Originally Posted by Charlie Jones
While I agree totally with the first post in this thread, let's not forget the fact that the boy finally pulled the EPIRB after his rudder shaft had broken and he had zero steering ability.
Well - "zero steering ability" - not at all true. There are several good ways to steer a sailboat with a broken rudder and or even a totally missing rudder. Loosing your rudder is a terrible inconvenience! Not a disaster - unless you are in breaking seas while actually entering a port surrounded by rocks. Otherwise, there is a pocketfull of techniques and procedures to adequately steer the boat back to a safe harbor. I think that the previous posts all confirm that having spent the time to educate yourself about sailing and then acquiring the practical skills and experience is just plain common sense. Be it climbing moutains, technical hiking, or sailing the oceans - education and experience makes the difference between having a good time or having to be "extracted by expensive taxpayer rescues."
Given good karma and a lot of luck there are plenty of examples of successful "on the job training" while sailing off into the sunset. But these are in the extreme minority of numbers of people out there on the oceans. Mother Nature does not suffer fools and the ignorant.