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Old 01-06-2015, 11:51   #76
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Re: Multiple boat capsize off Mobile

Not wishing to linger on this very sad event, but I was just wondering if there has been any follow-up, investigation etc. after this. I know this is an annual event, and wonder if it will continue?

If anyone is interested I have posted a link to a very well-made video that a friend of mine made while crewing on a boat in this event. See my blog at S/V Midnight Sun II under "Summer Begins on Lost Bay" (link is to facebook at the end)

Neil
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Old 01-06-2015, 18:23   #77
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Re: Multiple boat capsize off Mobile

Thanks for the video, it is really great and I've sent the link on to folks at the FYC. The race was called in response to the storm and loss of life. 6 people died and one body still has not been found. 10 boats were sunk, many more had damage. The race began in usual weather and the storm hit without warning at about 3pm,the time that the racers were either still on the way to DI or returning and in the middle of the bay where there was no shelter. Wind speed was recorded going from 20 knots to 73knts in a matter of moments. Racers rescued many of those in the water. One young man was rescued after 6 hrs in the water with no life vest.
I'm certain that the race will go on next year. There was a memorial at FYC the following week. My friend John, one of whom lost his boat, has just purchased anther boat and plans to race again. The local news carried the story for about 2 weeks. For the sailors on the bay this was our equivalent Fastnet.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:01   #78
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Re: Multiple boat capsize off Mobile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndavies View Post
Not wishing to linger on this very sad event, but I was just wondering if there has been any follow-up, investigation etc. after this. I know this is an annual event, and wonder if it will continue?

If anyone is interested I have posted a link to a very well-made video that a friend of mine made while crewing on a boat in this event. See my blog at S/V Midnight Sun II under "Summer Begins on Lost Bay" (link is to facebook at the end)

Neil
Great video. Not sure about investigations by law enforcement but I do know that the GYA (Gulf Yachting Association) has met since the race and, as you can imagine, the incident and calls to review race/safety policies and procedures across the GYA footprint dominated discussion.

While the lack of adequate PFDs (or prudent use of them) is the common theme among the loss of life, it seems that open companionways were the culprit in sinking ten or so vessels. Essentially, boats that may have otherwise survived a knock-down were unable to do so as their cabins flooded through the unsecured companionways.
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Old 02-06-2015, 18:23   #79
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Re: Multiple boat capsize off Mobile

My friend John was wearing a life vest but it was pushed off by the force of the water as the boat went over. A line wrapped around his foot and he felt he would go down with his boat. Fortunately his shoe slipped off and so did the line. Racers don't often wear life vests unless the weather gets bad. Most race with the cockpit hatches open. The weather came up very fast, the storm moved from Bay St. Louis in Ms to Mobile Bay a distance of 80 miles in less than an hour (My son called me to warn that a bad storm was hitting BSL and I got the first blast of it about 45 min later while at my boat doing some repairs). The weather station here in Mobile showed a graph of the wind speed that day which dramatically illustrated the speed of change in conditions and the severity of the change in wind speed. Having been in similar situations on Lake Ponchartrain (not racing) and Pensacola Bay (racing) I can tell you that the wind can catch you by surprise as it comes ahead of the rain and lightening. I have seen it coming at me and had little time to react. Two years ago in the Race for the Roses on Pensacola Bay we lost the jib and fought to get the main down, another boat was knocked down but recovered. After the DI I will not sail without a vest nor without the hatches being closed if there is a cloud in the sky.
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