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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Check this Video...Shipwrecked Family
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Thread: Check this Video...Shipwrecked Family Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-11-2009 05:28 AM
L124C [QUOTE=billyruffn;457412] The French did their part -- and remember that the French SAR forces had no idea what the nature of the emergency was and so their reluctance to risk life and limb with a night rescue was probably the right call.

When in doubt, I say fly, if it is reasonably safe. At least they could have obtained a head start on getting to the point when they knew they would have had to refuel! Did you see the conditions the USCG was flying in at night in "Perfect Storm"? When I heard that the French wouldn't fly at night, I thought they had some little two person helicopter available. When I saw the helicopter, I thought-wow- thats a bird that could fly anywhere, anytime, within reason. If I activate an EPIRB, I want to know that everyone concerned is doing everything in their power to assist. If it turns out to be a false alarm...oh well, they drill on a regular basis anyway. The alternative is that people who live to save lives sat by as victims died because it was dark!
03-04-2009 07:59 PM
sailingdog Billy—

If his eyes weren't night adapted, he really wasn't fit to be on deck watch at night. From what I've read... that was the case. Just being on deck doesn't mean you're on watch, regardless of whether you say you are or not IMHO. If you're not able to see because your eyes haven't adapted, you can't keep watch properly at night. There's a reason they have red-lighting for night-time cabin use...
03-04-2009 06:46 PM
billyruffn
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
Isn't there a Rule 5. That a lookout must be maintained at all times?
And Autopilots are not qualified to be lookouts.
Boasun, the video indicates that there was someone on watch.
03-04-2009 09:15 AM
Boasun Isn't there a Rule 5. That a lookout must be maintained at all times?
And Autopilots are not qualified to be lookouts.
03-04-2009 12:02 AM
billyruffn
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
... Also, from what I've read about the incident, there was no one on watch on-deck. If they had had someone on watch, the person on watch may very well have heard the surf breaking on the rocks in time for them to do something. The amount of background noise in moderate conditions in the Southern Pacific is probably quite low.
I recommend watching the CBS video -- regardless of what you think of the skipper, his wife is a babe. The film indicates the older boy was on watch, and that they had just changed the watch so he may not have been totally oriented to the situation and may have lacked night vision. (I know, you don't take the watch til you're ready, but he's 15 remember.) I had a look at the island on Google Earth and like most atolls the sea floor goes from thousands of fathoms to nothing in a couple hundred yards. At 7-8 knots that's a minute or less. The reef was down wind and sound doesn't travel up wind all that well. I doubt very much you'd hear it until it was too late to do anything. Also, bear in mind that this is not an inexperienced crew. They had sailed +/- 6000 miles to that point. That's probably about the point where you think you're doing pretty well and the guard comes down a bit. It was about that point on my experience curve that I hit a charted rock at six knots -- so I know it can happen to even an experienced sailor who gets careless for a minute or two. That said, this was obviously not just a careless "minute or two", but a gross failure to plot their position on the paper chart and replot a course after the maintenance evolution took them off their initial planned track.

I think the real story is not hitting the reef (and as we all know, sailors who hang out on keyboards all winter never hit reefs). The great part of the story, IMO, was how they all performed after disaster struck. With less presence of mind the skipper would have bled out in minutes. The kids saved their father, the wife got them all off the boat and out of the surf. The local family performed the initial rescue. The French did their part -- and remember that the French SAR forces had no idea what the nature of the emergency was and so their reluctance to risk life and limb with a night rescue was probably the right call.

Let's take it for what it is -- a story with a happy ending. I don't know that I'd buy the book -- she's a real estate broker not a professional writer, and from the looks of their house she didn't write the book for the royalties. Nor should we, IMHO, go to great lengths in second guessing those who were on the scene and in the sh*t. The skipper paid for his mistake -- he lost his boat and one leg. I, too, thought the "medal" was a bit OTT, but in the video, the skipper looked a little surprised and embarassed by it all.
03-03-2009 12:37 PM
WouldaShoulda If they aren't living in trees on some island I'm not interested!!
03-03-2009 08:26 AM
twisty2 I TIVO'd it now I am not sure I am as interested as I thought I was.
03-02-2009 08:58 PM
christsake
get it from the library

[QUOTE=camaraderie;335972]This from Fox...I think I'm gonna buy the book!

Save your money. I read better. The only point of interest is that some of Bligh's men may have purposely positioned the reef 20 miles from it's proper location, knowing they were going to mutiny, thus knowing they would be searched for, as so, if the searchers had charts with reefs 20 miles off, maybe they would crash, thus ending the search...temporarily I suppose.

Get the book from the library like I did.
03-02-2009 01:02 PM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Here is a link to "Black Wave" which aired last night on 48 hours. Live To Tell: Black Wave - CBS News Video
The family claims that they had a problem with the boom during the day, and altered course to head into the wind and work on it. They also think the currents may have had a bigger effect on the boat than they realized. How do you not use GPS to figure out where you are, especially before sailing into a dark night? Reminds me of the saying, "When you're lost, an anchor becomes a navigational device....it, keeps you in a place where you aren't sinking." When they hit the reef the wife thought "we're in the middle of the Pacific, we can't hit a reef"! Apparently the fancy boat didn't come with charts! Then, the USCG had a difficult time figuring out where the boat was. When the USCG finely contacted the French Coast Guard, the French wouldn't fly their helicopter until daylight, and then had to make a stop to refuel! Wonder why they wouldn't fly? It was a big bird, at least as big as the Helios I see the USCG flying at night all the time, and the conditions seemed to be mild. The father's leg was hanging on by some tendons and he lost a lot of blood. He Is really lucky to be alive, considering how long it took to fly him out! The French gave him a medal for bravery. As far as I'm concerned, he is the last person that deserved a medal! Don't mean to be harsh, but I say...you run a perfectly good 55', state of the art boat onto in reef in moderate conditions and put 6 other lives in danger, no medal for you!

I'd have to agree. You'd think that with his family aboard, he'd be more cautious rather than less. BTW, if you're close enough to a reef to hit it, you ain't in the middle of the ocean... Also, from what I've read about the incident, there was no one on watch on-deck. If they had had someone on watch, the person on watch may very well have heard the surf breaking on the rocks in time for them to do something. The amount of background noise in moderate conditions in the Southern Pacific is probably quite low.
03-02-2009 11:24 AM
vega1860 If this had happened to us we would be too embarrassed to tell the world about it.

New video: Cat at sea
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