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Old 06-10-2015, 22:28   #16
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

John,

I spent just under 10 years at sea and as such was never Captain but a Mate. So I was never in position to make "the" decision but speaking as a Mate I wouldn't head off in those forecast conditions. I've been in those conditions, everything and everyone is stressed, can lose containers overboard, and should you lose steerage or propulsion, your screwed. I don't want to second guess this Captain because I've had Captains that have gone for it and pulled it off. This was the part of the job that wasn't pleasant and scared me. This incident has brought up some bad memories.

This is why as a pleasure sailor I would never let a schedule dictate my passage decisions, because I want it boring and uneventful.
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Old 07-10-2015, 00:29   #17
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Quote:
Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post

Don't be so quick to judge others. If this is directed to me, and apparently it was, I am merely thinking out loud, trying to understand what happened.

As far as I can tell, nothing I said was pejorative. I made no judgements. I simply voiced some questions that I have had, especially as the souls lost were fellow mariners, and many lived just minutes from my current berth.

Are we okay???
Not directed at you but at this thread in general. I get a bit itchy scratchy when it gets to 'why didn't he do this...why did he do that'..? Who knows and we never will...
Talking about **why** she sank in those conditions is - I think - fair game, even before the inquiry comes up with results in a year or two.

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Old 07-10-2015, 07:00   #18
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Thanks and I'm sorry!

--- Thanks to those commercial mariners that choose to respond and enlighten the rest of us!



--- And, my apologies to everyone else, for not using a larger font, red text, etc. to better highlight my intention / the actual query that I have!
(it was not my intention to engage in arguments regarding what happened to El Faro, nor who/what is to blame, as there are threads for that!....But rather to get a better understanding of what the decision making is like for a captain of a commercial / merchant vessel heading offshore into poor weather, with a forecast of worsening weather / storm conditions)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Not wanting to get into arguments about "what caused" El Faro to sink / break apart, etc....I thought it better to start a new thread about the weather / weather forecasts, and the decision making of merchant vessel's captains...


Fair winds to all, and of course my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have perished.

John
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:32   #19
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

I just find it crazy all the "leave government out of it" types are now all over the CG to "investigate" this.

It really pretty simple, they sailed into a hurricane. It's my hope that not much money is spent on the investigation beyond some more searching for possible survivors.

As far as Rebel Heart goes, I was all over that. Pretty much the only person with recent experience sailing with young children. I had advise Eric via PM and email it would be an extremely trying experience to voyage to NZ with the babies. I had no idea his boat was so poorly prepared.

My wife and I had a fully found 43' ketch in 2009 and decided against the trip across the pacific. We had done it as a couple in 2004-2005 and new how demanding it could be for a young fit couple.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:50   #20
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

My thanks to John for a detailed analysis of the tragedy. I joined this forum to learn, and it seems to me that the post was written to generate a useful discussion. I see no disrespect to the aggrieved families. When we lost a pilot from my carrier based fighter squadron, one hoped that a thorough analysis, official and unofficial, might prevent another death. This event may influence my next go-no go decision.
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:58   #21
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

I find this thread a little distasteful. Two of the supposedly lost sailors went to Mass Maritime Academy in MA, one was a young lady. My daughter is a marine engineer, graduated from Mass Maritime, and is now 30 years old. She has sailed many times on cargo ships, in all sections of the world for a number of years. Every time my daughter went to sea we held our breath that a storm didn't come up, or a rouge wave out of no where didn't broadside her. She is currently working in China supervising the construction of a oil rig for 3 years, and she wants to get into maritime loss investigation after that.

A story like this hits really to close to home, and the maritime community is a tight knit group of people, and we are all suffering a tragic loss at the moment. I think it is a bit to early for arm chair captains to theorize what caused the death of these brave souls that go to sea to bring you most of the products you buy every day on the shelves from other countries. It may just be a game of drama for some of you...for others in here it is a matter of life, and death, of our loved ones.

Not trying to be a downer, just asking that you also look at this from the perspective of others who are suffering from news like this, and not make it a guessing game.
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:16   #22
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
. . . It really pretty simple, they sailed into a hurricane. It's my hope that not much money is spent on the investigation beyond some more searching for possible survivors. . .
It's never that simple

The pro mariners, including a number of people with decades of experience as masters, are hashing it out right now over on gcaptain. For anyone who wants a taste of how complicated it is.

I'm defending ka4wja's question here. It's interesting and relevant. I'm also on record for objecting to the choruses of "oh, what an idiot" which we always get on here when some accident is discussed, but in my opinion that is not what is happening here. For the most part at least.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:05   #23
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Captain-Avenger, et al,
Again...
Again, my apologies if some are offended by my question, it was NOT my intent!
(I actually do not see any insult / distaste in any of my words, but I DO sincerely apologize if some inferred this!)

And, in my opinion, the question that I'm hoping to get more answers to, is still a valid question from a seasoned amateur offshore mariner (looking for input / info / answers from professional, commercial mariners)

FYI, if you read any of my other posts, I think you'll see that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for professional mariners!!
And, that I've plied the hi-seas myself (as a pleasure boat sailor) for many decades...so, I'm far from an "armchair captain"...but...
But, I am an amateur / pleasure sailor, not a professional, commercial mariner....and that is why I asked the question ('cause I'm interested in learning about their decision making!)

Now, since I was the guy who originally posted this thread, I should probably try to clarify, again!
I was asking a question, of professional, commercial mariners, regarding their decision making about a voyage / route when faced with weather forecasts of heavy weather, and specifically when they have a forecast of worsening weather.

This was the very first paragraph that I wrote here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Not wanting to get into arguments about "what caused" El Faro to sink / break apart, etc....I thought it better to start a new thread about the weather / weather forecasts, and the decision making of merchant vessel's captains...
And, if you read all of what I wrote, you'll see that nowhere did I insult anyone, nor offer any armchair commentary, nor speculate as to why this happened, nor who/what was at fault, etc. et. etc.!!
And, I can assure you that this is NO game to me!
I've been boating/sailing my whole life...started as a kid in the mid-1960's cruising the Bahamas, etc. made my first Atlantic crossing in the late 70's, etc. and have spent many years sailing offshore....
This is no game, nor exercise in drama to me!
And, I've not "guessed" at anything here...I asked a question, and provided the facts that I have at hand which formed the basis for my question...
{is it possible that some are thinking of another thread??}

I'm truly sorry for this tragic loss, and as I wrote earlier, my thoughts and prayers are with the family / friends of those lost!!
And, never intended to upset anyone...

--- Rather, I asked a question...
--- I provided the facts that we have (as basis for my question)...
--- And, I explained my question by stating that the decision making here is vastly different than mine, when sailing offshore over the past decades...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain-Avenger View Post
I find this thread a little distasteful.
<snip>
I think it is a bit to early for arm chair captains to theorize what caused the death of these brave souls that go to sea to bring you most of the products you buy every day on the shelves from other countries. It may just be a game of drama for some of you...for others in here it is a matter of life, and death, of our loved ones.

Not trying to be a downer, just asking that you also look at this from the perspective of others who are suffering from news like this, and not make it a guessing game.
{is it possible that you're thinking of another thread here??? 'cause nowhere did I post anything like you're describing here!}



Fair winds...

John



P.S. I'm now regretting even asking this question here...
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:15   #24
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

I don't own an arm chair, but I have voyaged quite a bit in the tropics. Maybe your daughter should get a different profession if you're so worried about her. I can live with out the constant influx of crap coming on container ships from overseas. I hardly find keeping to a schedule worth the dozens of lives lost in this one incident. But if it's what they're willing to do form money maybe the government should stay totally out of it and they can sail whenever, wherever on ships as old as they want.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:26   #25
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

he did what he had to . he did what he could. he left port to a ts. only a ts. two days l AFTER leaving was c4. ok. his ship coul dhandle to c2 easily, c3 is borderline and c4 iff nothing goees wrong. so something went wrong. badly.
was not fault of captain. was not fault of crew. it was not ffault of shipping ompany.
] storms happen. not all behave as they shpoud. this one rapidly intensified in short order to become a solid c4, border c5. wow.
that was not fault of any human. the strom grew without them knowing how fast, i am sure they could feel it.
yes they sailed to a schedule, hell, they were primary provisioning boat for the islands. now no mas. ouch that is a hardship for all involved.. and the debris contsins somewhere, many containers, even tho only one was seen by uscg fly overs.
they all did what they could.
but even a 790 ft ship will roll fatally when it has water in bilge and no propulsion into a heavy sea..it is called broachung and fatal roll. done deal.
we can armchair sail it all week long, but storms have strength and they, crew and captain and shipping company, did what they could. no fault.
well, mebbe schedule, but the schedule was important to maintain a reputable shipping comnpany.
they were doing fine until loss of electrickery, then, as pumping the bilges of ingress, electrickery again failed and, was done deal when no power returned.
cannot keep a ship pointed into the seas and winds without power. there is not realitically time to deploy all the fanch dancy do this and do thats that yotties wannause. those drogues and parachute anchors take time to deploy. they dont work well with propellors in the way, either.
they did what they could until they couldnt.
they do not need bashing, as there was nothing they could have done, they did what was there to do. .
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:27   #26
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Maybe your daughter should get a different profession if you're so worried about her.
That's about as silly as anything I have read in here. She is 30 years old...she can choose whatever profession she wants...without her parents permission! That fact doesn't alter the fact that most responsible parents worry if their child has a dangerous profession, or at times is put in harms way. It goes with being a parent. Just because they no longer live under your roof doesn't mean you don't care if they live or die...I mean seriously.

I have always encouraged her to follow her passion, even if it means sleepless nights for her parents when she was on a ship in a major storm. I didn't raise her to live in a bottle, but rather to have both wings and roots.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:30   #27
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

The captain could not have known in advance that his power plant would quit. Last week, my wife and I were out in force 8 (not anywhere near the hurricane conditions the vessel in question was in), our engine alarm sounded and we shut down our power plant and sailed into the harbor 16 miles away. The same situation... We had no prior warning of a possible engine failure, and the winds in our area could have easily increased making our situation much worse.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:39   #28
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Again...
Again, my apologies if some are offended by my question, it was NOT my intent!
John, I was not offended by what you wrote. Unfortunately an innocent enough question can take on a life of it's own. Please, no more apologies from you...once was more than enough. Some of us, me included, are just a bit sensitive when in one quick swoop 33 from our community are lost at sea. We need some healing time before anybody starts placing any blame.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:50   #29
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

I have looked up the tracks and the forecasts and what the captain was doing seemed about right. Once their tracks converged he would probably have turned round; but the ship lost power and it seems the storm rolled right over them.

There will be probably a large official investigation into this most tragic event.

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Old 07-10-2015, 12:51   #30
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Re: Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decsion-making...

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............. Last week, my wife and I were out in force 8 (not anywhere near the hurricane conditions the vessel in question was in), our engine alarm sounded and we shut down our power plant and sailed into the harbor 16 miles away. ............
Did you determine the cause of the issue?
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