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Old 22-02-2010, 19:04   #16
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Not the memories they were expecting but good ones just the same.
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Old 22-02-2010, 19:09   #17
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Ok,thats a lot of tall ships lost to microbursts,what gives? the odds of sailboats being lost would seem much higher as there are so many more out there and yet while they get hit you rarely hear of losses, i guess modern boats are just a lot more seaworthy.
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Old 23-02-2010, 01:16   #18
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I have a friend who was on that ship 3-4 years ago and he just sent me this

Maurice Tugwell wore clothes too small for him and carried a battered lifejacket when he arrived home in Nova Scotia on Monday, days after he and 63 others survived the sinking of the SV Concordia off the coast of Brazil.
The retired Acadia University economics professor was teaching onboard the seagoing school, which went down in bad weather in mid-afternoon Wednesday.
“It’s the best outcome that you could have had given the circumstances that we were in,” he told reporters gathered at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax.
Tugwell and three other Nova Scotia-based employees of Class Afloat flew home after returning to Canada a day earlier. The others — teachers Kate Braedley and Heather Fitzpatrick and chief mate Kim Smith — did not speak to media.Tugwell said he was in his cabin below decks when bad weather started playing havoc. He said the sails had already been lowered to compensate for the weather when the ship rolled strongly to one side — apparently when a microburst blew downward at the ship with very high winds.
His lights went out and then emergency lights went on. Eventually an alarm sounded when the engine started flooding.
He said it’s fortunate that many of the ship’s 48 high school and college students were already in classes on the deck, so it wasn’t difficult to get them together near the life rafts and put them in survival gear.
Tugwell had a tougher time below decks.
“Picture it, what used to be the wall is now the floor and you can hear things smashing and crashing. You had to essentially go up the stairs which were now on the side and the lights went out.”
Tugwell started the semester — his second tour on board — on Feb. 4 in Recife, Brazil, and said there’d been three abandon-ship drills and numerous sessions devoted to wearing life jackets and survival suits since then.
The students appeared to have learned their lesson, he said.
“They were just carrying on as if it was another exercise.”
Soon the ship was completely on its side and everyone was sliding along the masts in order to drop into the covered, circular life rafts; some of which held up to 20 people, plus flares and power bars and water for eight days.
Everyone was off the ship by 3:15 p.m. and it sank out of sight a little later.
One of the life rafts needed constant bailing, but that was more for comfort since it wasn’t going to sink, he said. They lashed three of the life rafts together and the separate one managed to stay within sight.
Staff and students sang and talked to one another through the rest of that day and night and well into Thursday.
Although they had a flashing emergency beacon, they started to wonder if it was sending out a signal because no emergency craft were appearing.
At dusk on Thursday they heard the drone of a Brazilian military aircraft and three of the rafts sent off flares, he said.
“We gave them the rocket show,” he said, adding that the pilots flew close to indicate they’d been spotted.
“There was a lot of cheering,” he said.
However, it was still about 18 hours until a pair of Filipino cargo ships arrived.
He said the survivors bonded well in their harrowing circumstances and sometimes sang songs like Farewell to Nova Scotia to keep their spirits up.
Climbing out of the life rafts up a rope ladder with weak legs wasn’t easy, he said.
The Filipino sailors gave him a replacement set of very small clothes, which he still had on Monday. He held onto his life jacket as a souvenir.
He praised the Filipinos and Canadian consular officials for helping them out.
He doesn’t plan to go to sea again, but the school will.
Kate Knight, the head of school, said the current semester will resume on dry land in Lunenburg in a few weeks.
They are grieving the loss of the ship they had built for the school in 1992, but are very relieved no one died.
“That’s the most important thing for us,” she said.
The school has full insurance on the 57.5-metre vessel and plans to return to the water in another ship.
“It’s our intention that Class Afloat will be going for the next 25 years,” she said.
None of the students aboard the ship are from Nova Scotia. Tuition is $41,500 for a full year and $28,000 for a five-month semester. The students are aged 16 to 19 and mostly from Canada, but there are also students from America, New Zealand, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany and the French West Indies, she said.
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Old 24-02-2010, 00:51   #19
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A couple of design flaws in the Concordia may have led to their demise. First the large port lights shattered under water pressure from what I have been told. And second the use of modern lines and materials in the rig. A square rigger like the ones I have sailed used materials in the topmasts and rig and sails that will part under heavy load. Hemp canvas and wood do this, it is a safety feature of the rig . The sails will tear and the rig will come apart before the ship is in peril .By using modern high strength rope, dacron sails and high strength spars on a traditional design this safety feature if eliminated.
Thanks to the competent and well trained crew all were saved. Well done.
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Old 24-02-2010, 03:10   #20
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Since the original tall ships were cargo vessels & when not loaded carried ballast stones,is it possible there is a ballast problem.Certainly not addressing internal vs external ballast issue.marc
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Old 24-02-2010, 04:33   #21
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Maggie-K,

Your point about the rigging material IMHO is valid and significant. I think IIRC, this was a contributing factor with the loss of the Pride of Baltimore. The Concordia has stopped in Bermuda a number of times, and I think she has steel spars. The Marques, on the other hand, was a Baltic Trader type of vessel, which, once again IIRC, had traditional materials in her rig. She apparently went on her beam ends, and flooded thru her grate type hatch cover.
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Old 24-02-2010, 07:05   #22
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Some photos of the rescue: Concordia Rescue Photos via AMVER « Sea-Fever blog
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Old 24-02-2010, 07:47   #23
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Thank goodness for Gumby suits. Although not perfect, this also says a lot for life rafts.
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Old 24-02-2010, 08:44   #24
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From the limited descriptions it sounds like she was in heavy weather already and got a bad squall. I do not quite see why a microburst is said to be involved.

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Old 24-02-2010, 10:00   #25
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Whatever the cause, microburst or squal, she went over. Looking at the high deck houses there is alot of windage on that ship. One account said that the sails were "down". Quite often when deck houses are employed in the design the hatches to below are omitted as the deckhouse gives a (sometimes false) feeling of security. I do not know this for fact about the Concordia but a report did state that when knocked down she started shipping alot of water. Propperly balasted and without shipping "alot" of water I would think she should have righted herself. It will be interesting to learn what happenned. At least we can be thankful that everyone survived due to the good training, equiptment and actions of all involved.
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Old 24-02-2010, 10:32   #26
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I read the windows blew...That was my initial thought as well..."Why so many windows"?...Its something talked about allot on fourms about a good sea going vessel...the lack there of that is.
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Old 26-02-2010, 06:43   #27
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Here is the first radio interview with the captain of the Concordia:

Interview with Tall Ship Concordia Captain Bill Curry on Sinking « Sea-Fever blog
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Old 26-02-2010, 07:42   #28
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Great Post !
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Old 26-02-2010, 08:07   #29
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Nice interview. Thanks for posting it. I thought the captain did a very good job of staying away from creating hearsay and fueling blame and witch hunt theories! I like his response when asked if a ship like that "should right itself". He said "I don't know. Very few people have ever been in that situation (with a ship of that size)". But I guess it might not be a bad idea to provide for that 'stability ' in the design of the next one!
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Old 28-02-2010, 07:31   #30
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The captain sounded very capable & came across well in the interview. I hope he finds himself back on the seas soon.

Thanks for posting the radio interview.
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