They needed help because they were neither trained or mentally prepared to sail ('Sail' is the key word here) under less then idealistic conditions. They really needed an old sea dog to hold their collective hands and teach them on how to survive when the winds and seas start kicking up and doing a fandango.There are two separate issues here. Blue water is the holy grail of all of us dreaming about getting out there. I will make a call when I get 20' over the bow, but it will be one of my buddies to say "THE DREAM IS ON!!!"
The second issue is soiling your pants and calling for help. I agree with USCGRET990 on this second part. There are people who are unprepared that are getting out there and panicking. I still steam about the guys that got help from the Navy in the mid-Atlantic earlier this year. It was nice they got help and lived, but they should not have been out there.
So, USCGRET1990, perhaps you're stirring the pot to start a thread. However, some of us haven't yet got out there but will. I will be prepared and I might soil my pants but nobody but me and my pants will know.
Over the bow? Try over the bow, down the decks and into the aft cockpit as the boat pitches off a wave. Try over the pilothouse (why I need wipers). Try putting the spreaders in the water and wondering if your locker gaskets will hold. Try broaching during a spinnaker wrap with the spreaders in the water as you hang on to a winch for dear life.So many ask and dream of blue water sailing. All that is fine until all hell breaks loose and you take that 20'+ wave of "GREEN WATER" over the bow.
Well put!!!I always chuckle when I read about all the prophets making statements to the fact that one should not call for help when you're really in trouble "out there". Their thinking seems to be that since you've brought this upon ourself, you should simply accept your fate and that's it. That's not what the initiator of this thread meant, but I've read this sentiment on Sailnet before.
Calling because you're simply scared but not really in danger is one thing, - calling 'cause you're really in trouble is another matter entirely. I'm quite sure the spinners of such rediculous and arrogant nonsense will be just as surely grabbing for their Epirbs as everybody else, whether they first soiled their pants or not - and regardless what they wrote on websites like this.
As more and more people with relatively little experience take off cruising, rescue incidents will probably increase. It is a fact that not everyone can have the same experience or be experts in everything. The fact is that most of us work our backsides off to scrape together enough to finally get out there. If absolute mastery of all aspects and for all contingencies were preconditions to joining the cruising life, there would have been VERY few people out there.
It is also sometimes difficult or entirely impossible to determine when a situation changes from uncomfortable, to life-threatening. Since there are many families out there, the responsibility on the captain (often one of the parents in case of families) to make that determination can be very very difficult and clouded by fears for the safety of the children. Criticizing people for making decisions or determinations that their lives were in danger at a particular moment and then asking for help, even if subsequently shown not to have been the case, displays little more than an opinionated arrogance and a hyperinflated idea of personal superiority.
I'm not suggesting anyone should go out there completely unprepared and grab the Epirb at the first whiff of danger. I am however just a little bit tired of all the high-browed experts who criticise easily.