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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 01-09-2009
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Sinking of the Trashman

I don't know if this has been discussed before, but my search came up empty.

I saw a show on cable about the sad story of the sinking of the yacht Trashman. If you get a chance to catch it, it's worth watching as a "what not to do" primer.

I didn't get to see the beginning of the show, so I missed the setup. I did see the boat get thrashed by a storm, lose it's sails, lose it's engine, lose electrical power, free fall off the crest of a breaking 30 foot wave, stove in a hatch and sink.

What I also saw was a crew out on the open sea who didn't keep on top of the weather. They also left the sails up too long and had them torn away by the storm. They overworked the engine until it cooked. Had inadequate battery power to be able to contact help once the engine died. Had no life raft, and ended up adrift in a zodiac RIB. No ditch kit. No food, no water. No epirb. No medical supplies. No handheld radio. They got off the boat with the dinghy and the clothes on their backs.

2 of the 5 crew survived after 6 days in the RIB, and only because they were spotted by a russian freighter after drifting 160 miles further out to sea.

I know that in emergency situations, things go wrong. You can't plan for everything and what you do plan will go wrong. I don't think this crew had a plan that went beyond "if the boat sinks, someone will save us".
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Old 01-09-2009
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From what I understand, three of the crew, the ones that didn't make it, had chemical dependencies that doomed them from the moment of shipwreck. One was quoted as saying, "I'll be right back, I'm just gonna run out and get some beer and smokes". The three that were lost became shark food.
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Old 01-09-2009
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Here's a link to lots of info: Trashman

I remember watching this a while ago on Discovery. I thought the dramatizations were overdone, but the interviews with the survivors made up for it. I couldn't find when it will be airing again.

Did you know that Discovery has suggestions for how to survive at sea? How to Survive
What's wrong with this picture from the site?


Hoping never to be in a survival situation.
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Old 01-09-2009
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Originally Posted by WinterRiver View Post
Here's a link to lots of info: Trashman

I remember watching this a while ago on Discovery. I thought the dramatizations were overdone, but the interviews with the survivors made up for it. I couldn't find when it will be airing again.

Did you know that Discovery has suggestions for how to survive at sea? How to Survive
What's wrong with this picture from the site?


Hoping never to be in a survival situation.
Looks like they're jumping off a boat that floating pretty well into a raft! Not to mention that the fellow airborne is about to stress test the stitching on their survival vehicle? (g)
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Old 01-10-2009
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I'm guessing that jumping DOWN into the life raft might be a start.
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Old 01-10-2009
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Did you expect them to sink a boat for the photograph?
The photo is probably a stock shot from the life raft maker or other safety org.
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Old 01-10-2009
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Old 01-10-2009
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I read the book by one of the survivors. While she doesn't come right out and say it, she strongly implies having emotional problems and a willingness to use drugs before setting out.
One should be careful who they go offshore with.
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Old 02-03-2009
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Trashman revisited

I worked with the guy who walked off the raft looking for smokes. In retrospect, there were questions regarding his psychological fitness due to personal issues unrelated to chemical dependency. I believe Trashman was an Alden and also understood that storm shutters for the side lights, which were rather large, were either missing from the boat or were not installed. When the side lights blew out, it was the beginning of the end. I heard that this was the reason for abandoning the boat and taking to the raft.

Most larger Aldens were fitted with the shutters to avoid this problem.
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Old 02-03-2009
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39512,

The write up made everyone on board sound pretty messed up - e.g. - not really paying attention to the conditions or caring about it until it was too late anyway. Were they essentially out on a "too-ambitious" party cruise and just got caught?
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