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Old 13-03-2011, 18:19   #1
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Challenge: You Are in Your Home Marina, and There's a Tsunami Warning . . .

There has been a tsunami warning and you've got 1 hour to save your boat...

At the risk of sounding insensitive, and considering the loss of life and and property that many people have suffered in the recent earthquake and tsunami I hesitate to post this, but I would really like to know what the experienced sailor would do.
I think many of us have seen the images and video posted on the news of the Japanese disaster and it has made me rethink my preparations for such a disaster, but I think it is an important scenario to consider.

Here is the full scenario;
You are at your home marina. Its early on a Saturday morning and you were planning a day of boat maintenance and a warning comes over the radio. There has been a major earthquake and a tsunami warning has been issued. The best guess it that the (possible) tsunami wave is one and one and half hours away. The estimate is a wave height between 1 and 3 meters high may hit. What do you do? What magnitude of tsunami would make you do something else? Assume it is with your current boat.

I'm very interested in hearing what you all have to say.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:29   #2
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

Pay the insurance premium using electronic banking.

Stay on high ground, unless you are absolutely certain you can get to deep water.

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Old 13-03-2011, 18:36   #3
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

In S E Fla. with a sailboat hull speed of 6 mph you can't get far enough of shore to get out of danger.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:37   #4
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

With only an hour and a half it's too late to save the boat and the family for a big wave and 3 meters ain't close. With an hour and a half for something more serious all the panic is going off the scale getting out is most important. You won't be the first to know about it.

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Pay the insurance premium using electronic banking.
Pay it on time and it's already done. Mine is due in a few weeks.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:40   #5
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

It's rather academic for me as I live four hours from where I keep my boat on a swinging mooring, which could probably handle a pretty good surge. If I was on the mooring I could drop it and be underway within minutes, but then it is a good 3-4 hours before I would be in deep water, so the best bet is to maybe extend the mooring painter and put out a couple of anchors and hope for the best.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:41   #6
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

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Pay [insurance] on time and it's already done. Mine is due in a few weeks.
Yep. Your scenario is pretty much what happened in Plimmerton, NZ following the Japanese earthquake.

Insurance was paid up.

So we just watched the marina out of the house's window (elevation > 200 feet).
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:46   #7
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

Ok, if an hour and a half is too short of time, how much time would you require to get to deep water where you've got a decent chance? Would you even try or, would you forget it, go to high ground, and let the chips fall where they may?
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:55   #8
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

Since my home marina is protected by the entrances at both ends of Vancouver Island and it would be hard to develop a sunami in the gulf islands here, I can only listen to the bad reports coming from other areas and pray that everyone is safe.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:55   #9
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

I can get into 40 metres of water in an hour, but why take the risk if fully insured?

The power of a 3 metre wave, perhaps standing up in shallow water, and almost certainly extremely turbulent and full of debris is a very frightening prospect.

What if the script for the radio broadcast was written half an hour (or so) ago?
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Old 13-03-2011, 19:02   #10
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

Like said above, unless you're in a small harbor right next to the open sea living aboard, 1-1/2 hours wouldn't give one enough time to do anything. And I think that was the case in most of the marinas that were hit. A lot of people live a long way from their boats and this time of year they may even be winterized.

Where I'm at (on the hard) the earth quake would be the worst.
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Old 13-03-2011, 19:07   #11
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

Many variables. Common sense would say go to high ground and watch, it is all replaceable stuff. If it was all I had, I am less than 20 minutes from 600+ ft of water where it would be safe and (only if it was all I had), I would head out of the marina immediately. A seaworthy boat in deep water would probably survive better than tied to a dock. I hope I never have to answer it for real as the "big one" is expected here some day. I now keep water, fuel and propane full all the time with lots of food aboard.
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Old 13-03-2011, 19:08   #12
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Toronto View Post
Here is the full scenario;
You are at your home marina. Its early on a Saturday morning and you were planning a day of boat maintenance and a warning comes over the radio. There has been a major earthquake and a tsunami warning has been issued. The best guess it that the (possible) tsunami wave is one and one and half hours away. The estimate is a wave height between 1 and 3 meters high may hit. What do you do? What magnitude of tsunami would make you do something else? .
In that exact scenario (I am on or near the boat, have an hour or so, and the wave will 'only' be 1-3m) I would leave the harbour ASAP. I can save the boat and there is not much I could do ashore.

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Originally Posted by Lancerbye View Post
Since my home marina is protected by the entrances at both ends of Vancouver Island and it would be hard to develop a sunami in the gulf islands here
You might be surprised . . . There was a tsunami down in Chile (1960) that emptied the Puerto Montt bay (+25' of water depth) and it is 'protected' in a similar way to the gulf islands.
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Old 13-03-2011, 19:17   #13
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

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I now keep water, fuel and propane full all the time with lots of food aboard.
Interesting variant in responses. We do this, primarily because there is a good chance a really 'big one' could destroy the house. In which case, if the marina is not affected badly , we can survive on the boat for a while.
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Old 13-03-2011, 19:19   #14
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

My motor has been winterized but on any given circumstance such as this given the time i would go to sea.....
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Old 13-03-2011, 19:22   #15
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Re: Challenge: You are in your home marina, and there is a tsunami warning...

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Originally Posted by roger.waite View Post
Interesting variant in responses. We do this, primarily because there is a good chance a really 'big one' could destroy the house. In which case, if the marina is not affected badly , we can survive on the boat for a while.

Same reason.
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