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Old 09-06-2009, 13:47   #16
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I would have followed up with the Harbor Police to hear what they were told. If for no other reason than curiosity. A similar story recently related by a now retired Bar Pilot in San Francisco had a racing sailboat cut directly across his bow in the shipping channel. He said he had no chance of avoidance & expected to sink them. They were close enough for him to scream voice over the side. The end result: the sailboat skipper turned out to be a very well known boater & the Coast Guard fined him something in the neighborhood of $10,000. In that case, all sides were chattering to see just what had happened to ensure the mistake wasn't repeated.
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Old 09-06-2009, 19:56   #17
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I can't recall the date, but within the last year or two, a group of academic types were sunk while sailing their experimental craft in Asain waters. 12 of them ended up in the drink but without fatality.

They were crewing a non-metalic, non-plastic craft built of reeds or something like that so perhaps a lack of radar reflection was at fault.
Here's an article about ths incident (scroll down the page a bit): Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine

Apparently the vessel that was rammed (she was a replica Chinese junk) had been in contact with the ship to coordinate their crossing. After the ship rammed them, it slowed down and then took off without stopping to render aid. I am looking forward to hearing the eventual outcome of this story.
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Old 09-06-2009, 21:01   #18
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There is a long nautical tradition of "speaking" another ship at sea. Since part of my enjoyment of sailing is the tradition, when offshore I usually hail a passing ship on VHF. Sometimes get no reply but often have a nice chat. Like Paul I find crew on large ships as curious about small boats as I am about them.
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Old 09-06-2009, 21:28   #19
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But concerned to hear of someone being run down Maxing, possibly on purpose. What was that about do you know?
The Tayana was in the big empty between the Galapagos and the Marquesas. The ship deviated course toward the Tayana and just kept coming. I don't know the type of evasive maneuvers employed by the Tayana, but I'm sure he didn't just sit there and get run down. The sailor helming the yacht was a physician - a general surgeon. He was not the sort of person to sit idly by while disaster was getting ready to happen. After he was stuck, the ship steamed away, and he could not read the name of the vessel on the stern because it was in Greek.
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Old 09-06-2009, 22:00   #20
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I would think that ship crews who are that sadistic are a tiny minority. All the professional mariners that I know go out of their way to avoid small boats. To say or to imply that many of them are this sadistic is to falsely blanket label professional mariners. I think it would be a bad idea to avoid communicating with a ship who may not see you or not understand your passing intentions because of concerns about them possibly intentionally ramming you.

In the past I have called up yachts who seemed to be zig-zagging all over the place in order to figure out what their passing intentions are. If you think reaching a ship is difficult then try reaching a yacht from a ship. The vast majority of yachts do not monitor their VHF on either 16 or 13. Yes, I understand the pleasures of sailing because I am also a sailor, and not wanting to have to listen to the VHF chattering away. I have debated this in my head many times on a small boat, whether or not to monitor a squawky VHF with yachties discussing their personal lives on Ch 16 when I am trying to relax while out sailing.

How often have we met someone in a hallway and they step to your right as you are stepping to your right...and then you both go to the left at the same time together? This scenario with boats and ships happens quite frequently. This is why you should try to communicate with a ship before it becomes necessary for you to have make you collision avoidance maneuver. If all else fails, turn right. Its in the COLREG's

Boredom on a ship is pretty common. Most watch officers would love to chat in order to break up the monotony, provided they have the English skills. Some though might be so busy that they don't have time to answer a pleasure boat that they are going to clear anyways.

Always try Ch 13 first and then Ch 16. Yes, I understand that's the reverse of what you have been taught, but that's reality. Ships most commonly monitor and communicate to each other on Ch 13. Less professional crews might even put Ch 16 as a lower priority.

Overall, I think professional mariners are more ethical people and are more skilled than most pleasure boaters give them credit for. Like all professions, its the relatively few bad ones that make the news, blemishing the reputations of the good ones.

It might be time for pleasure boaters to start giving the good professional mariners some credit.
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Old 09-06-2009, 22:08   #21
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Old 10-06-2009, 00:13   #22
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The Tayana was in the big empty between the Galapagos and the Marquesas. The ship deviated course toward the Tayana and just kept coming. I don't know the type of evasive maneuvers employed by the Tayana, but I'm sure he didn't just sit there and get run down. The sailor helming the yacht was a physician - a general surgeon. He was not the sort of person to sit idly by while disaster was getting ready to happen. After he was stuck, the ship steamed away, and he could not read the name of the vessel on the stern because it was in Greek.
Ouch, that's nasty.

We had a case just off our coast a few years back where a ship ran down a cruiser and killed all but one crew, the mother, and then carried on. The ship was tracked down in Korea a bit later on. It berth in Akl but as they come and go quick no-one realised until after. The ships master said they never saw or felt anything. There was marks all over the bulb where the yacht hit. I think the skipper got the sack but no-one really owned up. And there seemed to be some questions over what, if any avoiding actions the yacht took.

I just can't see any ships captain making a deliberate call to mow another boat down but I can see how it could happen. All the more reason to get on the VHF if a big steelie is in the area and heading your way. Some yachts make very small visual targets and unless someone is watching the radar they could very easily never know you are there. And with some of them now crusing in the mid 30knot range the distance closes real quick.

We have a big Greenpeace boat sitting in the middle of the harbour at the moment so everyone is watching out for French flagged vessels, zodiacs and suspicious looking divers
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:31   #23
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......We have a big Greenpeace boat sitting in the middle of the harbour at the moment so everyone is watching out for French flagged vessels, zodiacs and suspicious looking divers
I am not sure if that is really funny but I got a laugh out of it .
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:41   #24
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...Then after knowing someone who was run down in a fairly deliberate manner by a ship, I decided that it was better to not hail a ship unless there was an emergency reason to do so.

...I figured that if I didn't hail them, they probably would not know that I was there, and that suited me just fine.

Ships sometime behave in a curious manner and they come over to have a look. At other times, they behave in an agressive manner that is a potential threat to my yacht.
Are you saying that if you try to hail a ship they might attack you? I'm sorry is anyone else picking up on this?
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:17   #25
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Homicidal Ships

Cruising is getting tougher & tougher. When will I get to sleep?
We all know that the locals are out to hack us up & steal our stuff, so have to stand armed night watch whilst at anchor in paradise.
Now I find that I have to stand continual watch at sea too, avoiding, or fighting off homicidal ship crews.
What type armament is recommended to defend against maniacal commercial shipping?
Is there no end to those things we must fear?
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:59   #26
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I am not sure if that is really funny but I got a laugh out of it .
Yes, you are probably quite right but sad to say, it is a bit isn't it.
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Is there no end to those things we must fear?
Spanish Flu, Asian flu, Bird flu, Swine Flu............. next maybe Tuna Flu?? That and crashing back to earth satellites
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:18   #27
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What type armament is recommended to defend against maniacal commercial shipping?
I find that Stingers are the most versitile armament. Works on everything from speedboats to commercial jets.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:42   #28
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Cruising is getting tougher & tougher. When will I get to sleep?
We all know that the locals are out to hack us up & steal our stuff, so have to stand armed night watch whilst at anchor in paradise.
Now I find that I have to stand continual watch at sea too, avoiding, or fighting off homicidal ship crews.
What type armament is recommended to defend against maniacal commercial shipping?
Is there no end to those things we must fear?
You forgot the Somali and Venezuelan pirates.

For pirates, I think a swivel-mount 50 caliber Browning Maching Gun would be just the ticket. For sneak boarders, 5,000 volt electrified lifelines. For homicidal ship crews, I don't know, what? Even a Mark 50 Lightweight Torpedo, which might not be enough against a large container ship, would take up an awful lot of deck space and be difficult to launch from a yacht.

Maybe sell the boat and stay at home better?
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:04   #29
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Something is odd about the medical doctor who was nearly run down by the Greek commercial ship.

I don't understand Greek lettering, either, but I would have copied the information off the stern of that ship just the same along with every other detail that I could see and then report it first chance.

As for pirates, I read an interesting post online a few days ago. One uninformed person, pretending to be wise, said there were no actual pirates throughout history, "just fishermen." The response to that post was that it was akin to claiming that there "was no mafia, just deli workers."

Another interesting example of pirating took place off of China about three years or four years ago. A commercial ship was boarded and EACH of the 16 or so crew members were murdered. Some in horrible, heinous manner. China tracked down the culprits and publically executed them sometime later. In China, they don't waste time listening to the sob stories Western Countries listen to. Word was that piracy along that stretch of area dropped significantly thereafter as word spread.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:53   #30
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Is there no end to those things we must fear?

I'm afraid not.


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