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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > We're Sinking!
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Thread: We're Sinking! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-05-2007 10:33 PM
merttan
Through hull installations

That happened to my friend who owns a powerboat. The speedometer through hull installation poped in when he accelerated too hard... I don't want sound like the cool guy or the hero but, keeping it calm is really important. There was half a million thoughts going through my headat that moment. How cold is the water, we can see the shore, how far is it, how long it would take? etc... etc...
The smart guy has taken the vhf out and cleaned and left it in the house, so no vhf...
I keep USCG phone numbers recorded in my phone memory for at least the LIS harbors I travel most It saves time to dial 911 and get redirected... Have a fix for your location every 10-15 minutes with a simple gps tracker.(get a handheld gps unit, they are getting cheaper, and you don't need a fancy one.)
The USCG numbers and knowing approximetly where we were saved my skin that day, at least from swimming...
The plug for that through hull was in the engine compartment which was almost impossible to reach for us (CG used a goggle to reach it)... USCG boat came and took us aboard then saved the boat by pumping out the water and towing the boat at the same time...
And consider this; the bilge pumps in the market do not really pump what they really claim. I don't have a bilge (believe it or not) on my 22 footer. But I recommended my friend to install a 2000gph regular pump and 3500gph back up pump. If you can keep the diesel or genny running so you don't drain batteries within minutes. Bilge pump will not save the boat but will give you some extra time to catch up with the situation...
And always remember, the boat has the insurance, not your life!
(Unless your wife got one for you that you don't know about )
Take care...
10-02-2007 01:58 PM
AjariBonten I was actually on a boat in a very similar situation. We were on a 55' Dragger when we hit a ledge right after fueling and icing up. We cut the engine coolant intake and both 2" Jabsco washdown pump intakes and fed them from the bilge. (after closing the seacocks, naturally).

This JUST slowed the water down long enough for the nearest fire company to get to the boat with three 4" pumps, which kept us afloat for the two hours back to our local shipyard.

When we went up the railway we had a six foot long gash that was up to three inches wide in places about a foot away from the keel. Scary enough on a sunny August afternoon with flat-@$$ seas and less than half a mile from shore.

We were in then Fox Island Thoroughfare headed from Rockland Maine to Stonington Maine (44 07 30N 68 52 26 W)
09-28-2007 09:43 PM
Sasha_V Err...Do not issue a MAYDAY until you are aseriously ready to abandon ship. They DO mind if you take that one back, they may even insist that you go ahead with evacuation fomr your boat if you have made that call.

You can however make a PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN call and get the information out there and have them standing by on alert, tracking your position and progress, without in any way relinquishing being the master of your vessel and responsible for all of its desicions.

I have had to issue one PAN PAN call in my life so far. I was very glad I did, and even more glad I did not start with a MAYDAY. As it was, me managed to save the boat by ourselves, (though a water police boat came alongside to shadow us for the last half hour or so, and when the diesel engine drowneda bit and stopped, they towed us the last three hundred meters to the dock because it was simpler then watching us drifting around the docks tryng to get restarted).

P.S, in answer to the last post, the coast guard tends to bring in the sunken boats if they are at all moveable because otherwise they cause problems in two ways. They are a hazard to navigation in that other boats run into them and then need the coast guard, or they spill contaminents into the water...But the second reason we have noticed is that other people will try to take them in tow and "Salvage" them or even jump aboard capsized or grounded boats in order to start removing winches and other hardware..often at great perril neccesitating rescue (and hopefuly arrrest, the bastards). So the CG usually gets tasked with bringing the boat in and thus avoiding further work down the line. There is even a recognised payment shcedule they can charge the insurance company or local parks/environment body for doing it.


Sasha
09-28-2007 09:33 PM
Drylander
Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordnc View Post
If you are still afloat when the Coasties arrive they will loan you drop pump.
As my sailing instructor said: "...no pump is as powerful as a scared man with a bucket..."
09-28-2007 06:48 PM
CapnHand I just almost witnessed a sinking last week. I was up the lake from here at Bayfield ON for a few days. I was just getting up and I see these two large men in a small (18' or so) wooden home built project boat. As I wave and wish them well I'm thinking, pretty little boat, nice cuddy cabin, hope the lake has settled down, wind is still up a bit.

I walk into town to get a coffee and on the way back I hear sirens. The coast guard (Canadian) has a big zodiac at the dock and there's an ambulance at the dock.

The dock hand at the marina says that two guys were out in a sailboat and sank it. Two fairly big guys? I ask. Yes says he adding 'they went to turn around and caught a wave over the side'. A fisherman on the peir came and told us and we called the coast guard. They came down from Goderich. Are they ok? They got some hypothermia, but they'll be ok. Too bad about their boat, it was nice.

The coasties left and a little later I went out. I saw them towing the sunken boat in with the zodiac. They don't have to do that, it was nice of them. I heard later from another boater that they got the boat out and up on it's trailer.
09-28-2007 04:14 PM
sailingdog LOL... yes, the coast guard, lifeboat service, or whatever name they do go by is a bargain.

BTW, cell phones are really less than useful in an emergency.

Cellphones are point-to-point, and only the person on the other end has any idea you're having a problem—with VHF everyone around you will know.

Cellphones are harder to locate—the coasties have pretty good RDF capability in many places for triangulating or locating a VHF broadcast.

Cellphones are limited to LOS to the nearest tower—VHF can be relayed from boat to boat and then to shore.

Modern DSC-capable VHF units will even broadcast your position, provided you have it properly connected to the GPS. Makes finding you really simple for the good guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordnc View Post
ooops, also forgive my arrogance, typical American, I realize this is an International forum and many other countries have fine life saving services in place
09-28-2007 03:54 PM
hertfordnc ooops, also forgive my arrogance, typical American, I realize this is an International forum and many other countries have fine life saving services in place
09-28-2007 03:52 PM
hertfordnc
About that RADIO !!

As a former Coast Guard small boat SAR guy with no sailing cred at all, I read this thread and wondered when anyone would talk about the RADIO and the COAST GUARD- and do you know what you would say?

Sailors have self-sufficiency in their DNA so I am not surprised the conversation stayed on the issue of stopping the leak but really, on the other end of that radio there's a bunch of bored men and women sitting around waiting for the magic words.....

MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY..... WE ARE TAKING ON WATER...

It's what they live for and they are good at it.

Make that radio call first, give your postition first. No one will mind if you call back and say you got it fixed and they can stand down.

Obviously if you're way off shore and rescue is hours or days away then the first few minutes might best be spent addressing the casualty but if you're in cell phone range my FIRST move will be to pick up the mic.


Even if you get it under control there's no certainly your repair won't fail. If you are still afloat when the Coasties arrive they will loan you drop pump.

Forgive my bias but the United States Coast Guard is the single greatest bargain the taxpayer gets.
08-21-2007 05:17 AM
Raggbagger What a great story , glad it had a happy ending , wooden plugs ,hacksaws all good stuff . A ditch-bag was allways standard in our cruising voyages (passports , phone numbers ,all that stuff you dont want to be looking for in a pinch) the other thing we had aboard was cordless tools .Bosch and Dewalt both make some fine reciprocating saws and other demasting/de-rigging quick tools well worth the money.If your budget allows EPIRBS are sweet and so are Sat phones but nothing replaces a well thought out "what if" plan . I agree with the others , you should send the story to the press they'd publish it
08-20-2007 05:15 PM
jhulmer I am enjoying the posts; Very good information. These responses hopefully will prevent the problem, but will surely provide the forethought to minimize the situation should it happen to anyone that follows these posts.
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