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Re: Offshore Rescues

We have a double thread going on with "trouble enroute Caribbean", where I posted before seeing this thread. Shall we pick one?
 

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Re: Trouble on Route to the Caribbean

"winds above 25 mph, with ocean swells of 5 to 8 feet."
Pretty sad, IMO, that folks are heading out into the ocean and have trouble bad enough to require calling for help in these conditions.
Something is very, very wrong here.
If this continues we are going to get the kind of government interference that NZ has, that restricts offshore sailors and is very costly to comply with.
"winds above 25 mph, with ocean swells of 5 to 8 feet." is just about what we sail in daily in the Caribbean Christmas winds; certainly nothing beyond the capability of any well found cruising boat.
Yes, but they also got seasick! Time for a rescue....:laugher
 

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I don't know all the facts surrounding this rally...but these rallies seem to offer a false sense of security to the inexperienced and unprepared. Once in the soup..everyone has their hands full. It's not like you can all raft up out there and sing kumbya.. With few exceptions, The only one coming to get you is the CG or the Navy.

Leaving a safe port on some arbitrary schedule set months in advance..because you see others doing it without factoring in all the variables: ship, crew, experience, etc is just reckless.
 

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Re: Trouble on Route to the Caribbean

Yes, but they also got seasick! Time for a rescue....:laugher
I've been seasick on a boat delivery. Fortunately, I was the only one of the crew and it was temporary and the conditions were nowhere near what the rally encountered. For about 18 hours my ability to handle the most basic of tasks was impaired although I tried as best I could to pull my weight. I can kinda see how, an entire crew being seasick under the conditions the rally went through, even if some of you think those conditions "not all that bad", would increase the risk of something catastrophic happening if everyone on the boat was impaired and unable to make a reasoned decision. I don't know this for certain, but if on top of that the crew was inexperienced, that risk would be even greater.
 
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I'm going to merge all of the rally threads into this one.
 

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Re: Offshore Rescues

Sounds like the Salty Dawg Rally is earning an unfortunate reputation:

CG responds to fifth distressed boat

Five freakin' boats pushing the button? With 10'-12' seas reported?

What's going on out there?
"25 mph, with ocean swells of 5 to 8 feet. "

"The rescued boaters, who reported they were taking on water and were sick"

Four rescued from storm-battered sailboat off Atlantic Coast - U.S. News

What means taking on water? means that the boat was taking some water (that is a normal thing in a storm) or that they had problems and were taking more water than the one they could pump out?

Sick? Meaning seasick, or really sick?

Regards

Paulo
 

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I did just notice that NARC has put up on their main page an account of the 2011 fatality and rescues:

THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE ARE ONLY INVITING LARGER BOATS AND EXPERIENCED SAILORS

...
It seems these guys think that larger boats are safer:D.

"The Rally this year is restricted to Professionally crewed boats or boats that are big enough or fast enough to get to Bermuda in 4 to 4 1/2 days and crewed by experienced crew who have made the passage before. Smaller boats and less experienced sailors should spend September and October heading down to the Chesapeake and check out their boat and systems while they are still close to land. The are two rallies that depart from Hampton Roads Virginia Nov 4th."

Some here would strongly disagree:rolleyes:

Regards

Paulo
 

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Perhaps it's time people were charged for this service. I can't even imagine what it costs the taxpayers to send a Hercules or two and a chopper out 275 miles or so because some folks are seasick and scared.
There have been a few times when I wanted to whistle for a taxi, and every time the wind was a lot closer to 100 knots than 25, but they just weren't available in those days, thankfully. We always got through it, no matter how bad it was. We learned that we'd be just fine if we did what we were supposed to do, IE: heave to, run a drogue or whatever the conditions required.
I'm guessing it's just too easy to give up and call for a free ride, these days.
 

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Just to be clear - if I do a rally it will be one like this one.

White knuckles and BFS 'worthy' are in the eye of the beholder.
Have to disagree with this. The ocean is a constant. The thing that changes is one's confidence that things will turn out OK, ie I will not die after all. Going in a rally does not make it safer, that is only a illusion. If you feel that you would only do a passage on a rally you should not go.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I did just notice that NARC has put up on their main page an account of the 2011 fatality and rescues:

THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE ARE ONLY INVITING LARGER BOATS AND EXPERIENCED SAILORS

Much different than booze on a beach.

Good on them.
I would be interested to know which factor - big or experienced, they would consider more important. I assume big since the chance of a weather window lasting means that 170+ days would be most important.

In general the idea of leaving from Newport so late in the season does not appeal to me at all. Your chances of avoiding anything hitting the fan are much better from the Chesapeake.

About any of these passages from the US to the Caribbean in November, the biggest problem is that you are doing a potentially very difficult passage before you have had the chance to develop the experience you need.
 

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Exxon Valdez
Edmund Fitzgerald
Titanic
Poseidon
Mary Celeste
....and so on. :)

It's not so much the size of the boat, but the seamanship of the crew.

A 23-foot open boat, 19 men, 3,600 miles:

Bounty's Launch

He may have been "an overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of god-hood" of an S.O.B. of a captain, but William Bligh was a consummate seaman, having trained and served under the greatest navigator of the age, James Cook.
 
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How many people commenting on this thread have had command on a passage of five days or more without bailouts? Maybe it's more than I think.

As I understand it the only requirement for the Salty Dawg is that you've done a real offshore passage before.

I'm not sure there is better weather forecasting than Salty Dawg provides. It all still comes down to the skipper's responsibility.

We all know from experience that people--skipper and crew--get in over their heads. We all know that sometimes someone on the boat just wants to get off and sometimes that leads to calls for aid. Sometimes it leads to bad decision-making.

We can come up with rules for whether a boat is ready to go offshore. There are lots of existing rules that (mostly) make sense. Who makes the call if a crew is ready to go offshore? Boats outperform crews all the time.

What I see of weather offshore makes me surprised that a boat was dismasted and that a small handful of other boats want to pull the plug. Still, I'm not out there. I don't know what they are seeing, what they missed in prep, what surprises the crew faced.

It is one thing to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others. It is something entirely different to second guess the people on the scene. That way lies armchair sailing.

The Caribbean 1500 left Saturday. Salty Dawg recommended leaving Wednesday. My own analysis led to a recommendation to leave Monday pre-dawn. How things come out in one event isn't really statistically significant. There are two many variables and not enough measurables.

I'm not a rally person. I do think there is a false sense of security associated with rallies. If I sail in one it will be as a delivery skipper and I'll treat it like any other delivery, making my own decisions based on my own best judgment and the best data available to me. That said, I like the Salty Dawg concept and I personally think it is good for the cruising and offshore sailing community.
 

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What's really interesting in the salty dawg and Carib 1500 is that they both left (more or less) the same time, and to be in the Carib you need NO offshore experience. I am not really sure the support is any greater than the salty......
 

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Re: Offshore Rescues

"25 mph, with ocean swells of 5 to 8 feet. "

"The rescued boaters, who reported they were taking on water and were sick"

Four rescued from storm-battered sailboat off Atlantic Coast - U.S. News

What means taking on water? means that the boat was taking some water (that is a normal thing in a storm) or that they had problems and were taking more water than the one they could pump out?

Sick? Meaning seasick, or really sick?

Regards

Paulo
This is actually a very good question. In my research for the article I wrote for Cruising World - the "thin red line" in unabashedly triggering a rescue is "we're taking on water". Being sick or uncomfortable is manageable - taking on water means that the clock is ticking.

But what does that phrase really mean...to the skipper? Does it really mean you're sinking - in relatively immediate danger of dying? I remember in Doug's thread where, in retrospect, he felt that they were not in as much danger as he initially perceived it to be - when later weighed against the very real danger of the actual rescue.

It seems the definition of "taking on water" needs to be very carefully considered by the skipper when a boat's in distress.
 

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have to disagree with this. The ocean is a constant. The thing that changes is one's confidence that things will turn out ok, ie i will not die after all. Going in a rally does not make it safer, that is only a illusion. If you feel that you would only do a passage on a rally you should not go.
+1.
 

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What's likely to happen is that the USCG will start requiring permits for all these organized events with minimum safety requirements. It's too bad because more regulation will probably not change the fact that it seems too many folks do not appreciate what can happen and seem to be ignorant of some really basic stuff. You can understand someone getting caught by weather on a long passage but it's hard to fathom why people choose to set sail when waiting is obviously the best choice. Everyone wants to get going but it seems that too many can't resist the urge and throw the dice.
 

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Perhaps it's time people were charged for this service. I can't even imagine what it costs the taxpayers to send a Hercules or two and a chopper out 275 miles or so because some folks are seasick and scared.
....
I'm guessing it's just too easy to give up and call for a free ride, these days.
I have been saying and many disagreeing that this sort of situations is going to fall on the ones that take or/and are experienced. I bet that on these times of economic difficulties somebody is going to look at the numbers and costs and will stop with this nonsense. It is logical that the ones that benefice from SAR should the ones to pay for it, instead of the money coming from all tax payers.

That can be made trough mandatory insurance that obviously is going to be more expensive than the actual one. That would also auto regulate the boats that should or not go offshore and crew experience. I don't believe the premiums regarding SAR will be the same for all boats and some in what regards offshore would be simply not insurable. A certification that needs sailing experience will also lower premiums. They are not there to lose money.

Regards

Paulo
 
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