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Old 12-03-2009, 09:24 AM   #1
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Boat just left to fend for itself !

Here
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:40 PM   #2
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This link is not working for me ....
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:08 PM   #3
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me either.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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As the link did not work, I suppose it would be considered acceptable to post the story here.

Quote:
The five crew members of British yacht Pelican were evacuated from onboard their 53 foot Roberts design last last night following a rig failure, approximately 325 nautical miles west of the Cape Verde Islands.

The Singapore flagged merchant vessel Crimson Mars diverted to assist the yacht at the request of MRCC Falmouth, after skipper Darryl Saxton called a MayDay yesterday afternoon citing the 'unacceptable risk to his crew' of remaining aboard, as the yacht was also unable to motor and the rig was considered to be in a dangerous condition following several failures. MRCC Falmouth and MRCC Ponta Delgada (Azores) were involved in co-ordinating the evacuation of the yacht with the merchant ship.

At approximate position 18º 01N 030º 27'W, the MV Crimson Mars rendezvoused with the Pelican, and as the yacht was unable to manoeuvre, the ship's Master decided to transfer the crew of the Pelican via line and lifebuoy. All crew were safely aboard by 0200 hours. The MV Crimson Mars is now en route to Gibraltar and the Pelican has been abandoned; the owner having taken the decision not to scuttle the yacht. At the time of the incident, weather conditions were around F4 ENE with a swell of up to 2 metres.

All 5 crew of the Pelican, are from the United Kingdom, and the yacht was taking part in the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which departed Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 22 November
The story comes from yachtsandyachting.com

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:46 PM   #5
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wow... are this boats many boats lost each year in the ARC?? or is this just an exceptional year... if this is normal I think I may have just found my calling.

granted this one may be a very little bit more reasonable than the rudder loss boat abandonment but that's still pretty pathetic IMHO... a skipper who can't jury rig a mast shouldn't be at sea (on the deep blue) any more than a skipper who can't jury rig a rudder....

a jury mast is the reason I keep my monstrouse spinnaker pole on deck instead of on the mast like many racers do... it might take a bit longer to rig a spinnaker but if I loose the mast I've got a 4 inch diameter 15ft jury mast available that works well with my storm sail or boom tent for a jury rig...

any other good jury rig ideas?
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:50 PM   #6
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I don't think that the mast fell. Dismasting is a word that the reporters seem to know very well. Rig failure, to my thinking, could be anything from a spreader failure to a shroud failure. Without better information, and thinking of all the reports of dismastings, I will assume that it is less than a dismasting.

I'm not sure that I would consider a rig failure as an "unacceptable risk to the crew" - to my mind being dragged through the seas via line and lifebuoy was pretty risky. However, I wasn't there, and so with the little information available I can't be as critical as I am tempted to be.

I really hope that better information is provided. ARC organizers are not going to chastise the skipper for his actions, and thus I'm not sure if the full information needed will ever be published, though. We won't learn anything from them - how to do it better, nothing, IMO.

Do I sound a bit cynical? Yup! It really, really bugs me that too few people admit their mistakes, treat them as a learning experience that should be shared, and look around to find who/what/other can be blamed. And that goes for the organizers of rallies such as this, which give the perception of a promise of safety in numbers.

For me, though, safety is achieved by being prepared. Being prepared, for me, means learning from others' mistakes as well as my own, and from others' successes, too. To deny or ignore mistakes, bad luck, the right things to do, and the wrong things to do, deprives us of information to help us prepare for our own ventures onto the seas.

Why is this so in sailing? Football, one hears of a coach's, or quarterback's, or team's mistakes ad nauseum. Pretty much the same with most sports, including sailboat races, right up to the America's Cup. But these rallies that attract a lot of amateurs and perhaps nervous inexperienced cruisers, there doesn't seem to be any "Monday morning quarterbacking" at all.

Am I on track with this? or has my frustration at hearing too little to inform and to help me in these problems made me crankier than usual? If you think I'm on track here, does anybody have any suggestions as to how we can encourage the powers that be to change?

And if I'm just being cranky, go ahead and say that, too.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:36 AM   #7
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Jeanne I don't think your being cranky at all... I'm as perterbed as you at all the bad sailors doing dumb things and even more so at the lack of info that is publicly available... ... but I think the problem is one we don't consider off the cuff in our ranting discussions... liability... if the ARC were to criticise the captain they might incure liability for letting him be a captain in their rally... if he complains publicly he might be slapped with some type of slander charge... the amount of liability risks in the modern world are pretty scary... and my guess is that's why we don't get more info on these incidences... until any claims are 100% settled the people involved are obligated not to talk about them...
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:01 AM   #8
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It is sad to have to read the article and hear that the vessel has been abandoned. I understand the purpose of the ARC and can see the reason for its existence. However, the organisers of this event really need to jack up their regulations and safety requirements and inspections and ensure that the skippers and crew are competent before joining the ARC. The international norm is that vessels at sea respond to incidents of distress at sea – and do not charge for their time and efforts in saving lives. This is also the norm with rescues on land. One of the reasons for the “no charge” convention is that if there was a charge, the person/s in distress may not request assistance as they cannot afford it or do not want to pay, and may aggravate their situation.

However, it appears to me that all over the world yachtsmen and women are calling “Mayday” more frequently, when there is actually no distress – we have it here around our coast (South Africa) on a regular basis where the skipper of a sailing boat calls for assistance from the rescue services because they ran out of fuel and, because there is little wind, are going to take too long to get back home to mommy. This BS must stop – a mayday call is when a vessel is in grave and imminent danger, not for when the skipper and crew are just wanting out because they are now fed-up due to things breaking and they no longer feel in their comfort zone.

The seas in this latest incident were reported at about 2 metres – this, I would consider, relatively calm. The report says “rigging failure” and not dismasting. The engine appears to be US as the report says they could not use it – most likely somebody got a line around the prop but we really do not know. So, why was a “Mayday” called? I was not there and we do not (and most likely never will) know. But, from the report, the vessel really did not appear to be in grave and imminent danger.

If a group of folks decide to go off sailing, be it around the bay of across an ocean, they need to realise that they must be self sufficient and be capable and prepared to handle any eventuality. It does not appear this bunch were prepared or capable. I hope the shipping line decides to charge for the rescue and somebody salvages the boat and feeds back a full report as to what was wrong.

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Old 12-04-2009, 09:27 AM   #9
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'unacceptable risk to his crew'

Maybe the skipper was worried about the legal troubles he might have ended up with if he tried to continue on his vessel. Say he did a temporary repair and continued sailing, then imagine what the authorities would do if one crew member got killed or injured a day or three later.

Also in todays world it only takes a person to think that someone has put them at risk to be able to start legal action.

Wasn't there, don't know what happened, so I cannot commend or condemn his actions. Gear does break!!!

Ships that are asked to divert to assist a rescue by an RCC are asked to submit a claim for reimbursement, at least in Australias area of responsibility.

The 'nanny state' is taking over, you know some states even require boat owners to know what they are doing and be licenced, and carry stuff that the state thinks should be on board. Where will it all end.

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Old 12-04-2009, 09:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atavist View Post
wow... are this boats many boats lost each year in the ARC?? or is this just an exceptional year... if this is normal I think I may have just found my calling.
If you will need a deckhand, just tell me. Well, I'm an inexperienced sailor , but I swim very well, and I have a year to polish my skills in boarding abandoned wessels in rough weather, jury rigging a mast or a rudder, and sailing, of course
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GoneTroppo View Post
Maybe the skipper was worried about the legal troubles he might have ended up with if he tried to continue on his vessel. Say he did a temporary repair and continued sailing, then imagine what the authorities would do if one crew member got killed or injured a day or three later.
When I was studying for my master's ticket if there was one thing which was rammed into our heads (not necessarily an easy task) it was that the master (call him skipper if you will) is under a legal obligation to do all in his power to save his crew and his ship should disaster strike.

If the vessel was seaworthy when leaving port and an unforceable accident occured, blame could not be attached to the master unless the accident was a result of neglect or incompetence. If there is hope of saving the vessel, it should not be abandonned. One may choose to put part or all of the crew onto another vessel for their sake but as long as there was hope then you stayed with your ship. One of the best examples of this being captain Carlsson of the United States vessel s.s. FLYING ENTERPRISE.

Given the requirement for the master to always ensure the safety of his vessel, I feel there is a greater likelihood of him being prosecuted for abandoning the vessel (which becomes a danger to navigation) than by staying with it as long as there is a chance of its survival.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
When I was studying for my master's ticket if there was one thing which was rammed into our heads (not necessarily an easy task) it was that the master (call him skipper if you will) is under a legal obligation to do all in his power to save his crew and his ship should disaster strike.

If the vessel was seaworthy when leaving port and an unforceable accident occured, blame could not be attached to the master unless the accident was a result of neglect or incompetence. If there is hope of saving the vessel, it should not be abandonned. One may choose to put part or all of the crew onto another vessel for their sake but as long as there was hope then you stayed with your ship. One of the best examples of this being captain Carlsson of the United States vessel s.s. FLYING ENTERPRISE.

Given the requirement for the master to always ensure the safety of his vessel, I feel there is a greater likelihood of him being prosecuted for abandoning the vessel (which becomes a danger to navigation) than by staying with it as long as there is a chance of its survival.

Aye // Stephen
Stephen,

You could not have put it better. In the Army there are similar orders and at times there is D.I.P. (If you don't know don't ask). Being a former EPW MP we had to set up those last points for one of those possibilities ever time we set up a camp whether real or for training purposes. It makes a whole lot of sense with a Ship of any size in that it can take a long time to sink certain types of vessels and depending on how deep it sinks it can become a very real danger to other vessels as well as to the environment.

There is a vessel out side a rather popular Brazilian harbour that comes to mind. Don't trust the Admiralty Maps or those issued by the Brazilian government as they show the wreck to be about 100m from where it really is.

Michael
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:03 PM   #13
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We did not take part in the ARC, but have been in Las Palmas some years ago right when the preparations took place. Besides a lot of party time, seminaries were held and boats were checked if they meet the standards. We had the impression that the Organizers did a lot to implement safety to the whole event (including surveillance of the whole fleet under way - if you can't communicate your position, you can't participate).* *

So, the organizers try to do what they can to compensate for the lack of experience and seamanship, but a few attended courses can not make up for the experience that grows over the years of sailing. *

Another point: As the boats and therefor the crews get bigger, the legal situation changes too. Many years ago the "crew insurance" was almost no topic, because mostly family crews, couples or friends sailed together. That changed. Contracts are made. A skipper offers hand for a berth or even a company is collecting charter fees for the trip. Here the skipper has to decide (or it is part of the contract), what kind of "dangers" he is allowed to expose his crew to... Even worse: As he does not know every single member of the crew so well, he does not know what amount of stress every single member is able (or willing) to cope with. Maybe that is the reason that skippers tend to decide earlier than necessary to end a situation of gear failure with leaving the scene. Todays modern rescue systems make it possible.*

Besides a lack of experience /knowing the boat the gear failure has another obvious reason. The ARC says it's a Rallye for cruisers . Do the big boats cruise the Atlantic? Most crews see it as a race. They don't mind to push their boats the way as their role models (Volvo Ocean Race, etc) do it to be first ship home. And with doing that they rely almost blindfolded on the abilities of the material. The whole thing is similar to guided tourists climbing the Mount Everest.*

Without the ARC there wouldn't be as much Atlantic crossings. The ARC creates the desire to cross the Atlantic. The initial idea of getting the cruising folks together to share everything connected to the Crossing *and loosely do it together is great. The development of the last years is negative. Big publicity (almost ALL European yachting magazines cover the event in a way as if it is annual OSCAR) pushes this negative development.*

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Old 12-04-2009, 02:12 PM   #14
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I have always felt that the reason that many lawsuits are successful is because the juries are not sufficiently knowledgeable to sift through evidence to find the significant facts. It is one of the reasons that I become so annoyed with modern news reporting, which goes for the emotional reaction.

Peter and I sometimes sound as if we should be institutionalized as we talk back to the radio or television news reporter, complaining about how slanted their reporting is.

When I read a slanted and overemotional report of an "unfortunate" boating accident that is clearly the result of operator stupidity (there, I've said it!), I will often write to the news organization complaining about their reporting. Peter thinks I'm tilting at windmills, but I try to be a bit like chinese water torture. Enough complaints and letters pointing out the error of their ways and maybe they will start thinking a bit more before sobbing on the air. (My, am I prickly this week!).

Offshore insurance rates will continue to rise if incompetent and/or lazy boat owners are able to abandon their perfectly seaworthy boats without any consequences. As much as I hate the idea of licensing in order to permit private yachts to sail offshore, the present system doesn't appear to be working that well. Maybe insurance companies have to get into the act here - and compel owners to provide full disclosure (damn, this is getting a bit too legally for my taste, but I'll continue) of the potential risks of going offshore; perhaps that would nudge these would-be adventurers to think twice - about abandoning a boat, about postponing necessary maintenance, about being stupid. I know, that last one isn't realistic, I just couldn't resist.

And the ARC organization? Do they provide full disclosure of the risks? To all the participants? If not, should they, too, be held accountable for the unreasonable expectations of skippers and crew?
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