Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-05-2014, 03:04   #16
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

My only story is the one that has led me twenty years later to finally get a sail boat.

During the nineties I was a cop stationed at a costal town with an aluminium catamaran which we used for fishing patrols and rescues. I can't recall how the call came about but assistance was requested for a sail boat that had two elderly persons on board who had just come through a patch of bad weather in bass strait. We weren't sure of the actual problem as we were told the vessel was in good order and they were close to tenth island.

So a couple hours later we were with them. I can't remember how I got on board but I do remember my only crew couldn't swim so he stayed to operate our cat and I boarded the yacht and attached a tow line. We then started an ardenous slow trip back to our river which took us about six hours because we could only tow it slowly. I had no idea how to sail and the couple weren't up to showing me.

On board I discovered the 'very' elderly couple have sailed from Canada and were meeting up with their grand children who live in a little sea side town here called Bridport. They were both exhausted after battling heavy weather coming down the coast from Sydney.

They made me lunch and showed me around their yacht. Now I was used to the thumping of a cat over the waves and the noise of the twin outboards. What I was so amazed at was the comfortable ride on a sail boat. My partner was having a terrible slog in the police vessel, but I was in relative comfort, warm, fed and lots of conversation. I'd only ever known motor vessels. Now I wanted a sail boat.

I left the police force in 2000. In 2009 I went on a sailing course in sydney called a competent crew certificate, hoping to learn the basics. At the end of the year my wife, daughter and I hired a yacht in the tropical whitsundays to see what it would be like. I was sold. I spent a year looking for a boat and finally found a suitable cruiser in South Australia in 2011. In September that year my eldest son and I went up and got it and brought it down on a ten day trip.

So, that rescue led to me getting into sailing.
__________________

__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2014, 03:21   #17
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I think I can safely say everyone knows my details.
I hope there is a book in the pipe line?

__________________

__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2014, 18:02   #18
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
I hope there is a book in the pipe line?

Maybe at some point. We've been hustling pretty hard just to get basic life reestablished. With that and two little kids it's hard to find the hours to type.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2014, 18:25   #19
Registered User
 
mbianka's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,125
Images: 1
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

I was heading up the East River in New York City heading for Hell Gate and Long Island Sound in my previous boat a Bristol 24. When I hear some yelling from a 45 foot sloop heading down steam. It looked like they needed some kind of help so I headed over to them. They had no power and could not start the engines. I gather there was a woman down below who was also not having a good day. I was not sure how much help I could be with my 9.9 Yamaha outboard in the swift current but, I said I would try. We hooked up a tow line and I was able to tow them over to a dock at the 23rd Street marina which is used for Sea planes. They were able to tie up with a pissed off dock master yelling as I headed off to resume my transit.

Lesson is keep your eyes and ears open not all pleas for help are going to come over the radio.
__________________
Capt. Mike
mbianka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2014, 19:51   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Australia
Boat: 21 ft sail boat
Posts: 347
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

My case is similar in that my outboard conked out and I was draggin my anchor to a rock wall, but held fast just in time. Half an hour later got the motor going and tried to dock with it running at a fast speed. When I put the motor in reverse it did not lock and the prop swung out of the water. Bumped hard into the jetty and crushed some fibreglass under the rub strip. That prompted me to start some anchor threads with resulting many enjoyable posts.
__________________
Adventurebound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2014, 17:11   #21
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

When I purchased my boat from Adelaide in South Australia in September 2011, we entered Bass Strait in quite choppy seas. I'd had very limited sailing experience which consisted of just a Whitsunday's fortnight cruise the year before. My navigation and weather experience was better as I'm a pilot as well. But the 'salesmanship' experience was wanting.

Anyway, I knew well enough to stay off the windward shore of King Island especially in a blow, so we threaded her through the notorious Northern Strait about ten miles off King and when we got around the corner found it was blowing too much for me with my experience to get it back into King Island, at a guess somewhere in the late 30's and seas were about 2 meters which is fairly common for this area. Then to make matters worse I accidentally melted the sea cock trying to start the engine without the sea cock on. So we had no engine. We purposely headed out into the Strait proper to wait out the bad weather for a couple of days. Then we headed strait for home in the Tamar River.

ON approaching the Tamar the seas had reduced but the wind remained high at a guess late twenty's early thirties. I'd asked via phone from local police if they could send their launch out to assist to tow us in the Tamar River. Being a former coppa myself who used to run this launch I thought maybe they would accommodate a former colleague, but for whatever reason they instead enlisted the local voluntary sea rescue service and they came out the heads in their large wooden vessel. They tried to throw a tow rope to us but it was something like 50mm or bigger in diameter and neither I nor my son could lift it onto the boat. And I didn't know I had a long suitable tow rope on the vessel I could have sent them.

So, we ended up sailing it right up the Tamar to George Town which was quite easily done in the end. But in George Town the volunteer rescue guys who I left to their recommendation pulled us along side to get us to dock. Not waiting for fenders, they smashed about 2.5 meters of my hull paintwork, putting a dent in the side and even smashing the fairing layers. Doh! All in a days work for them.

What did I learn:

Firstly don't head to sea without knowing first hand if the vessel is sea worthy. Mine was definitely not. Because I purchased the vessel in another state, I relied on a survey which was not worth the piece of paper it was written on.

Secondly, make a habit of turning sea cock on and leaving it on for the voyage so I don't accidentally melt the sea cock in future or damage the engine. I've purchased an alarm to add to the raw water inlet for future.

Lastly, even when being assisted (not really rescued) maintain control of what is happening with my vessel and don't let them just do whatever they like.
__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2014, 18:30   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Australia
Boat: 21 ft sail boat
Posts: 347
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Sometimes you don't have the luxury of learning from your mistakes.
__________________
Adventurebound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2014, 18:58   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: big bend florida
Posts: 177
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Operating for many years in the Territory of The U. S. Virgin Islands we quickly learned that Coast Guard was over one hundred miles away so most emergencies were handled by local boaters , charter skippers , ferry operators and dive operators .
My dive boat was the command or control boat many , many times each year . My VHF radio had one of the best signals in the area , plus my business monitored several radio channels 24/7 .
Me and my 15 year old first mate were primary in swimming rescues , body recovery , fires on boats , boats that had drug away from anchorages , pulling people off wings of floating aircraft , you name it we did it .
We had an airplane , at night floating in the West Gregory Channel , a 65 foot steel ketch in West End , Tortola , on fire with 7 souls aboard . Me and Josh recovered the bodies of three nine year old boys who had drowned off the east end STT.
This was all in the mid-70s to 1990 . What you learned was who in your crew to depend on . Most times the people that you were trying to help were hampering your rescue attempts . An example , we were called by Coast guard San Juan Comm center to respond to a fire in West End , Tortola . We saw the fire , charged our fire hose , rigged lines to tie up beside the Italian yacht . We pulled up , Josh handed a bow line and a stern line to their crew and then Josh stepped aboard with the fire hose . Both of their crew dropped the bow and stern lines and attempted to take the hose from Josh . Of course my boat started drifting off and their crew were trying to hold my boat with the fire hose , gonna tear it out of the bilge . I am on fly bridge , I throw the switch cutting current to pump clutch , shutting off the water . Josh jumps back aboard and recovers all lines . We do a circle , supervise a proper tie up , and then put out the fire . Turns out no one aboard spoke English or American .
Once four miles off Cane Garden Bay we spied an overturned Sunfish with a 50 year or so lady hanging on , we pulled up and she kept saying ," go get my daughter ,my little girl is out there ".She fought us but we finally got her aboard and went looking for her ' little girl ', we found her , she was 25 Y.O, and weighed 250 , took all of us to get her aboard .
When doing a rescue always assume that your subject will be of little or no help .
__________________
pistarckle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2014, 19:01   #24
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,895
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
Lastly, even when being assisted (not really rescued) maintain control of what is happening with my vessel and don't let them just do whatever they like.
Best advice I have read so far. Often your "rescuers" are your biggest danger.
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2014, 19:59   #25
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

"Me and Josh recovered the bodies of three nine year old boys who had drowned off the east end STT."

I hope there's been no lasting trauma to you or your son. Many years ago I had to recover the body of a 4 year old who had drowned on a farm dam. To this day, almost twenty years later, when I think about it (as I am now writing this) I can only see flashes of my own son at that age. Very occassionally now I'll still suddenly wake up in the middle of the night when for some reason it's entered my mind.

Thank you for your's and your son's service.
__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 06:44   #26
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,895
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Quote:
Originally Posted by pistarckle View Post
When doing a rescue always assume that your subject will be of little or no help .
Ironically I agree with this as well as Ted's concerns about excited rescuers

It all boils down to establishing communication and assessing capabilities between the mayday boat and the good Samaritan.

Unfortunately it is a judgement call and unless their is imminent danger, best to slow the rescue down at first and agree on a plan.
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 07:40   #27
Registered User
 
appick's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Boat: 1973 Easterly 36
Posts: 446
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

When I was 17yo on my first boat a Solcat 18 I was out with a friend. When launching I'd handed him a pair of pliers and told him to put the drain plugs in good and tight as they tended to leak unless you tweaked them a bit with the pliers. I went off to rig the rest of the boat.

We launch and sailed down the channel, only to get to the end and the 3-5ft waves. I start noticing the port hull seems low in the water... I ask my friend if he put the plugs in tight and I get an ambigous reply, so not good. We couldn't tack or gybe because every time we tried to start the turn off the wind the boat just stopped. We wouldn't sink because there was floatation in the hulls but we sure were close to capsizing.

Using the air horn we summon over a power boat. He pulls up and crossed our bow about 10ft away in 5 foot waves... So after we redecorated his gelcoat I waved him off as I didn't want to beat in his hull with my bow. I jumped in the water and swam and pushed the bow around to get it pointed at the beach. Finally shooing swimmers out of the way we beached it and drained the hull and then put the drain plug back in with the pliers this time...
__________________
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." Antoine de
appick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 07:51   #28
Registered User
 
mbianka's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,125
Images: 1
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Ironically I agree with this as well as Ted's concerns about excited rescuers

It all boils down to establishing communication and assessing capabilities between the mayday boat and the good Samaritan.

Unfortunately it is a judgement call and unless their is imminent danger, best to slow the rescue down at first and agree on a plan.
Good advice. There was a boat that came to rescue a couple here on Long Island a few years ago. Unfortunately, the good samaritan in the rush to rescue ran over one of the people in the water and killed her with the boats spinning prop. Very sad outcome that could been prevented by slowing things down and assessing the situation.
__________________
Capt. Mike
mbianka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 10:52   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: big bend florida
Posts: 177
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

As far as lasting trauma goes , I guess I was the lucky one . I just stayed on top
[ flybridge ] and pretended that I was the boss . Them youngsters tried the CPR while I headed to Red Hook and the ambulance .
__________________
pistarckle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 11:41   #30
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,962
Re: Rescue experiences and lessons

Quote:
Originally Posted by pistarckle View Post
As far as lasting trauma goes , I guess I was the lucky one . I just stayed on top
[ flybridge ] and pretended that I was the boss . Them youngsters tried the CPR while I headed to Red Hook and the ambulance .
We all cope differently. I've assisted in a few body recoveries up close and personal, even one of someone very close to me. While not pleasant memories, they don't haunt me.

For me, recovering the body of a loved one was actually good -- definate closure. I realize I'm probably in the minority on that one. The hours before we found the body were much worse. If we had not found the body, that would likely trouble me to this day. Must be tough for those who lose someone and never really know for sure.

Helped with the recovery of a diver's body once. Returned him to the boat where his fiance was waiting...not pleasant. In retrospect though, having now had a simlar experience, it was probably best we found him, image how much longer recovery would likely have been for her not knowing for sure.
__________________

__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
enc, rescue

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are There Any Ship Accidents That Rescue Teams Were Not Effective To Rescue People ? lora20035 Challenges 3 31-03-2012 11:20
Second Sail, and My Lessons Learned BubbleHeadMd Seamanship & Boat Handling 36 21-01-2010 14:01
Lessons from a Beer Can and a Sail schoonerdog Multihull Sailboats 5 05-07-2009 10:15
BVI Sailing Lessons and Cheap Flights from the US - Any Reccomendations ? mjcarey General Sailing Forum 6 15-01-2009 09:36
Great Sail, Great Gale, a Little Carnage and Lessons Learned CharlieCobra Seamanship & Boat Handling 7 08-12-2007 18:05



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:49.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.