Ok I think I have the greatest post ever. I was talking to the Captain of the Hinckley 48 Yawl that was caught in the storm Sean trying to take his boat to Saint Martin. He is now safely in Moorehead City, NC.
In the thick of things with 50-60 kt winds, having been knocked down one of his crew took the Epirb and locked himself in the v-bertn. The Captain talked him into opening the door and the crew wanted to set off the epirb. The Captain was trying to talk the crew into handing over the Epirb. The only way he got him to hand it over was under the promise he would set it off which he did. A C-130 later met them and he told them they were OK so they flew off.
What would you do in a situation like this with a panicked crew?
It seems there is a direct correlation between fishin' stories and sailin' stories. At least it opened a good line of comment for the forum.
Here's how it actually went down. (Not as exciting though)
We had been knocked down twice ,and capsized, in a short period of time.
One crew was injured. It was pretty evident that it was only going to get worse.
The skipper was disconnecting/reinstalling/reconnecting the boat batteries that had been hanging from their wires when we were capsized and were now in a tangle on the salon floor. His knowledge of his boat allowed him to do this quickly. (Note to self: ALWAYS strap those suckers down when offshore.)
A crewmember was helping do this.
Crewmember "You know, this is about the time people usually pop their epirb."
Skipper "You think we should?"
Crew "It seems like the thing to do"
Skipper "OK then, go ahead."
Crew "How do you do it?"
Skipper shows Crew how to activate the epirb and instructs him to activate the second one stored in the forward head.
Skipper tells the Crew to place the epirb in the cockpit so it will have a clear view of the sky.
Helmsman is advised of this action and activates his personal unit.
Two hours later the vessel is miraculously stabilized with two drogues out, sailing barepoled but no longer surfing down the waves. The skipper's knowledge of heavy weather sailing, and the fact that he had the right heavy weather equipment on board saved the boat. A coast guard C130 flys by, ascertains the vessel is making out ok, and advises the name and location of a nearby vessel that can assist if needed. The C130 also tells us to turn off the epirbs. Till then I don't think anyone on the boat knew you could turn them off.
The C130 then proceeds to contact another nearby sailing vessel to check on them.
So, there was no panic by anyone. The skipper authorized the epirb activation, and had two hours to cancel the unit from transmitting. Nobody locked themselves in a cabin. All 3 men on the boat were too busy keeping her afloat.
Not as interesting or controversial, but true nonetheless.
I was there.