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Old 27-06-2016, 19:18   #391
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Just a thought, and I do not recall this being mentioned. This was Florida and it seems that there was certainly the potential for a direct lightning strike, holing the boat, as they were, without a doubt the tallest object on the water. Were this the case any and all safety gear issues seem to become mute.
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Old 27-06-2016, 19:43   #392
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

I have three EPIRBS and two PLBs on our yacht. I do not have them to decrease the cost of SARs. I have them to help the authorities find us much quicker in case we set them off. These two reasons are linked, but different. I also purchased a GPS EPIRB so that it would give out the exact location, not just a large area that needed to be searched and triangulated to find us (meaning it would take a lot longer to find us).

Any person sailing or boating any distance from the shore and not carrying (cheap) safety equipment that would dramatically increase the chances of their survival if something goes wrong is someone who should not be there in the first place.

This is 2016, not 1956, in case you have not noticed, and there has been a dramatic change in available safety equipment. Sure, James Cook, William Bligh, laperouse, even Christopher Columbus did not have these things and sailed around the world, mostly safely. But even they had accidents and some even perished at sea. If such devices were available then, perhaps laperouse would not have died in the Solomon Islands and Cook would not have hit the Great Barrier Reef.
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Old 27-06-2016, 19:52   #393
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Purely by coincidence I have the screenshot below from that Sunday afternoon. I was discussing with a friend by text and trying to convince him the front had passed before the heavier wind and rain started.

I'm not sure but can't recall seeing any precipitation offshore that day. It wasn't really that bad of a weather day. A bit of heavy winds as the showers came through. No lightning.
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Old 27-06-2016, 20:33   #394
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

I have been glued to this post since it started as a lot have and thought about another scenario that could have come into play by the phone call tone. That the father would lose everything, be homeless, if a mayday were called and gave it his all to save his only possessions so was possibly skeptical about abandonment and tried his best not to alarm his brother too much hoping he could save it all.. the other thing that came to mind is possibly/probably the brother has no experience or idea of storms at sea and the vulnerability adding to trusting his brother's tone on the phone.. rant over..
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Old 27-06-2016, 20:39   #395
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
If you fall off your boat with a life jacket on and in the GOM in June how long can you last?

What would reduce your chances the most. Hypothermia, sharks, dehydration, or still drowning.
I have never tested a life jacket for days and days.

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Pretty messed up way to look at the subject but I've often thought that in the event of it I might opt to not even bother with a life jacket. This is assuming my dinghy, radio, and EPIRB are not functional; I really hate the idea of floating around waiting to get bitten in half, die of dehydration/exposure, or from hypothermia. Anyone else ever thought along the same lines?


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Old 27-06-2016, 20:44   #396
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by ThomasWeiss View Post
Pretty messed up way to look at the subject but I've often thought that in the event of it I might opt to not even bother with a life jacket. This is assuming my dinghy, radio, and EPIRB are not functional; I really hate the idea of floating around waiting to get bitten in half, die of dehydration/exposure, or from hypothermia. Anyone else ever thought along the same lines?


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Not to sound morbid but yes I tallked about that with others thinking what would be best and I'm sure that girl they recovered covered every thought on the subject.. sucks that the poor girls last few hours were that fearful.

ps if any board members here think anything on this is distasteful let me know and i'll delete it.. all meant with great respect.
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:05   #397
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
This is Tasmanias manditory equipment list. It is sensibly divided up into boat sizes and areas. There are other requirements lesser requirements for unpowered craft such as sailing dinghys, kayaks and the like.

Basically coastal waters are out past two miles offshore for the most part.

I have never been checked. Normally its only if there is an incident, or if they are doing fisheries patrol.

One big anomally is the fact that you are required to have a VHF, but not the licence to operate it... It would be nice if the rules were more outcome based and less prescriptive. Ie outcome of having an means of satellite emergency comunications that is waterproof and selfcontained. This would mean an epirb, spot, yellowbric, plb etc would all be satisfactory.
I typed all that out and you go and post a picture

Re the requirement to have a VHF radio, the way you have worded that is not correct. For a start you have have a 27 mh without a license. And if you have a VHF you are expected to have a licence to operate it. IN fact, it's unlawful to operate it without one.
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:24   #398
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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It seems a firestorm has erupted over my EPIRB comments.
...
This family was on a one-off passage for a few days. They could have rented an EPIRB for about $65 per week and even less for a couple days. So I don't accept that the cost is prohibitive. I suspect that most families have no idea they can have this security for themselves and their families for such a small amount of money. Several posters here seem to not know about it so that suggests some education is warranted.


Sailing is dangerous. To not stack the odds in your favor is short-sighted, if not foolish. That includes having a functional VHF, and the minimum Coast Guard requirements - at the very least!

If traveling offshore, and out of sight of land, an EPIRB is called for. If children are aboard it is your obligation. The "in the cart" price for an EPIRB is $350 at Defender. No excuse.

ACR GlobalFix V4 EPIRB - Category 2

I am with T-Dan on this issue.
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:37   #399
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Just did some reading on surviving in the open ocean. If you are in really warm water you can last 3 or maybe 4 days. If the water is not really warm hypothermia will get you in 6 -;10 hours. If in cold water 15 minutes is it.

Hypothermia is the #1 thing to worry about. Then dehydration #2 then sharks at #3.

There were divers that were left behind by the dive boat. They had wet suits on. From a note written and dated they believe the two divers lasted a few days. Odd the story says they found the wet suits intacted implying that sharks did not get them. But did the divers get out of their wetsuits? Now to be honest I have never been in a wet suit for more that 45 minutes probably. So I would guess there divers did get out if them.

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Old 27-06-2016, 21:42   #400
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Things certainly could have escalated from the level of concern that still leaves time to calmly call your brother just in case to let him know it's getting rough, to catastrophe, in a matter of minutes. If he had time to call, and could call without his phone being soaked, he was probably not anywhere near the "call the CG" stage yet. By the time conditions do, calls to your brother are not usually on the to do list. It happens very quickly.

As I said before, it is instinctual to hug a windward shore when things get rough.


I don't know what kind of navigation charts and systems were aboard. I know that in a heavy thunderstorm it might be impossible to see the marks that guard Boca Grande. I assumed they went around the shoals and the fetch got too rough, but it is also possible that in the heat of keeping the boat on her feet, they forgot about or didn't know to miss these shoals. Under those conditions the shoals would be undetectable until you were on them.



Even though these shoals are shifting sands, grounding on them when the violent chop is 3 or 4 feet would be devastating. High tide was at noon, and a couple knots of current are normal going out. Easterly winds stack water on the west side of the bay, causing an increase in current on the outgoing tide. Outgoing current and offshore winds would take things farther off in a hurry.

Under these conditions, the fetch of Charlotte Harbor rolls OUT of the inlet, making for lots of treachery anywhere near there. Trying to thread the needle with the chartplotter might also seem tempting when the alternative is 3 miles of angry fetch, but these shoals are constantly shifting.

Knocking the keel off with instant catastrophic results at Boca Grande is a strong possibility. Especially given where the first debris was found. Anyone below decks might have been fortunate enough to not know what hit them. It is the best we can hope for anyway.

Don't blame the brother, things weren't to the panic stage yet when he was called, or there would have been no time to call. With VHF all you have to do is grab the mic and start talking to the CG, they're always listening. Cell Phones don't work that way, especially when it's sideways raining and you're trying to keep the boat under control, and someone is sick, or hurt, etc..

I'm betting and hoping this happened quickly and mercifully. I am doubting a VHF or EPIRB would have helped in that case, except that the recovery would have begun sooner.


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Old 27-06-2016, 21:46   #401
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

In Victoria Australia,
You need a Boat licence to operate a motor vessel, Compulsory,
Its a Two day practical and theory Test, Including a MOB rescue,
With out the MOB rescue you dont get a licence,
VHF is required by Law, Off shore, You cant operate a VHF with out a licence here,
Off shore is two miles from land,
If a sail boat has a motor, It requires a Boat licence, Compulsory,
Epirb is Compulsory two miles from shore, Over 6 metres, I think it is,
Your boat must be registered, Each state has its own Regulations,

You do need a list of safety gear, Compulsory, As stated above previously,
I had two Epirbs, as the American one that came with my American boat was not legal here,
Even tho both were registered to me, And contacts for emergency numbers also listed,
And both were on the same frequency, 121 and 406,
Im not going into that, Thats just the way it is, Govt Rules, Duhhh.

Offshore Australian waters can be exceptionally dangerous,
Even big ships get into trouble here,

So most people have the compulsory equiptment on board plus a lot of extra safety equiptment also just in case,
I dont think the compulsory safety gear is Nanny State, It just common sense,
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:55   #402
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I typed all that out and you go and post a picture

Re the requirement to have a VHF radio, the way you have worded that is not correct. For a start you have have a 27 mh without a license. And if you have a VHF you are expected to have a licence to operate it. IN fact, it's unlawful to operate it without one.
Fair call RC. You are right about the 27mhz. No qual needed for this. With VHf my understanding(and I might be wrong on this), was that at least in tassie, the recreational boats were allowed to have them aboard, without a licence as long as they didn't transmit except in an emergency.

I also notice that ACMA has now come out with the simplified Australian waters qualification for inside 12nm. Sounds like this will suit many operators much better than the SROCP
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Old 27-06-2016, 22:16   #403
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

In all the babbling and prattling about legislation, big brother and epirbs, have any of you noticed the title of this thread? You're talking about airbags while the poor guy went into a thunderstorm with bald tires. Seriously. An epirb cannot fix an unseaworthy boat, cannot feed a family, cannot predict weather. So in this case, I would suggest looking at the initial issues as they relate to this tragedy rather than worrying about the latest nautical nanny cam. Just a thought.
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Old 27-06-2016, 22:18   #404
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Nick Stephens View Post
In all the babbling and prattling about legislation, big brother and epirbs, have any of you noticed the title of this thread? You're talking about airbags while the poor guy went into a thunderstorm with bald tires. Seriously. An epirb cannot fix an unseaworthy boat, cannot feed a family, cannot predict weather. So in this case, I would suggest looking at the initial issues as they relate to this tragedy rather than worrying about the latest nautical nanny cam. Just a thought.

Just out of curiosity how do you know the boat was unseaworthy, the family was destitute, and that he was any worse at forecasting weather than anyone else (including the meteorologists)? I'm not trying to pick a fight but I'm wondering if that's opinion or based in fact..


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Old 28-06-2016, 02:35   #405
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Just out of curiosity how do you know the boat was unseaworthy, the family was destitute, and that he was any worse at forecasting weather than anyone else (including the meteorologists)? I'm not trying to pick a fight but I'm wondering if that's opinion or based in fact..


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How do you not know this? Have you seen any of the posts referencing these issues?
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