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Old 30-04-2018, 13:11   #1
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Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

An experienced yachtsman who runs a charter service went out Saturday. His boat was found Sunday morning with the engine running, navigation lights on, and no one on board. Weather conditions were favorable on the Upper Mississippi at Lake Pepin.

I was out on Sunday and there was a good deal of debris in the river including some relatively large floating logs. Draw your own conclusions

Wisconsin boater missing, sailboat found near Lake City | Local News | postbulletin.com
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Old 30-04-2018, 13:31   #2
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

Is the water cold ?
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Old 30-04-2018, 18:17   #3
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

Probably 40 degrees F. There was ice on the river a few weeks ago.
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Old 30-04-2018, 22:18   #4
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

Jammer, if the boat hit something partially submerged, particularly up-sun, he could have gone over, and not been able to swim very long and catch up to the boat.

Please note, this hypothesis is not intended as a troll, but as an offer of one possible scenario.

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Old 30-04-2018, 22:58   #5
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

We can only hope the explanation isn't as bad as seems likely.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:05   #6
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

The boat is a Catalina 30. The sailor has not been found. The search continues.

The individual who found the boat reported that the "guard rail" was damaged. According to the news media, the nearest USGS gauging station reported the water at 45 degrees F.

Authorities Continue Search for Missing Sailor on Mississippi River | KSTP.com

The news reports indicate that the weather was windy and the water was choppy the night of the accident. This isn't really true by 30' sailboat standards. The reporting reflects the point of view of the prevailing local boating and fishing culture, which is based on small boats that won't take any weather.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:16   #7
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

I hope he is well. I just hope that when I go is in similar fashion... not on he couch or hospital bed !!!!
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:29   #8
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

Lessons taken. The sailor is well known locally because he runs a charter service and takes couples and small groups out in a pair of 30' Catalinas. He also offers instruction and has for around 10 years.

Some social media posts have criticized him for not wearing a PFD routinely. I don't think it would have mattered. In 45 degree water, survival time is 1-3 hours (cite), not long enough for help to arrive under the circumstances.

Lake Pepin is long and narrow, 2 miles wide at the widest part. For a strong swimmer, it would be possible to swim to shore, but most people wouldn't last long enough in 45 degree water to make it. I don't think I could. If you've never been for a swim in water that cold, try it sometime.

A wetsuit or thermal immersion suit is the only thing that really helps. I wear a wetsuit when canoeing in cold water. I do not wear one when sailing. Maybe I should.

Not sure what the problem was with the lifelines. Maybe it was time to rebed the stanchions. An easily overlooked item of maintenance.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:39   #9
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

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Lessons taken. The sailor is well known locally because he runs a charter service and takes couples and small groups out in a pair of 30' Catalinas. He also offers instruction and has for around 10 years.

Some social media posts have criticized him for not wearing a PFD routinely. I don't think it would have mattered. In 45 degree water, survival time is 1-3 hours (cite), not long enough for help to arrive under the circumstances.

Lake Pepin is long and narrow, 2 miles wide at the widest part. For a strong swimmer, it would be possible to swim to shore, but most people wouldn't last long enough in 45 degree water to make it. I don't think I could. If you've never been for a swim in water that cold, try it sometime.

A wetsuit or thermal immersion suit is the only thing that really helps. I wear a wetsuit when canoeing in cold water. I do not wear one when sailing. Maybe I should.

Not sure what the problem was with the lifelines. Maybe it was time to rebed the stanchions. An easily overlooked item of maintenance.
If you are worried about going overboard, use a tether.

If you are worried about your family collecting life Insurance in a reasonable amount of time, wear your PFD.

Don't urinate over the side unless you are young and have good pressure!
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:47   #10
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

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I hope he is well. I just hope that when I go is in similar fashion... not on he couch or hospital bed !!!!
Woody Allen said he's not afraid of death, he just doesn't want to BE there when it happens.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:14   #11
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

Assuming safety is in range.

If you did fall into water that cold, are you better to swim fast and create warmth and be in the water for less time or swim at a steady pace and create less heat.

The answer seems straight forward but I wonder if you create more heat and, because of the greater temperature variation your body has relative to the water, you will loose heat more rapidly and may be worse off by swimming faster ?
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:24   #12
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

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Assuming safety is in range.

If you did fall into water that cold, are you better to swim fast and create warmth and be in the water for less time or swim at a steady pace and create less heat.

The answer seems straight forward but I wonder if you create more heat and, because of the greater temperature variation your body has relative to the water, you will loose heat more rapidly and may be worse off by swimming faster ?
Good question. A number of years ago 3 snowmobilers went off the ice into open water at night. Two drowned and one survived. The one that survived went right for the edge of the ice and got out. The other two tried to remove their boots first and didn't make it.


My sense is the heat transfer to the cold water by far overwhelms the bodies ability to make heat so the difference in internal heating from moderate to extreme exertion is negligible. Some benefit is reported for reducing convection by remaining motionless and keeping the warming water trapped near the skin. Time is of the essence when immersed in cold water.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:29   #13
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

A good friend of mine often ferries small aircraft over the North Atlantic from the US to Europe.
John will not wear the required survival suit, he feels it would only add a few hours of misery to the eventual end.

Im not abdicating anything similar, but understand the thought process.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:32   #14
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Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

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Assuming safety is in range.



If you did fall into water that cold, are you better to swim fast and create warmth and be in the water for less time or swim at a steady pace and create less heat.



The answer seems straight forward but I wonder if you create more heat and, because of the greater temperature variation your body has relative to the water, you will loose heat more rapidly and may be worse off by swimming faster ?


Or maybe try to ball up and not move?
Id assume creating heat will have you in hypothermia faster as you lose what energy you had?
Moving through the water continues to move cold water over you removing heat? Maybe reducing surface area and just floating, may make you last longer?
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:56   #15
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Re: Yachtsman missing after unattended boat washes up on shore -- Mississippi

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Or maybe try to ball up and not move?
Id assume creating heat will have you in hypothermia faster as you lose what energy you had?
Moving through the water continues to move cold water over you removing heat? Maybe reducing surface area and just floating, may make you last longer?
Per the link below, and other credible sources, swimming actually reduces survival time...unless of course it gets you VERY quickly to an exit point.

http://www.ussartf.org/cold_water_survival.htm
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