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Old 11-03-2007, 06:45 PM   #1
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I received an email from a cruiser with the attached pic and report as follows.

"Steel yacht rammed by freighter near the Canary Islands last week - yacht brought to Las Palmas. Crew were asleep below decks - no injuries. Freighter carried on steaming and was unidentified by yacht crew. No further information at this stage."

Lucky it was steel!

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Old 11-03-2007, 08:53 PM   #2
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Crew were asleep below decks
All of them?

This in no way can take the blame from the cargo ship unless it was at night and the yacht's lights were not burning as they should. Given that the cargo ship appears not to have noticed the collision then this is possible.

I am very concious of the need to always have a lookout. Part of the lookouts duties is to check that his/her own vessel's lights are as they should be. No mater how many new gizmos we get to make navigation and seamanship simpler there are always going to be accidents due to human error or simply the lack of good judgement. Really, we should never forget the fundamentals of basic good seamanship and number one amongst them is to have a man on watch at all times.

I hope we get to hear more about the causes of this accident and I am really pleased the yacht's crew are safe.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:41 PM   #3
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It does not appear that the freighter struck the yacht a glancing blow. This is a fair dinkum T-bone job. To be hit perpendicularly would indicate the yacht had not tried to veer away as the freighter closed. If indeed the 'culprit' was a freighter, the seas mush have been quite big as the bow impact damage has occurred cleanly below the yacht's gunwhale suggesting at the time of impact, the yacht was on the crest of a swell and the bow of the freighter in a trough. It is hard to imagine either boat had mounted an effective watch.

The damage is severe. The forward structural bulkhead must be shattered, the boom is missing and, given the arrangement of rigging, it appears the mast has been stayed against collapse. I think the 'gringo' may also have been a ketch or yawl and be missing her aft' rigging.

It would be good to hear a first hand account. I think the people on deck must be having a bad day...Thankfully, they are alive to ponder the situation.

David
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:41 PM   #4
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Hi Guys,

I took that picture and it was only bar talk that said they were all asleep. They do not speak fluent English but are stil here in Las Palmas, and a Belgium skipper parked next to them told me the following:

The yacht was hit at night in the 40 mile straight twix Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

The crew and yacht are French, basically beginning a planned 8 year cruise from France to Pacific.

The single guy going off watch did register the freighter. But it did not appear close nor was it on a collision course, when he went down to wake the new watch.

They heard / felt the ship approaching and rushed to get back on deck.

The yacht was struck amidships and the mizzin plus top of main mast came down on them as they came out into the cockpit.

As a result they did not have the opportunity to try and take the freighters name from its stern.

The freighter did not stop.

They plan to remain here for possiby a month whilst the authorities attempt to trace the ships in the area at the time.

Hope this helps clear up some misconceptions the bar talk created.

Cheers

JOHN
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the update and clarification John - from the source!
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:55 PM   #6
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I'm certainly no expert... but,

In my opinion - it usually takes two captains to have a collision at sea.

But all things being equal, the vessel pictured is at fault primarily due to the fact that they did not give way to the vessel on their stbd side in a crossing situation... as clearly evidenced by them getting t-Boned on their stbd side.

The person on watch admitted to being aware of the other vessel before going below.

It cannot be determined if either vessel was under sail, motoring or displaying proper lights.

This crew is lucky to be alive.

To Life!

Kirk
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gallivanters View Post
In my opinion - it usually takes two captains to have a collision at sea.

But all things being equal, the vessel pictured is at fault primarily due to the fact that they did not give way to the vessel on their stbd side in a crossing situation... as clearly evidenced by them getting t-Boned on their stbd side.

Kirk
Ah, Kirk, so right you are. In but a very few occasions can a collision be deemed to be the fault of one ship alone. As a third officer, I was officer of the watch on a cargo ship when she was struck on the starboard side by another vessel. At the enquiery, I was exonerated from all blame as the ship I was on was berthed alongside a quay in Willmington and working cargo at the time. How did it ever get so far as an enquiery I wonder?

Nonetheless, if two vessels, both under way, are involved in a colision the blame is usually atrubuted in parts to both vessels. The vessel which is required by the rules to give way may be attributed with 80% of the blame but the stand-on vessel will also be awarded the remaining proportion of the blame, especially if the look-out has been lacking, she did not show correct and adequate navigation lights, she did not indicate in sufficient time to the stand-on vessel that any action taken to avoid collision was not ample and in good time and she did not take such action as would best aid to avert collission.

Of course I am guessing here but the fact that such a colission occured indicates to me that the yacht's look-out was inadequate.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:09 PM   #8
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Exactly.
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