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Old 23-06-2016, 05:40   #61
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Custom30 View Post
What this family encountered can't properly be called "seas".

The shallow nature of that area keeps all wave energy at the surface. The 6 foot "seas" under normal circumstances would be a square, steep, chop 6 feet tall and 3-4 seconds in period. a 29' boat would be slammed upward at once, then dropped like a rock, every 4 seconds. Tabbed bulkheads are no match. If the keel bolts have defects, forget it. I once spent 16 hours in exactly those conditions a little north of there. I was in a heavy boat (18,000# 30') which has circumnavigated and sails to windward like a dream under nearly all conditions. In 16 hours I made about 5 miles in the face of the square chop. Our inboard diesel was useless, as no momentum could be achieved.

Hugging the coast under those conditions is doable, but clearing the shoals at Charlotte Harbor puts you a minimum of 2.5 miles off, and that's far enough to be not doable. This boat was light (6600 lbs) with a fin keel that has no hydrodynamic bite in that chop. The outboard kicker would be most useful as an anchor. They got easterlies sustained in the upper 20's with big gusts, so the farther off they blew (running would be their only option), the worse it got. If the fin keel boat gets beam-on to that square chop, the result is violent and repeated every 4 seconds.

So terrible for the family and friends.


'
While your description of the waves might be accurate....but only when trying to punch into them.......why would anyone of sound mind keep doing that if their boat was coming apart? There is the BIG question.

Turning in several different directions will lessen that effect quite a bit .....having been in those conditions in many boats in many areas and closely watching some more from a USCG helo ....you can survive nicely when you don't fight the ocean a its worst...be miserable yes, but survive.
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Old 23-06-2016, 05:46   #62
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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While your description of the waves might be accurate....but only when trying to punch into them.......why would anyone of sound mind keep doing that if their boat was coming apart? There is the BIG question.

Turning in several different directions will lessen that effect quite a bit .....having been in those conditions in many boats in many areas and closely watching some more from a USCG helo ....you can survive nicely when you don't fight the ocean a its worst...be miserable yes, but survive.
Maybe they were not experienced in sailing? Or maybe panic took over. All it takes is one person to stand up, fall over, and the rest of the folks panic.
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Old 23-06-2016, 06:01   #63
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

We were out on Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon. And can confirm the conditions got pretty bad around 3-4pm. We had sustained winds 20-25 knots. A couple of squalls came through and began pushing gusts above 30 knots. We were only a couple miles off shore in the bay, I imagine it would have been worse off-shore in the Gulf.

A small craft advisory was in effect. Sad that people still go off-shore without a VHF radio, PLB or EPRIB.

This was the wind chart from data bouy 42013, just off shore of Sarasota. You can see the wind picked up rapidly over a short period of time:


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Old 23-06-2016, 06:32   #64
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

News announced this morning that the body is that of the daughter - Rebecca Kimberly.
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Old 23-06-2016, 06:45   #65
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Maybe they were not experienced in sailing? Or maybe panic took over. All it takes is one person to stand up, fall over, and the rest of the folks panic.
I did say of sound mind...panic can certainly change that.

Unfortunately we may never know what really caused this incident....all I am saying that often people beat themselves and the boat by pressing on...if you do....bad things can happen.

While I disagree that boating is all that dangerous in general...one can make it dangerous without much effort.
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Old 23-06-2016, 06:51   #66
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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I did say of sound mind...panic can certainly change that.

Unfortunately we may never know what really caused this incident....all I am saying that often people beat themselves and the boat by pressing on...if you do....bad things can happen.

While I disagree that boating is all that dangerous in general...one can make it dangerous without much effort.
Booze will certainly make it way more dangerous than need be.
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Old 23-06-2016, 06:57   #67
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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H34 wrote the book for reaching out in 2013 SAR effort and wants to know the advancements of utilization of drone to aid in the Mariners rescue.
Why do you keep referring to yourself in the 3rd person?
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Old 23-06-2016, 07:18   #68
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Booze will certainly make it way more dangerous than need be.
Or not..... booze by itself and in quantities that a person can handle is not always the cause of bad things.
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Old 23-06-2016, 07:48   #69
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

This is a sad story. A few comments:
1. The "just go" mentality expressed by some on this Forum can be
deadly.
2. Weather awareness and competence are integral to safe passages.
3. The GOM is always a challenging body of water to sail due to
it's relative size, depth and the short and steep nature of the
seas within 30 nm from shore.
4. Only a well-found vessel should attempt open water passages.
This, perhaps, could have been a tragedy avoided. Safe sailing.
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Old 23-06-2016, 08:09   #70
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

i see a small family living on a 29 foot boat with no mother around. these must have been tough times indeed for them. the brother should have notified the coast guard sooner. sounds like the father may not have been of sound mind here and did not wish to involve the authorities. why was he 37 miles offshore for a short trip from sarasota to ft. myers? so sad the children will pay the price as they sometimes do in these situations
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Old 23-06-2016, 08:16   #71
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Bringing my boat up around Cape Canaveral at night, with my wife and broker as crew, I see now I should have ordered them to don PFDs, in spite of their reluctance to do so.
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Old 23-06-2016, 09:38   #72
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

I for one am, absolutely, horrified by this. Seeing as how I'm about to do an 800 mile off shore sailing passage from Jacksonville to Philadelphia, I think I'll be investing in a personal epirb. Geez

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Old 23-06-2016, 09:46   #73
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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While your description of the waves might be accurate....but only when trying to punch into them.......why would anyone of sound mind keep doing that if their boat was coming apart? There is the BIG question.

Turning in several different directions will lessen that effect quite a bit .....having been in those conditions in many boats in many areas and closely watching some more from a USCG helo ....you can survive nicely when you don't fight the ocean a its worst...be miserable yes, but survive.
If they had sails intact, they may have maintained control downwind for a while, but in a light boat the first time the boat got squirrely it would be instantly abeam in the trough. If they lost the sails or rig, there was absolutely nothing the best seaman could do in that boat to save them. Without solid propulsion, the lack of boat control would be catastrophic in short order. That violent chop also tends to make folks seasick, and may have driven most of them below, also not good.

Having been there many times on a similar sized boat (very different weight and design), it is not unlikely that even running may put the boat on two waves at the same time. That is, the bow lifted sharply while the stern is still lifted by the previous wave. If your boat is not solid enough to be picked up by her ends, then dropped, she is not fit for those conditions on any point of sail.

Nobody despises the ditch more than I, but RTB is right. With an easterly blowing, an exhilarating reach down the GICW was the correct choice for that boat, next to just waiting just one more day.

He said he was off of Sanibel when he phoned, which means they had just cleared the shoals at the entrance to Charlotte Harbor. As I said before clearing these shoals puts you in 3 miles of fetch from an easterly, and that is plenty in 20 feet of water. An incoming tide would also exacerbate the waveform in that area due to the depths, and the near full moon can make for some ugly currents in either direction.

There is no such thing as a "wave" in the eastern Gulf. Only chop. Even the rollers produced in deep water from a big southwesterly turn square when they reach the shelf. Even when waves in this area reach 20+, they are still on a short 7 second period. I have personally seen 30 footers that were not more than 8 seconds apart, in a true gale.

The eastern Gulf can become "fully involved" in a matter of minutes, and violent motion can be dangerous to anyone below not used to coping with it. Someone gets hurt, something breaks, and in seconds it can be over.

So very sad.


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Old 23-06-2016, 09:47   #74
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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I for one am, absolutely, horrified by this. Seeing as how I'm about to do an 800 mile off shore sailing passage from Jacksonville to Philadelphia, I think I'll be investing in a personal epirb. Geez

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No need to be horrified, this is a rare case probably on many levels.

Like the wilderness, the sea can be unforgiving for the unfamiliar and/or the unprepared.
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Old 23-06-2016, 09:54   #75
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Last night and today i went on ais tracker to look at traffic out there and was nill.. am i doing something wrong ? up to the hour on these ais sites? thought i would see a flood of traffic in that area . but i'm comin up with zero.
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