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Old 19-11-2008, 08:54   #46
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Ok so in extreme situations such as the perfect storm or less extreme but the boat is clearly going down maybe it would be strongly suggested that a boat be abandoned but the case we are discussing hardly looks extreme.
In the case of the Sartori the two passengers wanted off the captain initially wanted to stay I believe.
The engine wasn't running and conditions were such that the CG deemed the Sartori unsafe. During the rescue winds increased to 60 knots and the seas built to 30 feet.
A little worse than the conditions during the Panache situation.
If the Sartori was never seen again the captain of the Sartori would have been praising his rescuers.
Though I am not completely familiar with that case I never read anything about the Captain of the Sartori lashing himself to the boat to avoid forceable removal.
Apples and Oranges here.
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Old 19-11-2008, 08:59   #47
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Bill,
Read the story. Everything was working on Sartori and she was not making any water.
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Old 19-11-2008, 09:24   #48
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The CG does not force people off the boat. They usually don't have the loiter time to hover and debate.
If the crew asked for just the mother and child to be removed and said the boat had been repaired to a point that it could make port I am sure our CG would have removed the mother and child bid the others good luck and left.

<<"We [Coast Guard] got the call that the Sartori was in trouble," said Summers. "They were in heaving seas and kept losing suction on the fuel lines and the engine kept shutting down. The captain, Ray Leonard, did not want to leave the Sartori. He was only asking for diesel to top off his tanks."

It was the afternoon on Oct. 30 when the Tamaroa arrived to help the Sartori. Summers said the seas were about 12-15 feet, with 30 Knot winds when they arrived.


The situation went quickly from bad to worse.


"It was too rough to drop a line to the Sartori," said Summers. "The women (Karen Stimpson and Sue Bylander) wanted off the boat. We [Coast Guard] made a decision that the Sartori was on an unsafe voyage and determined that they would have to leave. >>

Local: Coast Guard braved the 'perfect storm'



I understand that if a licensed Captain refuses to abandon ship after being ordered by the CG to, he can lose his license.
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Old 19-11-2008, 09:30   #49
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Rick,

I read that version of the story and it leaves me wondering a few things.

The captain did not want to be "rescued".
The crew was in a state of panic.
The crew is insisting they be rescued immediately.

The captain then tells the frantic women they can use the radio just to let their familys know they are ok by a using the CG to relay the message.

The women are using the radio in the cabin of the 32 Westsail so that would put them maybe 10-15 feet away from the captain.

I have to assume he can hear what they are saying and whats being said back on the radio.

Then comes the unwanted rescue based on mis-communication.

If we are going to speculate a little without hi-jacking this thread. My guess is the captain got exactly what he wanted which was off the boat.
He was safe and and the girls get the blame for calling the Calvary.

I think he forgot the first rule of being in charge and that is to "take charge".
If a radio call was to be made he should have made it. Regardless of what the message was to meant to be.

And, the story is told by a guy who tours around speaking for money?
I'd love to hear from the girls. I bet the Capt was crapping his drawers and thats why they had to make the call.
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Old 19-11-2008, 10:04   #50
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I read this all the way thru ande all the attached links. Where this last post came from is beyond me. What part of 18000 sea miles in 91 did you miss? How many miles in a boat that size or smaller do you have?
I am a complete beginner, but even I know that you have to be ready to face such stuff or you should stay home.
In every one of these tales I have read so far, there are several constants. New crew with no clue about being on a small boat in bad weather on deep water. Captains that not only say they were in no danger, but also proceeded to make all attempts they can to retrieve and reboard their boat. Coast Guard that made the decisions. Boats that all survived the so called dangerous situation just fine. All major damage was caused by grounding or improperly set equipment for the conditions after the crew was told to get off. Peoples life earnings/homes thrown away so the divers get to make a rescue.
No one has the right to make that decision for anyone else. The Guard should have to pay for the boat if they order the captain off. If not, they should have no such mandate.
Those coast guard guys are excitement adrenaline junkies that work out, train, and compete to get on the crews that make those rescues. If it wasn't their job, most of them would pay good money to get the chance to make such an attempt. If they are not, then they need to get out of the way of the thousands that want their job. The poor abused CG idea in some of these threads is so far from the truth that it is rediculous! They jump out of bed and drive like crazy men trying to beat the next guy there so maybe they will get to go on this one, not the other way around!
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Old 19-11-2008, 10:28   #51
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Ummm, let's see if I can follow this reasoning....

1. A guy puts to sea on an offshore voyage and gets into difficulty;

2. He or one of his crew calls for help (at his bidding or with his knowledge);

3. He needs help because: (a) he or his crew were unprepared for rough conditions offshore; or (b) his boat was unsuitable or not thoroughly prepared for the voyage; or (c) just plain bad luck; or (d) any combination of the above.

4. The Coast Guard responds. The crew wants off. Conditions are rough (not survival) and as the boat cannot be controlled it is flailing about wildly...too dangerous to attempt a liftoff from the deck.

5. One of Coast Guard "adrenaline junkies" jumps into the water to assist crewmembers one-by-one until each is hoisted into the chopper.

6. Not wanting or not able to return in the face of deteriorating weather and perceived danger to the vessel, they insist that everyone abandon ship.

7. The abandoned vessel doesn't sink (how dare it not?).

8. The owner has now lost "everything" he/she owns.

And this is all the Coast Guard's fault???? And they should reimburse the owner for the loss????

I don't think so.

Somebody needs to take a heavy dose of REALITY here.

Bill

PS...the October 1991 Perfect Storm conditions WERE survival by any measure. Incredibly bad weather, many boats in trouble and sunk/lost (in addition to those in the movie). Furious rescue attempts as SAR units tried to respond to all the Maydays. Sartori washed up later somewhere along the NC coast and was just fine. Wetsnail 32's are a tough breed, as was her very experienced captain :-)

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Old 19-11-2008, 10:45   #52
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Yes, the CG should have to take responsibility for their own adrenaline junkies over excited BS in my opinion. Under no circumstances should some chopper jock with nowhere near this captain's time on the water and no knowledge of the ship below them be able to give orders to a captain unless they are sure enough that they are willing to face the music if it turns out they are wrong. Right now they are just another group above the law with no responsibility for their actions.
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Old 19-11-2008, 10:49   #53
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skipmac, this is one of the best times of the year in which to depart offshore from the US Eastern Seaboard to the Caribbean either direct, or via Bermuda. Hurricane season is for all practical purposes over, and there are also organized events for a large number of vessels that make this trek each year - NARC, the North Atlantic Rally to the Caribbean (via Bermuda) and the Caribbean 1500 direct.

So in terms of the efforts to criticize the unfortunate skipper and crew of the boat, this one is a non-starter.

Brad

Well, since Panache obviously ran into some pretty serious weather I have to disagree that this is a non starter. I have canceled trips in early Oct due to fronts that hit S FL with 35-40 kt winds and 12'-15' square waves in the Gulf Stream. Of course one does not want to leave too early to avoid hurricane season but at the same time leaving too late puts one at risk of a norther, exactly what happened here.

This late in the season I would consider staying inshore until futher south before heading to the VI. Of course as you go south you also give up some of your easting but the trades do tend more toward the NE and you may still make a good course for the islands.

Either way it can be a risk. Too early and you get a late season hurricane. Too late and you can catch an early norther.
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Old 19-11-2008, 10:49   #54
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I can understand him wanting to keep his license. If it was me, and I wasn't making money with my licesnse they would have to drag me off the boat kicking, and screaming. My fingers are crossed I am never put in the situation to have to decide.....i2f

nice read Vasco...THANKS
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Old 19-11-2008, 10:54   #55
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Old 19-11-2008, 10:54   #56
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I would have requested the order in clear english. Would have informed the CG that I was recording and would pursue legal recourse against them since my vessel was in no danger. If they ordered me off, I would spend their next years budget for them in court.
It was plainly stated that they, the CG, made the decision and issued orders. Even our soilders are responsible for the orders they give. obey, and the actions they take. The CG should be also.
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Old 19-11-2008, 10:58   #57
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Right now they are just another group above the law with no responsibility for their actions.
Wow! I sense an anarchist here :-)

It's true that a chopper pilot can not have perfect knowledge of the vessel being assisted, and oftimes hasn't the marine experience of the vessel's crew.

However, the pilot is responsible for his own crew and equipment as well as for assisting the vessel which called for help. He knows their abilities and limitations very well, much better than does the vessel's captain or crew.

Further, he/she will be likely to have a much better synoptic understanding of weather and sea conditions, present and expected. And a much better understanding of other assets which might be available to be pressed into service if needed.

As for being a group "above the law with no responsibility for their actions", this is just plain untrue. Demonstrably so. Part of the problem is that USCG actions are sometimes OVERLY influenced by public opinion and political factors. They are certainly responsible for their actions, and having watched them and interacted with them over a period of decades....in many areas of the world....I'm one guy who believes they generally do incredibly good work under very difficult circumstances, including being way underfunded and having to take the brunt of criticism from folks who either don't understand their mission and limitations or are just trying to be provocative.

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Old 19-11-2008, 11:12   #58
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From the you tube video I cannot see anything threatening to Panache. My only concern would be for a sick child.

Leaving Puerto Vallarta I was caught in a storm. The autopilot couldn't keep up, and my friend couldn't keep up with hand steering. We took 1 hour turns. Finally after several hours of steering alone I gave in too.

The waves were so steep, and wind so strong that when we would get over the crest. The wind would throw the bow down wind a good 30 - 40 degrees. Finally I turned downwind with only a 30% jib, and the motor running in reverse to slow the boat down.

Sometimes you have to give up your progress, and go with it. When you do it can go from total chaos to a sweet ride. We don't have all the information, but it sure sounds like some poor decisions were made. That doesn't stop me from feeling bad for the folks on Panache..........i2f
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Old 19-11-2008, 11:48   #59
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Old 19-11-2008, 11:56   #60
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I read this all the way thru ande all the attached links. Where this last post came from is beyond me. What part of 18000 sea miles in 91 did you miss? How many miles in a boat that size or smaller do you have?
I am a complete beginner, but even I know that you have to be ready to face such stuff or you should stay home.
In every one of these tales I have read so far, there are several constants. New crew with no clue about being on a small boat in bad weather on deep water. Captains that not only say they were in no danger, but also proceeded to make all attempts they can to retrieve and reboard their boat. Coast Guard that made the decisions. Boats that all survived the so called dangerous situation just fine. All major damage was caused by grounding or improperly set equipment for the conditions after the crew was told to get off. Peoples life earnings/homes thrown away so the divers get to make a rescue.
No one has the right to make that decision for anyone else. The Guard should have to pay for the boat if they order the captain off. If not, they should have no such mandate.
Those coast guard guys are excitement adrenaline junkies that work out, train, and compete to get on the crews that make those rescues. If it wasn't their job, most of them would pay good money to get the chance to make such an attempt. If they are not, then they need to get out of the way of the thousands that want their job. The poor abused CG idea in some of these threads is so far from the truth that it is rediculous! They jump out of bed and drive like crazy men trying to beat the next guy there so maybe they will get to go on this one, not the other way around!

Wow! I was only gone a short time and look what I missed.

Regarding the captains experience all I can say is people make mistakes.
A wealth of practical experience does not mean much if that person makes bad decisions. Human Error happens.
Regarding crews with no experience. If you fly commercial air you are putting yourself in the same situation. You sit down in the back (isolated from all communication and decision making) the experienced captain navigates towards the destination making decisions that affect the rest of your life. Often bad weather is encountered and in spite of the best efforts of ATC and the pilot the plane goes through the weather. Sometimes it has a sad ending for all involved.
I have some experience with crisis management and know what leadership during a crisis looks like. Unless the captain of any vessel is incapacitated the panicked crew or passengers have no business on the radio. The captain should have calmed these two women by his actions. If that couldn't be done then he should have made the radio call himself so there would be no confusion about his desires or the condition of his craft.

I assume you have spent time is the CG on or around SAR teams since you know how they train and react to emergencies. I am very very glad they train and workout and drive fast to get to the job when called.
I find much more comfort in knowing that rather than thinking they were standing around debating about all trouble and lawsuits that might come if they rush offshore then jump into crushing waves to save my sorry butt.
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