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Old 14-02-2009, 07:04   #1
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Asleep at the Wheel While Underway

This is a wreck just off the South side of Kithera, Greece, looks like the helmsman was sleeping & missed the port by a few hundred yards- as we sailed past it we were all wondering what might have happened- looks to have been there 5-10 years.

Anyone know the story or want to guess?
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Old 14-02-2009, 09:59   #2
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It looks like a small ship. I would hope there was more than one person on the bridge.
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Old 14-02-2009, 17:49   #3
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A friend of mine tells a story of how while long line fishing he went above deck to check things and found himself face to face with a cargo ship. Who ever was on watch on the cargo carrier was asleep at the wheel, autopilot or whatever keeping him on track but no radar to alert him there was another boat in the area, ya know the area right off his starboard side 25ft away.

Fortunately the ship didn't pick up their anchor. But it was the last time he crewed on the longline boat, he quit the minute they hit the dock.

Storm maybe put her into the rocks?
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Old 16-02-2009, 11:25   #4
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My favorite was sailing out of Tampa Bay and just clearing the bridge I come across a fishing boat tied off to the middle channel buoy, baiting their hooks and just getting drunk and having a great party. There was at least two freighters close behind me, and they were in a big hurry with 6 foot bow waves. I was afraid evolution was going to narrow the gene pool right before my eyes....
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Old 16-02-2009, 12:25   #5
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And of course there was the BC Ferry (British Columbia Canada) that sank with the loss of two lives after hitting an island. Rumour has it that two crew persons who were supposed to be on watch were busy having a 'tryst' at the time of the sinking.
We will probably never know for sure what happened unless it comes out in a civil trial as I believe the relatives of the deceased are suing/planning to sue BC Ferries.
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Old 17-02-2009, 20:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twisty View Post
A friend of mine tells a story of how while long line fishing he went above deck to check things and found himself face to face with a cargo ship. Who ever was on watch on the cargo carrier was asleep at the wheel, autopilot or whatever keeping him on track but no radar to alert him there was another boat in the area, ya know the area right off his starboard side 25ft away.
Many of the sailing stories / novels I've read say that cargo ships rarely keep watch for small vessels. Small vessels do not show up well on their radar, making it even more dangerous.
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Old 17-02-2009, 20:37   #7
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Many of the sailing stories / novels I've read say that cargo ships rarely keep watch for small vessels. Small vessels do not show up well on their radar, making it even more dangerous.
Wow! That is nuts! If memory serves me correctly I think was a 70' boat, I don't know that I would want to hit a boat of that size, even with a cargo ship!
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Old 17-02-2009, 21:20   #8
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We saw an aluminum yacht on the hard in Graciosa Island, Canaries. We were told the delivery skipper fell asleep and ran it up on the rocks. Click image for larger version

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If you want to read our comments about this and the danger zone, you can check out this link.

THE DANGER ZONE*** When I didn
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Old 18-02-2009, 04:23   #9
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Wow Aluminum is the way to go!
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Old 18-02-2009, 05:18   #10
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shame for that nice alubat ovni!

one of my favourite yachts. if you look at my picture i'm on the wheel of an 385 ovni
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Old 18-02-2009, 07:04   #11
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Can only imagine what that hull would look like if it had been fibreglass. Nothing against glass -- great stuff -- but you'd expect some nasty holes. That hull still looks watertight.

Be a bugger getting her home, though, with the rudder crushed like that.

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Old 18-02-2009, 07:43   #12
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I think if the hull was FG it would be at the bottom in little pieces-
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Old 18-02-2009, 08:42   #13
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Many of the sailing stories / novels I've read say that cargo ships rarely keep watch for small vessels. Small vessels do not show up well on their radar, making it even more dangerous.
That really depends on the the ship. I would not label all ships or most ships as not having a proper watch as defined by the COLREGS and the IMO.

If small boats had brighter nav lights at night and an AIS transceiver they would be better off than the typical one mile side lights that most of them seem to carry. With LED nav lights now available there is no longer a good power excuse to have dim nav lights. Get the two mile side lights for boats over 20 meters...its legal to be over the minimum requirement. Its my own personal opinion that one mile sides are not adequate at all. One mile visibility means in perfect visibility, with no lights on in the bridge, no distractions and for someone who is 100% focused on finding that light...that's simply not realistic.

In all likelihood, you will see a ship before it sees you. Shine a light on your sail and hold it there until the ship is past and clear. Try to make radio contact on 13 or 16 as well to try to confirm as to whether or not they see you. As a last resort, if you still don't think you have their attention then turn on your spreader lights, your anchor light, your steaming light and your strobe for a bit...light em up baby! Yes its technically illegal to do that, but that beats getting run over. I used to run OSV's out of Port Hueneme and on a choppy night I always saw those bright white lights long before I saw some dim sidelight. I was glad sailboats did that rather than having to maneuver inside of a mile after I saw a sidelight. I think the IMO should change the minimum to two miles for boats over 7 meters....this could be easily done now that we have power efficient LED side lights available.

Whether or not a small boat shows up on a properly tuned radar depends largely upon the sea state. Whitecaps cause a radar return and small boats can become hidden in those returns..even with the seaclutter turned up a bit. Hopefully you never get within the radars seaclutter range which can be from one quarter to a half mile...typically.
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Old 18-02-2009, 10:34   #14
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DavidM you said a mouthfull! I agree 100%
With that note I am going to change to LEDs- ships at night has been my only real worry wile crusing, some areas ive been in have 25 ships in a 5-8 mile area and at night it becomes stressful to say the least-
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Old 20-02-2009, 03:59   #15
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back to the topic i have not found any info about that wreck
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