3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico. - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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  #31  
Old 04-30-2012
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re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

They were sailing in a cruising class so they can run the motor for propulsion ad not get DSQ, you fill out an engine log and take a time penalty (.4*SR of LWL). They were serious about the racing, won their class twice in seven entries, so doubt drinking was involved.

That being said, I had seen the boat's condition (bristol) and talked to the skipper a few years back after he protested us and I have a hard time believing they "caused" their accident. I also read he was a ex-Raytheon/Boeing communications guy and had a substantial amount of modern electronics and communication on-board. Based on NOSA statements and press reports, sounds like he had AIS as NOSA was tracking his progress. We'll see.
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  #32  
Old 04-30-2012
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re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

Last I heard

Debri from the boat was washing up on the Coronados, two of the bodies recovered by CG/Vessel Assist had laceration.

Pieces ( most no larger than 6" ) of the boat indicated it had been threw a grinder.

Racer in the area heard communication between boat and ship others heard only the larger ship

Owner was onboard



Let us raise another cup to those we lost and say a prayer for those left behind
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  #33  
Old 04-30-2012
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re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

The comment on whether the Coast Guard might consider banning sailboat racing off southern CA was based on the fact that the Coast Guard HAS suspended permission for races outside of San Francisco Bay for now, in the wake of the Low Speed Chase tragedy.

Of course, the USCG never seems to have considered suspending commercial ship operations in San Francisco Bay after the Cosco Busan ran into the Oakland Bay Bridge in 2007 and spilled fuel.
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Old 04-30-2012
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re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
You are right, they travel fast but they don't alter speed or course. How hard is getting out of the way if you really pay attention? At night and with bad visibility an AIS or a radar can make the difference. With waves it is really difficult to "see" a small sailboat....at least for me in my radar. A ship is a big spot, a sailing boat in the middle of 30ft waves is a small signal that turns in and out...as some of the bigger waves.

Regards

Paulo
You are right, it is always the smaller vessel's responsibility to stay clear. Our encounter in the ship channel was way before AIS & GPS. Because of financial limitations we didn't have radar, which of course, was our decision. As we had a large metal radar reflector high in the mast I have to believe the ship saw us, if someone was watching. A blast on the horn would have alerted us much earlier. Had I not looked back at that moment we would have never known what hit us. I know, my fault for not keeping a better watch behind us. Would have, could have, should have.

Paul T
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  #35  
Old 04-30-2012
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Unhappy re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

Hello Fellow Sailors:

I wonder if a mandatory AIS system and digital radar would help to avoid collisions in the future. Keeping radar on and alarms activated seem to be a good idea. God Bless the families of the sailors that have passed away.

Big Moe
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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Yes, same thing here--no signal, no radio, no change of course, no response to radio after he passed. I rode up on the stupid s.o.b.'s bow wave he was so close. Perhaps the CG needs to start monitoring the actions of commercial vessels which are clearly in violation of COLREG basic rules and start passing out some fines. I can understand the fact that large vessels cannot maneuver in restricted waterways which is covered in the rules but simply ignoring the presence of smaller, slower vessels in unrestricted waters is dangerous and unacceptable. These guys move too damned fast for sailboats to get out of the way unless they AT LEAST use horn signals to indicate "passing to starboard" or "passing to port." Maybe these captains get their licenses at Sears.
This is my pet peeve with larger shipping... freighters, yes, but we also deal regularly with commuter ferries (as do many in Puget Sound) and tugs with long tows... We meet them often in restricted waters and even though they have fairly predictable routes, one is often faced with the choice to carry on, make one's intentions clear and cross their path with plenty of room to spare (often possible), or take avoidance action early, again to make our intentions clear.

Only rarely has any of these ships' skippers clearly shown his intentions with a simple signal that they wish to pass to port or to starboard. Such a signal would make it much easier to decide how to deal with them. Ferries around here travel around 22-24 knots.. they are on you soon after you spot them. Containers don't loiter either.. Cruise ships can travel quickly too.. and they all share our waters.

This double tragedy in racing is exactly that.. a tragedy. Condolences to all involved and affected.
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Re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

Yes, we have a lot of commercial traffic. When they're in restricted/limited waters, they have the right of way, simple as that. In the Seattle area, it's a good idea to listen to VTS, then you'll know where they're going. It's not up to debate, it just is. All race instructions make it clear that is your responsibility to stay out of anythings' way that's commercial and in traffic lanes. We're the interlopers in this case. All that said and aside, no one wants to run into or over anyone. We've waited many times to cross the center sound in the afternoons when the cruise ship flotilla steams north. It's not something we mess with. Ever. Same for Ferries. Tugs are easier to deal with as they're going slower, but we've never had an issue that a radio call hasn't been able to resolve quickly.

As for the accident and the OP, tragic stuff. Hard to know about visibility on a clear night sometimes... cold water, warmer air. I'm betting that in the near future an AIS receiver and possibly transmitter will be required on all race boats for ocean events. That said, all the safety gear in the world might not have made a difference. We don't know as we weren't there. Again, obviously mistakes were made by someone on one boat/ship or both. Let us use it as a lesson to remind ourselves that this could happen to any of us in the perfect storm of timing and events. Once one makes peace with this, heightened vigilance follows.

Small rant here, but are there any tragedies that aren't 'needless'?
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Last edited by puddinlegs; 04-30-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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  #38  
Old 04-30-2012
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Re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

The "mother of all crazy harbors" has to be NY Harbor. Every time I white knuckle it with its strong current, dead-heads and flotsam all over the place, ferries, taxis, recreational and commercial craft of all ilks darting every which way, it is an exercise in avoidance and having eyes in the back of one's head.

I bet investigators will be also looking for s.s. wire wrapped around someone's wheel(s). It seems very likely to me that if this boat was chopped into little pieces, it would be hard NOT to wrap rigging wire around shafts. Repair yards and commercial divers ought to be alerted because whoever ran these folks down will be wondering about what kind of evidence they left behind and will be going below to look.

A surfacing sub (which I've had my own "close encounters" with outside New London) would probably not have chopped the boat up as has been described.
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Old 05-01-2012
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Re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

Now there's a theory being discussed about possibly autopiloting into N. Coronado. Interesting... and wonder when facts will become more certain.
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Old 05-01-2012
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Re: 3 Dead in Sailing Yacht Crash in Race from Newport California to Mexico.

Yes....The SPOT GPS track shows the boat doing 6.5 knots for 3 hours directly into N Coronado Island. It puts the boat just at the island the minute the tracking was lost.


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