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Old 07-20-2010, 08:17 PM   #1
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From a report on June 11, 2010.

The rescue of Abby Sunderland, the teen sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean, could reignite a debate not only about the advisability of minors attempting record-breaking feats, but of the cost of difficult and dangerous search and rescue operations for individuals who knowingly embark on high-risk adventures.

Full NPR report - HERE
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:10 PM   #2
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So no one should attempt a circumnavigation, which is inherently risky -- or only the young shouldn't? What's the difference between 16 and 60 if both have 10 year sailing experience. I find it interesting that somehow a youthful sailor's experiences raise these questions, when a middle aged man in similar situation likely wouldn't..... if it is purely an economic matter of who pays rescue costs then say so........
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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Jimm,

The question is not about age so much as it is about the cost. Which in some countries is look at as live training experience (since it real and allows skills that are trained for to be tested and ways to improve them). The media source for this story (NPR) is known as a liberal/"progressive" news source and does tend to put forward a view that could easily be seen as being extremely patronizing to those who are young and wish to challenge themselves beyond what those who "know better" believe is best. Most the folks here from what I have read are more of the view that the young should be supported an encouraged to develop and grow. They should also be taught how to asses risk and take reasonable steps to insure that they are not going to be another statistic on the failure list where possible. Let me point out some very foundational differences between the last to solo sails by young folk okay.

Jessica Watson: Succeeded in her voyage due to not only trying her best to be prepared for what was going to happen out there (and looking at her on the blog videos towards the end it was starting to wear on her), but also by keeping her vessel working with simple equipment that she could realistically repair and keep functioning by herself should the need arise.

Abby Sunderland: As a person she did not really fail. She wisely saw the condition of her boat and what was going on from what she could and choose what she saw was the best route. Now given that she was in an O40 class boat there is some other issues that one can point out. Way too much power hungry equipment on board. Pushing for time lines and goals not entirely with an understanding of the local weather environment. These one can lay not only at her feet as lessons but also at the feet of her parents and sponsors.

On a personal note. At the age of seventeen with my younger brother and two friends we set off on a 100 mile bicycle trip. While our folks knew we where going and the folks at the other end expected us to arrive there; we had NO cell phones (they did not exist in commercial usage at the time), we had a very basic first aid kit and repair kit. We did not take as good precautions for sun exposure as we should of (we all had sunburn of the second degree on the backs of our ears when we got done), nor where we using bicycles that really where built to do that kind of thing (1 ten speed road, 2 BMX type, 1 city bike with panniers). We made it. We learned. We did other crazy stuff after that and before that which in this day and age there are folks who would try to stop us or call our parents unfit. Where they, no. was our route known, sort of; no plan survives contact with reality intact.

Do the youth of these have a lot more option than when I was a kid? Yes. Use it well and some what wisely. Good Luck.

Michael
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimm' date='20 July 2010 - 07:04 PM View Post

So no one should attempt a circumnavigation, which is inherently risky -- or only the young shouldn't? What's the difference between 16 and 60 if both have 10 year sailing experience. I find it interesting that somehow a youthful sailor's experiences raise these questions, when a middle aged man in similar situation likely wouldn't..... if it is purely an economic matter of who pays rescue costs then say so........
A lot of people have gotten really angry when I say, "don't mistake 10 years' experience for one year's experience repeated ten times."

What's the difference between 16 and 60? For an active sailor and sportsman such as Dodge Morgan, a world of difference. For the local couch potato who has never been out of sight of land? Probably none. And I would be just as upset with an inexperienced 60-y.o. trying this stunt and pushing the "help, come get me" button without first trying to get himself out of the fix he got himself in.

Abby Sunderland got a lot of people and firms to contribute a whole lot of money so she could try to get into the record books and thus get a reality TV show for herself and her family. The road to riches, not the road to adventure. Different, IMO, and not as worthy of the good will of the world. The evidence of her lack of experience is probably the fact that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time of the year BECAUSE of the search for notoriety rather than for adventure or the sense of accomplishment.

None of us are hinting that no one should attempt a circumnavigation. But there is a reason that developed countries do not consider 16-year olds to be adults, and most of them do not allow a 16-y.o. to enter into a contract. Because they do not have the maturity and life experience to give "informed consent". How many times a week do you think that a parent says to their teenager, "what were you thinking?" Yeah, I've also said the same to my husband, but not with the same frequency, dismay and fear that I've said it to the child.

The road to a circumnavigation does not start with a sponsor and buckets of money. It starts with paying one's dues. For a Californian, that would reasonably be serving as crew on a Trans-Pac race, or the Baja Ha-Ha. Or other such offshore races/regattas. That didn't happen.

By the way, Dodge Morgan, the start of the modern crowd of circumnavigation record-setters, did it all on his own money. No sponsors, no TV deals, just chutzpah and his own hard-earned money. And a lot of maturity.

Michael is right, though, that when the news media report the millions of dollars that it cost for one of these rescue efforts, consideration is not given to the cost of ongoing training for the rescue crews. I believe that most of the rescue personnel look at a rescue attempt as part of their training as well as their purpose. The reconnaissance flights go out even when there is nobody to locate or save. The ships go out for training, and probably would have been out anyway. However Abby Sunderland's rescue took money out of the pockets of a fishing vessel and its crew, not a government or military troop trained and paid to effect rescues. Not that the crew begrudged her the effort, but still, just another cost that she and her family did not have to incur in their quest for fame and fortune.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chiroeurope' date='21 July 2010 - 03:46 PM View Post

On a personal note. At the age of seventeen with my younger brother and two friends we set off on a 100 mile bicycle trip. While our folks knew we where going and the folks at the other end expected us to arrive there; we had NO cell phones (they did not exist in commercial usage at the time), we had a very basic first aid kit and repair kit. We did not take as good precautions for sun exposure as we should of (we all had sunburn of the second degree on the backs of our ears when we got done), nor where we using bicycles that really where built to do that kind of thing (1 ten speed road, 2 BMX type, 1 city bike with panniers). We made it. We learned. We did other crazy stuff after that and before that which in this day and age there are folks who would try to stop us or call our parents unfit. Where they, no. was our route known, sort of; no plan survives contact with reality intact.

Michael
Michael,

You reminded me of a journey I took when I was about to be shipped off to Scotland to start Senior school.

My dad had given me a Mauser .22 rifle - my bicycle had Sturmey-Archer with 3 speed gears. Loaded with canvas water bags, spare tubes for the bike - shurushuru to fix punctures. Tackies.4 boxes of long rifle .22 ammo.

A Surgeon colleague of my father took me to the border with Bechuanaland - there he took my bike out of his posh car and bid me fair well!

Set off from Plumtree and headed for Francis Town - hadn't gone long and was picked up by a truck.

From Francis Town push-biked to Sebina then on to Nata then south into the Sowa Wildlife Preserves.

Stayed with San people and learnt how to hunt for food. A couple months later went back to Francis Town and got on the train back to the family.

In the mean time I had seen Lion, Elephant, Rhino and every other kind of African Game animal really close up and lived with real people

I was 12 years old .

Richard
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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Richard,

Sounds we both had fathers that expected and accepted us to take on responsibility and deal with it. First fire arm I ever fired was a luger .22 pistol and yes I listened to Dad about where to put my thumb as getting it hurt by the recoil of the receiver just did not sound fun. On the other hand i did not completely listen the first time I fired a 30-06 that he owns and it took better than three days for the bruise to heal.

Fair winds to you,

Michael
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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12 gauge double barrel with hair triggers at the end of WWII . I will never forget the surprise of the other barrel going off. Yes we need space to grow. It make us self reliant and want to learn more. I do agree that doing it for adventure and doing it for fame and fortune are different beasts.

Oh yes I was 10 with the shotgun.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lighthouse' date='21 July 2010 - 06:11 AM View Post

From a report on June 11, 2010.

The rescue of Abby Sunderland, the teen sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean, could reignite a debate not only about the advisability of minors attempting record-breaking feats, but of the cost of difficult and dangerous search and rescue operations for individuals who knowingly embark on high-risk adventures.

Full NPR report - HERE
Gooday there 'Lighthouse' Let US ALL start that 'debate' PLEASE. Name's james, sing-in is 'Silverraven (which should have been 'Silver-Raven') but I don't have the ability to 'do-it' nor now it's done wrong - then 'correct-it'. I'm 70, m, ex-pat Canuck, living in Australia (since 1960), been sailing since 1946, been working in this 'marine industry since 1967 until I retired 10 yrs ago. Am now about to go back to 'sailing' & re-build a cat to go cruising (but at 15 kts plus)

I 'sure-do-hope' this 'heading of yours' DOES "reignite' a BIG-TIME & FULL-ON debate about this ALWAYS misconscrewed subject. This subject is VERY close to my 'CORE-VALUES' (no 'yelling intended' just my emphasis as is my commitment to this subject).

While I'm an older person (70), I don't have a desire to preach nor want to take-on "The Board of Directors" in this forum. Whilst I'm a 'gaffer' (first year camper) in this site, I'm anything but a beginner. Whilst I do not wish to, in this open forum, go through my credentials, I'm more than 'happy' to do so with all the 'moderators' of this site. I've learned, in the short time I've had the GREAT pleasure to be 'in-this-place' to have the utmost respect for many 'wise-old-souls' that are here-in gathered. I had 'some years back' to have something to do with the 'Rescue at sea' (sometimes call Air/sea rescue) programme that was instigated by the Australian Federal Government 'Air & Sea Rescue' Department initial programme which has since been copied by all 'bodies' around the world. This is not the place to go further with 'all that', in my humble opinion.

However, I do wish to get this 'to the highest level of discussion so that everybody in this 'forum' can come out with a positive, informed & factual knowledge of what are the REAL facts of all peoples 'maritime' around the world's oceans, which include the 10's of 1000's of people who know about & use this site, many of them as a 'bible'. Your choice of words & phrase is MOST unfortunate in my humble opinion. Acknowledging that this is one of my greatest peeves of all time I would like to have some back-ground home-work done & then a 'full-on' forum discussion about this 'much mis-understood' matter. In my humble opinion - this is potentially "LIFE THREATENING' and needs to be understood in the full. There is without doubt no better 'forum' to do that, that IN THIS PLACE. Co- operation, communication & conciliation & TOTAL understanding of the facts are very important to the survival of 'all of us at sea'. I would like to, with the greatest respect, submit to all of the 'moderators' that we come to a 'total' understanding of the 'rules' in play here & do so at the 'highest' level possible, so that the whole community completely understands 'what are the - real & true - facts about this matter'. As you can see by now, I'm very 'passionate' about this subject, as I was the prime instigator of these policies here in Australia some 40 years ago. We have a member in these 'forum's' that has a great knowledge & value to teach us all 'how to learn & do it better' for our total gain & I wish to follow in his foot-steps. His subject is about 'bio-secuity - marine',

I'm sure if you choose to follow this 'thread' you will continue with this subject & if not we will all be the poorer for that. Y'all have a great day, ciao for now from 'down-under', with great respect, I remain yours is yachting, james aka Siverraven (Silver-Raven) & take a moment to reflect that; "Every reality - - begins with a dream" , ciao, jj


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