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Ocean baby rescue underway off Mexico

81882 Views 619 Replies 90 Participants Last post by  smackdaddy
A U.S. Navy warship reached a crippled sailboat hundreds of kilometres off the Mexican coast and was preparing Sunday to complete the rescue of a sick one-year-old girl.

"...the sailboat, which does not have steering or communication abilities" - this can't be right. According to the article the sailboat takes on water when the engine runs, so "It's now slowly moving using only the sails." Doesn't mention any issue with the rudder etc. I guess that must be another example of journalistic accuracy in action.

I hope all goes well with the transfer, and with the family's voyage.
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But the usa has free speech.
With both kids on 3 sets of AB's, Lyra fighting Salmonella/Bronchitis 9 days later they set sail, Without knowing the exact AB's they were on I can only guess but in my experience it would be 7-10days of AB's then follow up.
I get the feeling that recurrence of salmonella can be caused by immunodeficiency. Perhaps the seasickness brought it back on?

Anyway, if both kids are on 3 antibiotics each a life at sea would have been far healthier!

In my 5 years at sea I have had a slight cold once.

I have never been more healthy in my life.

At a cruiser gathering, BBQ, Or bar you never hear a cough, splutter or see an inhaler sucked.

A doctor relying on cruisers would go broke qucktime!

Instead of telling people not to go sailing with kids I say get the hell out of the filthy city and give your kids the chance to grow up healthy!!!

Take them sailing and you will find you can chuck the antibiotics overboard when their useby date expires.

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and yet another thread getting veered off track

man its a tough internet world out there

Im always amazed and am guilty myself of it sometimes too at the ability of people to write such long and dedicated stories and rebuttles, and statements from such little information...paired with quotes and paragraphs from other sources its like wikipedia...on a daily basis...

seriously guys lets relax a bit

this whole sailnet knows best attitude is starting to wear me down...

The value of these forums is the discussion.

The discussion and forum investigations have led, in the past, to greater safe practices on boats.

That is a wonderful and useful purpose.

If you don't like that idea then you can change your stance to be more helpful.

Sycophantic sentimentalism is not helpful... Its a placebo for morons.

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Normally you hear of a naval ship diverting to a mayday if it happens to be nearby. I believe the scenario here is fairly unusual whereby the military undertakes the primary rescue efforts. But, again, proud of the guys for a job well done.
Nice photo of the navy ship scuttling Rebel Heart!!! :D ;)

Yes, the navy did a fine job. Especially those dudes who jumped out of the plane 900 miles to sea in bad weather with just flippers and medical bags. That does take some serious personal courage!


Of course bamboo is crap. This boom is really titanium and carbon designed to look like bamboo.
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Yeah, she's slow. Practical Sailor gives the Union 36 high marks as a blue water cruiser. In 36' it looks like a good choice for what they had in mind. Good accommodations too for a family of four, hard to find in 36'. Bob Perry made heavy boats like this go as fast as they possibly could, comfortably.
Its not an Union 36. Eric says its a HC 35 diesnt he?

And Bob Perry denied designing it.
Ok. I rechecked all and you are right..... found this....

It includes an email from BobPerry.
We... have a world-spanning navy that rescues ship captains from pirates on the other side of the globe, we send assets 8,000 miles to look for misplaced Malayasion airplanes, and otherwise rescue drunks and fools.
....with a submarine that can't quite get to the seabed whilst the Chinese Navy and airforce has had quicker satellite photos, ships in the right places and actually heard pings...

I think it mutated from medical issues to boat issues. If memory serves the baby was not seriously ill (anymore?) when the rescue parachuters showed up.
And WEATHER issues.

There is this weird psychology we have all heard about where people get into the life raft and die while their half swamped boat survives.

Ther was an interesting one two years ago of a boat going from Tonga to NZ late... And ran into a tag bit of a cyclone. They fell off a wave, minor damage to the boat.
They hit the EPIRB and got off on a ship where the photos and video of the boat showed it was still fine. The boat then went 2,000 nms and washed up on the coast of Australia.
You may remember the wife whoooping it up as she walked off the navy ship?
Their main difficulty, I believe, was they had made the decision to abandon after a number of storm days. Had the weather brightened up the day after the wave they may have just hoisted sail and sail off.
The point is that they invented a knockdown adn embelished it to a 360 roll over. It clearly didnt happen as the video showed the boat was fine.

They wanted off and made the facts speak for themselves.... To themselves.

With Rebel Heart they had many days of badish weather, combined with a bit of damage but nothing unsailable.

I feel if the weather had moderated and the sat phone worked better to keep them in touch with the doctor then the result could have been difficult.

In better weather the wife may have been more supportive. With the sat phone she may have been more confident.

But she left the salon and went to the bathroom and left the decision to push the EPRIB button to Eric. That could indicate there was less than 100% agreement either between themselves or about the direness of the situation.

When multiple things go wrong the psychological state goes south real quick. Even at anchor if two or three things bust on the boat at once I start to feel down... As if the whole thing is insurmountable.

We can't dismiss the psychology to an emergency. Its not exclusively "When the going gets tough the tough get going" but in some incidents one really needs a bucket of fortitude and confidence in the long term outcome - and a nice blue sky!

BTW when Nicolle was on board she would look at the clouds and scream "squall coming! We have to reef now!". I would look and see nice trade winds puffy clouds. One day I took her sunglasses off and had a look through them: the lenses were grey. Any white cloud looked like a storm cloud!

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Many auto steering systems become ineffective when downwind in heavy, pitching seas. When the boat gets off course she gybes.

A gybe when the main is prevented puts the boat on its ear. Or racing with a shy kite and it broaches puts the boat on its ear.
Both are bloody scary to the uninitiated! Until someone lets go the sheet and then the boat pops back up again in about two seconds. The preventer takes a bit longer!

I am all for cruisers having racing experience. It puts a boat and crew through its paces.
In the 8 years Eric had Rebel Heart he only went on one 400 mile passage, Charlott didnt go with him.
So even though he had all the tickets in the world and did the courses for celestial nav etc, he didnt have experience racing, nor of his own boat.

Thats not a criticism of him... Its a criticism of the whole ******** of buying an old boat and refitting it for years. Thats not whats needed... SAILING is needed!

I do say Go Now. But I mean for people to sail and race till they can actually do it in all weather, all the crew, day or night.

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One aspect of planning a preventer or anything with the potential for this kind of overload is to make damned sure some component in the line has a lower break strength than the anchor point.
My preventer is just two bits of rope that come down to the amidships mooring cleats, not the toe rail.

Then at the boom I have some very thin lanyard, 96 kg breaking strain, thats looped twice. The preventers tie to that loop. So its 4 x 96 kg breaking strain. Enough for an accidental gybe to slow the boom down, but it should break if the boat is pinned down :)
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Erica, most of us are from democracies. We are allowed to critically analyse situations. George Orwell's thought police never arrived.... And thats the way it ought to stay :).

Yes, great point. Does "democracy" end with the critics, or with countering the critics?

How bout my critical analyses of certain posts, implying the woman was hysterical, and therefore her fault that the boat was abandoned. This reeks of chovinism? Too critical?
I think you have a right to say whatever you like. :) I dont think its too critical for you to say you think some are too critical of Charlottes "hysteria". Mind you, I dont remember reading that word in any post. But what I did read in her own blog posts that she was clearly ultra uncomfortable.

I do think its a leap for anyone to think that any analysis is about fault finding. Its about learning what to do and what not to do when we are at sea. (Of which making a partner or crew psychologically comfortable is more important than many people think).

If we all sit around and say 'how terrible, lets knit them a tea-cosy' it does no good at all. Not the family, but especially not the people out there cruisng and the new people planning their cruise.

Its only by stiring the pot can we see all the elemnts of the stew these folks got themselves into, and out of. And we can not see much if people are stopped from questioning or analysing the information we know.

The "other" forum has a havpbit of closing threads when the analysis gets too heated. So a lot of good information is lost. Two thread of Rebel Heart have been closed because the Moderator have no capacity to adjudicate criticism for trolls. Through that lack of capacity they have destroyed all the posts written during the actual time of the rescue. So a lack of "free speach" has only lessened knowledge. Crazy.

I will write a different one re hysteria, etc.

Mark :)
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Priceless :)

Glad however that your happy to accept that you don't know everything that went on and therefore the best we can achieve here is conjecture.
If the conjecture saves lives then I an totally up for it.

This thread has a zillion lessons in it for a family about to set off, or anyone going to sea in a boat. Chances are Eric and family never will again. They crucified themselves, and we have to learn how not to crucify ourselves.

Bounty captain can't do it again, but theres a whole industry thats learned.

Lives are at stake! So I don't mind shoving someone up the stake! :)
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From what I've been able to dig up - I think we might actually be at rock bottom (with RH) now.
Don't be silly. Its the Internet! We can go MUCH lower :D

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Eric cut a hose in the head and it SANK. whether it sank by being scuttled or not is irrelevant. It sunk. :eek:
You are missing the points that the boat wasnt worth anything!!!!!!!!

It was leaking through the deck from the pointy end to the bow and the blunt end all the way to the stern. It wasnt worth diddly squat!

A salvor will ask for multiple THOUSANDS per DAY. Tug here the other day pulled a boat off the beach, took 10 minutes and was well done. But it coast $2,000 per HOUR. and he traveled 25 minutes each way to get there.

Now, lets hit the phone book and see who is going to go 900 miles west and pick up a boat worth NOTHING and tow it UPWIND, UP-CURRENT for 900 nms?

they got off the boat because they did a risk cost benefit analysis and decided their lives would be forfeit if they tried to sail on for another 2,000nms.

And unless you have read ALL the posts on this and the other threads, the owners website before it was 'redacted' then you wouldn't know any of the facts to come to a real conclusion... So as someone suggested, go read it because theres more lessons to be learned in this 'incident' than 100 wanky Coast Guard courses and Celestial Navigation courses teaching you to butt shove a sextant.


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If so, then Rebel Heart was even less worth salvaging and wouldn't have had much chance of being worth the cost of salvage.
There was photos of huge holes in the deck where the wood had rotted away. And this wasnt timber over fibreglass deck, this was timber over stringers.

The photos are in this thread somewhere and on CF.

The point is that most of the rotted wood was not fixed. There were forum pists and blob posts saying that.

I think the area they lived in, San Diego, then Baha, is very dry and the water through the deck problem was not apparent till they went to sea.

Once at sea they saw the water ingress and changed their minds as to the ability of the boat to be safe.
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