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Old 04-10-2013
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Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

Today, on the Portuguese coast near the entrance of the Figueira da Foz river bar, a German 10m yacht finished on the beach. The maritime police managed to rescue 4 of the five crew members at the cost of the life of one of the rescuers. Two more rescuers were hospitalized as well as 4 from the sailboat crew.

The rescue was attempted by two boats in the middle of 5 meter breakers. One of the rescue boats capsized.

It is not clear what happened but when the rescuers arrived the sailboat had the mast broken and was on the breaking zone.

Video:

VIDEO - Dois mortos em naufrágio na Figueira da Foz > TVI24

The mast and sails are still attached to the boat so I guess that they had broke when the boat was rolled on the breakers trying to approach the river bar.

I had my boat in that Marina for some years and I know that several boats,almost all foreigner shipwrecked, trying to enter with bad weather. These are not the first lives lost there.

I cannot understand how someone try to enter that bar with bad weather. It is plain dangerous. Surely they saw the breakers: It was still daylight (17.00).

Probably they didn't wanted to pass the night in the sea with disagreeably weather. The next safe port (for entering at night) is Peniche, 8 or 9 hours away. If that was the case it was a really bad call. If someone goes out with this kind of weather around here should know that he may have to go away from the shore and make many miles till a safe port.

..
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Old 04-10-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

The boat seems bigger to me:



Certainly a X yacht, probably a 442.

It seems confirmed by local sources: They were trying to enter the river bar...that was closed to boats smaller than 35m.

I read that the mayday was given by another sailboat. Maybe two that were traveling together? One risked while the other watched?

....
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

I'm going to go ahead and say it;s these guys

MERI TUULI on Tour

Feel bad for the guys. Does the surf on that beech get bad? Is there a bad rip? from years of surfing I would have thought from the image and video that that beach would have been pretty innocuous even if MOB even in relatively big surf....
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

Always sad to see this kind of story, esp if lives are lost.
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
The rescue was attempted by two boats in the middle of 5 meter breakers. One of the rescue boats capsized.

It is not clear what happened but when the rescuers arrived the sailboat had the mast broken and was on the breaking zone.
It's never good to hear about yachts being lost whilst running bars and even worse when people die because of it.

Paulo, what I don't understand is, if the boat was in the breaking zone and heading for the beach, why on earth did two (not one - but two!) rescue boats head out in 5 metre breakers to get them? Apart from "hero" status, what were they hoping to achieve?? Surely all the rescuers needed to do was to wait on the beach and tell the people on board to don lifejackets??

Can you explain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
I cannot understand how someone try to enter that bar with bad weather. It is plain dangerous. Surely they saw the breakers: It was still daylight (17.00).
I can understand how someone might try to enter a bar in bad weather - and I'm sure you can too. It isn't always that easy to see the breakers from the ocean - and people don't like spending the night at sea, even in a modern plastic boat, when all their friends are telling them they should be in harbour for dinner and drinks at the Yacht Club... Staying out at sea is for old wooden boats and salt-encrusted sailors.
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Last edited by Classic30; 04-11-2013 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by allio View Post
I'm going to go ahead and say it;s these guys

MERI TUULI on Tour

Feel bad for the guys. Does the surf on that beech get bad? Is there a bad rip? from years of surfing I would have thought from the image and video that that beach would have been pretty innocuous even if MOB even in relatively big surf....
The problem and waves are not at the beach but on the river bar. The boat was washed to the beach after having being capsized, lost the mast and probably the engine after attempting to pass the river bar.

Believe me, if the bar was closed to boats with less than 35 m the conditions were bad. There are lots of fishermen there, all with smaller boats (than 35m) and they hate not being able to come back home. That is the second closing of the bar. I mean first they close it to boats with less than 11 m and on those conditions I have seen 3m breakers there. Even with the bar closed only to boats smaller than 11m, depending on the tide, it is risky to attempting it with a sailboat with a small engine. That is intended mostly for fishermen boats that had very powerful engines and can pick better the time of crossing and do it a lot more quickly.

One of the problems here is the foreigners feeling that locals are a bit exaggerating when they say the ports are closed, After all the conditions don't look that bad

This is a dangerous coast. Most yacht don't go out on winter and each winter fishermen lose their live along it and they know what they are doing.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Paulo, what I don't understand is, if the boat was in the breaking zone and heading for the beach, why on earth did two (not one - but two!) rescue boats head out in 5 metre breakers to get them? Apart from "hero" status, what were they hoping to achieve?? Surely all the rescuers needed to do was to wait on the beach and tell the people on board to don lifejackets??

Can you explain?
Do you think people risk their lives in vain? That hero thing mentality is not very common around here. People do what they have to do because they fell they have to do it not because they want to play heroes.

When the mayday was issued the boat was with the mast in the water after being rolled and several, if not all crew was on the water drowning. In fact it was not possible to save one. The mayday was received by two different port authorities that sent there to help what they got, a life boat and a maritime police boat. An helicopter was also deployed.

The Accident was not on the beach but on the river bar that extends well offshore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
I can understand how someone might try to enter a bar in bad weather - and I'm sure you can too. It isn't always that easy to see the breakers from the ocean - and people don't like spending the night at sea, even in a modern plastic boat, when all their friends are telling them they should be in harbour for dinner and drinks at the Yacht Club... Staying out at sea is for old wooden boats and salt-encrusted sailors.
Well I don't. specially if it is an unknown bar. Maybe because I know that almost every year German, French and British die here trying that stunt.

That bar is marked in all pilot books as dangerous with bad weather. Many times you cannot understand from the distance the danger it represents an unknown bar.

Face to that warning on all pilot books the thing to do is to call the Port captaincy and ask for advise. They would be told that the bar was closed to boats with less than 35m. If they insisted they would have been advised that if they tried they would face a legal law suit. They would be advised to stay well offshore and to proceed North or South, to Peniche, Nazaré or Leixões where the Ports remain open.

Because of the stupidity or lack of seamanship of the sailboat crew a rescuer died will trying to save their lives. I believe someone that is out there in bad weather should know what he is doing. Obviously these guys didn't. I find that unacceptable since they are putting other lives at risk...and for what? For not having to endure a disagreeable night at sea and I say disagreeable because with that boat in the conditions out there that was just what it would be, a cold rainy disagreeable night, not a dangerous one.

Regards

Paulo
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post


....
The most striking thing to me about that photo, is the extent to which the deck has been so entirely and cleanly stripped of gear... There remains not so much of a HINT that the boat ever had a bow or stern rail, stanchions/lifelines, etc... Amazing that the wheel is still in place, the violence of what occurred must have been incredible...

Seems a small miracle, that more lives were not lost...
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

Many times the boat at sea cannot access the real ferocity of the wave action in a river bar/ inlet until they are well in it. The angle of approach doesn't show the true danger as what you will see from the shore.

These river bars are no joke, even when handled by boats with lots of power let alone a sailboat with an auxiliary engine.

Sad to see the loss of life.

Dave



Paulo is correct, if the locals closed it why risk it. Stay away from shore. Time and time again we see that's how people get in real trouble. They may get beat up a little staying in deeper water, but the need to get back to shore is what puts them in jeopardy and costs them and their boat
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Bad yacht accident: two dead (one rescuer)

I did a quick Google and it looks like this boat was some kind of charter operation (pardon the translation from German):

Quote:
This yacht, we offer training, cruises and regattas take part in the premium market! From exercising the harbor maneuvers, skipper training, driving instruction on sports travel trips to the Atlantic Regatta is our MERI Tuuli inside everything. We prove the MERI Tuuli max.6 with paying passengers plus 1 or 2 Skipper inside.
Might explain the pressure to get into port if the paying passengers were upset.

Rough outcome for sure. Kudos to the rescuers.
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