SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 115 Posts

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,953 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Once again, another sailboat and crew doing a crossing aren't up to the task. This time it only took "winds reaching about 40 miles per hour" (mph, not knots, even!) to end this voyage in near disaster. Sooner or later we are all going to feel the backlash from this sort of irresponsible voyaging, with stringent and expensive regulations for offshore voyaging.
The Rorkes’ 15 metre yacht, Blue Pearl, sank on Thursday after being badly battered from two days of storms.
Yacht owner Mr Rorke, from Peterborough, said: ‘We were preparing to die.’
He said there was poor visibility, 25ft waves and winds reaching about 40 miles per hour – and the life raft had to be patched up and that they were holding on ‘for dear life’.
U.S. coast guards rescued Leonard Rorke, 55, Lisa Rorke, 50, from Peterborough along with their Jack Russell Terrier, Dexter.
In the recording of the rescue’s debriefing, he said: ‘We were bailing water. It was life and death. We’re very grateful. We are very, very lucky.”
Coast Guard officials were notified on Thursday by the International Rescue Centre after a message came in saying people were in a life raft and needed help.
Coast Guards from Portsmouth, Virginia, issued a call for help about 6:30 pm to any commercial ships in the vicinity of the life raft. Three ships answered the call and diverted their course to aid in the search.
The boat’s crew had an electronic position-indicating radio beacon in the life raft that allowed the Coast Guard to direct ships toward their location.
Mr Rorke said the sailboat sank after the bulkhead broke up and the vessel began taking on water.
The ordeal ended about 12.30am after the Tilda Kosan diverted course from its planned trip to Mexico. The ship found the life raft after making three passes in dark, stormy conditions.
It was about 36 miles (58 kilometers) away from the life raft when it first joined the search.
Mr Rorke had praised the ‘fantastic’ coast guards. He added: ‘They were fantastic, absolutely fantastic. They didn’t play around. They were super quick.’
Link to full story;
British couple and dog plucked from life raft in Atlantic Ocean | Mail Online
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
... Sooner or later we are all going to feel the backlash from this sort of irresponsible voyaging, with stringent and expensive regulations for offshore voyaging...
I don't think this is anything new. People have been getting into trouble at sea since the first boat. It's just that now the media, social networks, etc. can spread the news farther and faster.
 

·
美国华人, 帆船
Joined
·
2,528 Posts
Once again, another sailboat and crew doing a crossing aren't up to the task. This time it only took "winds reaching about 40 miles per hour" (mph, not knots, even!) to end this voyage in near disaster. Sooner or later we are all going to feel the backlash from this sort of irresponsible voyaging, with stringent and expensive regulations for offshore voyaging.
What then the magic number of wind speed one allows to call the CG? Unless you know more details than what it is stated in the link, there is no indication they were not prudent sailors. If the captain of Bounty and delivery captain of be good too could call USCG, I have no problems for these three to be saved.

Why so angry with them? Have they done something wrong to you? It makes no sense.
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
Looks like they were up in the N. Atlantic. That part of the ocean has been a washing machine for most of the winter and has been nasty right through with one big low pressure system after the other for months. Don't these folks look at weather maps or read things like Cornell? It does not take a degree in meteorology or much research to figure this kind of stuff out. :confused:
 

·
Swab
Joined
·
825 Posts
This sort of thing will continue to happen as long as there are people with romantic notions of sailing into the sunset after retirement with no real idea of what to expect out there. It is made worse by the prevailing fantasy that having a satellite phone is a rational substitute for personal responsibility and good seamanship plus the attitude that there must be someone who is responsible for bailing your dumb a$$ out when you are overwhelmed and get scared. Then there is the ignorant media that hypes the situation out of all proportion while promoting the idiotic idea that "The Authorities" can and should DO SOMETHING to save the fools from themselves no matter the cost to society.

To make matters worse, we will be seeing more and more of this sort of thing as we baby boomers retire in increasing numbers. I fully expect cruising in a private boat will be made so expensive and inconvenient due to government regulation that ordinary people will no longer be able to participate.
 

·
Registered
Corsair 24
Joined
·
4,594 Posts
yeah it doesnt but making comments based on that little info is equally uninformed

while I agree there are many ways of weather forecasting these days and ways to prepare I feel that once out there it matters little...

Id be interested about hearing about the bulkhead failure on a 50 footer...

seems quite catastrophic!
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
yeah it doesnt but making comments based on that little info is equally uninformed

while I agree there are many ways of weather forecasting these days and ways to prepare I feel that once out there it matters little...

Id be interested about hearing about the bulkhead failure on a 50 footer...

seems quite catastrophic!
"...once out there.." is the key phrase. You don't get out there at this time of the year unless you are completely uninformed or crazy. There are so many instances of people simply being in the wrong part of the ocean at the wrong time of the year. This is information that is readily available. They were not inlet hopping, they were in the middle of the far N. Atlantic in April.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
No matter how well your forecasting is and how long you wait for the "best" weather window, isn't it the case that nature will do what it's gonna do?

I guess I don't see where the limited facts at this point in the news story should cause such harsh criticism.
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
No matter how well your forecasting is and how long you wait for the "best" weather window, isn't it the case that nature will do what it's gonna do?

I guess I don't see where the limited facts at this point in the news story should cause such harsh criticism.
It's the same criticism as a couple of years ago when the 16 year old solo circumnavigator had to be pulled out of the S. Indian Ocean---wrong time of the year to even consider being there in the first place. Small sailboats simply don't belong in certain places at certain times of the year. The decision to be there in the first place is an error in judgement. It's almost akin to making the decision to sail The Bounty toward a hurricane....what are they thinking?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
Since I'm planning for our first potential trans-Atlantic crossing, it'd be nice if we could turn these unfortunate events into thought-provoking learning discussions rather than off the cuff criticism and judgments based on media reporting.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
It's the same criticism as a couple of years ago when the 16 year old solo circumnavigator had to be pulled out of the S. Indian Ocean---wrong time of the year to even consider being there in the first place. Small sailboats simply don't belong in certain places at certain times of the year. The decision to be there in the first place is an error in judgement. It's almost akin to making the decision to sail The Bounty toward a hurricane....what are they thinking?
Point taken. I still think we can do this in a more positive way.

One of the things that crossed my mind is shouldn't a 50 foot boat designed for open water be capable of withstanding those conditions? IF they truly had a 50 footer designed to be out there (I don't see where they say the type of boat) and IF there were no structural issues to begin with?
 
  • Like
Reactions: davidpm

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
So what would be an effective way to promote safer decisions as to when to sail and when to wait? I'm afraid as well that these rescues will eventually prompt more regulation.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
So what would be an effective way to promote safer decisions as to when to sail and when to wait? I'm afraid as well that these rescues will eventually prompt more regulation.
I don't have an answer to that first question, not for the masses. I only know what I can do to reduce risk in my own decisions and how I go about doing that won't be for everyone.

A few years ago I read an article that seemed to think AIS on recreational boats would one day become mandatory equipment. Are you talking about regulation at that level or something more...invasive...for lack of a better word?
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
I'd worry about some sort of permit system to travel offshore, insurance requirements, pieces of paper of all sorts. There is no end to what governments can come up with. Just looking at the latest NOAA maps of that area and it looks like it has all winter:http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/QDTM10.gif
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,533 Posts
900 miles NE of Bermuda...

The only trip they could of been doing is Newport to Falmouth 2790nms or Newport to Azores
Best tine says Jimmy Cornell June thru August. I dont think mid April is in that time period. Just ice alone oon the northern route makes it dangerous, let alone the weather.

Btw with forward bulkheads... Keep the bloody doors closed!

What sort of boat was it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
So what would be an effective way to promote safer decisions as to when to sail and when to wait? I'm afraid as well that these rescues will eventually prompt more regulation.

Why do you think that? Are their any published statistics showing a significant increase in these type of rescues? Is their any movement in Congress to take up legislation to address this? I am not doubting you, I just don't know.
 
1 - 20 of 115 Posts
Top