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Old 06-01-2007, 17:52   #46
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Originally Posted by cat man do
And what did happen to the boat that ran them down?

There was no injuries on the other vessel and the damage to his boat was about $5,000.

At first the Sea Ray owner claimed the cause of the collision was my fault. Something about my transom got in the way of his bow. That's when the Lawyers got involved.

I had to prove in an court of law that i was operating my vessel safely, and correctly. Let me tell you that a Court goes by the rules of road. 22 1/2 degrees abate the beam means just that in an court of law.

The owner of the Sea ray was cited by the Coast Guard for "negligent Operation."

He was also found liable by an New York court for the damages and injuries which at this time exceed $500,000. His insurance co. has appealed the jury verdict and we are awaiting the case to be heard by the Appellate Court.

It has been 3 1/2 years with no end in site but, we (my Wife, son and myself) are still sailing.

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Old 06-01-2007, 18:10   #47
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This entire thread and the links to it should be required reading in every sailing course!

Sailorny, I hope the end of this nightmare comes soon for you. Thankfully, you and your family are still with us.


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Old 06-01-2007, 18:30   #48
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Thank's for that Sailorny.

Glad you escaped relatively unscathed and tracked down the guy in the stinker.

Coming from a sail background you can all be assured that I will take into account the requirements of my fellow sailors.

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Old 07-01-2007, 05:37   #49
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I used to run a dive boat for 10 years off of Palm Beach so I used to make a living out of finding people in the water and getting them back in the boat daily , I would take out 6 divers at a time twice a day for a half day trips. In this area we have the Gulf Stream sometime bumping all the way to the beach with a current of up to 4 knots so your moving right along. One day After picking up my divers from a dive they needed about an hour of surface time before the next dive. I wanted to get in and get a few fish for the table , something I had never done up until then because I had no one I trusted with the wheel wile I was down, but today was a nice day.

My friend/mate who would come along and crew for me most weekends for a few years said he could handed the boat (this I was sure of I thought) so I & a buddy dropped in - we carryed a 2-300 ft line with a large red ball so the boat could follow the ball , and sometimes if the current was moving fast enough the ball would get sucked under once it was hooked up to the bottom as what happened in this instance, So my friend on the boat lost sight of the ball, only for a few moments (then it usually pops up again if you hold your position)

During this few moments my mate did not hold his position and started looking for the ball by moving the boat and looking in the wrong direction. And about the same time my buddy who was diving with me could not retrieve the ball line off the bottom so we left the ball line hooked to the bottom & came up, and the boat was only about 100 feet in front of us with 8 people onboard . The boat was facing away from us looking for the ball, so we blew our air horns and no one heard us, we could see everyone clearly enjoying themselves on board so we raised our sausages and no one saw us as we kept drifting away from the boat we were blowing the horns wile the boat was slowing motoring the opposite direction until the boat became very small a mile oe so out . And then we saw them turn the boat around and come toward us within a few hundred yards looking for us in good conditions bright sunny day and 8 people all looking could not see or hear us and turned again back up stream toward the ball and then came back again --then turned and eventully went out of sight completely.

We drifted for hours and at least a dozen boats past with in 100 feet of us not seeing us at all , even with our red sausages up and our air horns blaring. The coast guard had radioed an alert over the radio and was looking for us for hours and never found us. Then after 7 hours drifting and the sun was almost down a large sport fishing boat almost ran us down and saw us only after passing us, We both had the red sausage up and air horns blaring in bright sun all day in 4 foot seas. This in an area with about a hundred boats with in a mile of us at any given time. .
My mate who was running my boat at the time had a dozen years experience on the water (not as captain) All this and it we were lucky to be found. So it seems to me if you go overboard in less than perfect conditions its unlikely that you will be found alive . Air horns can only be heard if there’s no wind blowing or your down wind of the horn 300 feet at best, the 3 ft, red sauges are not much good you need the 5-6 foot ones that are yellow to be of any good.
And for me I have always had a good “feel” as to where to find the divers based on the speed of the current drift of the boat and my position at time of drop. So I may get lucky and be able to find my girl friend if she goes over, but Im certain she would not find me , no matter how long I drill her !
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Old 23-01-2007, 09:35   #50
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Originally Posted by cat man do
Or how about a helium filled signal orange balloon,on 20 ft of cord, atached to the inflatable vest of course.
Thats something I'd been thinking of - basically, a life jacket (or Batman utility belt) with three cylinders: One inflates the vest, Two inflates a helium balloon on a massive tether, and Three inflates a floating buoy on a stout 10 or 20m tether. In fact, you could package 2 & 3 in a bum-bag and don the lifevest under the same conditions you would normally.

The idea of cylinder two is so obvious I can't believe it's not on the market. And the third, well that allows the rescue boat to simply aim for the line like picking up a waterskier. You don't have to risk navigating a 5 ton boat - under power - beside an MOB, just cross the tether and use it to reel them in gently.

And of course, this should all include a Mobialert type MOB system.

It's almost like we're having the same discussions Ralph Nader had back in the 70's about seat belts and automobile safety. Our Beneteau is so full of limb damaging sharp edges and brain concussing objects below decks it's unbelievable. I rarely perform any maintenance task below decks without drawing blood. And the f***ng trim around the companionway is sharp enough to slice proscuitto. And it's no different than every other boat out there.

Every surface on a boat should be rounded to the point of minimizing injury. Those that can't should be padded using the same high tech materials used in dashboards. An automobile is built for a crash that probably won't happen. Whereas, sailboats commonly thrash you around like a washing machine and seem to be designed to bruise and draw blood.

Is it too much to ask for at least rounded corners?

BTW, this is a really good discussion.
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Old 23-01-2007, 13:54   #51

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Muskoka, 20 years ago you could buy a little "tuna" can with a self-inflating rescue marker ballon in it. Helium filled and then compressed into the can along with a tether. Dunno if they are still on the market but I suspect there's a reason they aren't.

Helium is almost as bad as hydrogen. That is, you can stick it in almost anything, even a welded stainless tube, and it leaks out right through the molecules of the container. Dunno how long a small cylinder of it would last.

Military personnel don't use balloons, they use smoke and flares. Yes, you can buy smoke flares that are the size of 35mm film cans (and larger) milspec rated for submersion and waterproofing in various colors. Typically a blaze orange one will get attention real fast, and they store well too.
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Old 23-01-2007, 14:13   #52
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Old 23-01-2007, 14:25   #53
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Tether Test

Practical Sailor just published an updated Tether test......Jan '07 issue pg 20
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Old 23-01-2007, 15:13   #54
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Originally Posted by colemj
Be honest now - what do you think your first mate would REALLY do?

I'm hoping against hope she'd stop.
She SAYS she would.

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Old 23-01-2007, 17:09   #55
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Another interesting thing is that many of these cases appear to have occurred in coastal waters, but lives could have been saved if the skipper and crew had taken precautions that many of us would only consider if going offshore.

On example: Properly rigged jackstays and tethers. I know a lot of people wouldn't think of fiddling with them save for an offshore passage. But once you've seen a crewmember saved by this simple and obvious precaution, you become a believer. My next boat will have jackstays and standing orders to use them regardless whether we're cruising coastal or offshore!
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Old 24-01-2007, 13:36   #56

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Falling overboard

Did anyone notice that the lions share of calls for assistance are from powerboats . Sailors take care of themselves far better. Powerboaters need nanies( and nappies changed )far more often.
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Old 24-01-2007, 13:39   #57

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Power boaters also leave the marina far less often. They spend most of their time chasing the money to operate their far more expensive boats, which leaves them far less opportunity to fall overboard.
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Old 28-01-2007, 04:11   #58
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Louis - like any segment of folk, there are always those that seem less competent - sailboaters included. This thread is doing very well in discussing some very serious things. I don't believe that trying to hash up the thread with 'powerboater vs. sailboater' is germane or in the same caliber as the rest of the posts.
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Old 28-01-2007, 14:25   #59
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I got two very clear messages from those stories: 1. don't waste time getting sails down and 2. don't put the engine in gear.
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Old 28-01-2007, 18:10   #60
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It is simple. If you fall over you are dead. Don't fall over.

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