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Old 25-11-2014, 15:27   #16
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

Island Yachts out of Red Hook has a blue hulled IP 485 named Aurora available for bareboat charter. That would be my guess.
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:48   #17
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

I was bringing a cat down from Florida and heard both the mob mayday and the pan-pan from the coastguard about the boat which ran aground.

As has been said, the South side can be as rough or rougher than the North shore - it was certainly extremely lumpy out there - and was for most of the 10 day trip down!
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Old 26-11-2014, 08:07   #18
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

A......

HALYARD????

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Old 26-11-2014, 12:58   #19
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

The bareboat had their MOB picked up by another person in a power boat. I recognized the voice of the same man calling a charter base requesting to return shortly after the incident.
I was sailing to windward approximately 4 miles to the east at the time about even with Cooper. The call to the CG said they were having a difficult time getting "back to the MOB", not recovering. I was trying to figure that out. It was blowing in the mid 20s with 3-5' seas. Not ideal conditions but certainly not so challenging that one should have had a hard time retrieving a MOB on a typical charter boat. Oh well. Glad no lives were lost and the MOB was quickly recovered.
I heard the CG ask about the dinghy too.


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Old 26-11-2014, 13:34   #20
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

HappyMdRSailor,

In my simple minded way, I attribute it to land lubberism. People are not used to respecting weather as possibly life-threatening unless it's blizzards or named storms. They just don't get it.

Who's gonna teach all the charters to make up lines and to check for lines before starting engine? The whole concept of having to use the engine to get you out of trouble is a land lubber thing, too, IMO. The poor guys often don't have a clue, and never had the experiences of *stuff* going wrong that seasoned sailors have to draw upon.

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Old 26-11-2014, 14:05   #21
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

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I wonder what that other thread saying you should not call "Mayday" would have done? Send smoke signals?


Burning barrels of tar?
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Old 26-11-2014, 16:00   #22
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

Kind of heartbreaking to see the boat coming apart

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Old 27-11-2014, 11:04   #23
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

"A quite experienced captain" hit the rocks in 3-5 foot seas? Charts? Safe proximity to land? A full crew? The prop was wrapped with a halyard? Did the vessel have working sails? Did they know how to use them? Was there a proper lookout? Good visibility? Well, you don't need to be competent to charter a vessel in the Virgins as is attested in this case. And, if you get in trouble, just call the Coast Guard. After all, that's why we're paying taxes, right? I'm sure there will be a reasonable explanation that will make their actions justified. After all, in our politically correct world there's no such thing as personal responsibility. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 27-11-2014, 11:18   #24
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

I guess those being so critical have never made a mistake? Plenty of licensed experienced captain's have made worse mistakes on much more expensive vessels.. Unfortunately in some cases there isn't a lot of room for error.

Apparently a line went overboard and got wrapped in the prop and rudder causing loss of steering and propulsion. Clearly the Captain's error, but everyone can make a mistake. I'm sure plenty here have had a line caught in a prop before.
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Old 27-11-2014, 11:24   #25
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

Maytrix I started writing a very similar reply but deleted it. My reply wasn't nearly as "friendly" as yours.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Old 27-11-2014, 13:01   #26
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

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Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
I guess those being so critical have never made a mistake? Plenty of licensed experienced captain's have made worse mistakes on much more expensive vessels.. Unfortunately in some cases there isn't a lot of room for error.

Apparently a line went overboard and got wrapped in the prop and rudder causing loss of steering and propulsion. Clearly the Captain's error, but everyone can make a mistake. I'm sure plenty here have had a line caught in a prop before.
Maytrix,
This is not about a "mistake." It is about multiple mistakes that apparently led to this disaster. I thought that was abundantly clear from my above response. If the captain/ helmsman kept a safe distance from the shore, maintained a proper lookout, had his sails properly trimmed or if motoring had them ready to hoist and knew exactly where he was by a plotted position(not a picture on a screen), he would have had ample time to free the halyard wrapped on his prop while underway or, in a worst case scenario, sail the vessel to a safe anchorage and remove it there. For those of you who have sailed the Virgins on a charter or your own vessel, you know what a circus the passages and anchorages become on a regular basis. There are few places in the Caribbean that regularly host so many novice/unqualified captains and crews. We all make errors on occasion but they only become critical when safe practices of seamanship are not practiced. No one who has sailed any distance, on this Forum, can say they have never made mistakes but it is the gravity of the mistake that separates those who practice safe seamanship and those who do not. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 27-11-2014, 17:52   #27
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

I know that area well. HUGE rollers come in from the south on many days. The currents in that particular location can run at 2-3 knots. I could see why they would have trouble keeping off that lee shore. However, it looks like they were running downwind... so I don't get how they ended up on the rocks.

My brother and I regularly dive that area... lots of sharks and great reefs.
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Old 27-11-2014, 21:15   #28
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Maytrix,
This is not about a "mistake." It is about multiple mistakes that apparently led to this disaster. I thought that was abundantly clear from my above response. If the captain/ helmsman kept a safe distance from the shore, maintained a proper lookout, had his sails properly trimmed or if motoring had them ready to hoist and knew exactly where he was by a plotted position(not a picture on a screen), he would have had ample time to free the halyard wrapped on his prop while underway or, in a worst case scenario, sail the vessel to a safe anchorage and remove it there. For those of you who have sailed the Virgins on a charter or your own vessel, you know what a circus the passages and anchorages become on a regular basis. There are few places in the Caribbean that regularly host so many novice/unqualified captains and crews. We all make errors on occasion but they only become critical when safe practices of seamanship are not practiced. No one who has sailed any distance, on this Forum, can say they have never made mistakes but it is the gravity of the mistake that separates those who practice safe seamanship and those who do not. Good luck and safe sailing.
I'm not sure if you have actually sailed in that specific area. While without doubt a mistake was made, they were not in open water or sailing past an island on passage. That reef is inside the larger south bay of St. John and forms the south corner of the entrance to a smaller bay full of moorings and anchored boats. While the rocks in the picture look large and easy to see, the reef itself extends quite a long way out below the water. Surprisingly long.

When the winds and seas are from the right direction and the right strength, this is quite a rough place. One can easily misjudge that reef and think one is clear to turn into the anchorage. In fact, it would be much worse in that specific area to be relying on a plotted position than on a chartplotter. You couldn't plot positions fast enough and the error would be too large for the position to be meaningful (the charts are excellent in this area). If anything, the exact opposite of your suggestion is true - they should have had their head buried deeper in their chartplotter here.

Likewise, there is not a lot of room for staying "abundantly clear of shore", as it is an entrance to an anchorage that lies inside a bay. They should have definitely stayed off the reef, but there is not "abundantly clear of shore" as you imply there to be.

Proper trim of sails or having the sails ready to raise doesn't even make sense in this instance because one would not have any time to do anything at all once the reef was hit and the boat was out of control.

It is ludicrous to think that someone in that specific area and in those conditions would have any time at all to clear a line wrapped around a prop.

Crap happens to everyone - and it can happen faster to those who don't regularly ply those waters, may not have a lot of big sea experience and are on a strange boat.

There are many, many good seamen throughout the ages, in modern times, and on this forum who have lost boats due to mistakes. To believe that "safe practices of seamanship" will always separate the "real" yachtsman from the "wannabe's" is just silly. Enough so that it suggests lack of real experience, or at least hubris.

Crap sometimes happens.

I, too, am disappointed with armchair pedantics heaping scorn on this incident. It was unfortunate, it was an error, it could happen to many, and it is fully insured by the charter company. Before anyone goes off on insurance, please understand that the charter insurance has nothing to do, and no bearing on, personal yacht insurance. Not any more than Microsoft's liability insurance effects your liability insurance.

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Old 27-11-2014, 21:22   #29
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

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I know that area well. HUGE rollers come in from the south on many days. The currents in that particular location can run at 2-3 knots. I could see why they would have trouble keeping off that lee shore. However, it looks like they were running downwind... so I don't get how they ended up on the rocks.
It is possible that they got caught running full speed downwind and had trouble turning back up to get the sails down. It would be an exciting turn up into the wind at full speed and waves, loss of speed once turned and being thrown by the waves would make the boat less controllable and a slight misjudgment on distance would explain this.

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Old 28-11-2014, 03:27   #30
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Re: USCG Helicopter Rescue of Charter Boat Passangers in USVI

The owner of Sea Tow here is a personal friend of mine. I had a few beers with him on Wednesday.
The boat was running down wind motoring on the jib. To close to shore in bad conditions. A line, very likely the jib sheet went overboard fouled the rudder and prop. No propulsion no steerage the where very quickly put up on the rocks. The boat is a total loss.


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