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brokesailor 11-14-2011 07:43 PM

What would you do?
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?

SailingStNick 11-14-2011 09:08 PM

The captain guided his crew back to safety. Looks like the captain knew what was at hand and what his boat would do. Calmer heads will always prevail.

Cruiser2B 11-14-2011 09:18 PM

it is tough to say, but there have been alot of posts lately about abandoning boats and crew wanting to get off when the going gets rough. I read and think about what I would do.......So far all I can come up with is as captain you must set very clear guidelines as to who is in charge and explain why before ever leaving the dock with crew you are unfamiliar with or just pick your crew more carefully. I have been hit/stuck in a few unexpected storms...luckily just t-storms on the bay and am fortunate enough to have crew aboard that understood how and why they had to listen to what i needed done and/or wanted. I think it would be very hard for me to go offshore with crew,as the captain of a vessel, that i did not know, trust and obeyed my word when handling the boat.

With that said, I have many years of navy experience and have been trained in damage control. We practiced as we "fight" so to speak and as a repair party team member I had complete faith in our team captain to make the correct decisions were being made. I think all to often inrxperienced sailors go to sea and never expect or prepare(train or even discuss) for the unexpected. however I cannot comment on this particular case.

I think as someone who is willing to set off and EPIRB or call in a MAYDAY has to understand that first and foremost is without doubt 100% absolutely necessary. Once that call is made you have now just put several addition peoples lives in danger to come get it better be because you actually need it!

my .02 ....worth even less!

PaulfromNWOnt 11-14-2011 11:32 PM

That's a tough call, and it sounds like the Captain did the right thing. I'm not certain that you can calm someone who genuinely fears for their life.

Not that he wasn't, but I'd wager that the Captain may be a little more picky about his crew in the future.

canucksailorguy 11-15-2011 12:30 AM

I imagine what happened is that the Captain got his 'crew' from one of these crewfinder sites and they were 'wannabe' delivery sailors, wannabe ocean sailors, without ever having had any real experience - this was their way of getting some. So the Captain got what he paid for if that was the case. Still, love the way he handled it, it would have been priceless to be a fly on a bulkhead when he sent that C130 off.

davidpm 11-15-2011 12:35 AM

Maybe there is something in the medicine kit for that.
"Just take this little pill and you will be fine"

PaulfromNWOnt 11-15-2011 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by davidpm (Post 796965)
Maybe there is something in the medicine kit for that.
"Just take this little pill and you will be fine"


sawingknots 11-15-2011 02:07 PM

thats another reason i prefer to singlehand also i don't want to endanger other lives,i've lived a pretty full life and if i make a misjudgement i'm the only one to pay the fiddler[if there is a mutiny i guess i'll walk my own plank]

AdamLein 11-15-2011 02:48 PM

At first I thought, "Clever". Then I wondered, why bother? He had to take time out of boat management to coax an obviously useless crew out of the safety and out-of-the-wayness of the v-berth. The EPIRB was set off either way. And then he had to call off the rescue, which probably did not win over the heart of the panicked crew.

I suppose it's possible that in the intervening time (between setting off the EPIRB and the flyover) he could have convinced the crew that they didn't need or want rescue, but that wasn't mentioned.

So looks like the options are:

1) Do what the skipper did, and convince the crew after the fact to cancel the rescue. Ideal, since everybody is on board and no backs had to get stabbed.

2) Say to the crew, "Look, I know we don't need rescue. If you set that thing off, I will just cancel the rescue when arrives." And if the seem to be listening to reason, "It would be irresponsible to do otherwise, since a rescue would be dangerous for us, dangerous for the rescuers, costly for me, and costly for the rescuers, and a waste of resources that might be more needed elsewhere." The crew will resent my decision but at least there will be no surprises.

What did they end up doing to handle the storm?

smurphny 11-15-2011 05:39 PM

Sounds like there may be a market for dummy EPIRBS. "Sure, see, I'm switching it on." ---or--- If you think crew may not get what "CAPTAIN" means, stash the real one so that only you know where it is. Even better, as knots says, go solo so there are no a__holes on board to panic. Get the rules straight: Say, I am responsible for misuse of this thing, my name is on the registration. It does not get switched on unless we are either stepping UP to get into the liferaft or someone needs emer. med. stat or they will die and we are out of radio range. The only reason anyone other than me EVER touches it is if The Captain is the one dying.

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