Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-08-2017, 18:02   #1
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 3,785
Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

3rd Boy Scout dies after sailboat strikes power line on lake

This is a terrible accident. It's hard to understand exactly what happened from media reports. If anyone has any details please help us fill in the blanks.
__________________

__________________
transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2017, 19:34   #2
Registered User
 
brownoarsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Round Bay, Severn River
Boat: Pearson 28-1
Posts: 1,229
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

As a former scout, I was very saddened to hear about this accident earlier as well.

Beach cat mast hit a low-hanging powerline and the charge killed three young scouts. A similar accident happened a year ago to a young sailor who was hand dollying his boat into its trailer space. Mast hit the line and the power line charge went to ground through his body.

I once dumped a dinghy mast during stepping when a wind gust came up and made it hard to handle, rather than risk a powerline impact. Now, I will only step on the beach to be farther from the powerline at the launch ramp.
__________________

__________________
brownoarsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2017, 19:40   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Paradise
Boat: Various
Posts: 2,201
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Here's a slightly more informative article.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/acci...nes-east-texas
__________________
BandB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 05:49   #4
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,879
Images: 6
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Sadly, we hear about accidents like this on an all-too-regular basis. One must remain absolutely diligent around any kind of overhead wires.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 06:11   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Paradise
Boat: Various
Posts: 2,201
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Sadly, we hear about accidents like this on an all-too-regular basis. One must remain absolutely diligent around any kind of overhead wires.
Still to be determined is the why of the low wire. Was it always low? I wouldn't think or would think they wouldn't have that boat there and allow it to go in that direction. Someone would have known. So, if it was just low at the time, then the why comes as the question. The rural electric company is working on that.
__________________
BandB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 08:55   #6
Registered User
 
bailsout's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Morro Bay, CA
Boat: Columbia Mark II 29'
Posts: 150
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

In 1980 my girlfriend, another guy friend of hers and I rented a Hobie cat on Lake Mead. She was at the helm and we were in the middle of a large cove scooting towards shore maybe a100 yards or so out. The very top of the mast hit those huge towered power lines. I was sitting on the rail and the charge blew me into the water. She was blown half way off the boat. The guy on the trampoline felt nothing. No one at the helm the wind pushed the boat off the power. He managed to pull her aboard and sail to the cove's shore where there were people. A boat went out to get me. I was told later by the paramedic from the helivac team that he found me with no respiration, no pulse. Whatever. I recovered fully except for burn scars, entry and exit. She suffered the same plus delayed spinalcord injury which has left her permanently palsied. The lake levels had never been so high and it had opened up new navigable water. She was looking at the lake's surface , not up. The power lines were intersected at their lowest point. We all wore life vests.
__________________
bailsout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 09:35   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Winnsboro, Texas
Boat: Catalina 30 MKII
Posts: 236
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Boat launch ramps a a potential trouble spot as they are "designed" for power boaters and don't seem to consider sailboats.

I was playing with a friend's AMF "Sunbird" last summer and seeing the boat launch ramps from afar, noticed a power line for the ramp lighting went right over the upper end of the ramp.

My preference would have been to step the mast on this trailerable day sailer before tying up the ramp in case other boaters came or went when I was fiddling with the rigging. Trying to step the mast with the boat floating would have been video material if not Impossible.

Likewise, had to unstep the mast after the boat was on the trailer but BEFORE pulling the trailer out of the water.

Makes those caution placards at the foot of the mast make sense.
__________________
ValiantV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 12:00   #8
Registered User
 
taxwizz's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 215
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

I find it "Shocking" (sorry) that the people that design and construct these ramps and power lines are ignorant of the dangers they are creating. It seems to me that there must be liability assessed against them for negligence.
__________________
taxwizz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 12:34   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Winnsboro, Texas
Boat: Catalina 30 MKII
Posts: 236
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Quote:
Originally Posted by taxwizz View Post
I find it "Shocking" (sorry) that the people that design and construct these ramps and power lines are ignorant of the dangers they are creating. It seems to me that there must be liability assessed against them for negligence.
The place I'm talking about is on a small lake on a small town. Folks around here are into bass fishing and prolly rarely see a "sailboat".

I would imagine the light fixture with the offending overhead power lines was probably​ added as an afterthought for fisherpeople who go out before the crack of dawn or come back after dark.

Ironically, in the case I'm referring to, they could have installed the light on the other side if the ramp and avoided the overhead hazard.

Checking out other lakes near us revealed similar hazardous installations.
__________________
ValiantV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 12:39   #10
Registered User
 
taxwizz's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 215
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValiantV View Post
The place I'm talking about is on a small lake on a small town. Folks around here are into bass fishing and prolly rarely see a "sailboat".

I would imagine the light fixture with the offending overhead power lines was probably​ added as an afterthought for fisherpeople who go out before the crack of dawn or come back after dark.

Ironically, in the case I'm referring to, they could have installed the light on the other side if the ramp and avoided the overhead hazard.

Checking out other lakes near us revealed similar hazardous installations.
YankeeLand is the land of lawsuits.

I am surprised that none have been launched....Yet.
__________________
taxwizz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 12:40   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Winnsboro, Texas
Boat: Catalina 30 MKII
Posts: 236
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Where this accident happened is pretty close to me - maybe 40-50 miles. The standards and codes for safety-related things like this are pretty rudimentary.

I don't know what the air draft of a Hobie Cat is, but I'll bet it's considerably higher than most bass boats or lake-sized recreational power boats. Activity on local lakes just isn't focused on sailing.
__________________
ValiantV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2017, 17:48   #12
Registered User
 
iSaint's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Boat: SOLD moving aboard something bigger soon
Posts: 202
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
A similar accident happened a year ago to a young sailor who was hand dollying his boat into its trailer space. Mast hit the line and the power line charge went to ground through his body.
This young man is now at home after months of grafts and healing. He lost three limbs. They are trying to get him healed and strong enough for prosthetics. I wouldn'be surprised at all to see him with his own paralympic boat in the future. His mind and his support is strong.

Lawsuits are pending against the yacht club and power company.
__________________

Rock Steady
iSaint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2017, 19:31   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Boat: FP Helia 44
Posts: 18
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Hobies switched from alum to composite tip masts back in the 80's I think - when someone was electrocuted at a boat ramp. Hobie Cat was sued and barely survived if I recall. All Hobie cats also have sticker warning on the mast but I am sure the Boy Scouts where unaware of the danger. I hope Hobie survives. Many lakes in Texas have power lines running across the lake. The power company and the lake authority should be held responsible.
__________________
Heliades is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 03:41   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,365
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Tragic, and like most boating accidents -- avoidable.

Friend of mine lost his arm from mid forearm down and his buddy was killed in a similar accident on a Hobie.

Hopefully, these accidents will serve as a reminder to others to be very cautious around power lines.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2017, 08:38   #15
Registered User
 
Tx J's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: South Texas
Boat: Newport 28 & Robalo 20
Posts: 363
Re: Tragedy strikes when sailboat hits low hanging power line

Hobie Cats have had these types of mishaps more than other boats simply because of their huge numbers (relative to other classes), and usage locations.

The air draft of a Hobie 16 is ~26', IIRC.

Hobie finally implemented a fleetwide recall/upgrade in the early-mid 1980's to refit all existing full aluminum masts to one with a "Comptip", in which aprx the upper third of the masts were a non-conductive composite.
The refit was free, and included all kinds of 'cautions'; the Hobie literature had always covered such dangers. IIRC, I had mine done while drystoraged at Dana Point, CA (while on a TDY).

I think this refit was in response to an early 1980's incident on SPI (South Padre Island, TX), in which two of the nicest people ever, both highly skilled long term competitive sailors, were killed.
They were dragging a Hobie 16 across a bayside beach near the old Queen Isabella causeway, then/now a fishing pier, near or after sunset, and the mast touched the main power line feed for SPI (coming from Port Isabel parallel to the QIC). A huge tragedy.
That beach area wasn't the usual location for SPI Hobiecatters, might have been a regatta, they were tired or distracted, who knows.
The usual Hobie place was what was called "Children's Beach" (and other cat or small sailboats, like BWhalers), which was just south of the Coast Guard station, and just around from the innermost portion of the North Brazos Santiago Pass Jetty structures (Dolphin Cove breakwater).
I had been there earlier that day, and was at home and just sat down with wife when the local news came on with some grainy video, it was like being hit with a bat.
__________________

__________________
Tx J is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, sail, sailboat

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
Tragedy Strikes. gilgsn General Sailing Forum 1218 29-02-2016 13:59


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:45.


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.