As many of you guys actively cruise
off-shore and have taken the Safety
at Sea seminar (and/or other like training programs), I'm interested to know what you guys think about the breadth of that training, specifically regarding the most dangerous part of any rescue
...the transfer from vessel to vessel (see videos below). I'm currently in an email
conversation with Ron Trossbach (US Editor, ISAF Offshore
with US SAILING Prescriptions) about this issue in relation to safety
training (for both sailors and AMVER participants) - and he seems very open to input from those in the know. Hence this post as I think it applies to most all off-shore sailors.
Here's some background...
I've been in on a pretty interesting thread over at SN about Doug Sabbag's, and wife's, recent rescue
from the S/V Triumph in the middle of the Atlantic by an AMVER participant ship, the Kim Jacob. You can find that thread here (with the audio from the actual rescue below):
S/V Triumph lost in the atlantic
Doug had the stones to come on over there and relate the details of his less-than-smooth rescue...in fact it almost killed him. You've got to respect a dude that will lay it on the line in public like that. And, as seems to always happen on every forum, a pretty good crapsling broke out about virtually everything that happened (his mistakes
, their mistakes
, etc.). It was a Monday Morning Quarterback's dream.
But, one of the most critical, and potentially positive, aspects of the debate surrounded the process of rescue. Without doubt, it is a very dangerous and messy affair as you can see by the following eye-opening videos:
The debate on this matter centered around the question of how to improve this transfer process. Do you push for uniform, industry-wide procedures, equipment
and training for all AMVER participants? In other words, do you force the entire maritime industry to conform to "better protocols"? If so, what's the reality of that under an extremely complex quilt of political, financial, jurisdictional, logistical, linguistic and many other considerations? That approach sounded iffy to say the least.
Then, a dude named Sailingfool came up with a brilliant "why-didn't-we-think-about-that" point (edited a bit to stay on point):
Originally Posted by sailingfool
...Perhaps your effort should focus on having the USCG develop "How to cooperate in your own rescue" training for US vessels heading offshore
. Naturally you can make this training mandatory, and expensive while you are at it. (Maybe throw in some training on how to prerpare for going offshore...opps, lets not go there...)
After you have trained US sailors on being competent rescuees, then you can entertain training for the mariners of the world on being competent rescuers...good luck on that.
Freakin' brilliant!! To me, this is a far, far more realistic approach than trying to change the entire maritime industry. We simply train ourselves.
So the question becomes, this:
How prepared are we sailors to be rescued at sea? And how do we get better prepared?
As you can see above, there are many different techniques of rescue: helo/baskets, rescue boats coming along side from a cruise ship
, being pulled from your boat alongside a massive tanker, being plucked from a dinghy
, being pulled directly out of the water
, etc. And ALL of them have their very real dangers and need for specific consideration and preparation. How do you prepare for these options? How do you choose from them and coordinate them with the ship's skipper
The guys over at SN who have taken the Safety At Sea course have said that this kind of training (e.g. - transfer options and the realities of each) is not currently part of the curriculum. If that's true, and if you guys see value in adding something like this, we currently have the ear of Ron Trossbach. Maybe we could get something done.