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Old 19-11-2008, 12:04   #61
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I also feel bad for the owners of the Panache. I was reading their posts about prepping the boat and planning for the trip. It just seems sad that they didn't err on the side of caution for the first leg of the journey and hop down the coast until they knew more about the boat. Assuming what I read was correct and they were prepping for two years and not sailing regularly.

With any luck they will be reunited with the boat before long and they can take what they learned and continue on with the journey. Mistakes that only cost money are the good ones.
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Old 19-11-2008, 13:27   #62
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Mistakes that only cost money are the good ones.
Yeah.

I am sure the Skipper is replaying events and second guessing himself more than enough already.

And, as already said, certainly the kid onboard would have ruled out options (or perceived risks) that the Skipper alone (or with a capable crew) may have considered.

But sometimes in life their are no good options to choose from, just a series of choices all of which have potentially sh#tty outcomes - and yer get to weigh them up with imperfect information, in times of stress and without the benefit of hindsight.

Would different decisions have had a "better" outcome? quite possibly, but IMO it doesn't make the Captain's decisions "wrong". As Captain he got to make the decisions, and he took them knowing he gets to live with the consequences - that's his job. And none of his loved ones died, so IMO job done. End of. (well, apart from finding the boat ).

This (and other recent) threads has got me wondering about my own rudder / steering.........
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Old 19-11-2008, 16:18   #63
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Can someone explain to this poor dumb Kiwi how a helicopter pilot can force someone to abandon their boat.
Say no and poke your tongue out.
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Old 19-11-2008, 16:56   #64
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A helicopter pilot, or rescue swimmer cannot. However, in the midst of turmoil, when one is fraught with doubts, fearful and exhausted, the untrained will listen to what sounds like reasonable authority. Particularly so when rumor/innuendo implies "...take rescue now, we won't come back for you a second time..." although that is also patently false.

Most people (at least from the US) will accede to the demands/instructions of the Coast Guard—who's authority flows from "46 United States Code 4302 and 4308". Among other matters, that Section provides "...that the Commandant, U. S. Coast Guard has authorized the District Commander(s) to prohibit the voyage of any vessel if he determines that said craft is unsuitable for the intended trip. His determination will be based upon the design, condition and outfitting of the vessel in relation to what the District Commander deems necessary for a safe voyage. Operator competency is NOT a factor in the final determination. If a manifestly unsafe ruling is issued, the voyage is terminated and the vessel will be prevented from getting underway" [or continuing]. Failure to comply [with Cost Guard determinations/instructions] will result in the imposition of a fine not to exceed $1,000 (USD) and/or, 1 year in jail.

FWIW...

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Old 19-11-2008, 19:05   #65
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He was made to abandon ship by a stupid law that puts 20 year old adrenaline junkies in charge of things they have no knowledge or comprehension of. that
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Old 19-11-2008, 20:07   #66
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"On the morning of November 2, 1997, the Northern Voyager, a 144-foot fishing vessel, was proceeding a few miles off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts when crewmen discovered water flooding a compartment in the ship's stern. The flooding, which resulted when the starboard rudder dropped out of the vessel, was severe and the crew immediately began trying to pump out the water. Despite the crew's best efforts, the water level in the compartment continued to rise, threatening to flood the boat's engine room. If the engine room flooded, all of the Northern Voyager's electrical pumps and generators located inside would be rendered useless.
The situation was such that the master of the Northern Voyager, Captain David Haggerty, radioed Coast Guard Station Gloucester, told them that "[w]ater [was] coming in fast," and requested that they "get some pumps out to [the ship]." To complicate matters, a storm had passed through the area the night before, leaving swells of roughly six to eight feet. Station Gloucester (under the command of Chief Warrant Officer Wesley Dittes) responded immediately by launching a 41-foot boat, to be followed shortly thereafter by a 47-foot one. The Coast Guard also diverted a 110-foot cutter, the ADAK, to assist as On Scene Coordinator. Coast Guard Group Boston, which is organizationally superior to Station Gloucester, assumed the role of Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator.
The 41-footer arrived on the scene at approximately 9:15 a.m. and immediately evacuated eight crew members who apparently requested to leave the Northern Voyager, leaving on board of the original crew Captain Haggerty, the engineer, and the first mate. Two Coast Guardsmen, Petty Officers Adam Sirois and Brian Conners, boarded the Northern Voyager and attempted to assist in continuing efforts to remove water from the ship using extra pumps supplied by the Coast Guard. Although what was done slowed the rate of water accumulation, the flooding continued and the Northern Voyager began to develop a port side list.
As the Northern Voyager rolled and began to list, Coast Guard Officer Dittes (aboard the 47-footer), Group Boston, and the On Scene Coordinator began discussing the possibility that the vessel would need to be evacuated. Several factors worried Dittes. His most immediate concern was that the vessel's port side tilt made both access to and escape from the Northern Voyager more difficult. This is because the fishing boat's only access port, a door from the shelter deck through which the crew boarded and departed from the boat, was on the starboard side. As the fishing boat tilted more and more to port, the starboard side was raised higher and higher off the surface of the water. No less worrisome was his concern about progressive flooding, which was causing the vessel to settle further in the water, with the danger that the boat would capsize without warning before it sank, trapping anyone aboard before they could be rescued.
Based upon these concerns, Dittes's conversations with Northern Voyager crew members who had already boarded the 47-footer, and the continual progression of the flooding, Dittes ordered his men to evacuate the Northern Voyager's remaining crew members. Captain Haggerty opposed the Coast Guard's decision to evacuate his vessel and wanted to talk about other options for pumping and salvage, including commercial salvage.
Dittes and Conners refused to discuss any other options for salvage aboard the Northern Voyager, and, again, ordered Haggerty and his men off the boat. According to Captain Haggerty, Conners informed him that if he did not cooperate, the Coast Guard would "subdue [him] physically" in order to take him off the Northern Voyager. All Coast Guard personnel and the remaining Northern Voyager officers were then transferred to the Coast Guard 47-footer.
The Northern Voyager was abandoned at 10:27 a.m., continued to sink, and capsized at 11:22 a.m., fifty-five minutes after the last person left the vessel. Captain Haggerty did not want to stay around and watch the boat sink. Accordingly, shortly after the evacuation, the Coast Guard 47-footer headed back to Station Gloucester with Captain Haggerty and the remaining members of his crew on board.
According to plaintiffs' experts, there were various steps that Captain Haggerty and his senior crew could have taken to stabilize the situation if the Coast Guard had permitted them to stay on the vessel. These steps included shutting certain doors and making them watertight so that the flooding was confined to two compartments in the stern of the boat. If these steps had been taken, plaintiffs' experts asserted, the vessel could have floated for at least another twenty hours even assuming that no pumping capacity was brought to bear. This would have provided ample time for independent salvage resources to reach the vessel, even if they had to come from as far away as Boston.
The USCG was sued by the owners and underwriters of the Northern Voyager for ordering the crew off the vessel and prohibiting a commercial salvor from aiding the stricken vessel, which ultimately led to it's sinking. The owners of the Northern Voyager also absorbed a $300,000 cost to remove bunker oil trapped in the vessel. The court found in favor of the Coast Guard, citing the sea conditions posed significant risk to human safety, that the Coast Guard acted in the best interest of human safety and that they were not responsible for the vessel itself. The decision was appealed, arguing that the Coast Guard should be liable for damages due to negligence. The claim was that the USCG was not intervening in a situation considered to be a life-threatening emergency (the Northern Voyager was reported to have a functioning powerplant at the time the evacuation order was given). However, in a decision that set new precedent, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that the U.S. Coast Guard acted appropriately, within its discretionary powers in curtailing salvage efforts and removing the vessel's officers from their ship. A brief was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court."

The Supreme Court found in favor of the Coast Guard. Dittes, the CG on scene Commander had very limited sea going experience, 2 or 3 years worth as I recall. After removing the Captain, Dittes asked him for permission to fire on and sink the Northern Voyager as it wasn't sinking fast enough and would pose a hazard to navigation.
To this day Cap'n Haggerty swears one more pump was all he needed but the coasties were just to scared and wanted off the boat.
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Old 19-11-2008, 20:58   #67
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Moral to the story...Dont call for help if your not prepared to loose your boat.
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Old 19-11-2008, 21:02   #68
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Moral to the story...Dont call for help if your not prepared to loose your boat.
True

And how about this.

Don't leave the dock unless you are ready to loose your boat.
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Old 19-11-2008, 21:16   #69
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According to plaintiffs' experts, there were various steps that Captain Haggerty and his senior crew could have taken to stabilize the situation if the Coast Guard had permitted them to stay on the vessel.

Why weren't these steps already taken by Captain Haggerty?
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Old 19-11-2008, 21:43   #70
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Maybe because the adrenaline power junkie in charge was not knowledgable enough to know that it was not time to isolate the floatation because of continuing efforts to stop or slow the flooding. Only the captain speaks for the ship I thought, but that is a common thread here also. Taking the word of people scared beyond the capacity of being reasonable as fact.
Like the other thread ended. It seems the only way to keep your boat and family safe is to say, "No, get your own boat!"
It also begs the question. Why were these people all there in the first place at their own request?
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Old 19-11-2008, 21:50   #71
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Dittes was a chief Warrant Officer. If things haven't changed, that would give him at least 10 years in service and as many as 20 or more. Granted, he could have been manning a desk somewhere but would bet he had more than 2 years experience in small boats at sea.

Maybe they should have allowed the captain and crew to stay on board but CWO Dittes had the responsibilities for his crew members to think about. A boat that sinks and takes down his men with it would not be a bright spot on his performance sheet or his conscience.

If the pumps weren't making headway against the flooding, it was just a matter of time before the boat sank without plugging the hole. Plugging the hole would have required a diver which it doesn't seem was avalable. It only took 56 minutes for the boat to capsize once they shut the pumps down and left.

Yeh, and if the boat had water tight bulkhead that could have been closed to confine flooding, why weren't they already closed???

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Old 19-11-2008, 21:57   #72
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Runner, I am just reading between the lines here but were you forced to abandon a boat by an adrenaline junkie? Wife run off with an adrenaline crazed SAR swimmer?

Just being humorous of course but you seem so angry I can't help but think there is some deep rooted situation you haven't shared.


I agree that the Captain speaks for the ship. That was my point previously when I said the crew or passengers should not be on the radio making decisions for the captain unless he is incapacitated.

The thing is if the Coast Guard is on scene they were likely called by someone and once they are there they will be making decisions based on the situation. If the captain is insisting that his vessel is going to survive and the situation supports that then he will probably be allowed to carry on. If the AJs, that's adrenaline junkies think the situation is otherwise they are going to insist the crew leave.
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Old 19-11-2008, 22:30   #73
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we left wrightsville beach, north carolina, 0600est, 6 nov and arrived st. george, bermuda 1200ast 10 nov. passage of around 675miles. first two days we had westerly winds of 15 - 30 knots, last 2 1/2 days we motor sailed in light to very light westerlies.

a front came thru on the 12th but, at least on the island, there was little wind with it and not much rain.
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Old 19-11-2008, 22:50   #74
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The salvage floatation bulkheads would not have been closed until the effort to reverse the situation was abandoned quite likely. The reason they were not employed seems to be that the people attempting to save the ship were forced to quit working.
No, but I absolutely hate official stupidity. The
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Old 19-11-2008, 23:01   #75
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we left wrightsville beach, north carolina, 0600est, 6 nov and arrived st. george, bermuda 1200ast 10 nov. passage of around 675miles. first two days we had westerly winds of 15 - 30 knots, last 2 1/2 days we motor sailed in light to very light westerlies.

a front came thru on the 12th but, at least on the island, there was little wind with it and not much rain.

Sounds like that area has some pretty fluky and unpredictable weather.
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