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Old 17-12-2011, 19:03   #1
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2 Yachts Sink in QLD




1. Stricken 61yo yachtie forced to row






Andrea Davy | 31st October 2011

Tags percy island group, racq-cq rescue, steven richmond
Steven Richmond, right, was winched to safety by RACQ-CQ Rescue crewmen after his yacht sank.
RACQ-CQ Rescue




WHAT do you do after you've just watched your prized vessel and only home sink to the ocean floor? You start rowing.
That was Steven Richmond's only choice after his 11-metre catamaran, Felix, hit a submerged object and began to take on water near the Percy Island Group about 10am on Saturday.
"I would have been about 15miles (24km) away from the island when I hit something," the 61-year-old Gladstone man said yesterday.
"I started pumping the water out with bilge pumps... at around 12pm I cancelled a rescue call because I thought I was going to beat it.
"My batteries went flat after a while and at around 3pm she really started to sink... I couldn't call out a May Day because my batteries were flat so I activated my EPIRB."
RACQ-CQ Rescue crews received the call from the emergency beacon and flew to Hannah Rock, about 80 nautical miles south-east of Mackay.
In the meantime Steve had started rowing his dinghy toward Percy Island.
"I wasn't too concerned when I was in the dinghy because the sea wasn't too rough," he said. "I did see a remora though, and I know they are the sort of fish that associate with big sharks."
Steve had been rowing for about two hours when he was rescued and estimates he would have had another four hours to row.
"The CQ-Rescue team did a fantastic job," he said. "The chopper flew over me and they lowered a man into the boat and winched me up.
"The down wind from the chopper was incredible and I was worried it might capsize my dinghy, but it didn't... they did a great job."
Steve was flown to Middle Percy Island where he was assessed by his rescuers and is now staying with friends.



2. The waters around Mackay are having more than their share of sinkings and rescues at the moment. Just a week after a lone sailor had to be rescued by helicopter after his yacht sank of the Percy Group of islands, a West Australian family's catamaran has sunk not far south of the Percy's, in Shoalwater Bay.

The family of four has been rescued from a drifting life raft. The two adults and two children, girls, aged six and 13, paddled in an inflatable liferaft to nearby rocks after they abandoned their 15-metre catamaran, Seaside Spirit. They had only purchased the boat two days before.

The family had set out to sail the catamaran home to Western Australia after they purchased it in Rosslyn Bay, and on Friday, after sailing a mere 18 miles towards West Australia, noticed that it was starting to take on water. They were already bailing on Friday afternoon, after they discovered the bilge pump was not up to capacity, police said.

However, they still went to bed on Friday evening, and then awoke at 3am today to find the port side of the boat submerged. They then tried to get onto a life raft on the roof of the boat, but the vessel flipped and they ended up in the water. Police said the family managed to scramble into the life raft and activate two emergency beacons around 5am.

The Coastguard boat and a rescue helicopter from Mackay were sent to searchafter they were alerted by the family's emergency beacon. They winched the family to safety at about 6.30am (AEST)

Police confirmed four people were airlifted from a 15-metre Shark Cat that has taken water and was sinking near Townshend Island in Shoalwater Bay, 18 nautical miles from Rosslyn Bay marina at 7.50am.

They were unhurt and taken to Rockhampton. A dream sail over after 18 nautical miles.
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:11   #2
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

Truly amazing.

Two catamarans sinking.

I wonder if they had collision bulkheads and water tight compartments?

Both of them went down slowly, which I reckon is an asset. But the fact that they sunk is a disappointment. Why did they sink? They obviously had a hole/leak that they could not control, but shouldn't they have floated with the decks awash?
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:19   #3
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
Truly amazing.

Two catamarans sinking.

I wonder if they had collision bulkheads and water tight compartments?

Both of them went down slowly, which I reckon is an asset. But the fact that they sunk is a disappointment. Why did they sink? They obviously had a hole/leak that they could not control, but shouldn't they have floated with the decks awash?
Interesting observations... Glad every ones OK, maybe those boats are awash & hazards to navigation now, any info on brands or design. Is this a Multi thread?
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:22   #4
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
...The family had set out to sail the catamaran home to Western Australia after they purchased it in Rosslyn Bay, and on Friday, after sailing a mere 18 miles towards West Australia, noticed that it was starting to take on water. They were already bailing on Friday afternoon, after they discovered the bilge pump was not up to capacity, police said...
Wondering if the previous owner / agent would care to come on the forum and say how such an oversight could occur?

Selling a leaky boat with an inadequate bilge pump to a family who plans an immediate return to Western Australia - sounds a bit uncaring to say the least.
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:24   #5
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

Well that puts paid to the claim that multihulls dont sink.
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:25   #6
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Truly amazing. Two catamarans sinking.
Not really - at least one was almost certainly a power boat - not a yacht. The first one we have yet to find out whether it was power or sail. The second boat mentioned is a shark cat (according to the story, and it suggested a 15 metre boat though I didn't think they made them that big) - I only know of power boats using the shark cat brand, the only sailing cats using the shark cat brand are hobie size. A shark cat power cat which looks like this -
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:29   #7
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

Apparently a faulty hatch, just the same its something that should have been disclosed in the course of the purchase so the family could have attended to repairing it.
Chopper winches family to safety | Rockhampton News | Local News in Rockhampton | Rockhampton Morning Bulletin
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:32   #8
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Well that puts paid to the claim that multihulls dont sink.
A bit quick pal, how about we wait and see if they are sailing boats.
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Old 17-12-2011, 21:53   #9
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

Makes no difference, powercats should not sink either.
Steve.
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Old 17-12-2011, 22:17   #10
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Makes no difference, powercats should not sink either.
Steve.
Why not? Anything right-side-up or upside-down with a holes both above AND below the water line (allowing air to escape) is going to sink.
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Old 17-12-2011, 23:15   #11
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

I wonder if the family had their new purchase surveyed before heading home ?
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Old 18-12-2011, 00:25   #12
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

Flipped cats might not sink because of the air entrapped in the upturned hulls but plenty of cats, especially smaller power cats, have sunk in these waters after one of the hulls has sprung a leak.
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Old 18-12-2011, 00:32   #13
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Makes no difference, powercats should not sink either.
Steve.
Shark Cats are built of solid fibreglass and not built with core and there were a couple of larger Harris shark cats built not to survey standards.

If flooded they can sink without using core materals.
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Old 18-12-2011, 01:35   #14
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Shark Cats are built of solid fibreglass and not built with core and there were a couple of larger Harris shark cats built not to survey standards.

If flooded they can sink without using core materals.
Cored or not, SharkCats built by Bruce Harris and more recently by Noosa Cat are very difficult to actually sink. Many many have tried very hard to do this. They have numerous well sealed compartments in each hull that have proven watertight integrety. They have been used extensively by Australian commercial fishermen (including myself), government agencies such as police forces and rescue organisations. They are the Australian power catamaran "weapon of choice" and have been extensively copied. Some copies are perhaps just as good, some aren't. Because "SharkCat" was the original (arguably) and best known Australian power catamaran, the Australian media often describe ANY power catamaran, even houseboats designed for smooth waters only, as "SharkCats". This happened a few months ago off Noosa Heads, SE Qld, when a houseboat shipped waves and capsized whilst attempting a open water coastal passage.
Perhaps we should wait and get the facts (from informed sources, not the media!) before we jump to generalisations.

PS. SharkCats were originally branded thus because Bruce Harris, the original designer was a commercial shark net contractor. These nets and drum line baits are used in Australia to reduce the incidence of shark attacks on surfers on our beaches. He designed a boat to handle dangerous coastal bars, work offshore in all conditions and carry large volumes of nets, buoys etc.
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Old 18-12-2011, 01:44   #15
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Re: 2 yachts sink in QLD

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Not really - at least one was almost certainly a power boat - not a yacht. The first one we have yet to find out whether it was power or sail. The second boat mentioned is a shark cat (according to the story, and it suggested a 15 metre boat though I didn't think they made them that big) - I only know of power boats using the shark cat brand, the only sailing cats using the shark cat brand are hobie size. A shark cat power cat which looks like this -
Not that I have any desire to burst your bubble but it does say, "The family had set out to sail the catamaran home to Western Australia", and the last time I checked sail means, well, sail doesn't it?
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