Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.
Four man crew standing 2-on-2 watches with on-watch, 1 up/1 down. Charter boat with neither radar nor AIS, nor radar reflectors, nor mast-head tri-color lights I'll guess. Night sailing south with moon to the southwest 35º above the horizon at 0100 Saturday AM. Maybe a few beers with dinner dulling senses and and tired watch-standers after 18+ hours of sailing already less than alert, maybe looking around every 10-15 minutes while a southbound freighter/coaster is to the northwest making 20 knts and covering 3 miles every 9 minutes. Freighter/coaster watch-standers looking southerly (maybe) into moon-light reflections off the water making it hard to see yacht's likely sole, near water level, running light, and little or no radar return on the scope.
Frankly, by the time the watch-stander aboard the yacht would have heard the bow-wave of that ship behind him, he likely wouldn't have had time to do anything more than yell "Oh Shi(p)". Maybe enough time for the below deck watch-stander to make it to the cockpit before they were hit.
A 37' boat wouldn't even be noticed aboard the ship--maybe a little shudder as the debris went through the props.
Horrible. Absolutely horrible. Hopefully it was over quickly for those guys.
Maybe AIS ship tracks from San Diego can determine which ships went through the wreck zone and when--maybe there'll be paint-scrapes on the bows/hull as in the case of the yacht run down off Hong Kong a few years ago.
There but for the Grace....go we all.
I wonder whether the Coast Guard will now decide to ban ocean racing in SoCal.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."