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Old 06-15-2010, 04:13 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by JeanneP' date='15 June 2010 - 04:07 PM View Post

I got the impression from something I read about this whole issue was that the Open 40 was virtually unsinkable, so trying to sink it might make it an even greater hazard if floating just barely awash.
True Jeanne, but a little discrete use of an ax would soon fix a hole or two in the floatation chambers, cut then the S.W. cooling intake hose and open the valve. Job done!

Another, simple way is just to drop a lit flare into the boat and let it burn down to the waterline. Not environmentally friendly but it works.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:51 AM   #44
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One thing that nobody seems to have realised is that she has been rescued and taken to a safe place. The rescue is over..

There is no obligation for the French to do anything now but feed and shelter her until the next scheduled relief ship arrives in the spring. The sending of the Osiris to pick her up and take her to Reunion is an 'extra' that has nothing to do with the rescue.... stick her parents with the bill for that charter. That will concentrate their minds...

To give an example .... one of several that I know of... boat sinks of Capetown...does the rescue ship have to make an unscheduled call at CapeTown to land the rescued?... Nope ... One case from the 60's boat sank about 400 miles NW of CapeTown...the crew was landed in India, the more recent couple were picked up off Tristan... and were landed in S Korea..
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:56 PM   #45
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J--

I agree with you that the parents are being very irresponsible; further it borders on child neglect or abuse to endanger one's child like this.

Regarding "children weren't put on earth to materially enrich their parents"...well, actually, though having children helps ensure survival of the human species...when you look at the various reasons that people have children, those reasons are selfish even if the people having the children don't think of their reasons as selfish. In days gone by, a farmer would have as many children as possible to help out on the farm, etc. Today, we are much more sensitive about the practicalities of having a large family and don't talk about this matter of young children "helping out" the family. We may not admit that we want someone to take care of us in old age or that we have expectations of our adult children as we age, but many members of our societies do expect alot from (adult) their children. We now typically overindulge/spoil young children and place signficant importance on making sure our offspring have the best education, etc, and perhaps hide those sorts of material expectations that many people still have of the (adult) children.

In 1992, psychologists Rathus and Nevid interviewed hundreds of American couples on their reasons for having or not having children. They found couples with children had 9 common answers for their decision, all of which are seemingly selfish; they are all about what the parent will gain for themselves (love, bonding, etc.)

To summarize, the reasons parents give are:

Personal experience - to have the experience of being a parent

Personal pleasure - the fun and joy of raising children

Personal extension - carrying on the genetic heritage or family name

Relationship - the close bond which is shared with children

Personal status - culture affords some respect just for being a parent

Personal competence - gratification from facing the challenge of parenting

Personal responsibility - the opportunity to look out for the welfare and education of another

Personal power - some find the power they have over children gratifying

Moral worth - some feel it is a good and selfless act to put the life of another first, or that it is a moral obligation to have children

Since Abby's family have 7 kids and are about to add #8, they're off the scales in terms of my views of selfishness. It is not surprising at all that they would look at having all those kids help support their large family.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:19 PM   #46
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Well, I am amazed.

As a father of 3 children and an "honourary" father of a fourth, none of my reasons for having children starts with the word "personal". I mean, how egoistic can you be?

My children came to this world solely because we could afford them (I know, an awful materialistic issue but they were never a burden on the state)and believed, as we still do, that their mother and I could provide an excellent and loving environment to raise children. In other words, that the child would grow up feeling welcomed, loved and secure; cared for and without any demands placed upon him/her (they are all hims anyway) other than that which is required by a sound upbringing. The word personal did not exist in respect of their mother and myself but certainly did exist in respect of the children themselves.

As such, I would absolutely never contemplate using my children to my own advantage. Whilst being proud of their achievements, I am really only proud for their sakes but I do gain an enormous degree of satisfaction in knowing that they are developing into good, responsible adults. That, after all, is a measure of my success.

I say again, the Sunderlands should hang their heads in shame.

With respect to Frank's comments; again I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with him. The obligation upon a coastal state, with regard to SOLAS, is to bring a distressed person into safety. Once that is done the obligation is fulfilled. According to national law, a state may be obliged to provided shelter and food to those lacking it and, in this case, I am sure that French law requires those but to no greater extent that it would require this in France itself. In this case, Abby may legally remain in France ( also Kerguellan) for a maximum of 3 months. Should she be unable to pay for her board and lodging, the state will cover these costs at the prescribed rate until such time as she can be deported. In reality, distressed seamen are treated better than refugees or social security cases but, none the less, repatriation is not part of the SOLAS requirement to rescue a person in distress at sea.

In short, rescue Abby, repatriate her and send the bill to the US. If they then want to bill the Sunderlands then that should be a matter for the US. After all, once a government licenses a person to be a ship's master they should take responsibility for their actions.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:28 PM   #47
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Nausikaa,

That selfishness thing--I believe--is largely American and I do know the 1992 research was US centric. You're Swedish. Having several Swedish friends and a husband who had the benefit of living in Sweden for a year, I can say that Swedes are truly much more thoughtful about society and not selfish about personal gain in the ways that many Americans are. Here, truly it seems to be "all about me" for many people.

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Old 06-16-2010, 04:04 PM   #48
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Ah yes, you may well be right Brenda but we live in an increasingly global society where national "traits", should not be permitted with respect to international agreements and legislation. We all agree to a certain regulation and it should therefore be followed by all and in the same manner.

In this case the SOLAS regulation should have the same implications in the US as it does in France.

With regard to national social implications, I have no problem so long as they remain nation social implications. When they then are thrust onto the global playing field then I have problems with them. If the US itself were to have rescued Abby with no cost or other implications for France then I certainly would have to agree with you 100 per cent.

There is another issue here, the more "yachtsmen" who require assistance, the greater the likelihood of us all being charged a fee to cover rescue at sea and repatriation. As you pointed out, I am Swedish and of tradition we accept and even welcome a high degree of collective responsibility. That's fine. I have no problems in paying high taxes for good medical service etc. What I do have problems with is paying high taxes to benefit others coming from low tax countries and taking advantage of our national social security systems. For example, if I travel to the US and need medical assistance I need to have my own medical insurance or pay from my own pocket but if a US citizen comes to Sweden he or she is covered by our medical insurance and is not required to pay more than I would pay for a medical consultation.

Honestly Brenda, Swedes are no less concerned about personal gain than Americans - well maybe a little. The main difference however is in the national systems. Like you, I pay for something and I want value for my dollar (or Krona in my case). The fundamantal difference is that I am paying to and covered by the state rather than a profit making insurance company. I am not saying that one is better than the other but, in both cases, we all want what we pay for. Given, in this respect, the U.S. tradition of taking care of oneself then I am always surprised by the U.S. expectation that other countries should assist U.S. citizens in distress.

And so we return to Abby. This young lady, and again I attach no blame to her, sets out to navigate the globe, takes unprecedented risks for such an inexperienced person, and when all goes wrong is rescured by a foreign state at no cost to her country or herself. Had things gone well and she had completed the circumnavigation there would have been a considerable profit. A profit which would have first and foremost benefitted the Sunderlands and the media companies they had contracts with as well as their sponsors and, through taxation, the US. Would France or any other country on Abby's way have ben benefitted from this whatsoever. No, not an iota yet they are required to have a rescue organisation for her sake.

Yes, I do believe in communal responsibility and a lack of selfishness but it cannot be one sided.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:39 PM   #49
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N, Your position is well founded and thoughtful. We do not require licensing here in the US in order for an American to take off on a journey such as Abby's. Therefore, we cannot assume sponsorship or responsibility on the part of the US government. Remember that "its all about me" statement I made? Well, sadly, here in the US, there is way to much "I want to do what I want to do and not have the government interfere" attitude. I enjoy the freedoms we have but am saddened when I see abuses such as this Sunderland blunder.

I do not blame Abby for calling for rescue assistance. She was in a tough situation and even if she had wanted to stick it out and jury-rig something and take months to independently get out of the dangerous situation she was in (THAT would have been a best seller), because of her connectivity and communications with "Team Abby" she would not have been allowed to brave it out and make it on her own. I don't know that it would have been possible for her to actually sail out on her own...it would have been quite a feat.

Yes. She should have scuttled the boat. It is a hazard to navigation and that should have been a primary concern. I know a fellow who had a boat that he'd sailed for many years...he lost his mast during a trans atlantic race (in the early 1980's as I recall)...he managed to jury-rig something and kept sail for a couple weeks but then had other problems and realized he must abandon the race itself. He radioed/called for assistance, got fuel from a (Polish as I recall...) tanker but it turned out to be heavy crude gumming up everything AND the tanker crashed into his jury-rig causing his masts to drop overboard down to Davy Jones Locker. Well, he ended up scuttling the boat and cried while he did it. Like losing an old friend to scuttle your boat--but it was the responsible thing to do.

I cannot say that I would have tried to jury-rig something in those rough IO waters, Abby was responsible and reasonable to call for help but Abby did lose the opportunity of a lifetime in terms of self sufficiently by NOT extracting herself from that location independently.

Fair winds,
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:06 AM   #50
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I agree with you completely Brenda. Abby should have scuttled her boat but otherwise she made all the right calls. My argument is not with her but with those who, for their own gain and irrespective of the risks involved, put her in such a parlous situation in the first place.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #51
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CBS News today, France, Australia, of course no repayment
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:19 AM   #52
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Here are a few thoughts on the subject from a former US Marine CLICK
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:55 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA' date='19 June 2010 - 12:19 PM View Post

Here are a few thoughts on the subject from a former US Marine CLICK
This is an interesting article by Bradley Harrington; an article with which I certainly sympathise with to some extent.

I am sure Harrington is very right about Aby’s driving force, her courage and determination but the article does not address two prime issues: those of competence, knowledge and experience and of cost.

Regarding the first, the issue is not solely if Aby is courageous enough to sail alone around the world, although the question of whether or not she is mature enough does creep in to the equation. What also is very apparent is that competence, in all its varying fields, does have a major bearing on the outcome of such a venture. In this I can only conclude that Aby, with her very limited number of years, has simply not had time to gain sufficient experience to carry off a solo round-the-world voyage successfully without a large proportion of good fortune. Given the high latitudes in which she was running her eastings down this is certainly the case.

The second issue is that of cost. It is all very well to claim that states are required to conduct maritime rescue operations at no cost to the rescued but the fact remains that these operations have to be paid for and the burden is carried by the taxpayer. There is a huge imbalance between income and expenditure given the immense cost of such operations. Merchant shipping foots its part of the bill through taxation, fees and dues but those who sail for pleasure pay disproportionately little. Long may that continue! However, given that almost all governments currently have to implement austerity measures, it would not surprise me if we find ourselves facing either increasing financial contributions towards rescue services or increasing restrictions on the use of our boats and their manning (i.e. certification of yacht skippers).

Harrinton, in his article, does state that, “it can be dangerous to walk down an unwalked road” and goes on to state that,” if the people of the past had decided to “leave well enough alone?” Where would we be if Peter Cooper had never built the first steam locomotive; if the Wright brothers had never flown at Kitty Hawk; if Nikolaus Otto had never constructed the internal combustion engine? We would still be huddling for warmth in our caves.”

Aside from the fact that the first steam locomotive was built by Richard Trevithick in 1804, the inventions named did not carry the same degree of danger as Aby’s voyage with the exception of the Wright brothers flight and even that, had it gone seriously wrong, would not have had the same financial impact as Aby’s rescue. Harrington seems to have confused inventions with discoveries. Further, the road Aby chose was not un-walked. Many seamen have gone down the same road albeit mostly at a higher age and mostly not alone. The problem is not the discovery of a new road but when we fail to learn from the experiences of those who have previously gone down what by now is a well trodden path.

Yes, it is “ a very small fraction of mankind who has the courage to challenge the unknown” but it is not “this very small fraction that makes life for the rest of us possible.” In this instance we are not talking about a voyage of discovery. Aby was not contributing to a greater understanding of the sea in particular or the world in general. Neither was she challenging the unknown. In her failure she simply confirmed what is already well known and understood by experienced seamen; that is that being in the proximity of the Southern Ocean in winter is, unless on a well found ship, putting yourself completely in the hand of fate. That is an irresponsible action and I for one see no reason why the cost of stupidity should be borne by the taxpayer or private companies nor should others be required to risk their lives to assist a misguided adventurer. Simply put, such adventures which serve the sole purposes of ego boosting and personal gain are nothing but a manifestation of selfishness.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:28 PM   #54
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The Harrington article is certainly a "feel good" piece without thinking about the underlying practicalities. Nausikaa has it right to realize that Abby was not doing anything spectacular which hadn't been done before but rather just taking unreasoned risks.

I do agree with Harrington that parents have the responsibility to foster and encourage their children's dreams. However, none of us want to see unnecessary effort/cost on the part of the public/complete strangers be required because we allowed our children to do something foolhardy which put the child in danger. And that is what happened here. The parents didn't consider the cost to society of their venture with their child. This cost to society even includes adding restrictions to all yachtsmen in the future--after all, Americans are very pleased that they do not have a licensing requirement. What if that changes because of blunders like this?

Children/teenagers are by their nature more daring and willing to take risks than the adult population. Abby may or may not be any more gutsy than the average outdoorsy teenager, to tell the truth. There are many, many, many sailing teens who would like to sail around the world--alone--BUT their parents realize the perils to this idea. What is different about Abby isn't that she's more courageous than some of these teens but rather her parents didn't have the common sense to protect their daughter from harm while she is still a child. Quite honestly, if a person has the drive to sail high latitudes when they're 16, they'll probably have that same drive when they're 25. But, they'll have more experience by then. If the only goal was to set this silly record of "youngest to do..." whatever, then I believe those parents should be footing the bill for their selfishness at public expense for sure. Unfortunately, there is no way for us to segregate "good goals" and "silly goals" and "pay for rescue" and "get home free" so I won't go there.

Abby has lead, by all accounts of her home schooling and introverted family, a life sheltered from society and focused on her family's values not the values of society. That's fine, but that is also like being raised in a cult. The values and expectations of the cult become that of the children raised in it. It would take very little for such a sheltered child to do whatever the leading parent wants the child to do. I do believe that is what we see here with Abby and her family.

However, the bottom line is that a teenager is a child and should be encouraged to achieve greatness while being protected from harm. The parents didn't do that here. Abby could have been engaging in sailing activities which would have increasingly prepared her for this kind of journey as an adult without taking ridiculous risks. Her parents could have kept that dream alive while helping Abby mature into a young woman. They did not. And that is a shame.

Countless teens dream big dreams and have the courage and energy to follow through on them--if they had the money to follow through. Not many parents buy an ocean racing boat so little SuzieQ can go sailing and fulfill her dreams. But by the time those teens reach adulthood, they've typically realized that they will be giving up too much (time, money, whatever) to follow through with the dreams. I applaud adults--young and old--who do follow through with their adventures and dreams, not children whose parents have enough cash to indulge them on a whim.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:22 PM   #55
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Harrington's logical fallacy is that had those men not invented what they did, somebody else certainly would have. Moreover none of those men were risking their lives in order to accomplish what they did, nor were they inexperienced novices at their trades when they accomplished what they did.

The only qualification given for considering his opinion is that he was a marine. Then, I believe that he should have compared his entering the marines with Abby's venture. He was not allowed by the Marine Corps. to go to war without extensive training. What ever gives him the idea that sailing alone around the world would require less training than what he was given just to carry a weapon?

There was nothing heroic about Abby, she was a pawn of her family. Her lifelong ambition since she was 13? She's been coached, though badly.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:23 AM   #56
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The only qualification given for considering his opinion is that he was a marine.
I too picked up on that but thought not to mention it out of discretion. Now it is on the table, the simple fact that one has been a marine, soldier, airman or whatever branch of the forces one has served is would appear to be a recommendation, and certainly in the US. In fact, it is a recommendatio to some extent if we assume the person concerned has served well and received a good discharge but asside from being a character reference that tells us little.

I had a good friend, unfortunately dead now, who was always quick to point out that he had served 12 years in the Royal Navy, most of them on the old colony class cruiser H.M.S. Kenya. The assumption many then make when hearing this is that he was some expert seaman - which indead he was. He was an expert cook. Probably a great cook but he knew almost nothing of seamanship, navigation or engineering.

Just because Barrington has been a marine, it says nothing of his professional or other qualifications to pass judgement on Abby's adventure from a nautical point of view.

Aye // Stephen
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