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Old 11-08-2007, 20:24   #1
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A Run-In With Tankership Evergreen

It was so foggy you could barely see a quarter mile. We were blasting or horn every 3 minutes. We had to sail so we could hear approaching motors. Channel 16 was chaos. Powerboats were popping out of the fog from every direction, swerving just in time to avoid hitting us.

My brother was down in the cabin, watching the radar. There was a large shape that we were keeping an eye on. Suddenly my brother ran out of the cabin.

"There's a huge ship coming! Tack now! Tack now!"

My dad cursed loudly and turned the wheel completely around in three complete circles as fast as he could. My brother and my mom got on the genua sheets and pulled the sail around. As for me, I curled up in the corner of the cockpit.

I heard my mom gasp and say, "Oh my god!"

I peeked up and saw a huge wall of black off our starboard beam, not a quarter mile away. The letters slowly appeared one by one as the tankership chugged on past us.

N. E. E. R. G.

By the time the first letter of "Ever" was visible, the "green" had disappeared into the fog.

My brother had saved us that day. I don't know what we would have done if we had seen the wall of black come out of the fog dead ahead, the bow of Evergreen with a bone in its teeth.
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Old 11-08-2007, 22:51   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simrad

My brother was down in the cabin, watching the radar. There was a large shape that we were keeping an eye on. Suddenly my brother ran out of the cabin.

"There's a huge ship coming! Tack now! Tack now!"



My brother had saved us that day. I don't know what we would have done if we had seen the wall of black come out of the fog dead ahead, the bow of Evergreen with a bone in its teeth.
You should remember that!!

I recommend, that you take your brother out for some good drinking. And remind him, how much you thank him, for watching the radar that day!!
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:18   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simrad

By the time the first letter of "Ever" was visible, the "green" had disappeared into the fog.
Fog is uber scary. I can't imagine sharing shipping lanes in the fog. My man parts aren't big enough. Well done to you and your brother.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:36   #4
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That's just about the best argument I have ever heard for having radar on board your yacht. We use our radar a great deal. It keeps us honest so that we can tell whether a ship is coming down the Estimated Bearing Line toward us.

Sailing in reduced visibility is a full time job, and a mistake can be fatal with only a few minutes of inattention. Sailing in fog in the shipping lanes is a thousand times more scary and dangerous than sailing across an ocean.
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Old 12-08-2007, 13:27   #5
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I have a friend that is a very old seadog. He sails across the straight from Wellington in a 16ft sail boat. He has a little putput engine in it. He was puting across one day in a pea soup fog and then heard a throbbing sound looming in the Fog. Out of the fog just in front of him rose a huge Green wall of a ship. It was one of the Ferries. He threw the little engine into reverse and watched the wall pass him. Thinking phew that was close, placed the engien in fwd and carried on. But the throbbing nose didn't subside. And suddenly the huge green wall was back infront of him again, but this time going the otherway. He had just gone between two opposing direction Ferries in the Fog.
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Old 13-08-2007, 01:14   #6
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I have a friend who was nailed while fishing off the west coast by a freighter. After drifting around on his hatch cover for a while he was rescued by another commercial fisherman. The best part of the story is when he was interviewed by a TV camera man about his 'accident' he replied in his laconic east coast drawl: "I looked out the door and there the stern wasn't."
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Old 19-08-2007, 10:12   #7
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That's just about the best argument I have ever heard for having radar on board your yacht. We use our radar a great deal.
And AIS...

This spring I was OD (2nd Mate) and my wife was on my watch as 3rd Mate in training. We could see on AIS (Automatic Identification System) that we were going to have a .5 mile CPA (Closest Point of Approach) with a 700’ freighter going 14 knots. We plotted on our paper chart the freighter’s position and its course and our own. It looked like we would pass .5 miles behind the freighter witch is much better then .5 miles ahead of it. It was very foggy and the freighter popped out of the fog about 2 miles away. Everything went as planned. I would feel very naked without RADAR and AIS.
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Old 19-08-2007, 12:37   #8
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And AIS...

This spring I was OD (2nd Mate) and my wife was on my watch as 3rd Mate in training. We could see on AIS (Automatic Identification System) that we were going to have a .5 mile CPA (Closest Point of Approach) with a 700’ freighter going 14 knots. We plotted on our paper chart the freighter’s position and its course and our own. It looked like we would pass .5 miles behind the freighter witch is much better then .5 miles ahead of it. It was very foggy and the freighter popped out of the fog about 2 miles away. Everything went as planned. I would feel very naked without RADAR and AIS.
Recently there was an article in Sail magazine about AIS. My friend's father was the guy in the article. When my friend and I (who is 1st mate on a military supply ship in Diego Garcia right now) were discussing the article, we came to a conclusion:

It's great for his size ships to have them, as well as for recreational boaters to have *receivers* - BUT - it would be a disaster if recreational boaters started transmitting AIS data.
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Old 19-08-2007, 19:36   #9
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Simrad,

Thanks for sharing your story. In the interest of general education, I'll share some thoughts - the name Evergreen is probably the company name, not the ship's name; if the letters were 40 ft high running 500 ft along the side of the ship, it is most certain this is the case. Evergreen is a container shipping company, so you most likely saw a containership, not a tankership. You indicated that you were sounding fog signals every 3 minutes - colregs require an interval of 2 minutes or less; as a sailing vessel, it should have been one long and two short blasts. You didn't indicate if the Evergreen ship was sounding signals. I personally doubt the wisdom in not motoring, when in comparatively heavy traffic, in the conditions you describe. Fog usually implies light wind, so that would hamper your ability to avoid anything.

I agree that radar and AIS are good tools, but they are not panaceas. Radar is only as good as the user, and is limited by the conditions; and AIS requires the other guy to have AIS and use it. Sean - I can't see why it would be a bad thing for recreational vessels to be transmitting as well.

My 2 cents,

Kevin
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Old 19-08-2007, 21:02   #10
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Originally Posted by ssullivan
It's great for his size ships to have them, as well as for recreational boaters to have *receivers* - BUT - it would be a disaster if recreational boaters started transmitting AIS data.
In what way would it be a disaster? Does your statement mean you are opposed to class b ais tranmitters?
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Old 20-08-2007, 01:29   #11
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As Kevin suggests, Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan) Ltd. operates “Evergreen”, a marine and intermodal shipping carrier, transporting containerized cargo. The Evergreen group is the world’s largest containership owner (not operator).

Their ships are often named "EVER - Something".
ie: "Ever Unicorn", and "Ever Result" (pictured below).
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Old 20-08-2007, 01:55   #12
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Old 20-08-2007, 05:26   #13
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AIS Class B

My friend (and I through listening to him) are against class B AIS (in recreational vessels) because it becomes useless when everyone has it.

To think of why - put yourself outside of your boat and your world for a second.

Put yourself on the bridge of a conatiner ship entering NY Harbor or San Francisco or Baltimore or some city you are familiar with. Here you are on the bridge on watch and responsible for the safety of your ship as well as for not colliding with other boats (REAL boats, not our little dinky craft we like to think are so important - me included).

Ok, now let's look at the AIS data on the container ship entering the harbor. He sees another tug with barge and maybe a cruise ship. He has to think 10 moves ahead to plan how to take a vessel that can't turn quickly, can't stop quickly and might be constrained by its draft or something and "thread the needle" through the entrance to the harbor.

He relies on the AIS data to help him in understanding the best course to take relative to the other vessels. This system works well currently.

Now... let's imagine every idiot in his 420 or O'day 302 (I owned one) has an AIS transponder beaming out his information as he tacks back and forth across the entrance to the harbor.

This RUINS the AIS information for the container ship - showing nothing but a swarm of meaningless data all over his screen. It doesn't help him in the least, and he will, in all actuality, ignore your data anyway if he can discern the data from real ships in the area when your little recreational transmitters are crowding up his screen.

AIS is for real boats - not our little toys.

Now... if AIS class B was on a different frequency entirely and did not show up on the container ship's display, but only showed up on recreational vessels, I would be for that.

There has to be a distinction between "toys" and ships for this type of system to work. Else... it's just a screen full of garbage.
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Old 20-08-2007, 05:26   #14
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AIS Class B

My friend (and I through listening to him) are against class B AIS (in recreational vessels) because it becomes useless when everyone has it.

To think of why - put yourself outside of your boat and your world for a second.

Put yourself on the bridge of a conatiner ship entering NY Harbor or San Francisco or Baltimore or some city you are familiar with. Here you are on the bridge on watch and responsible for the safety of your ship as well as for not colliding with other boats (REAL boats, not our little dinky craft we like to think are so important - me included).

Ok, now let's look at the AIS data on the container ship entering the harbor. He sees another tug with barge and maybe a cruise ship. He has to think 10 moves ahead to plan how to take a vessel that can't turn quickly, can't stop quickly and might be constrained by its draft or something and "thread the needle" through the entrance to the harbor.

He relies on the AIS data to help him in understanding the best course to take relative to the other vessels. This system works well currently.

Now... let's imagine every idiot in his 420 or O'day 302 (I owned one) has an AIS transponder beaming out his information as he tacks back and forth across the entrance to the harbor.

This RUINS the AIS information for the container ship - showing nothing but a swarm of meaningless data all over his screen. It doesn't help him in the least, and he will, in all actuality, ignore your data anyway if he can discern the data from real ships in the area when your little recreational transmitters are crowding up his screen.

AIS is for real boats - not our little toys.

Now... if AIS class B was on a different frequency entirely and did not show up on the container ship's display, but only showed up on recreational vessels, I would be for that.

There has to be a distinction between "toys" and ships for this type of system to work. Else... it's just a screen full of garbage.
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Old 20-08-2007, 05:44   #15
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More on how Class B AIS works - by Bob Lee
Yachting Monthly - Any Questions: More on how Class B AIS works

Class B users must not assume that their own presence, in the form of Class B transmissions, will be particularly visible on the bridge of many SOLAS vessels.
The CSTDMA Class B system has been designed to prevent overloading of the AIS VHF data link, but there are a number of other aspects that need to be considered. These include:
- the increased garbling of Class B messages compared to those of Class A
- the problems accruing from the low update rate of Class B information
- the increase in display information that will need to be managed
- the possible increase in inappropriate manoeuvres of leisure craft caused by misplaced reliance on AIS.
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