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Old 02-11-2011, 09:57   #196
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by herbapou View Post
Hi!

I was the one posting the video on youtube. I have more pics I will try to update the video later on.

Has for the sea condition, we passed near them at around 8 am that morning. My cabin was on deck 5 mid-ship and when I woke up the weather outside was heavy rain, wind from SSW at 45 knots and waves at around 20 feet. Some waves came splashing into our window. The weather improved at the time of the rescue. Afterwards it got really really bad, wind turn north at 60 knots. At around 7 pm I was on a bar overlooking the pool on deck 13 when the ship knock back like it hit something, then a big splash of water came flying over the pool deck. It must have been one hell of a huge wave.

On youtube you can select to watch the video in 720p to improved quality. sorry about the movement the ship was moving quite a bit and I was at maximum zoom holding the camera over my head (people were in front of me)

I saw the crew at the blue Lagoon restaurent at around 5pm, 4 men and 1 women. Some had the french canadian accent but others had the accent from France. I am french Canadian but didnt dare to speak to them about the incident. They did had the main sail deploy at about 50% when we got there but the Coast Guard asked them to lower it for the rescue.

From what I understand they had no engine or power. But I guess they could evac the water with the manual pump. The ship didnt look too much damade from far away indeed. I heard the word "Acore islands" but I am not sure if they were heading there.
Thank you for your comments.
I was at the same bar that night on deck 13 of Norwegian Gem, and we could feel the pounding of the boat into those waves and the spays coming from the bow of this huge boat.

Impressive but totally different feeling compared to what we experienced during 3 days on Sanctuary...
My e-mail address is: thierry.sim01*at*gmail*dot*com
Please contact me.
Thanks,

Captain Thierry Simon.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:59   #197
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Firstly: Absolutely no second guessing here on decisions or the situation.

Second: Reinforces my beliefs...

Valise liferaft - never a canister
Always rig a storm sail / inner forestay.
Drogue AND sea anchor always handy, usable and tested before hand.
ALL bunks lee cloths as high up as possible, and everyone into a bunk.
NEVER rely on ANY electronics alone - for navigation, pumps, or lighting. Have backup plans (wind vane steering, hand held, emergency navigation skills, kerosene/oil).
Always rig two manual pumps as BIG as possible to the bilge. Optionally also rig one into the cockpit if you have a close cockpit. Don't just depend on large drains.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:11   #198
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Captain_Orion View Post
In 44 years of sailing, it was the first time ever that I called any Coast Guard organization to require assistance. It was a very difficult call to make. I always returned my boats and their crew safely to shore.
It is a lesson in humility.
Captain Thierry Simon.
Your description of what you and your crew endured was exceptionally thorough and descriptive, and should be very informative for readers who've never experienced storms offshore. Thank you!

I can't imagine that anyone here on CF is still in a mood to second guess Captain Simon, but nonetheless, let me recap the facts:
  • The boat had taken 3 knockdowns; below decks was in shambles and slick with diesel fuel
  • The rig had withstood the knockdowns, but would it continue to stand up to the abuse?
  • Your engine was inoperable
  • Your batteries were almost flat
  • Your radio and sat phone communications were close to being of no use due to low batteries
  • The boat was taking on water, requiring continually pumping
  • You suspected structural hull damage, which could easily get worse, leading to catastrophic flooding
  • Your life raft was gone
  • Bermuda was a 2-1/2 or 3 days sail away, at best
  • You were the only one on board with the experience to con the boat in large, breaking waves
Here's my reaction:

In calling the Coast Guard, you made the only decision you could have made.

Absolutely, without question!

My hat's off to you, Captain!
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:14   #199
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Telekitr View Post
Thierry....may I ask you thoughts on choosing the direct route to St Marteen from NY, as opposed to getting a bit more southing in along the coast and then breaking off east to cross the stream? Understanding that one has 2 evils out there at this time of year, hurricanes and NA gales. Threading the needle is really tough.
23 sailboats left Newport, RI for Bermuda and then St-Maarten, NA, few days ago. They are part of the NARC organized by Offshore Passages Opportunities.
You may watch their route on internet.

Have fun! Every single option has pros and cons.

It is always easy to comment a strategy, a route or a decision afterward, in the comfort of your office.

Captain Thierry Simon.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:16   #200
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Your description of what you and your crew endured was exceptionally thorough and descriptive, and should be very informative for readers who've never experienced storms offshore. Thank you!

I can't imagine that anyone here on CF is still in a mood to second guess Captain Simon, but nonetheless, let me recap the facts:
  • The boat had taken 3 knockdowns; below decks was in shambles and slick with diesel fuel
  • The rig had withstood the knockdowns, but would it continue to stand up to the abuse?
  • Your engine was inoperable
  • Your batteries were almost flat
  • Your radio and sat phone communications were close to being of no use due to low batteries
  • The boat was taking on water, requiring continually pumping
  • You suspected structural hull damage, which could easily get worse, leading to catastrophic flooding
  • Your life raft was gone
  • Bermuda was a 2-1/2 or 3 days sail away, at best
  • You were the only one on board with the experience to con the boat in large, breaking waves
Here's my reaction:

In calling the Coast Guard, you made the only decision you could have made.

Absolutely, without question!

My hat's off to you, Captain!

Thank you Sir.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:17   #201
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Captain_Orion View Post
It is always easy to comment a strategy, a route or a decision afterward, in the comfort of your office.

Captain Thierry Simon.
No doubt about it - without the clock ticking and with a lack of the physical FXs of that moment (sleep, health, and calories).
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:18   #202
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Firstly: Absolutely no second guessing here on decisions or the situation.

Second: Reinforces my beliefs...

Valise liferaft - never a canister
Always rig a storm sail / inner forestay.
Drogue AND sea anchor always handy, usable and tested before hand.
ALL bunks lee cloths as high up as possible, and everyone into a bunk.
NEVER rely on ANY electronics alone - for navigation, pumps, or lighting. Have backup plans (wind vane steering, hand held, emergency navigation skills, kerosene/oil).
Always rig two manual pumps as BIG as possible to the bilge. Optionally also rig one into the cockpit if you have a close cockpit. Don't just depend on large drains.
Salty, these are all good additions to my prep list.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:19   #203
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Captain_Orion View Post
We have been sailing at all times and under control of the sailboat's manoeuvrability at all times, except during the 3 knock downs and one thunderstorm.

The pictures you are commenting are taken during the rescue operation. The Norwegian Gem's Captain required me to furl my head sail in order to prevent the suction of Sanctuary from the cruise ship.

The wave pattern that you see on the pictures and video footage are the lee of the cruise ship.

Also, it is important to understand that the prevailing conditions at the rescue time were NOT the root cause of my call for assistance.

We were in stormy conditions for the last 3 past days and nights.
The boat was damaged by 60+ kn winds and 30+ feet breaking waves.

Captain Thierry Simon.
Thanks for the reply. Much information has been added since this conversation began not the least of which is that conditions were expected to significantly deteriorate.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:24   #204
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Captain_Orion View Post
23 sailboats left Newport, RI for Bermuda and then St-Maarten, NA, few days ago. They are part of the NARC organized by Offshore Passages Opportunities.
You may watch their route on internet.

Have fun! Every single option has pros and cons.

It is always easy to comment a strategy, a route or a decision afterward, in the comfort of your office.

Captain Thierry Simon.
You are absolutely correct regarding commenting on strategy. I believe that this thread has turned a good corner from critique to learning.
Thanks for the NARC link.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:32   #205
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

You also have to understand that Sanctuary was not my boat. The boat belongs to a Charter Company that operates on Lake Champlain in summer and in the Caribbean during winter.
As a professional Captain, I was hired to deliver the boat from Lake Champlain, NY to St-Maarten, with paying guests onboard who wanted to acquire offshore experience.

I think they got a lot for their money...

But, maybe only professional delivery Captains will understand that, in this type of business, you are dealing with boats that may not come as per your standards and specifications. You take them as they are and do the best you can with the equipment available. Also, the level of knowledge and experience of my paying guests had to do with my decisions. Their safety was my priority.

Captain Thierry Simon.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:46   #206
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Captain_Orion View Post
You also have to understand that Sanctuary was not my boat. The boat belongs to a Charter Company that operates on Lake Champlain in summer and in the Caribbean during winter.
As a professional Captain, I was hired to deliver the boat from Lake Champlain, NY to St-Maarten, with paying guests onboard who wanted to acquire offshore experience.

I think they got a lot for their money...

But, maybe only professional delivery Captains will understand that, in this type of business, you are dealing with boats that may not come as per your standards and specifications. You take them as they are and do the best you can with the equipment available. Also, the level of knowledge and experience of my paying guests had to do with my decisions. Their safety was my priority.



Captain Thierry Simon.
Truer words have never been spoken. There are many boats of this description that leave the coast every year for point east and south. They are not set up for the conditions that will be encountered.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:48   #207
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Orion View Post
...
But, maybe only professional delivery Captains will understand that, in this type of business, you are dealing with boats that may not come as per your standards and specifications. You take them as they are and do the best you can with the equipment available. Also, the level of knowledge and experience of my paying guests had to do with my decisions. Their safety was my priority.
...
Yes, thought there was a backstory like this. Nothing you can do when you have these forced variables and timeframes except make your best prudent decisions. It is done and past.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:56   #208
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
Having looked at video of the crew rescue, I would probably have considered taking the yacht in tow to the lee of the cruise ship before tranferring personnel. This is no reflection on the rescue, clearly they are competent and the transfer was made without incident apparently, merely an observation. Hindsight is always 20/20.

In any case, well done.

AussieGeoff
I have seen cruise ships create a "safe spot" by using bow trusters to block the wind and waves. An example of this would be when the ship goes to Great Sirrup cay in the bahamas. But that day there was a set of waves coming from the wind and another coming from another direction. They did get off/on on the wind protected side, but there was still waves coming in. imo they didnt want to risk getting the sailboat too close to the ship.
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Old 02-11-2011, 20:55   #209
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

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Originally Posted by Captain_Orion View Post
You also have to understand that Sanctuary was not my boat. The boat belongs to a Charter Company that operates on Lake Champlain in summer and in the Caribbean during winter.
As a professional Captain, I was hired to deliver the boat from Lake Champlain, NY to St-Maarten, with paying guests onboard who wanted to acquire offshore experience.

I think they got a lot for their money...

But, maybe only professional delivery Captains will understand that, in this type of business, you are dealing with boats that may not come as per your standards and specifications. You take them as they are and do the best you can with the equipment available. Also, the level of knowledge and experience of my paying guests had to do with my decisions. Their safety was my priority.

Captain Thierry Simon.
Based on your experience - would a Jordan Series Drogue (or similar) have helped this particular boat in those conditions?

I've never been in conditions anywhere near that bad - so I am always trying to research tactics that could be used...just to prepare. It seems to me that a 45' breaking wave is going to do some serious damage to virtually any boat - but I'd like to know what you think.

Very glad you guys are safe. Sounds like you made a good call.

PS - How was the buffet and bar on the Gem? Heh-heh.
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Old 02-11-2011, 21:10   #210
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Re: Crew of SV 'Sanctuary' Abandon Ship

I'm inclined to put my boat and myself on ship(s) for long open-ocean transits.



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