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Old 06-01-2013, 18:18   #1
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Sink an abandoned boat?

A question that I hope never to need the answer to.....but it came up in a discussion recently while we were talking about recent rescues in the Pacific. It seemed that of the most recent rescues the boats were left floating and on their own.

I seem to remember from my European insurance that they recommended sinking any boat you were abandoning since they would still be liable for any damage it caused if hit by another boat.

I would hate to have to sink our boat but I sure hope we never hit a unlighted boat at night!

Any idea what the laws/rules/recommendations are?

This is a depressing question……………maybe I should change it to: What’s your favorite beer in the South Pacific?
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Old 06-01-2013, 19:11   #2
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Sink it.

But then what is your insurance company going to say when you say you sank your own yacht? They gunna pay out still?

It may not be as easy to sink in an emergency as we think. Sitting in some emergency in bad weather ship pulls up to take you off.... You have time to quickly undo 2 hose clamps and pry a hose off? Or do you think, what if the ship backs off?

Anyway, I won't be getting off mine if she's still afloat if I have anything to do with it.

If its someone else's boat you find adrift then you salvage it if there's value to it. Or sink it.
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Old 06-01-2013, 19:11   #3
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

I think this is an excellent question. I am also very interested to hear what folks have to say. You may include "adrift" in the title as well. When I first saw this post I thought someone was considering sinking an abandoned boat --- near a shore perhaps just to get rid of it.
As if I didn't have enough to worry about on long passages...now I'll worry about hitting an abandoned boat. I never even thought of this before now.
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Old 06-01-2013, 19:18   #4
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Not an issue I'd ever consider, as I've always felt that in an emergency , I'll only climb UP into a lifeboat and not down into one.
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Old 06-01-2013, 19:34   #5
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

I do know that plastics are not allowed to be dumped anywhere in the ocean as per international maritime law. Since frp is plastic.....
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:01   #6
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Not trying to be contrary or anything but....you can "plan" to step up into a life raft or rescue vessel but you can't really foresee every situation. There could be situations where you have to abandon your perfectly good vessel. (e.g. you have amedical emergency of some sort and a helicoptor or ship arrives to transport you to care). There are millions of scenarios.
Also, MARPOL violations?? Again not trying to be a jerk here but...marine pollution or hazard to navigation. Kill fish or kill people?
I personally don't know. I can't say for sure what I would do. If anyone has a logical explanation of the correct course of action I would love to hear it.
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:10   #7
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

I guess it would depend on all sorts of circumstances (i.e. How far from shore, condition of vessel, etc.

If it's 50 or a 100 miles from shore and in perfect condition; NO i would not sink it.

In the middle of the Atalntic, Pacific, Indian Ocean, etc..; YES

200 miles from shore taking on water or severely damaged, drifting further to sea; YES

I could do this all day. It depends on the scenario. I think the biggest factor is whether you have a reasonable chance of recovering your boat and what hazard will it cause to other vessels.

Just my 2 cents. Can't wait to hear others.
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:20   #8
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

If the boats not already sinking you shouldnt be getting off it.

Multiple abandoned vessels have been found bobbing around the ocean days-weeks-months after the crew have been "rescued". The general anecdotes that precede these abandonments are related Bad Weather and Scared Crew. Panic and fear set in and the crew abandon out of fear, rather than actual danger.

Of course there are variables. Say two injured people on a two person boat. In which case, the vessel should probably be scuttled for the sake of other vessels. Or at the very least a Securite call put out until the vessel can be retrieved.
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:37   #9
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
If the boats not already sinking you shouldnt be getting off it.

Multiple abandoned vessels have been found bobbing around the ocean days-weeks-months after the crew have been "rescued". The general anecdotes that precede these abandonments are related Bad Weather and Scared Crew. Panic and fear set in and the crew abandon out of fear, rather than actual danger.

Of course there are variables. Say two injured people on a two person boat. In which case, the vessel should probably be scuttled for the sake of other vessels. Or at the very least a Securite call put out until the vessel can be retrieved.
I agree
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:46   #10
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

I wonder if the Coast Guard (US? Spanish?), when they recommended abandoning this ship a couple of weeks ago suggested sealing it up water tight? That would take as much time as opening thru-hulls.
"
Abandoned Yacht last seen 700 miles WSW of the Canary Islands.
This yacht is possibly a shipping hazard as when is was abandoned it was in a water tight condition
The yacht, S/V Freewind, is a 55 foot ketch rigged sailing vessel. She suffered a total steering system failure during her trans-Atlantic passage and after consultation with the Coast Guard, it was decided to abandon her. She was abandoned late on Dec 26, 2012. The last known position was N 22 18.2 W 026 45.4 some 700 miles WSW of the Canary Islands.
Before abandoning her, Freewind had been sealed against water ingress."
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Old 06-01-2013, 21:02   #11
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

I'd like to find it.
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Old 06-01-2013, 21:16   #12
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Indeed. A sailboat with no rudder might still be sailed. Most boats can be made to self steer on a reach, using the sails. Some abandoned boats would be good finds. Only problem is, if you salvage the derelict, who is gonna sail YOUR boat? Towing might be an option, though, if you have enough wind, or enough fuel.

Some boats simply won't sink. Don't waste your time trying to sink a McGregor 26, for instance.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:31   #13
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

My main concern would be a last minute hitch with my rescue! Helicopter goes home / ship backs off......and me is now sitting on a sinking boat.

I personally would not be greatly concerned about creating a hazard to others - for a ship it is not a problem, for other yachts it is down to them to keep a lookout and perhaps even listen to a Securité warning! If you leave the hatches open soon enough she will sink as she fills with water (and self destructs). Inshore would be more of a hazard, but a lot more chance of salvage - whether by me or someone else.

and my concern would not be about the fish.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:57   #14
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Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
It may not be as easy to sink in an emergency as we think. Sitting in some emergency in bad weather ship pulls up to take you off.... You have time to quickly undo 2 hose clamps and pry a hose off? Or do you think, what if the ship backs off?
I have no opinion on scuttling the boat, but there's no need to take off hose clamps. A sharp knife would do the job very quickly.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:19   #15
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pirate Re: Sink an abandoned boat?

Most rescuers in my experience prefer to pick you up out of your liferaft or dinghy... unless they intend to take her in tow or on deck weather permiting...
so scuttling your boat as you abandon her is perfectly viable..
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