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Old 01-11-2011, 16:28   #151
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

I talked to some cruisers who abandoned their sailboat on the way to Bermuda after getting caught in a hurricane. Their description of leaping from their boat onto a cargo net was terrifying, and the woman was not able to pull herself to the deck but luckily was able to lock her arms through the netting while her husband and the crew pulled the whole net up the side. They told me that after the "rescue" that nearly killed them they realized that they had been safer on the sailboat, despite their problems. Calling to be taken off should always be a last resort because the rescue can be very dangerous itself.
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Old 01-11-2011, 16:55   #152
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Old 01-11-2011, 17:11   #153
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Wow!
What a read!
Many, many opinions and a lot of them backed by many years of experience on the water.
Naturally, I have opinions of my own. . . but I think I'll keep them to myself. . . not that I fear being critisized, but just that my opinions are just that. . . opinions.
One person earlier suggested that the forum members might post what THEY would have done in a similar situation. . . What kind of situation?
How about:
40 ft fin keel sailboat about 25,000 lb displacement.
No engine
winds 40 to 60 kts
seas 20 to 30 ft short duration as in wind against current.
wind and current forcing you away from destination.
lots of sea room
you've been in these conditions for 48 hours.
you're tired, wet, hungry
your crew of four are inexperienced in offshore passagemaking and also tired, hungry seasick etc.
You are allowed to have on board your boat any gear that you wish that could reasonably be expected to be available for reasonable cost.
And no, you cant have the spare parts, fuel etc to get the engine running again.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO??
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:19   #154
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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WHAT WOULD YOU DO??
Subject for a separate thread perhaps.

b.
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:23   #155
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

I think the better question is was there sufficient info available BEFORE venturing out to have made this a clearly inadvisable trip? Some of the comments prior to mine have indicated there was ample warning of the expected conditions.

Also, the problematic *taking on water* comment in the first post has stayed in my mind, but been ignored by many expressing opinions. Based on the recent information posted that was a significant issue and the boat was expected to sink with no one to man the pumps.

Finally the issue of seasickness. My worst trip ever was in 12 to 15 foot seas with almost NO interval... and we had no wind to speak of, no weather at all really. Just nasty rolling water. After 6 hours I wanted, truly, really, to die. If there had been anywhere to put in we would have but it was a no stopping point stretch so we just motored on and I suffered. I can't imagine after 2 or 3 days...

The comment that the boat was plastic and replaceable, that the seas and weather got significantly worse following the rescue, and that they had no way to make way towards safety makes me think the captain was onto something when he called for help.

It's always poor decisions and bad luck that land us in tight spots, but once you have screwed the pooch, making a good choice can pretty much negate the bad ones. Calling for help has its risks as well, but in this case seems to have been the saving grace for all 5 of them.
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:33   #156
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

What you have to realize about the passage from the US east coast to the Virgin Islands is that you will almost always have to endure a storm of some sort. It could be 35-40 kts or 40-50 kts or even more, as in this case. The storm fronts come off the east coast every 3-5 days this time of year, so you pick your window to get across the Gulf Stream in reasonable weather, then you take your knocks with whatever comes next.
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:52   #157
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
What you have to realize about the passage from the US east coast to the Virgin Islands is that you will almost always have to endure a storm of some sort. It could be 35-40 kts or 40-50 kts or even more, as in this case. The storm fronts come off the east coast every 3-5 days this time of year, so you pick your window to get across the Gulf Stream in reasonable weather, then you take your knocks with whatever comes next.
Hud, you are so correct. Right now we have a series of fronts passing thru Bermuda. Flat calm to 40knts, and back to calm in 48 hrs.
Watching ships like the Norwegian Gem get away from the exposed docks at our West End is a sight to behold.
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:54   #158
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pirate Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Barn View Post
Wow!
What a read!
Many, many opinions and a lot of them backed by many years of experience on the water.
Naturally, I have opinions of my own. . . but I think I'll keep them to myself. . . not that I fear being critisized, but just that my opinions are just that. . . opinions.
One person earlier suggested that the forum members might post what THEY would have done in a similar situation. . . What kind of situation?
How about:
40 ft fin keel sailboat about 25,000 lb displacement.
No engine
winds 40 to 60 kts
seas 20 to 30 ft short duration as in wind against current.
wind and current forcing you away from destination.
lots of sea room
you've been in these conditions for 48 hours.
you're tired, wet, hungry
your crew of four are inexperienced in offshore passagemaking and also tired, hungry seasick etc.
You are allowed to have on board your boat any gear that you wish that could reasonably be expected to be available for reasonable cost.
And no, you cant have the spare parts, fuel etc to get the engine running again.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO??
Hove to and gone to bed 36hrs earlier....
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:58   #159
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

48 hours is nothing...even for seasickness....yes at that point you are possibly getting severely dehydrated...so your judgement starts to diminish and that could be serious.

But just being wet, cold, miserable, hungry, dirty...etc...etc...for 48 is hardly a reason to be rescued or even wimper. I dare say a lot of us have been at LEAST miserable and hungry for 48 for one reason or another.

Cold water comong in above your knees and starting to recognize serious medical problems due to seasickness and more forecast bad weather is reason enough to call for help
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Old 01-11-2011, 18:17   #160
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Barn View Post
One person earlier suggested that the forum members might post what THEY would have done in a similar situation. . . What kind of situation?
How about:

40 ft fin keel sailboat about 25,000 lb displacement.
No engine
winds 40 to 60 kts
seas 20 to 30 ft short duration as in wind against current.
wind and current forcing you away from destination.
lots of sea room
you've been in these conditions for 48 hours.
you're tired, wet, hungry -
your crew of four are inexperienced in offshore passagemaking and also tired, hungry seasick etc.
You are allowed to have on board your boat any gear that you wish that could reasonably be expected to be available for reasonable cost. Soup, (packet and tins) Tea, Bovril and coffee. cake and plenty of munchies, Sweeties, Chocolate, biccies and savouries in addition to stuff that simply fits into a pressure cooker................and heaving to, if not able to do so already not the best time to learn - but nonetheless a very good option to try. and on my boat then a good book to pass the time

And no, you cant have the spare parts, fuel etc to get the engine running again - why would I not have that basic kit? (not to say that I would be fixing anything in the storm, save for making sure the engine wasn't a source of flooding).

WHAT WOULD YOU DO??
One of the fun things to do as a kid when onboard in rough weather was to jump up and down. Time it right and you were weightless like an astronaut get it wrong and yer hit the roof Of course the fun dissapeared as one got taller ........just a long way of saying that simply attitude can affect how folks deal with bad weather.

For those seasick, then plenty of fluids and confined to bunk. Keeping down some food would be a bonus, but not a requirement.

Of course I have never been hit by a Rogue wave, nor had a failed rudder post flood a boat. Neither do I have fairies living at the bottom of my garden........no matter what it may say on my insurance claim form
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Old 01-11-2011, 19:20   #161
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

We left Sandy Hook on Tuesday (October 25) afternoon, after having checked that the weather conditions would be favourable for our passage to St Maarten.

After a first night of navigating in good conditions, the wind changed to 30 kn SW winds and forced us to change our direct course to handle the state of the sea. By Thursday early evening, the winds increased to 45 – 50 kn, with breaking seas and we experienced three knock downs which ripped our life raft off the deck, created structural damage to the hull and caused diesel fuel leak from one of our reserve tanks.

The boat at this time was starting to take on water that we managed to keep under control. On Friday, we experienced an electrical short in the engine compartment while starting the engine with the objective of recharging our electrical batteries.

Our situation was now that our batteries were low which meant that our navigational aids would soon not be functional and our satellite phone was not fully charged.

In the night of Friday to Saturday we established a watch to both navigate and manually pump water from the boat.
Easterly winds increased from 15 to 30 kn in confused seas - this was the indication of another storm.

I made the decision to request assistance since we would have been unable to survive another storm and the lives of my crew was my first priority.

The US Coast Guards were contacted Saturday morning and they immediately responded. They provided us with a 15 minutes update of the status of help. Within an hour they had confirmed that there was a vessel within the area that would help and that they were sending a Hercules airplane to locate us and organize the rescue with the other vessel.

I would like to thank the US Coast Guards for their exceptional efficiency and professionalism.
We would also like to thank the Norwegian cruise line – Captain Hakan Svedung who took the decision to delay his navigation schedule to divert course to rescue us.

His entire crew, particularly his rescue team who took great risks in dangerous sea conditions.

We experienced exceptional hospitality from the Norwegian Cruise Line staff and will forever be grateful to them.

To end, I would like to thank my crew that demonstrated tremendous courage and admirable spirit. We all understood that our lives were in danger but at no time, did any of them panic or challenge my decisions. I am honoured to have been their captain for this incredible experience.

Captain Thierry Simon
s/v Sanctuary
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Old 01-11-2011, 19:47   #162
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Re: Crew of SV Sanctuary Abandon Ship

Wrong boat.
Sanctuary was a Beneteau Oceanis 393.
Captain Thierry Simon
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Old 01-11-2011, 19:51   #163
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Hi Thierry,

Thank you for sharing in your experience. If you are willing, I have a few questions regarding your ordeal. What make boat was it? I heard it was a Beneteau 391, but it looks a lot like my boat (a Beneteau 393) in the videos/pics. Also, what structural damage occurred? Where were you taking on water?

As I said, your boat appears very similar to mine, and would be grateful for any specific lessons learned you had. Glad you made it through safely.

EDIT: Just saw your post stating it was indeed a 393. Thanks for sharing.

Frank
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Old 01-11-2011, 20:05   #164
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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To end, I would like to thank my crew that demonstrated tremendous courage and admirable spirit. We all understood that our lives were in danger but at no time, did any of them panic or challenge my decisions. I am honoured to have been their captain for this incredible experience.

Captain Thierry Simon
s/v Sanctuary
I'm glad you all made it out, Thierry and I hope you'll get Sanctuary back to sail her another day.
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Old 01-11-2011, 20:53   #165
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Out of hundreds of cruising boats I met in the Caribbean maybe one or two had drogues or sea anchors and they were constantly trying to sell them during the "boat jumbles/flea market" events.
Yeah. I see the ads all the time, offering a "never used" drogue. And that's the point, isn't it? I owned my drogue about a week when I took it out and rigged it overboard. That's the only way I could figure out what gear and techniques I would need to use it properly if I was ever in trouble.
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