Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-04-2007, 03:25   #1
Registered User
 
swagman's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
Boat: Super Van Craft 1320 Power Yacht
Posts: 2,175
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to swagman
Report into Sinking of UK Yacht

Salutary lessons I gained from this clear report into the sinking of the Ouzo only 10 miles or so off the UK coast.

1. NIght lookouts vital - especially on shipping routes.
2. Nav light brightness should never be compromised.
3. Hoist a radar reflector at night.
3. Crotch straps to lifejackets essential.
4. An ERIRB should always be carried.

Sad tale but if these lads lives are worth respecting, we should all maybe learn from the outcomes.

Worth reading at: http://www.maib.dft.gov.uk/cms_resources/Ouzo.pdf

JOHN
__________________

__________________
Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/yachtswagman/
swagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2007, 10:48   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Out there doin' it
Boat: 47' Olympic Adventure
Posts: 2,636
John,

I would also add:

1- photochromic (auto-darkening) eyeglasses should not be worn at night; they can reduce your vision by 20%;
2- handheld waterproof vhf and/or plb's are a good investment;
3- personal beacon lights should be carried by all on board;
4- you should give your eyes 20-30 minutes to adjust to the dark; and

I would modify your statement about nav lights to include lights should be brighter than required by the Rules; and the bulbs and lenses should be checked often for crazing, dirt or dimming, and then repaired or replaced.

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Lodesman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 03:37   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
I'd also add:

1) Make sure your radar reflector is mounted according to the instructions (the Ouzo had one, but because it wasn't being used correctly it was virtually invisible).

2) Carry a liferaft, preferably one that will deploy automatically if the boat capsizes or sinks.

3) It costs nothing to call up the big ferry that's just appeared around the headland behind you on VHF and say "do you know we're here?". In open water power still gives way to sail (and in this case the ferry was the overtaking vessel as well), but if they don't know you're there, then they can't give way to you.
__________________
teadaemon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 04:58   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,583
Images: 240
NEVER assume that power will give way to sail, even when the COLREGs require it to!
It is generally assumed that power gives way to sail, but this is not always the case. In practice, large ships almost NEVER maneuver to avoid a sailboat.

Remember, it’s everybody's responsibility to avoid a collision, and avoiding action must be taken if these rules are not complied with by another vessel (as the stand on vessel, the sailboat is required to maintain its course and speed, until it becomes apparent that the give way vessel is not taking appropriate action).

It’s always prudent for a small sailing vessel to stay out of the way of large ships by making an early and obvious turn out of the way.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 06:00   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cairns australia
Boat: now floating easy37
Posts: 636
Images: 41
the link doesnt appear to bve working dammit
sean
__________________
northerncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 07:03   #6
Registered User
 
Raven's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Boat: Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - "Raven"
Posts: 213
Images: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
Itís always prudent for a small sailing vessel to stay out of the way of large ships by making an early and obvious turn out of the way.
I've always referred to it as the "tonnage rule." If it's bigger than me, I'm getting out of its way!
__________________
Kevin Rose
Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - Raven
Burlington, Vermont
Raven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 09:31   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Utah
Posts: 87
another link

Couldn't get that one to work, but found another.

Pride of Bilbao incident sank Ouzo - from Practical Boat Owner magazine

Includes links to the MAIB for downloading or reading the report or its synopsis.
__________________
Gator81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 09:40   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by teadaemon
I'd also add:

1) Make sure your radar reflector is mounted according to the instructions (the Ouzo had one, but because it wasn't being used correctly it was virtually invisible).
...
I agree that you should have a mounted Radar reflector. But according to the report, this would have made no difference.
Even if Ouzo had been displaying her octahedral radar reflector, it would have made little difference to the yachtís radar cross section. [2.6.5] [MAIB Flyer and Recommendation]

Paul L
__________________
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 13:00   #9
Registered User
 
swagman's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
Boat: Super Van Craft 1320 Power Yacht
Posts: 2,175
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to swagman
Sorry about the link not working. Was when I posted. Can only assume they moved it elsewhere.
JOHN
__________________
Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/yachtswagman/
swagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 13:49   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L
I agree that you should have a mounted Radar reflector. But according to the report, this would have made no difference.
Even if Ouzo had been displaying her octahedral radar reflector, it would have made little difference to the yachtís radar cross section. [2.6.5] [MAIB Flyer and Recommendation]

Paul L
It would have made little difference because:

a) It was a crappy little octohedral aluminium one which only had a peak return of 7 square metres when it was mounted properly (it wouldn't have been considered sufficient had the Ouzo been coded by the MCA for charter or paying passengers).

b) The mounting holes drilled into it would not have enabled it to be hoisted in the 'catch rain' position, and that style of radar reflector is only effective when in that position.

Had they had an appropriate radar reflector (i.e. shelled out ~£100 rather than ~£30) then the situation may have been different, though that would also have required the watchkeeper on the Pride of Bilbao to operate their radar correctly.

As far as my comment about power giving way to sail, Colregs haven't changed to my knowledge, and as can be seen in this case, ignoring them is a good way to end up in court, and not conducive to a continued career afloat (the watchkeeper of the Pride of Bilbao is currently on trial for manslaughter). Maybe things are different on the other side of the Atlantic, but everyone I've spoken to on this matter who's a professional seafarer (including RN personnel and a retired supertanker captain) has said that providing they've got the searoom to do so, they have no problem giving way to small sailing boats. The problem they have is seeing the small sailing boat in time to do something about it.

In this case in particular, I've no doubt that the crew of the Ouzo were aware of Pride of Bilbao when she first appeared around the headland behind them (if they'd taken bearings to determine if she was a risk when they first saw her they'd have thought she was going to pass about half a mile astern of them, she then made a very slow turn to starboard and onto a collision course about 5 minutes before the collision). Even if they were keeping a good lookout they may not have noticed her course change until she was almost on top of them, so I don't honestly think they could have taken avoiding action any earlier. Had the watchkeeper on Pride of Bilbao been aware of their presence (whether through nav lights, radar, AIS, VHF communications, etc) even a minute or two before he was, then he could have taken the necessary action to avoid running down the Ouzo, and I've no doubt that he would have done so.
__________________
teadaemon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 14:02   #11
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,583
I'll be interested to read the:
A study of the capabilities of typical radar reflectors that may be fitted to yachts will be published on the MAIB website on 1 May 2007.
when it comes out. From other studies I've seen, the cost of the Radar Reflector did not have much to do with its performance.

Paul L
__________________
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 14:19   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Good comments, all!

This was a tragic event for all involved. While I sympathize wholeheartedly with the victims and their families, I also believe that they were not blameless. Despite their experience, local knowledge, and usual prudence they apparently missed a couple of things, including the cardinal rule as relayed to me by a San Francisco Bay pilot: GIVE WAY TO TONNAGE!

Forget the ColRegs. They were in a very small boat on a sea which was running a bit on a very dark night (no moon) and in an area trafficed by large commercial vessels. Unless the two on-deck watchkeepers were asleep (doubtful, given the circumstances), they would have seen the ferry coming round the point.

I agree with teadaemon on this one: it would have been prudent to call up the ferry on Channel 13 to be sure they were painting them on the radar. In addition, if there was any doubt whatsoever about the possibility of collision, it would have been prudent to turn on the steaming light, fire up the little diesel, turn on spotlights on the sails, and get the hell out of the way.

It's very hard to explain or to know why this experienced crew didn't take these precautions.

A note on radar: I purposely installed a CRT green-screen radar and a 24" dome on my boat, down low, because I wanted to be able to see obstructions nearby. When it's properly adjusted, I can pick out crab pots and lobster pots and dingies and small powerboats. When it's not properly adjusted (including when the anti-sea clutter is on auto as it was aboard the ferry), I can't pick up these things.

Lesson: don't assume just because a large vessel has multiple radars that they can see you. There are several very common reasons why they may not.

Thanks for the links, Swagman. Very instructive.

And, gee, don't the Brits do a great job reporting such things?

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 14:29   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L
I'll be interested to read the:
A study of the capabilities of typical radar reflectors that may be fitted to yachts will be published on the MAIB website on 1 May 2007.
when it comes out. From other studies I've seen, the cost of the Radar Reflector did not have much to do with its performance.

Paul L
Fair point, I should perhaps have noted that the £100 figure was for an Echomax radar reflector with a peak return of 10 square metres and a permanent bracket mounting on the mast. Assuming that the quoted performance figures are accurate, £70 extra gets you a ~40% larger peak return, and virtually no chance of rendering it invisible by mounting it incorrectly. Sounds worth it to me, but like you I'll be very interested in reading that report when it comes out. One thing I suspect it'll say is that mounting the radar reflector firmly on the mast or shrouds rather than hoisting it on a halyard is likely to dramatically improve it's visibility, as if it's swinging around (and thus changing it's return and only appearing intermittently) a radar is likely to interpret it as clutter.
__________________
teadaemon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 15:01   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,583
Take a look at these tests. The cheaper, simple Davis did much better than the expensive ones.



Paul L
__________________
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2007, 15:35   #15
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L
Take a look at these tests. The cheaper, simple Davis did much better than the expensive ones.

Paul L
Missed the link:
1995 Radar Reflector Test
__________________

__________________
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Engineering Jobs (Yacht) GordMay Boat Ownership & Making a Living 16 18-12-2008 16:28
what do i need to work on a ship stevem099 Meets & Greets 16 25-01-2007 07:06
USA. Replica of legendary yacht 'America' to be berthed in San Diego CaptainK General Sailing Forum 0 10-04-2006 20:36



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:52.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.