6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea - Page 19 - SailNet Community
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post #181 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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post #182 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

If it were my daughter lost on that ship I would not rest a second until enough time had passed that chances of survival were ZERO. It is not 0 yet. If our government has the ability to point a f%#^ing satellite or scan with some military equipment and refuses to do so, it is simply outrageous. These are Americans.
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post #183 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

Thank you Smurphy! If it were my daughter, especially this young dynamo, I would not rest one second until there was no hope. Right now there is great hope. John Glennie who survived 119 days in a capsized trimaran on the East side of New Zealand says we should keep going. It is easy to say, 'let them rest in peace' until you are in their shoes, either on an unstable deck of a damages Nina, rolling in the waves, or the families desperate to do whatever they can to find their loved ones. Please sign our petition and help bring these sailors home! http://tinyurl.com/lt6o9wv
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post #184 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

" Unless specifically tasked, the satellites don't shoot photos."
Ah, that's very different from the inference of their web site, which is that they have SO much coverage. Traditionally, image banks with a historical coverage range have had enough value so that imagery was recorded and stored in the expectation that someone would buy it in the future. I can't see that it costs a lot (of money or consumables) to simply leave the cameras on, and file the images away. It isn't as if the electronics consume fuel, or film cartridges have to be dropped until the stocks are exhausted--the way it used to be.

"I can't think of a better use of US government satellites than to help US and British sailors. "
Oh, I don't know. Let's look at how those satellites get up there. We, the taxpeons, pay money to send them up. Eventually we spend billions of dollars sending them up and maintaining them. Now one of those purposes is defense and national security, and a legitimate case can be made that disclosing ANY information about the type, quality, frequency, etc. of the images compromises security. That's an old cat and mouse game, every player knows that you try to wait for a time when there are no satellites overhead before you shuffle your cards.
Now, let's say national security is no longer an issue. What is simpler, cheaper, and more responsible? To say that everyone in the country has to ante up fifty bucks into the pot, every year, to fund one satellite for some cheapass recreational sailing hobbyists? And yes, I can be a cheapass too, I'm only saying it was their decision to go when and as they did.

Or, should we be cruelly adult about it, and say there are six crew on the boat, every one of them could damn well chip in the same fifty bucks themselves, and buy an EPIRB? Make some commitment themselves, to using the rescue satellite system that after all HAS already been bought and paid for, for their convenience?

I can't altogether disagree with some anonymous uniform who might be saying, right now, "Where were all these concerned people before Nina left port? Why weren't they all concerned enough to crowdsource a couple of EPIRBs and a satphone for that boat?"

And if we ignore that and move forward to say "What can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again?" the answer is really simple, every vessel that departs for open waters will be required to pay a communications rescue fee, which in turn will pay for them being issued communications devices. Cheapasses will be banned from putting to sea.

That's simply being blunt about it, not intending to be cruel. Reality bites.

"Right now, we need the support of the sailing community to help put pressure on the US State Department,..."
Where were you when Coyote was lost going trans-Atlantic? If you remember that at all, you'd rethink asking the sailing community to make a total waste of resources and needless waste of State Department time and temper. You will not get the highest levels of long-standing national security policies overruled in any short timeframe.
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post #185 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

There are some long term lessons to be learned from the Nina disappearance. One is to prevent the Department of State from requesting dental records while an active search is in process. It sends the wrong message.

A second may apply to EPIRBS. However, the crew of the Grain de Soleil that went missing in the Atlantic this year had an active EPIRB and they still could not find them. The Nina has an EPIRB abaord.

As a general rule, at least commercial satellites don't shoot a lot of open water. There is nothing to see. Hence, the lack of archival footage.

Nothing changes without effort, especially the tradition of leaving sailors to their own wits because of the limited resources or limited capability of the rescue services. The search team is breaking new ground in developing this technology. If they are successful, it will save countries millions of dollars and lives too, by obviating the need to send out aircraft to do what a satellite can do more quickly. The rescue personnel will still have to go, but it makes sense they spend their efforts on actual rescues rather than eternal searches.

Some of the sailors aboard the Nina had little experience including the ability to gauge adequate safety systems. I am not saying the Nina did or din't have these systems, I am saying some of the crew had no foundation to judge. These are not people who made a choice to take the risks most sailors accept.

It is easy to forsake lives when they are not your own, or people you care about. However, until each of us is faced with a difficult situation, like these sailors and their families, it is hard to know what each of us would really do. If you were on the Nina, seasick, hungry, thirsty, struggling for life, you might have a different point of view. If this was your son or daughter, you might have a different point of view.

Thanks for your points, yes, some changes need to be made. Right now, we are concentrating on finding the boat. Later, surely, efforts will be made to make constructive changes.

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post #186 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

Originally Posted by lavidanueva View Post
It is easy to forsake lives when they are not your own,...
No, thats not it at all. Its reality. The boat is missing since June 4th or thereabouts. Survival for a whole winter off New Zealand is so ridiculously impossible it leads some to think the only reason to keep following that path is a lack of reality, or a clarity of financial advantage.

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post #187 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

John Glennie survived 119 days at sea on the overturned Rose Noelle. He was on the East side of New Zealand. His boat went over the same day of the year as the Nina went missing, June 4th. We consult with John frequently. He says, "don't give up".

John lived in the space of a twin bed with 18 inches of headroom along with three other sailors. When one sailor turned over the other three had to turn over with him. The outside man could only stand to be on the outside for about 4 hours. They they had to shift positions. When they ran out of food, they fished. John says if the Nina survived the big storm then the crew is alive. Clearly, the longer they are out there the tougher it gets.

Despite the most thorough search in the history of New Zealand, no wreckage was found. They did an extensive shore line search, as well.

Texas Equusearch is 100% all volunteer. All of the people involved in this search are volunteers. There are expenses, the biggest in hiring private aircraft. We work hard because we can see if John Glennie survived, why this crew can survive.

The last message sent indicated they had shredded their sails on the Nina. They had limited supplies of motor fuel aboard. If you know about the Tasman Sea you know about the reverse circulating currents and how boats get spun around and around. The Scotch Bonnet, abandoned near the last know position of the Nina, was out there for nearly six months. It was only spotted once in all that time. She came ashore with her gangway hatch and forward hatch open.

I am convinced the Nina will wash up on an Australian beach. The question is, how many survivors will there be? We want to bring all 7 home and we thank the cruising community for their support in doing that. In the end, it will benefit all sailors.

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post #188 of 196 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

When loved ones are lost, logic goes out the window and you almost always want to do whatever it takes to bring them home, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

I'm reminded of a letter I found recently among some family things. The letter was from a mother who lost her son in a B17 crash over Germany during WWII. She knew the fate of her son, but she longed to simply bring "his precious bones" home. She also complained that the US government wasn't doing enough to help locate and bring his body home, she also said that she wished she could live out her days in Germany to find her son's body. She would have done anything simply to see her son's body. You could feel the grief coming off the pages.

There are logical fallacies with her thought process too and with her anger at the government, but at the end of the day I don't think it matters. "It's the not knowing that gets to me", "it gets worse over time", and she would have done anything to bring his body home, no matter how ridiculous it seemed to anyone else. This coming from someone that knew her son was dead, just not how or where, yet the crew of the Nina could very well be alive right now, which is a nagging thought that will follow their families until they are found alive or dead, likely the rest of their life.

This constant berating of their efforts is childish and futile, they will make every attempt to bring them home and just want to see their loved ones again. If you don't agree with what they are doing, then so be it, but why do you insist on arguing about it like a bunch of children?
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post #189 of 196 Old 10-27-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

When an elderly wooden boat springs a plank , or hits a container, there may not be time to send a mayday. That is why I would only go to sea in a metal boat.
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post #190 of 196 Old 10-27-2013
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Re: 6 Americans, 1 Brit vanish at sea

The Nina is sheathed in fiberglass. David Dyche made this boat his life. He is a professional mariner and spent a lot of time working on the boat. The Nina has weathered tougher storms before. Steel and aluminum are good materials but they each have their problems in the corrosive salt water. The same circulating currents we suspect are trapping the Nina also trap ocean trash, shipping containers and other debris. A collision with these would certainly present problems with any boat the size of the Nina.

However, the scenario for the Nina is fairly simple. We know her sails were shredded. We know she was under power to be going 310 degrees in the teeth of a storm. With limited fuel, she would easily be entrapped by the currents.

While there is a great deal of speculation, no one knows what happened to the Nina. If she survived the storm she was in, then there is no reason she is not floating today. Some boats take a year to float to Australia after getting caught in the reverse circulating currents of the Tasman Sea. TA few float around for eternity then are grounded in New Zealand. However, the majority take a Northwest course for Australia. The families remain hopeful, but are realistic about prospects.

Long term survival at sea is very realistic with:
1. Shelter
2. Water
3. Food

If the Nina remains afloat she is providing shelter; frequent rain in the Tasman Sea during winter/spring is common; the boat it'self becomes a floating reef attracting fish. All that being said, it is a harsh existence, all the more reason to effect rescue as quickly as possible. It costs nothing to sign our petition asking for support from the US government, and at least, silencing their request for dental records while an active search is in progress. This basic dignity is something every person lost at sea deserves.

Last edited by lavidanueva; 10-27-2013 at 03:36 AM.
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