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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge
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Thread: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-13-2013 10:50 AM
zeehag
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

he did what he could do inthe situation he was presented with. the conditions were not good for any kind of towing and the boat was brand spanking new--does that also mean UNTESTED in heavy weather--prolly. what i would-a done was have testing on boat prior to race...but..sometimes that is not able to be effected, when all are in a hurry to get somewhere for a race by a specified date.......so--- ROCKY lee shore, untested boat and big winds.....hhmmmmm...what would i do???? not be there. but i dont race.

all the discussionof anchors on racing boats--IFF they carry one at all, isnt adequate. and anchoring on that shore isnt recommended....anchoring on a windy and rock infested lee shore will only procrastinate any mishaps slightly-still would-a happened..but ....we werent there, and wont be there for this kind of developing drama.

is very sad. rip.

with the designer of boat and such souls on board he couldnt allow the boat to be abandoned, now, could he--is what would happen with uscg rescue..boat is gone....but , then, it is anyway.....were they able to salvage anything of it??
03-10-2013 09:14 PM
nolatom
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

There's a very extensive discussion over on SA since the owner is a SA member. This one hit home in a painful way.
03-10-2013 05:18 PM
paul323
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

I think a big question is about anchor and rode.

It may not be the case in this tragedy, but all too often I have seen racers carry a token, lightweight anchor, with almost no rode, to minimize weight. Many of us slower vessels carry 3 anchors on board, of different types.

I wonder what they were using? 3 anchors may be overkill for a racing boat, but if you are offshore, at least one good one is a good idea, IMHO.
03-10-2013 01:09 PM
PCP
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

After read the Sail Anarchy thread it seams that they did not launch a mayday, just a Pane Pane, that the Coast Guard was preparing to tow them and that a private company was contacted to do that the but were unable to due to bad weather. They give the idea that they have tried.

All a bit sketchy but the true is that they had two hours and a half and should be able to get rescued by somebody. I assume that if they contacted a tow company they were given assurances that the boat could be towed in time. The tow company should have sent a boat with capacity to reach them quickly and safely.

Given the small size and low weight of the boat a big semi-inflatable boat could do the job and also get there very quickly.

All this is very strange and I guess that we will know more about all this in time. That was a very stupid way to die and one that could have been prevented. Something wrong on all this.
03-10-2013 12:56 PM
Faster
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
......
Anyway there is a point I don't understand. it is said that they "waved" away the cost guard. If they wanted a tow why the Coast Guard did not tow them out of danger?

Does not US coast guard does that? In Europe Coast Guard tows boats (if they have capacity to do that and that was clearly the case) even if that is a charged service while rescuing lives it is not.

.....

Paulo
Not sure what the USCG practices are lately, but the Canadian CG stopped routinely towing some time ago. They will put out a call for assistance from the general public the the boater's behalf.. often someone nearby will offer to help, more often the nearest commercial tow/rescue boat will respond. It's up to the boat that's issued the call for help to accept it, hopefully most will understand that if the commercial help is accepted it's going cost - quite a lot..

That said, the CG will certainly respond to a Mayday call, or any situation where there is immediate danger posed. But they won't respond to a tow request themselves.

If in fact this boat issued a Mayday, it makes no sense they would have 'changed their minds'... mysterious.

Condolences to all those who suffered in this tragic loss.....
03-10-2013 12:00 PM
PCP
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradhamlet View Post
So sad, like many others it did not need to happen. Coming from someone who has lost steering how do you refuse assistance when you have crew in your care? Sorry for their loss of life. We did have a storm blow through here this week and would think the northwest swell was running hard.

Brad
Lancer 36
... the boat first sent a mayday call but then waved off help from the Coast Guard and other boaters.
....
Friday night, the crew radioed the mayday call and also activated a feature on the boat to provide authorities their GPS coordinates and other crucial information, but then declined assistance and requested a tow boat, she said.

However, stormy ocean conditions kept the tow boat from getting to them.

...
“They were not in immediate danger and thought they would be able to manage completing the race and get assistance on their own,” said Chuck Hope, commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club. “Then things got worse.”

...
Read more: 1 Dead, 5 Rescued From Calif. Racing Sailboat Accident | TIME.com

The only thing wrong here is that if they sent a mayday they couldn't have refused help. I don't know if they really sent a mayday, maybe they have sent a Pane Pane, that was the correct thing to do and the press mixed things.

Anyway it seems they were really unlucky:

the crew encountered more bad luck when attempts to deploy a life raft and anchor the boat failed.

Read more: 1 Dead, 5 Rescued From Calif. Racing Sailboat Accident | TIME.com

How can a life-raft deploy fail? That should be an interesting question and what kind and size of anchor they carried, with what warp?

Anyway there is a point I don't understand. it is said that they "waved" away the cost guard. If they wanted a tow why the Coast Guard did not tow them out of danger?

Does not US coast guard does that? In Europe Coast Guard tows boats (if they have capacity to do that and that was clearly the case) even if that is a charged service while rescuing lives it is not.

The organization could not tow them out of trouble, at least?

There are many things that don't seem clear to me...and it would also interesting to know what lead to rudder failure.

Regards

Paulo
03-09-2013 10:24 PM
rgscpat
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

Also:

03-09-2013 10:23 PM
rgscpat
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

It's hard to speculate without full information, but it does seem hard sometimes for crews to disengage from "race mode". All sympathy to everyone involved.
From the San Diego yc announcement quoted on Sailing Anarchy,

Quote:
<<
Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the crew and family of the Uncontrollable Urge.

On Friday March 9, 2013 at approximately 9:26 pm, while participating on the 4th annual Islands Race, the crew reported rudder failure on their VHF marine radio. They were in the vicinity of San Clemente Island at the time.
Uncontrollable Urge is a Columbia 32 Carbon sail boat hailing from Silver Gate Yacht Club, owned and skippered by James Gilmore. Crew included Mike Mike Skillicorn, Doug Pajak, Craig Williams, Ryan Georgianna and Vince Valdes. The crew attempted to launch a life raft and attempted to set an anchor before abandoning the vessel to swim to shore. The vessel was reportedly destroyed by the surf at the shoreline of San Clemente Island.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted the six sailors and brought them to the San Diego Coast Guard Sector where they were met by emergency medical personnel for transport to a local hospital. Unfortunately, one of the crewmembers was deceased. The San Diego County Medical Examiner identified the man who was killed as 36-year-old Craig Thomas Williams, of San Diego. >>
Apparently Craig was part of an extremely competent, skilled crew, and left behind a wife, young daughter, and the family was expecting another child.
This is a horrible loss. R.I.P. and eight bells.
03-09-2013 06:23 PM
azguy
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

sad, but how do you refuse assistance a simple tow would have changed the whole situation...
03-09-2013 03:49 PM
Bradhamlet
Re: Islands Race fatality at San Clemente Island, loss of Uncontrollable Urge

So sad, like many others it did not need to happen. Coming from someone who has lost steering how do you refuse assistance when you have crew in your care? Sorry for their loss of life. We did have a storm blow through here this week and would think the northwest swell was running hard.

Brad
Lancer 36
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