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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Vessels Lost, Missing, or in Danger
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Old 02-01-2015
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Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

5 boaters rescued from sailboat after its mast broke 200 miles off North Carolina coast | Fox News
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

I think you chose an inappropriate title for this thread, unless you really believe that they intentionally dismasted their boat in miserable weather in order to be able to get a free ride home by helicopter.
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

There has been much discussion in similar events as to when and under what conditions a rescue is warranted. IF the boat was in danger of sinking and lives were in danger, of course it had to be abandoned and rescue was in order. Maybe the hull was irreparably holed by a spar. But if it was a case of people being uncomfortable and activating an EPIRB to be relieved of their discomfort, then it was not. There aren't too many shades of gray here. I'm sure we'll hear about the reasons for abandoning ship. I can only think of one reason for abandoning ship:imminent danger of sinking.
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

I agree that there has been much discussion in the past, and there will be more in the future. But the facts in this case are still sparse and I think that the title is inappropriate, at least until it is shown that there was no cause for evacuation. Until such time I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, while this thread's title implicitly removes any such doubt.
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

This is a fairly new 2.5 million dollar boat, dismasted by a 70 knot squall in 25 to 35 knot winds. They were well reefed down and not amateur sailors. Shouldn't have happened. Somebody dropped the ball, either in preparing the boat for the sail or at sea.
My question is, if these guys were all experienced sailors, what were they doing out there this week? I do believe all the bad weather that the East Coast has been having was well forecast, was it not?
Hey, even the rich are now taking advantage of the "get out of trouble free" card the USCG offers. How nice they are an equal opportunity rescue operation.
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

There is another thread on this topic running right now. What is known so far is..... They head out in a northerly gale, into the Gulf Stream with a swell from the south. That alone would be enough to keep me ashore, but maybe I'm just a Monday morning QB. Still, it's a classic no, no. We also know they wrapped line around their prop, so we unable to motor back to shore.

Quite I mess. I speculate that they were launching that cat at 20+ kt speeds and crashing hard into oncoming swell that was standing up straight from the northerlies. The rig couldn't take the constant strain. I have no way to know, it's just a guess.
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

More will be known when and if they salvage the vessel
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

"But if it was a case of people being uncomfortable and activating an EPIRB to be relieved of their discomfort, then it was not."

Smurph, you cynic. "Discomfort" is a relative thing. If the boat is perfectly seaworthy, but the crew are seasick, do you realize that after 24 hours of heavy puking you can tear a hole, literally, in the esophagus? And now you've got a good chance of bleeding to death?

Supposedly modern cats are more stable without a mast than with one. And they'll never ever capsize, they're protected by magic and faeries. But without sail power (for whatever reason) and having to rely on the engine(s?) when diesel engines are notorious for fuel system problems in mixmaster weather...

Hey, there's a boat show coming up and as they say on Broadway "just spell my name right!" look at all the PR Gunboat is getting. Now, *that*s cynical.(G)
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

Let me ask a question that comes from my ignorance about how big, high performance cats operate when it all hits the fan. I doubt you would heave-to (not sure why I am saying that). Do you run-off under minimal sails? Drag a series drogue? It occurred to me that I have seen lots of discussions about heavy weather tactics, storm jibs, trysails, et al for monos but have never seen a similar discussion for cats, whether gunboats or mom and dad boats. We only saw a couple of cats in South Africa (50 foot range) that had come across from Australia. Certainly the conditions this boat had would not be uncommon between Mauritius and SA, where 25 to 35 knots seems the norm in the summer, with gusts up from there. The cruising guide mentions waves to 20 m. The only advantage there is that the water that would be hitting you there would be much warmer.
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Old 02-01-2015
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Re: Another Free Air-Launch Service Ride Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"But if it was a case of people being uncomfortable and activating an EPIRB to be relieved of their discomfort, then it was not."

Smurph, you cynic. "Discomfort" is a relative thing. If the boat is perfectly seaworthy, but the crew are seasick, do you realize that after 24 hours of heavy puking you can tear a hole, literally, in the esophagus? And now you've got a good chance of bleeding to death?

Supposedly modern cats are more stable without a mast than with one. And they'll never ever capsize, they're protected by magic and faeries. But without sail power (for whatever reason) and having to rely on the engine(s?) when diesel engines are notorious for fuel system problems in mixmaster weather...

Hey, there's a boat show coming up and as they say on Broadway "just spell my name right!" look at all the PR Gunboat is getting. Now, *that*s cynical.(G)
Could be that one was deathly sick and then, since a chopper was coming anyway, it was a matter of choice whether the rest just abandoned the boat. Heck, they seem to be able to afford letting it go adrift. I wonder whether the boat was equipped with drogue/sea anchor, etc. Bet it WAS equipped with granite counter tops and maybe even a sauna.
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