Had to happen. Duc, overturned Phila PA - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 48 Old 07-13-2010
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Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
... 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.
FWIW Channel 13 is the designated ship-to-ship channel. You should be more likely to get a timely response from a commercial vessel on 13 than on 16, as 13 is "their" traffic. See U.S. VHF Channels - USCG Navigation Center

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post #22 of 48 Old 07-13-2010
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Seems to me that the duc tried everything possible to let everone now what is going on, channel 16,13 and to get there own boat out there. I sail SF bay with lots of ships moving around and my experience is get the frack out of the way. I have have ferries, tugs, tows etc come right at me while I am under sail and I correct couse to affoid but they don't care and come right towards you, I even had them change course to hit me I have had to fire up the deisel to get out of the way many times. I think these guys have been doing this way to long and have an attidude that you need to move not them, no matter what! It takes miles about 3 for a tug to change course on a tanker and forget stopping so I think the mentailaty is move or get hit. The flares and horns could have helped and all passengers should have life vests on at the first sign of trouble and the crew should have been talking to them on what to do. This seems like alot of sea problems with one thing leading to another and then out of control. Please people don't count on the big guys moving for you have your engine ready to go and follow all saftey procautions early and talk to your crew on what to do if sh#t happens, because it does. Okay you got me fired up because, I do deal with this all the time and I like people and don't won't any one to get hurt. My 2 cents worth.
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post #23 of 48 Old 07-13-2010
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...I think these guys have been doing this way to long and have an attidude that you need to move not them, no matter what! It takes miles about 3 for a tug to change course on a tanker and forget stopping so I think the mentailaty is move or get hit...
Before we all get too upset at these guys for their "attitude," do realize that large vessels with reduced maneuverability have special stand-on status. Sailing vessels do have stand-on status vs. power boats of similar size, but when it comes to the really big guys, they are stand-on and it's the regulation for all pleasure boats - including sailboats - to get out of their way.

I want to see the report from the investigation before getting too hyped up over what went wrong, but one of the reports I heard said that another DUKW boat with passengers passed the vessel in distress, and the captain waved him on because that vessel was fully loaded. Well WHAT ABOUT A TOW? If this guy was in the channel, he should have availed himself of the first possible boat to tow him to shore, even if it inconvenienced the tourists on the other boat. Maybe there's more here than I realize, but it seems that this was a missed opportunity. I'm sure they did not know the barge was coming yet, but one of the key learnings would be to take THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY to get towed out of the shipping lanes, BEFORE the hazard appears.

Obviously this is hindsight - I can only hope that what I learn from this turns hindsight into future foresight.


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post #24 of 48 Old 07-14-2010
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I agree the big guys have the right of way however, last I checked bottom line is to avoid a collision stand on or not, that's the reg. Not to mention the duc was a vessel not under commad which has right of way.

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post #25 of 48 Old 07-14-2010 Thread Starter
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On the C & D there was a wooden schooner destroyed at night a few years ago. I've been on the C&D at night and Know how easy it is not realize until it's almost too late IT'S A BARGE!
Never, ever, think for one moment something that big can "steer" to avoid you!

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post #26 of 48 Old 07-14-2010
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Like I said get the frack out of the way but, what if you can't should not the big guys understand that sometimes thing happen where you are dead in the water. Should they not atleast try to avoid you. As mentioned in my first post I have been under sail and tacked to go astern of the big guys and not always tankers the smaller vessels to that can avoid you and they have changed course and head right for me so I tack again and they change course again what's up with that. I make corrections a long way off and when we get close I have had to turn on the engine and do what it takes to get out of the way. I try to hail them on 16 asking intentions, no answer, try 13 no answer. I am not saying all of them but, enough that makes me wonder why. What if my engine was down or some other problem which limited my ability to manuver why cut it so close. I am supprised that more accidents don't happen out there.
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post #27 of 48 Old 07-14-2010 Thread Starter
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well they do draft a easy 30-40 ft when loaded so they are not going to leave the channel for certain. There were times when thought they were turning just to intimidate but then I realized that the channel determines their course. On big water I just don't know. If I see them, I'm no where near them unless it's behind them.

There must be a reason none of them answer the radio too. Not sure I want to know the answer .

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post #28 of 48 Old 07-14-2010
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AIS would have helped, since the DUCK could have hailed the ship by MMSI. I don't know if that would have allowed the ship to do anything, but it is more than using the VHF on 13 and 16 apparently did.

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post #29 of 48 Old 07-14-2010
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i don't have any local knowledge, but have watched traffic go by in this location for a few days when staying in a condo on one of the city wharves. Look at the river at, above, and below Penn's Landing:

http://xpda.com/nauticalcharts/12313...ATERFRONTS.png

And you'll see that while the 40' channel (unmarked by buoys) is indeed close to the city wharves, the river is at least 25' deep bank-to-bank, and is a pretty wide river at that.

So, what do the Inland rules actually say? Rule 9 tells small vessels (under 20 meters) to avoid vessels that can navigate only on the "narrow channel or fairway". The empty barge wouldn't have drawn much at all, and the tug, not over maybe 10-12 feet. So, for neither vessel is this a "narrow channel", at least in a legal sense, i would think.

And while Rules 9(a)(ii), 14(d), and 15(b) give the downbound vessel the right-of-way over upbound, or any vessel going up or down river right of way over a crossing vesse, in certain rivers and the Great Lakes, the Delaware River isn't one of these rivers or waters.

So i think we're left with Rule 18, which (logically) gives right of way to "a vessel not under command", meaning one whose engine has broken down. And we're also left with Rule 5, which requires a proper lookout by sight and hearing, and rule 7 which requires vessels to use all available means to determine if they are in a risk of collision. And the Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act, which requires most commercial vessels to carry, and monitor, their radios.

Another section of Rule gives right of way to a vessel "restricted in her ability to maneuver" over other vessels, *except* those "not under command. So the Duck is still privileged, i would think. And the tug and barge, while no doubt not nimble and quick-turning, would likely *not* meet the legal definition of "restricted", or else they should have shown "restricted" day shapes, and been giving Securite broadcasts periodically.

None of this changes the common-sense wisdom of "might makes right" or the "law of displacement", which wisely counsel small vessels to stay well clear of big ones. But legally, it's difficult for me to understand how the duck wouldn't have been privileged over the tow, under the rules.

That said, I don't know the details, nor how the vessel tracklines leading up to the collision.

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post #30 of 48 Old 07-14-2010
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I'm relying on news reports that may be inaccurate, so take this with a huge grain of salt. But it was reported that the barge was first spotted 1/4 mile away, and was moving 5 knots. Do the simple arithmetic and you'll see that even if they had made immediate contact, they had only 3 minutes warning. I am not sure a barge could turn that fast. Of course there still is the question of whether there was an appropriate watch, and a guy taking the 5th makes this an even bigger question. But I am sure the investigation will address the obvious question of whether it would have been possible for the barge to steer around the DUKW with 3 minutes warning, since the relevance of the appropriate watch hinges on this question.

The DUKW ramp is directly adjacent to the Ben Franklin Bridge, and you can see that they go right into the shipping channel as soon as they clear the piers. There is no way to avoid the channel from the Philadelphia side of the river.


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