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Old 06-03-2011, 16:55   #76
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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After serving on the 'Pellew' (my 1st commission).... everything else was solid as a rock in comparison,,
I have a similar baseline - the Moresby. Winter. Northumberland Strait. 60° rolls. Priceless.
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Old 06-03-2011, 17:15   #77
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Is that the long route? Sydney to Wellington is just a bit more than 2000 km; the closest points are quite a bit less.
Very sharp observation Lodesman. The lads journey started north of Sydney, Forster, to try and make better use of currents and warmer water. They also meandered a bit. On a direct 'as-the-crow-flies' distance it would have been just over the 2000 km as you say.
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Old 06-03-2011, 17:25   #78
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pirate Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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I have a similar baseline - the Moresby. Winter. Northumberland Strait. 60° rolls. Priceless.
LOL... yup the Pellew taught me all I needed to know about sea sickness....
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Old 06-03-2011, 18:13   #79
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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It's interesting to note that Amundsen also sailed to Antarctica in secrecy, without the permission of the Norwegian government and the group that funded his voyage. His ostensible destination was the Arctic, but he changed plans to go after the South Pole. But Amundsen's expedition was remarkable for the meticulous planning and preparation, apparently in contrast to the "Berserks"
We do not know what Berserks' planning and preparation were and I would not jump to conclusions on contrast. Or else, you can take all my RTW sailing and say that compared to VOR all I did was unsafe, unprofessional and 'in contrast'. And, guess what, you will be "right".

Amundsen's expedition was a huge enterprise with huge financial backing. The scale is completely different: different times, different means, different possibilities.

Also, Amundsen did not change his plans. His plan was to go to the South Pole. He made the plan clear to others only at a stage when they could not interfere with the execution. As far as I remember correctly, both Nansen and the King fully approved of the plan and so did the sponsors.

If Amundsen had failed, many would have claimed he was 'in contrast'. I would not. You pursue your goals and you pay the price.

Freedom, the forgotten factor.

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Old 06-03-2011, 18:17   #80
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

BTW NZ claims the SAR cost them so much.

What about having a navy ship in a location thousands of miles from your home land, full of young studs who mostly do nothing, eat well, and get paid well. And when they can get some real life training and save a life we will hear 'it costs us so much'.

Or is NZ at war with Antarctica perhaps?

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Old 06-03-2011, 19:00   #81
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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I'd have to disagree on the statement that commercial mariners would not take on a greater measure of risk.
Sorry Nigel I hadn't seen your post earlier. As I said, it wasn't meant to diminish in any way the extraordinary efforts and bravery of the merchants who've gone into harm's way to help their fellow mariners; but there are very different circumstances at play. A laden bulker may simply not be able to contend with the seas that a frigate could handle; heavy icing is going to affect a fully-loaded containership with 18 crew more than a cutter with 130 crew; and say what you will, a captain will give serious thought to risking $100-million in cargo - at least if he wants to get hired again. I'm not saying they wouldn't try, just that where they draw the "serious danger" line will tend to be earlier, out of necessity.
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Old 06-03-2011, 19:52   #82
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

Hi Lodesman,

No offense taken, would say, except for lacking a helicopter and a speed of 40 kts (good weather), type of vessels I work on are very well equipped to render assistance in some atrocious weather, yet to meet a frigate that could hold a position within a few feet of a disabled vessel in 50+ kt winds and 30' seas, mine can.
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Old 06-03-2011, 20:45   #83
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

So, could someone tell me what safety rules he ignored - specifically.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:28   #84
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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I have a similar baseline - the Moresby. Winter. Northumberland Strait. 60° rolls. Priceless.
Was that a minesweeper? It looks tippy in flat water!
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:02   #85
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

For me the "serious danger" that I was willing to take would also depend on who was onboard my vessel. and onboard the other one........but basic premise would be that if I thought myself able to both reach them - and then return us all to safety..........and being prepared to take some risk that I was wrong on that judgement.........the better I knew the person(s) needing assistance the more risk I would likely be prepared to take. or less

FWIW spotted a couple of flares at the weekend and phoned it in, even though I was 99% certain it was not a distress call. But from my angle (I was ashore) couldn't be 100% certain they were fired from inland. and if not would have been a real sh#tty place to be in distress

And it wasn't a distress - only a demo (that the CG knew about in advance . and were collecting calls on ). I got a thankyou. not needed, but nice anyway.

Funnily enough I was sitting 20 yards from the RNLI Office - but CG was easier to contact by phone. and besides, I have some unresolved differences with that organisation since I saw them last year involved in some sort of ceremony on the harbour pier - with a bloke in a dress casting spells. and then some chanting ........more on how that all goes later
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:04   #86
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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So, could someone tell me what safety rules he ignored - specifically.
The list is very long.

You might want to read these two sources. . . The first, while a little old, is the starting point bible for yachts in the Antarctic. He essentially broke both ALL the rules and ALL the recommendations.

http://www.era.gs/resources/soc/SOC_web_v1.pdf

And this is the organization with general responsibility for overseeing the current rules and recommendations for visitors. Again, he followed none of this:
International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators

But his fundamental miscalculation about the seasons was his primary mistake. He was about 3 months too late. This happens to have been a VERY active weather season down there. In a more normal season his vessel might have survived, but the knowledgeable people really question his ability to survive the cold at this time of year on the trip to and from the pole. I believe you can see serious frostbite on his crew member's face after only two days outside. They all figure even if he had managed to make the pole he would have need extensive outside help and support to get back to his vessel.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:29   #87
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

According to an article on southpolestation.com, they were dropped off on the Ice on Feb 13th to attempt their traverse to the Pole. On Feb 15th, South Pole Station had their last flight of the summer. At that time the temperatures would have been around the cutoff limit for flights of minus 60 degrees F without windchill. It is also a time of year that storms tend to increase. When the adventurers made it back to the coast, they caught the last C17 flight of the year from Mcmurdo Station. They simply left it much too late. I feel sad for the loss of their crew and I applaud their bravery if not their planning.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:43   #88
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I applaud their bravery if not their planning.
Sorry mate.... Foolishness = Bravery..... Hmmmmmm
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Old 07-03-2011, 13:03   #89
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

"Since 1869, 151 rescuers have died in 39 mine accidents in the U.S. with 17 of those fatalities occurring in three accidents since 2000, according to statistics compiled by McGee's organization, based in Uniontown, Pa. The most recent involved three rescuers killed by a collapse at Utah's Crandall Canyon coal mine in August 2007, in a grim case that also involved fierce debate over whether additional lives should have been risked to save the trapped miners.
Of course, such life or death decisions aren't confined to mining accidents. Firefighters and other first responders on the scene of crises face choices on, for example, whether to rescue people in burning buildings." from Yahoo News Nevada mine death: Questions on called-off rescue - Yahoo! News

Mariners are not the only one faced with making agonizing decisions. The article also has some mine rescue professionals saying it would have been no big deal to rescue this guy. Also like Cruisers Forum there seems to be no shortage of second guessers.
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Old 07-03-2011, 13:07   #90
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Re: Heedless venture to Antarctica

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
The list is very long.

You might want to read these two sources. . . The first, while a little old, is the starting point bible for yachts in the Antarctic. He essentially broke both ALL the rules and ALL the recommendations.

http://www.era.gs/resources/soc/SOC_web_v1.pdf

And this is the organization with general responsibility for overseeing the current rules and recommendations for visitors. Again, he followed none of this:
International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators

But his fundamental miscalculation about the seasons was his primary mistake. He was about 3 months too late. This happens to have been a VERY active weather season down there. In a more normal season his vessel might have survived, but the knowledgeable people really question his ability to survive the cold at this time of year on the trip to and from the pole. I believe you can see serious frostbite on his crew member's face after only two days outside. They all figure even if he had managed to make the pole he would have need extensive outside help and support to get back to his vessel.

What? Did he take an unauthorised mineral sample? That entire document, (I just read it), aside from generalized warnings about Antartic weather, is about 40 pages of don't disturb the wildlife, or the research stations, or take any samples without permission. Permission from who?? the UN??? So I need Moammar Gadhafi's permission to take samples? (He is on several UN councils, I guess I better hurry).

I regret the loss, but they were grownups. Part of being adult is to accept responsibility for good and bad decisions, NOT to always make good ones. I personally wouldn't go the the Antartic that close to the storm season, but if they had made it, records for being the first person at the pole in winter is still up for grabs. Anyone who wishes to complain about their "lack of permission", should imediately file a complaint to the Nation of antartica's federal Government, ...What Antartica doesn't have one yet? I can just as well say you need MY permission to visit the moon. Oh wait the UN claims ownership of that also.

The time is coming when we will need permission of our own Government, plus the Gov'ts of every country you might be visiting, plus the destination Gov't, plus the UN and a dozen enviromental bodies to go anywhere, or do anything. Then someone will decide sailing is dangerous and has too big a carbon footprint, and then just stop giving out permits. Even though this voyage ended badly, I give them kudos for trying, and more for not waiting for permission to visit a non populated land.
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