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Old 30-04-2015, 04:53   #1
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Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

Last Evening a little after 1800 I heard a Mayday on the VHF reporting a man overboard about 2 miles off of Nassau. A USCG Helicopter responded to the Mayday but was over Great Abaco. There must have been unusual propagation on the VHF because the reported position was 60 nm from where I was anchored. The guy calling mayday reported the man overboard was the Captain and it took the crew(passengers?) about a mile to get the boat turned around. In any case I lost the signal about 2000 and no additional search assets had yet arrived on scene. A cruise ship was heading towards them and the USCG was enroute. Nassau Harbor control was occasionally talking to the boat but did not appear to be sending anyone out. I was wondering if anyone had heard if the captain was rescued or the search is continuing?
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Old 30-04-2015, 05:09   #2
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

Good news Nassau news just reported he was found by a USCG Dolphin helicopter and rescued.

http://www.topix.com/bs/nassau/2015/04/150429L9CS5S
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Old 30-04-2015, 05:15   #3
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

Coast Guard rescues captain who reportedly fell off yacht | Coast Guard News
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:24   #4
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

I wonder how they located him. I.e., did he have a PLB or handheld DSC radio clipped to himself -- or did the CG just find him visually by starting a search pattern at the MOB point given to them by the boat?

Usually CG press releases make a point of praising the rescued person if a PLB or EPIRB figured in their rescue.

I also wonder if he had a PFD on . . .
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:14   #5
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
I wonder how they located him. I.e., did he have a PLB or handheld DSC radio clipped to himself -- or did the CG just find him visually by starting a search pattern at the MOB point given to them by the boat?

Usually CG press releases make a point of praising the rescued person if a PLB or EPIRB figured in their rescue.

I also wonder if he had a PFD on . . .
He didn't by the time they got him into the rescue basket :-)

Wow, how lucky is that, when a CG helo returning from Great Inagua to Miami just happens to be passing by...

That's gotta take a bit of effort, to fall off a 95-foot yacht, in what appeared to be pretty placid conditions :-)
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:28   #6
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
That's gotta take a bit of effort, to fall off a 95-foot yacht, in what appeared to be pretty placid conditions :-)
Nothing hard about falling off a boat.
But wow was he lucky or what?
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Old 01-05-2015, 15:18   #7
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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He didn't by the time they got him into the rescue basket :-)
That's funny -- I missed the video first time around. Why, he was just in his skivvies. Maybe this one belongs over on the "falling in while peeing" thread.
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Old 01-05-2015, 15:35   #8
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

I wonder what he would say about the value of having a PFD with PLB or AIS unit on now?

He is indeed lucky. Very lucky.
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Old 01-05-2015, 15:49   #9
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

We were listening to the conversation between the first helicopter and the boat. They clearly stated that he had no pfd on when he went overboard and no one had thrown him a life ring or throwable preserver. The guy in the boat said the captain had gone to the stern to check out an issue with the engines when he fell overboard. I haven't exactly figured out why one would go to the stern of a 95ft MV to check on the engines, but maybe it was euphemism for taking a leak over the stern.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:55   #10
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

What role did Nassau Harbor and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force play in the rescue? Did they send any boats or other assistance to the rescue? Great job by the USCG. This duty is an excellent use of taxpayer dollars and gives due credit to the guardsmen.
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Old 02-05-2015, 17:17   #11
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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I wonder what he would say about the value of having a PFD with PLB or AIS unit on now?
I think that many on this forum would say that this is proof we don't need all those expensive safety devices. Swimming in our skivvies works just great.
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Old 02-05-2015, 18:54   #12
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
Last Evening a little after 1800 I heard a Mayday on the VHF reporting a man overboard about 2 miles off of Nassau. A USCG Helicopter responded to the Mayday but was over Great Abaco. There must have been unusual propagation on the VHF because the reported position was 60 nm from where I was anchored. The guy calling mayday reported the man overboard was the Captain and it took the crew(passengers?) about a mile to get the boat turned around. In any case I lost the signal about 2000 and no additional search assets had yet arrived on scene. A cruise ship was heading towards them and the USCG was enroute. Nassau Harbor control was occasionally talking to the boat but did not appear to be sending anyone out. I was wondering if anyone had heard if the captain was rescued or the search is continuing?
That (bolded part above) says something too.

Apparently, it was easier/faster for the USCG Helicopter to fly to the scene and then find the MOB, instead of his own yacht turning around and picking him up.

I don't know the conditions of the seas at the time of the rescue, but I do know it is very easy to "lose" a person (a man's head at water level) in ocean waves, even short waves, when seen from boat deck level.
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Old 02-05-2015, 19:07   #13
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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That (bolded part above) says something too.
I think what it says is that the 95' yacht CONTESSA is likely a charter yacht, with a flock of guests aboard who didn't have a clue... A motoryacht of that size might easily be operating with just a captain, a stewardess/chef, and maybe 1 deckhand...

Charter yachts catering to guests who can barely manage a Jet Ski, the Bahamas are jam-packed with them :-)


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Old 02-05-2015, 20:19   #14
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
That (bolded part above) says something too.

Apparently, it was easier/faster for the USCG Helicopter to fly to the scene and then find the MOB, instead of his own yacht turning around and picking him up.

I don't know the conditions of the seas at the time of the rescue, but I do know it is very easy to "lose" a person (a man's head at water level) in ocean waves, even short waves, when seen from boat deck level.
The yacht reported seas were 2-3 feet with weather clear below the overcast, with no rain or other restrictions to visibility. This was in response to a query from the first helicopter as to what the weather conditions were like on scene. Like I said previously, I lost reception about 2000 hours and no rescue assets had yet arrived on scene. A coast guard asset (I don't know if this was the second helicopter or a small boat) was trying to call the yacht but was having but the yacht appeared to be transmitting in the blind asking for help finding the guy and not answering the coast guard asset that was trying to talk to him. It was very shortly after this I lost reception. The Coast Guard transmissions were definitely clearer than the yacht which may have been because he was airborne, or maybe just a a more powerful transmitter. I was not under the impression that the yacht had not returned to the spot that the captain had fallen overboard. As motor yachts like these often travel at near 20 knots, it doesn't take a long tome to cover a mile. The guy on the radio stated he was in the process of turning around and following his gps track back the way they came in the very first conversation they had with the initial contact with the first USCG helicopter. I wasn't watching the clock closely but it seemed to take several minutes perhaps 5-10 before the USCG helicopter called their base in Miami and asked them to switch to 23a to request assistance. They seemed to go through the standard list of 20+ questions at a relatively slow rate before they called. In any case I would suppose that the exact position that the captain hit the water was a bit shaky. I would suppose a boat looking for a missing crewman would be proceeding at a relatively slow speed in the area they lost him to both allow for good scanning and to avoid accidentally running the guy over. It was clear that they had lost sight of the captain. In a boat that size I doubt that the helmsman saw him go over and it took some time to relay the information to the helm. I don't think that your bolding of the information I relayed adds anything to the discussion.
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Old 02-05-2015, 20:28   #15
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Re: Missing Skipper off Nassau Bahamas

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What role did Nassau Harbor and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force play in the rescue? Did they send any boats or other assistance to the rescue? Great job by the USCG. This duty is an excellent use of taxpayer dollars and gives due credit to the guardsmen.
I heard a few transmissions from Nassau Harbor control but none from RBDF or any other Bahamian asset such as BASRA. I also never heard Contessa answer any transmissions that I could not hear. Like I said, my position was 60 nm away from the reported position. The only Transmissions I heard were from the USCG, Nassau Harbor Control, and Contessa. I was frankly surprised I could hear anything but the helicopter. That doesn't mean Bahamian assets were not involved, I just never heard any.
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