a cruising boat in the same storm).

Remembering Loss Living with Sacrifice
The man overboard/hypothermia death in the '84 race occurred on the run back in, and the loss of the 2 aboard a Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 in the Lightship Race (run roughly half the distance out to the Farallones) in '08 remains a mystery... Many surmise they may have gotten overwhelmed around the Potato Patch on their return...


Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Perhaps if the CG had suspended ocean racing after those incidents recent events wouldn't have taken place.
Can't see how that's very likely, as none of the previous deaths involved circumstances remotely related to getting inside the surf at the islands...

Quote:
Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
Maine, you are correct, these are the first fatalities since the Full Crew Farallones Race started in 1907.

The other deaths had nothing to do wiith the farallones as I think they are races that go half way to the islands and back
The Singlehanded, Doublehanded, and Full Crew Farallones Races all sail the same course around the islands... The Lightship Race is sailed to a mark roughly halfway out...
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  #113  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

There was also a guy killed in the 1999(?) Double Handed Farallones race. He go swept off the boat and dragged by his harness for several minutes. IIRC, the other guy on the boat got back on, but the boom was broken and he couldn't slow the boat down enough to recover his friend. And he didn't dare cut the tether, since he couldn't control the boat well enough to go back for the MOB.

Also, the Duxship race (the one race that has been effected, so far) is a more or less triangular course, from SF, through Bonita Channel then around the buoy (to port) just south of Duxbury Reef, around the Light Bucket to port, and back to SF. The temptation in that race is to cut across Fourteen Fathom Bank/Potato Patch on the way to Duxbury Reef. This year's edition of the race (this weekend) is just to the Bonita Channel buoy and back.
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  #114  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Maine and others:

I understand your frustration with the USCG; but please cut them some slack. It has been total pandemonium here in the media since the loss of the five sailors especially given that Alexis Busch was a minor celebrity here having been a bat girl (the first woman in MLB history) for the SF Giants during the Barry Bonds era. There have been daily news reports on every channel here since the tragedy nearly two weeks ago. With a population in the millions here watching news sources that only add hype and public scrutiny to the equation; the USCG is doing everything possible to regain control over the firestorm of criticism that is coming at them and the community of racing sailors.

I think the USCG suspended sailing here for two reasons. One was to get the public to calm down. If another accident of any type involving serious injury or death were to happen right now I think it might bring an end to offshore racing here by public demand. With the sailing tragedies of the crew of LSC, Daisy, and a couple who were lost off of Ocean Beach still fresh in the mind of the community; people here are getting 'fed up' with these high profile sailing tragedies. I know; more people die in the delta here each year and there is a Mayday out on SF Bay daily during the summer months, but these offshore accidents strike some sort of cord with the news media and then everyone gives offshore sailing the stink eye. It's a media induced frenzy; and the only way to get it to settle down is to put a stop to offshore activities for a while until the media finds other stories to focus their attention on. Remember there were five deaths during an amateur racing event. These things don't happen very often, but when they do it's a really, really big deal to the media; and to the USCG who issued the marine event permit.

In the wake of public outcry to put a stop to 'senseless loss of life' while sailing and 'taking unnecessary risks' (I'm talking about sailing racing in general here); I think it is a good move by the USCG to put a halt to offshore racing until they can sit down with the local YRA and find some ways to improve safety. Thy don't really care how old the race is; they just want to see some effort to ensure that they wont have to pluck more survivors off of SE Farallone and SAR for more lost souls out there.

I'm sorry Maine, but I completely disagree with your analysis of offshore racing here. I don't think we have every statistic at hand for the Farallones race; and I also am pretty sure that the boats that race around the farallones have slowly cut the corner down to the bare minimum in an effort to set ET records and/or win the race on corrected time. My dock neighbor raced in the late 80's and said they were always 300+ yards away from the surf line and that was in lesser conditions. That's closer to the 10 fathom contour than the 5-6 fathom depth that LSC was in. If people can't be trusted to make decisions that protect the safety of vessel and crew; then they should expect to have more safety restrictions imposed.

It's a basic requirement for all risk involved racing sports to assess their safety standards and make improvements to safety where needed. It's the reason why so few auto racers die in present day; because of the massive safety rules and requirements that are in place for those events. If sailing racers don't like or want to adopt any more safety rules; well I'm sorry but expect for the USCG to take away the ability for you to race here by not issuing new event permits. It's just that simple.
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Last edited by KeelHaulin; 04-28-2012 at 05:10 AM.
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  #115  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Media frenzies often provoke needless, intrusive, and costly regulation. The CG, a great wing of our armed forces, is certainly not immune to political pressure. Suspending permits does not seem to be an onerous occurrence. After all, they are the ones who have to go out and rescue folks in trouble.

There is a very positive aspect of media coverage/frenzy. It will undoubtedly keep a lot of sailors, racing or not, farther from lee shorelines everywhere. It will also make sailing organizations rethink where they set their courses much the same as the Fastnet deaths spurred sailboat design changes. No government intervention was needed there. It is still amazing to me that these boats were where they were in an organized event with those in charge of planning well aware of where these boats would be. Let's hope the politicos don't hop on a bandwagon to put some ridiculous and ineffective laws in place to further reduce the freedom of sailing in general.
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Last edited by smurphny; 04-28-2012 at 07:52 AM.
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  #116  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Has anyone else noticed that in Bryan's account he doesn't mention if there was any conversation on the boat within the 30 seconds between the first large wave they were able to sail over and the breaking wave that initially rolled them? He stated it was the largest wave they had seen all day and it began to crest as they went over it, but 30 seconds later they were not so lucky. If he noticed the larger swell I wonder if anyone else on board did also. I also wonder if there was any conversation about it?
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  #117  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
If people can't be trusted to make decisions that protect the safety of vessel and crew; then they should expect to have more safety restrictions imposed.
Offshore racers go through more safety training than that of recreational cruisers, it is REQUIRED. It is a US Sailing requirement. Ever try to enter a Bermuda race or other off shore race? Been through the process of getting all your crew properly trained and certified? Making sure the boat is properly prepared and meets all safety requirements?

What do cruisers do? Read a few books, poke in on SN, CF, CA and head off....... How many NON RACERS have attended a US Sailing Safety At Sea seminar... Now be honest......


So who get's to decide what is "safe" and what is "not safe"..

I'll play.. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I think everyone should be at least as safe as I am. I am now the new armchair dictator of safety.... This means every last one of you must have at least what I carry, or more, even for just coastal cruising. This is ANY TIME you leave the dock...

Safety:

EPIRB
3 anchors and their rodes (complete, 3 minimum)
Chafe gear for all rodes
Spare nav lights/bulbs
Spare GPS devices = 3
VHF = 3
VHF cable minimum size RG-213
VHF-DSC
AIS
RADAR
Life Sling and multiple throwables
Holstered knife at the helm or on your person
Offshore certified life jackets
Inflatable life jackets with harness and crotch straps
Radar reflectors - two minimum
Storm sails
Personal Locator Beacons
PFD's with personal strobes permanently mounted to PFD's with lithium batts
4 fire extinguishers
Battery fuses on all banks and every branch circuit protected
Life raft for offshore passages.
USCG A1-15 fuel hose
Multiple working bilge pumps plus manual gusher type and hand held pumps
Wood tapered plugs attached to each and every seacock
PROPER FLANGED SEACOCKS
A working and 100% calibrated compass with receipt of date swung and deviation card
Back up depth transducer in place and routed to instrument
100% knowledge of DR skills
Hand held compasses - minimum 4
Working binoculars
Multiple signal devices including mirrors horns and flares. Flares at least double what is required.
Tethers and harnesses
Standing rigging replaced at 10 year intervals (MANDATORY)
Galvanic corrosion surveys biannually
Complete rigging inspections every 4 years
Clean fuel tank
multi-stage filtration
Drogue attachment points and drogue
MOB skills


Boat Essential Tools & Repair Items: (You're just not safe as safe as I am without them)

General Tools:
Wrenches – Assorted and sized for your vessels nuts and bolts
Flare Wrench’s – Very important for any fuel line work
Drills – 1 Corded and 1 Cordless W/inverter to power corded
LED Head lamp & Flashlights multiples, and waterproof
Hole Saw Kit
Screw Drivers – Assorted
Pick Set – Very Handy
Tap/Die Set – Sized accordingly
Heli-Coil repair kit
Hack Saw – With spare blades
Bolt/Wire Cutters – Big enough to cut rigging
Wire Cutters – Big enough to cut battery cable
Blow Torch – Mini butane type and one standard torch head
Socket Set - SAE and Metric
Pipe Wrenches
Pliers - Various sizes
Water Pump Pliers
Needle Nose Vise Grips / hose clamp pliers - For clamping hoses off etc.
Files – Various
Drill Bits – Full Kit
Countersink - At least two sizes
Sandpaper
Dremel
Rigging Knife's
Calipers

Rigging:

Sewing Kit
Monel Seizing Wire
Sail Repair Tape
1” Nylon Webbing
1" Spectra webbing
Sail Slugs – To fit mast track
Sailors Palm, Needles & whipping twine
Clevis Pins – Spares sized for your boat (multiples)
Cotter Pins – Stainless various sizes to fit all pins
Grommets, Snaps & Twist Locks
Rig Tension Gauge
Dodger fittings to effect rail repairs

Engine/Plumbing:

Water pump – Complete spare and rebuild kit
Plumbing Fittings – Assorted to match parts on vessel
Zincs – For heat exchanger
Solenoid – Spare
Fuel Pump -Spare
Fuel Line Hose – Min 6 feet all sizes on vessel
Hose barbs – male/male for splicing hoses of various sizes
Impeller – With spare gaskets.
Oil Filter
Oil – for engine
Air filter
Antifreeze
Fuel Filters – Primary and secondary
Fuel Filtering Funnel
Hoses – Min 6 feet each size
Oil absorbing bilge pads (min 10)
Alternator Belts
Thermostat & gaskets
Engine service & parts manuals
Mechanics Manual – For your engine specifically
Non-Perforated Hose Clamps – Stainless AWAB type various sizes

Electrical:

Inverter – Spare at least 500 watts to power small tools
Electrical Connectors – Assorted marine grade various sizes
Multimeter – Clamp on AC/DC to measure amps, volts and resistance
Heat Shrink – Adhesive lined
Crimper – Ratcheting style for marine grade terminals
Silicone emergency tape
Self fusing tape
Zip Ties
Wire – Assorted gauges 6 feet min per size.
Jumper Wires 10 ga- With alligator clips on each end
Wire Strippers
Light Bulbs – Spares for each socket on the boat
Wire Snake
Terminal strips assorted

Misc:

Turkey baster
Stainless Steel Bar Stock
Aluminum Bar Stock
Stainless Steel Dodger Tubing – short length
Velcro – Regular and industrial grade
Grease – Water proof winch grease
PB Blaster
BoeShield
Lanocote
Tef Gel
Wax Toiletbowl Ring
Tru-Plug
Sika 295UV – Or equivalent
Wet Suit, Mask & Fins, hood
UV Resistant Duct Tape
Stainless Steel - Screws, nuts, bolts, fender washers, nyloc nuts, etc.
Tape – Electrical plus green painters tapes
JB Weld – Or equivalent
C-Clamps
Label maker
Bosuns chair = 2
Spare boat hook = 2
Spare halyard.
R-134 and charger adapter for refrigeration system
Spare prop, nuts & key
Prop Puller
Emergency tiller
Outboard motor fuel line with priming bulb

I know I missed a lot but that should get you close to as safe as "me".



Can you guys see where I am with this armchair nonsense? Why is it fair for you to decide what is safe for "me" if I can't decide what is safe for "YOU".... Pot/kettle....

When you guys have at least all the items I carry above then you're safe. Until then you are simply acting recklessly and that behavior should be banned by the USCG..

Tongue FIRMLY in cheek..
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-28-2012 at 04:57 PM.
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  #118  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Good list Main. Makes you think a bit. I'm off to Rona for the wax ring.to complete my stores.
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  #119  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

MS,

What good will any of that do if you decide to "cut the corner" and get too close to a lee shore? THAT is the decision in question here.

I can see it now:
Crew: MS, you're steering us too close to the rocks! We're inside the break line if a big set comes!!!
MS: Don't worry. I have a turkey baster and a spare prop. We'll be fine.
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  #120  
Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
MS,

What good will any of that do if you decide to "cut the corner" and get too close to a lee shore? THAT is the decision in question here.

I can see it now:
Crew: MS, you're steering us too close to the rocks! We're inside the break line if a big set comes!!!
MS: Don't worry. I have a turkey baster and a spare prop. We'll be fine.
Oh so you want to mandate the human thought process now that you know you are not prepared to "safely" sail off shore.......

Where does the nanny madness stop? What is "safe" and prudent for YOU may not be safe and prudent for ME.... As I said setting to sea with anything less than what I carry is NOT SAFE SEAMANSHIP... You should be deemed manifestly unsafe by USCG Capt. Cynthia Stowe.... When you're "prepared" to safely set out to sea then we'll talk... Until then PLEASE stay at the dock because you are a danger to yourself and the rescuers who will need to save you.

See the ridiculousness.. No, I figured you would not......

Who's going to monitor your thoughts while sailing to keep you from cutting a corner too close that someone else has deemed too close.? Will you need to wear a temporal lobe scanner wired to the AIS system so USCG Capt. Cynthia Stowe can monitor your decision process to keep you in-line?

Are we to now set sailing "boundaries" so skippers no longer have to think....? Perhaps we just program all GPS devices to set danger zones you can't go near. If you do an alarm is sent to Capt. Cynthia Stowe so she can ban you from yourself...

ALL SAILING IS INHERENTLY DANGEROUS, NOT JUST RACING AS SOME IN THIS THREAD SEEM TO FEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I FEEL IT IS 100% HYPOCRITICAL TO CALL OTHERS SAILING PRACTICES INTO QUESTION WHEN YOU YOURSELF MAY NOT BE 150% SAFE WHEN AT SEA..... (See my list)

Tongue firmly in cheek, in case you missed that,......................................again..
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-28-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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