Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-05-2014, 13:36   #1
Registered User
 
Cormorant's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Catskill Mountains when not cruising
Boat: 31' homebuilt Michalak-designed Cormorant "Sea Fever"
Posts: 2,073
Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

This was on Cruising Compass today:

http://bwsailing.com/cc/2014/05/14/s...-for-his-life/

Todd Vercoe slogged for three hours through rough seas, thunderstorms, lightning and the threat of sharks. When he finally reached land he etched “SOS” in the sand with his foot in the hope rescuers would see his plea for help. It might sound like a scene from a castaway movie but the life-threatening experience was real for the keen sailor, who thought he might not survive the exhausting swim off New Zealand’s, Northland’s coast on Saturday. Still shivering, wrapped in blankets and sipping a hot coffee at Whangarei’s St. John Ambulance base an hour after being rescued, Mr. Vercoe, 36, a house painter from Langs Beach, recounted his ordeal.
He was one of three aboard a nine-metre steel-hulled sloop that left the Bay of Islands about 8:30am on Saturday, destined first for Tutukaka, then Whangarei.
“We had the boat on autopilot and were motor sailing to keep the speed up to make it into Tutukaka before it got dark,” Mr. Vercoe said.
He estimated they were about 9km offshore when he had decided to relieve himself off the back of the yacht.
“That’s when I fell in. I was yelling and screaming as soon as I hit the water. But there was no way they could hear me over the motor and they were both in the cabin below deck.”
He watched the yacht continue into the distance, leaving him with the choice of staying put in the chilly water or swimming to shore. He was not wearing a lifejacket. “I thought if I stayed there I’d just freeze so I decided to start swimming. It wasn’t too bad because I had a beanie and a polar fleece on.”
As Mr. Vercoe breaststroked toward shore and swam through a thunderstorm he said his biggest worry was sharks. “I kept saying to myself, ‘Don’t give up’. I wouldn’t say I’m the strongest swimmer either.
“At some points I didn’t think I was going to make it. I just kept pushing myself to get there. It was pure will really.”
Eventually he had scrambled on to rocks at Rimariki Island but decided he needed to keep swimming to Kaituna Bay, just over the hill from Mimiwhangata Bay.
He pulled himself ashore and used his foot to write “SOS” into the sand. While swimming he had seen the Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter searching. The others on the boat had raised the alarm as soon as they discovered Mr. Vercoe had gone overboard. The National Rescue Coordination Centre had dispatched the helicopter crew about 4pm and Tutukaka Coastguard and another vessel were also sent to search for the sailor.
Rescue pilot Russell Procter said the crew had decided as light was fading it was time to gear up to continue the search in the dark. They had been about to land in the small bay to put their gear on when they saw a man waving frantically next to a plea for help in the sand.
“It was a relief to see them. I don’t want to do that again,” Mr. Vercoe said. He said the experience had been a salutary lesson to always wear a lifejacket.
Intensive care paramedic Mark Going said Mr. Vercoe was suffering from hypothermia and was flown to the Whangarei St. John base where he had a hot shower, was wrapped in blankets and drank hot coffee to raise his body temperature. He received treatment for a small cut on his foot.
The Northern Advocate contacted the crew on the boat yesterday about midday. They were relieved to hear their crewmate was safe and were looking forward to seeing him again.


Courtesy of www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate
__________________

__________________
Cormorant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 13:43   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Boat: Baltic 38DP
Posts: 333
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

I saw this story yesterday. How many elementary mistakes did this guy make? Peeing overboard, no lifejacket even though the sea was rough, no life line, no AIS-SART or PLB. For crying out loud.

Glad he's alive. Hopefully he'll use his head next time.


Onno
__________________

__________________
JazzyO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 13:44   #3
Registered User
 
sailvayu's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Myers FL
Boat: Irwin 40
Posts: 878
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

“It was a relief to see them. I don’t want to do that again,” Mr. Vercoe said. He said the experience had been a salutary lesson to always wear a lifejacket.

Really? Always wear a lifejacket, how about add never pee over the side. That is a standing rule on my boat. It seems such a simple thing yet I think it is one of the riskier things some sailors do.
__________________
Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
www.projectboat.info
http://sailvayu.com/
sailvayu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 13:44   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,152
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Nice to hear he made it, but what a bad pun in the last sentence:

They were relieved to hear their crewmate was safe and were looking forward to seeing him again.

__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 14:05   #5
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
a salutary lesson to always wear a lifejacket.
What stupidity not to have learned NEVER PISS OVER THE SIDE.

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 15:17   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 43 & S2 6.9
Posts: 963
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
“It was a relief to see them. I don’t want to do that again,” Mr. Vercoe said. He said the experience had been a salutary lesson to always wear a lifejacket.

Really? Always wear a lifejacket, how about add never pee over the side. That is a standing rule on my boat. It seems such a simple thing yet I think it is one of the riskier things some sailors do.
That was exactly my thought as well when I read that!
__________________
maytrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 16:41   #7
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

That is what scuppers are for.
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 16:47   #8
Registered User
 
Reefmagnet's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: puɐןsuǝǝnb 'ʎɐʞɔɐɯ
Boat: Nantucket Island 33
Posts: 2,737
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

My solution to peeing over the side in a bit of chop...

__________________
Reefmagnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 16:50   #9
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 20,221
Images: 2
pirate Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Only one place to pee over the side.. lee shrouds with an arm round each side..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 17:04   #10
Moderator
 
weavis's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: SEVILLE - MALLORCA
Posts: 10,140
Send a message via Skype™ to weavis
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Lost cause.
Start them young........

__________________
- Never test how deep the water is with both feet -
10% of conflicts are due to different opinions. 90% by the tone of voice.
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
weavis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 17:18   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,467
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Great pic, Weavis!

And I shamefully admit that I do pee over the side under way, and often without wearing a PFD. I do have the advantage of a solid railing and the vertical bits of our solar arch to hang on to, but I am sure that my practice in not OSHA approved. Mea Culpa for sure, but honestly, it does not seem very threatening to me. Wouldn't do it under harsh conditions, though... I'm not THAT stupid!

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 17:47   #12
Registered User
 
Sailormantx's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Newfoundland
Boat: 42' Colvin Gazelle
Posts: 253
Images: 2
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Only one place to pee over the side.. lee shrouds with an arm round each side..
Standard practice here, safest place on deck...unless the mast falls down
__________________
Sailormantx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 17:51   #13
Registered User
 
sailvayu's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Myers FL
Boat: Irwin 40
Posts: 878
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

one hand from the ship and one for.......well you know

Seriously if you can make it to the lee shrouds you can make it to the head and stay a lot safer.
__________________
Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
www.projectboat.info
http://sailvayu.com/
sailvayu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 17:59   #14
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,895
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Guilty Also.... But underway exactly as Boatie does.
Having worked on Superyachts for so many years where never allowed .......for me this is a basic mark of ownership that satisfies and relieves at the same time
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2014, 18:07   #15
Registered User
 
Cormorant's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Catskill Mountains when not cruising
Boat: 31' homebuilt Michalak-designed Cormorant "Sea Fever"
Posts: 2,073
Re: Cautionary tale: falling overboard while peeing

Safety first, people!
Attached Images
 
__________________

__________________
Cormorant is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
overboard

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: Catamaran: Cautionary Tale for Wannabe Cruisers Jane.Joy Classifieds Archive 118 08-10-2013 10:59
A Cautionary Tale Jolly Roger General Sailing Forum 26 25-04-2013 19:53
A cautionary tale: Or trip report of Bellingham to Astoria. s/v Beth The Sailor's Confessional 3 06-06-2012 16:21
A Cautionary Tale Godwits Meets & Greets 21 06-12-2010 10:48



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.