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chris_gee 03-05-2012 09:36 AM

Boat lost owner rescued
There is an excellent e mail from the sailor on - the online home of New Zealand sailing and a thread discussing it. I don't feel free to copy it.
Essentially a well prepared sailor in a sound boat tried a round the North Island NZ trip.
He anticipated a possible gale and was 60 miles offshore. After he deployed a Jordan drogue a second hit with winds of 70+ and breaking waves of 8m+ .
He drifted at 3.5 knots/hr to the lee shore with the water shallowing. At 15 miles off it was clear he was going to run out of room. After discussion with Maritime safety he was airlifted by helicopter from the liferaft. The boat was destroyed.
A sad ending to presumably planned cruising further afield but at least he is alive.
The thread is of interest because of the drift rate with the drogue the need for distance off and the feasibility of any other approach, including the difficulty of a 32 ft yacht making way to windward in those conditions. Perhaps the likely conditions were underestimated as the passage and the Tasman can be very difficult with no real potential shelter. I think about 10 boats were also in the general area on a 2 handed around NZ race. Two ran into problems and 3 were far enough ahead to seek shelter.
Sobering reading for the single handed or even the shorthanded. Not all storms can be avoided although it seems to me that is a good starting point.

smackdaddy 03-05-2012 09:42 AM

Re: Boat lost owner rescued
78 Attachment(s)
I've been following those guys in the RNZ. I'll check out this link/story as well. Thanks chris.

flyingwelshman 03-05-2012 09:58 AM

Re: Boat lost owner rescued
Very sobering.

Thanks for posting.

smurphny 03-05-2012 10:22 AM

Re: Boat lost owner rescued
Stories like this are always so informative. In another recent thread, the topic was drogue vs sea anchor. This makes one think that the sea anchor idea has a lot of merit. According to the captain, this boat was drifting leeward at 3.5 knots. That's really fast: 84 miles in 24 hours!! A sea anchor, limiting slippage to around 1 knot may well have saved the boat.

Faster 03-05-2012 11:04 AM

Re: Boat lost owner rescued
wow... sad sight to see those pictures. Nasty lee shore to be sure.

Thanks for the post.

souljour2000 03-06-2012 07:19 PM

Re: Boat lost owner rescued
A sad story least everyone is safe...Good point Smurphny...A sea-anchor might have saved the boat and kept some brave guys out of the air that would rather be sipping coffee in the ready room instead of going up in a helo in that kind of weather but who knows..could have happened to anyone of us as this fellow seems a good sailor with his ducks in a row and still lost the boat...

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