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Old 08-04-2008, 11:36   #1
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Coast Guard Rescue off the mid atlantic coast

Here is a link to the story, not a whole lot of info yet, but the CG rescued 5 germans off a 43ft boat 170 miles off the coast of Virginia (?). Says boat has lost mast and propellars. They were located by EPIRB.

Coast Guard rescues five from German sailboat in distress | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

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Old 08-04-2008, 12:05   #2
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So they leave the Chesapeake in the middle of gale warnings...lose their mast and foul their props 1/3 of the way to Bermuda and others risk their lives to save them. Did I miss anything?
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:40   #3
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sounds pretty close....here is a little more info

Coast Guard chopper rescues 5 from demasted sailboat off NC coast
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:50   #4
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That weather system is why I chose to stay inside on this leg of the delivery. It's a bit bouncy outside right now.
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:56   #5
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looks like 8-12 foot waves and 20+ knots off virginia beach right now
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Old 08-04-2008, 16:45   #6
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Ohhh at 43 footer to sallvage!!!!!!!!!! I'd love to be up there!

Physically check your lines before putting engine into geer!.

Saves a couple hundred thousand dollars!
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Old 08-04-2008, 17:05   #7
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Coast Guard Rescues Five From Damaged Sailboat | Coast Guard News


The reported position 170 miles east of Elizabeth City, NC would have put them at about 70W in an area which at 2PM today was forecast as winds 25-30 knots NE....against the north-running Gulf Stream.

Not a very nice place to be in a small vessel.

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Old 08-04-2008, 17:41   #8
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Hmmmm.

8-12 foot waves can be a bitch depending on where you’re taking them from. However, 20+ knot winds are no reason to not leave port unless 20+ actually means 42 knots or thereabouts.

Did anybody catch a weather report from their position?

One usually doesn’t lose a mast even with 62 knot winds. So I assume there was something seriously wrong with their rigging and when the mast came down, the stays ended up in their propeller.

I would give the Tschermans the benefit of a doubt.

Taking a yacht out on its first sail of the year can be exciting.
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Old 08-04-2008, 17:55   #9
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Michael,

The Coast Guard later reported (quoted in the Virginian Pilot) that conditions at the scene involved 30-knot winds. The forecast wave height for that area was 5 to 6 meters.

While you're right that 20-30 knots winds aren't necessarily a show-stopper (hey, I left Maine last summer in 35-40 knot winds in Penobscot Bay and beyond), in this particular area they can be absolutely brutal. Winds of any substantial speed blowing against the north-running Gulf Stream create extremely steep and very nasty wave patterns.

I don't know anything about the boat or these sailors, but have put out some feelers here as my boat is also based in Washington, DC.

Glad they made it after all, but sounds like they lost their boat.

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Old 08-04-2008, 18:28   #10
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Hi Bill,

OK. 30 knot winds are manageable on a 43’ sailboat. 15’ to 18’ waves are another matter entirely. Yet why would that bring a mast down unless the rigging was not secure? I have no experience sailing the U.S. East Coast, so I fully accept your Gulf Stream analysis.

I believe there will be more to this story and assume (at this point) that they had trouble with the rigging. Perhaps the waves “shook” an improperly secured mast until it came down? I’m sort of skeptical at this point because most of these German sailors operate out of the North Sea and that is one violent place to learn sailing. The ones I know are tough Muvahs.

I’m interested to hear the full story.

It’ll come, I’m sure.


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Old 08-04-2008, 19:10   #11
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In the Gulf stream it's the wave period as well as wave height that causes damage.

This from a buoy of the Ga coast this evening

Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 10 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.0 sec

If wave height was 6 meters, that's a roller coaster that can quite possibly rip out mast stays.

People make it a habit not to go outside when there's a north wind blowing against the Gulf Stream. It's all about waiting for the weather window.
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Old 08-04-2008, 19:37   #12
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If that is the case one might assume that our German colleagues did not check the weather report with the local people before leaving port.

Nonetheless, to lose a forestay (Vorstag) even in such conditions sounds incredible. On a 43’ sailboat?

Something went very wrong.
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Old 08-04-2008, 22:06   #13
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I am trying to get my head around what causes these rescues in seas and winds that are not all that unusual. Why are these people being hauled out in a rescue helicopter rather than waiting out a storm in a boat that is still floating? Is it people who panic like crew off New Zealand or the German guys whose rig collapsed? Seas like that are not unusual and most sail boats should be able to handle this should they not? Are people doing things in boats that are unsuitable or are people who are unsuitable, going to sea? Are there any patterns here? It just seems that getting hauled off your boat in these conditions is not justified. Sure, I would understand 60 knot winds and 40 foot breaking seas on a boat that is sinking. Maybe the States needs what NZ already has with respect to some sort of inspection before people are allowed to travel offshore....as much as I despise bureaucracies that try to tell us how to live our lives.
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Old 08-04-2008, 22:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Is it people who panic .
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ
I was reading this bit (can't remember where) about the psychology of getting into a liferaft. It seems that when the chips are down its easy to get into this mode of getting into the liferaft even though one knows its not the right thing to do. "just seemed like a good idea at the time" ...


See
PSYCHOLOGY OF SURVIVAL

Survival - PSYCHOLOGY OF SURVIVAL - Chapter 2

Which is Chapter 2 in the Survival Manual at:
Survival Table of Contents

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Old 09-04-2008, 14:25   #15
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More info:
Two of the sailors were injured. This may have contributed to the Epirb decision.
Gale warnings (35+knots) were posted...and reported.
170 miles out put them firmly in the Stream.

Bad decision to leave. Not enough info to be definitive on anything else but it was all a result of the first bad decision.
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