Had to happen. Duc, overturned Phila PA - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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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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  #11  
Old 07-13-2010
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I've read about this a couple of times. My first thought would be that a passenger/tour boat should have redundant warning signals. The air horn didn't work, but why no flares or even a hand held air horn. Seems someone needs to re-think the safety devices, making sure there are redundant warning systems available, especially if the boat is shut down. Some type of manual warning system, not dependent on the boat's systems should be required.
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2010
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My first thought is that additional warnings from Duck, whether manually or automatically given, may not have been seen or heard by a tug mate who already hadn't heard radio calls on ch. 16, nor seen what should've been a good contact on his radar. There are limits on what a small boat can do to correct an unseeing unhearing watchstander or lookout on a larger vessel.

One thing that might have helped is the tug putting a range warning alarm, or 'guard ring' on his radar, so that any contact getting close would've triggered an audio and visual alarm.

Thinking into the future, how about a warning alarm on the larger vessel that can be activated by a signal from the smaller one? Used to be this way on the old morse code sets, an SOS from one ship would trigger a loud alarm in the radioman's office and stateroom on another. Maybe they could rig up something like this on a local basis, that would trigger a larger vessel's GMDSS or AIS system.

which brings up the other question--did tug have AIS, and did Duck have at least an AIS transponder?
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2010
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The articles I've read said the duck was calling on channel 13, not 16. This isn't entirely unreasonable, as I've been told most large ships monitor 13 and often are easier to reach on 13 than on 16, but I don't know if that is actually true. I saw no mention that they even tried to call on 16 in the two articles I read. I'd be willing to bet that it's the journalists that messed this up, and the duck was actually calling on 16 however, since apparently other boats heard the calls, and I wouldn't expect so many to monitor 13.
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2010
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As a newbie I have a lot to learn, and try to especially learn from others' mistakes. Since I sail on the Delaware River, emergency communications with tugs and tankers is an important skill to have. I know almost nothing about VHF radios, except to keep it on ch 16 to monitor distress calls. If the reports are correct, I now know to also try ch 13 if I need to hail oncoming commercial traffic - although clearly ch 13 did not work for that particular tug.
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  #15  
Old 07-13-2010
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I really doubt that even if the tug had heard the duck calling it could not have altered course in time. These barges are huge! Tugs pull or push then up down the river all the time. right up to Trenton. Hundreds of tons just doesn't yield to quick maneuvers. It just seems to me that the ducks company could have an escort boat when the things are out there, but what do I know.
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2010
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Reports are that other shipping heard the Duck Boat call. The tug boat mate who may have been at helm is not talking to investigators.

Between Ben Franklin and Walt Whitman Bridges the river PA to NJ bulkhead is all shipping channel, with the dredged channel from about state line to the PA bulkhead. The Duck Boat was reported to be about 150ft from the PA bulkhead, maybe closer as people on shore could throw fire hoses to the passengers.

The barge was empty, sitting high and did not need the full depth of the dredged channel. So why were they so close to the PA bulkhead and why did they not hear or respond to the call from the duck boat?

On a sailboat if you do not have suffcient wind to safely cross the shipping channel, don't try to cross under sail.

If motoring across the channel don't cross until the channel is clear and keep looking over your shoulder.

If travelling in a shipping channel stay near the outer edges and keep looking over your shoulder.

If in trouble call a Pan-Pan on 16. the CG will repeat your Pan-Pan and request other boater come to your aid. Last summer I responded to a Pan-Pan relayed by CG, but by the time I got to the location off the Boeing plant in about 10mins, 3 power boats were already aiding a disabled boat.
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2010
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Also, keeping white SOLAS handheld flares aboard for signally purposes is a good idea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
As a newbie I have a lot to learn, and try to especially learn from others' mistakes. Since I sail on the Delaware River, emergency communications with tugs and tankers is an important skill to have. I know almost nothing about VHF radios, except to keep it on ch 16 to monitor distress calls. If the reports are correct, I now know to also try ch 13 if I need to hail oncoming commercial traffic - although clearly ch 13 did not work for that particular tug.
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2010
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"which brings up the other question--did tug have AIS, and did Duck have at least an AIS transponder?"
AIS might be the only thing that has a chance of helping. If, and that's a big if, there's someone paying attention to it.
I suspect AIS isn't required on the DUCs but that might be something for the USCG to look into, simply requiring it on all commercial vessels regardless of size, including all "tourist" rides.
Of course there's a requirement for keeping watch already, and we all know how well that one always works.
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  #19  
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On a summer weekend there are live concerts at Penns Landing near where the collision occured. Power boats will anchor off the concert stage within 100ft of the bulkhead.

Normaly unless a ship is docking at the PA bulkhead the through traffic stays close to the middle of the river.
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  #20  
Old 07-13-2010
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Don't know

I don't know the details of what happened but I've had experience where small boats or even sail boards pass close in front of me and if something had happened to them such as falling or their engine failing I would have been hard pressed to miss them. I wonder if something like that happened here.
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