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Old 26-05-2011, 21:55   #1
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Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

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USA: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht off East Coast

Created by sue. Last modified on 2011-05-19 11:10:04
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Topic: Safety and Medical
Countries: Germany, USA

As reported in Sail-World.com
The danger of an unexpected rogue wave is ever present, no matter where you are sailing, and this story shows how important back-up systems are for the cruising sailor.
The US Coast Guard has rescued two sailors this week, 120 miles southeast of the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, when a rogue wave hit their boat during conditions which were described as high but not particularly rough. The wave broke the mast of the 45ft sailing boat Eva, and the yacht began taking on water.
"If you hit a monster wave, you have no chance to survive," Manfred Jabbush of Germany remarked after the incident, in which he and his fellow crewman were rescued, but lost their boat to the ocean.
Jabbush and his longtime sailing buddy Heina Fragner of Austria were sailing their 45ft boat from Florida to Greece when the seas became very large - 20-30 feet. However, as the distance between crests was very long, neither of the experienced sailors were worried.
Their enjoyable sail came suddenly to an end after the rogue wave capsized the yacht, breaking the mast and the hatchways and portholes and tearing up part of the deck. The bilge pumps were also out of action, all their food was lost and the yacht began to take on water. While their life raft was intact, the GPS system and the radio were also damaged and no longer working.
With an old hand-held GPS they had stowed away and was not damaged by the capsize they established their position and used a satellite telephone, which had also survived, to call for help. They phoned a German rescue station which connected them to the Coast Guard Command Center in Boston.
Less than two hours later the two sailors were hoisted by an Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 helicopter crew and flown to the Coast Guard air station in Bourne, Mass.
They were taken to Falmouth Hospital, but released after an examination, both in good condition. Both men praised the speed and efficiency of the rescue authorities who saved their lives.
"It is a very bad thing to lose the boat," Fragner told Cape Cod Times after the incident. "It will take days or weeks to understand all this. It is very sad when you lose it. Of course, life is more important," he said.
Incidents like this are a heads-up for all cruising sailors who go "off the beaten track". Yacht communication systems need a back-up, one that is secured in a place unlikely to be compromised when the unexpected happens.
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Old 26-05-2011, 22:05   #2
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

Thank goodness they had a satphone on board.
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Old 26-05-2011, 22:49   #3
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

Here is the video with interview
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Old 27-05-2011, 05:42   #4
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

You're right Dragon Lady, and it speaks to one of the advantages of a sat phone - they can (and should) be stored in a water-tight pelican case. For those who rely solely on SSB's, how many could survive that kind of damage and water intrusion?

Yes, an epirb would likely have done the trick - although I am sure that there is great comfort in being able to actually communicate with your rescuers, to know that they have received your signal and are on their way.

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Old 27-05-2011, 05:55   #5
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

This is too bad, I'm sorry to see this happen - glad they are ok - I wonder how long it will take for this to become a blue water discussion considering the boat manufacturer - who I like!
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Old 27-05-2011, 06:00   #6
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

I would have thought more useful to have had someone on deck actually sailing the boat..............
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Old 27-05-2011, 06:01   #7
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

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Originally Posted by YADO View Post

120 miles southeast of the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts
conditions which were described as high but not particularly rough.

Hmmm . . . just wondering that they could not get the engine running and motor 120 miles or make up a Jerry rig?

I know some ports were damaged but those are pretty easy to close up.

The bilge pumps were also out of action, all their food was lost

No manual bilge pumps?? Why/how would all food be lost - they did not use plastic storage containers and zip-lock bags??

used a satellite telephone, to call for help.

Yes, in most of the efficient rescues we know of the sat phone was very useful to actually communicate the situation to the rescuers.
. . . . .
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Old 27-05-2011, 08:47   #8
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

I know it's been said before, but if you've never used a SAT phone, they can be kind of tricky. The directions aren't always that clear and it's something you should really learn to use before dumping it into a ditch bag. Those guys are so lucky to have been so close to shore when hit by the wave.
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:58   #9
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

Seems a very tough situation when you get rolled by a wave, lose the mast, companionway hatch (not clear) and having part of the deck "torn up".

At that point, you would fully expect more such waves to be coming along soon and to get rolled again, with high likelyhood of more damage and personal injury.

Maybe in those stressful moments outside help would look like a reasonable option for many people.

Can't imagine being concerned about spoiled food supplies in that situation, though.
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Old 27-05-2011, 10:09   #10
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

These guys were on the forum here earlier in the season with problems that necessitated a stop in jersey, or new york.

Marina in NJ - Urgent!
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Old 27-05-2011, 10:12   #11
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

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Maybe in those stressful moments outside help would look like a reasonable option for many people.
Sure, I fully understand the immediate panic/stress and desire to abandon.

And I was not there.

But they are pretty near shore and if they can get the engine running its less than a day to safe harbour. Diesels are pretty bulletproof. The circuit panel was probably shorted but the bilge pumps could be temporarily wired direct to the batteries.

Jerry rigging would require more skill/seamanship/tensity.

If the boat's insured I guess some would question why bother.
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:43   #12
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

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I would have thought more useful to have had someone on deck actually sailing the boat..............
That's a real puzzlement. I think you'd have a better chance of doing something in the day light, but at night, less so.
So what do you do? Let's say from different points of sail you see a monster wave from windward, leeward, etc... Or, you're reading your book or snoozing, staring away from the "rogues wave", not tethered in, hatch boards out, just rolling along at 6 knots and what? Would you hear it or feel it?
Or say you're running down wind in 20 knots, 10 foots off of port quarter, preventer set up, then this wave comes from starboard? That's some complicated decision making to make on the spot.
I have no clue how I'd react but I do know one thing; if someone was on deck it would make for better reporting of exactly what happened. That's why it's called "being on watch"
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:52   #13
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

Hummmm...

Two boats, two stories, two weeks, very similar.
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:56   #14
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

Quote:
Originally Posted by YADO View Post
That's a real puzzlement. I think you'd have a better chance of doing something in the day light, but at night, less so.
So what do you do? Let's say from different points of sail you see a monster wave from windward, leeward, etc... Or, you're reading your book or snoozing, staring away from the "rogues wave", not tethered in, hatch boards out, just rolling along at 6 knots and what? Would you hear it or feel it?
Or say you're running down wind in 20 knots, 10 foots off of port quarter, preventer set up, then this wave comes from starboard? That's some complicated decision making to make on the spot.
I have no clue how I'd react but I do know one thing; if someone was on deck it would make for better reporting of exactly what happened. That's why it's called "being on watch"
The first thing I would do is log onto CF.com and ask for advice and then I would take a photo / video..........

The odds on it being a "rogue" wave is somewhere between nil and SFA In any event, being down below means the crew don't know either. Probably simply fell off a wave. or 2.

But sounds like they made the right decision - stay below huddled around the big red button
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Old 27-05-2011, 13:59   #15
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Re: Rogue Wave Swamps Cruising Yacht

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
The first thing I would do is log onto CF.com and ask for advice and then I would take a photo / video..........
Damn you! Thats what I was gunna say: Grab a video camera and log onto YouTube

Make sure the boat is pitching down when you take the vid so the wave looks bigger and be sure to shout: "looks like 150 feet!" and "Break out the Rum!" and "Wheres the Virgins?"
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