Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-04-2012, 03:14   #76
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 679
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

In response to some postings above, I'd like to make the point that bragging about your own death-cheating escapades at sea, or proffering advice to stay ashore if you can't handle the danger, or "naysaying" to helpful suggestions about how to make the sport safer, do nothing to help us reflect kindly or usefully on the memory of those sailors lost and could not possibly be of any comfort to the bereaved.

Despite that sort of bravado, which seems somehow to count as respectful condolence in the minds of some, the truth us that it's not an especially dangerous sport- or ought not to be if sufficient care is taken.

Every sailor I know goes racing with the fully reasonable expectation that they'll return for a beer at the end. Sometimes things go wrong and that is not always anyone's fault. But learning from what went wrong and taking action to lessen the chances of that happening again is what every sensible sailor, and every sailor who cares about the welfare and safety of their fellow sailors, should want.
__________________

__________________
Wand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-04-2012, 04:44   #77
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
I just did the Singapore Horseburgh Light race. A virtual mark was set just short of the light. It was a political issue between Singapore and Malaysia rather than a sea state/safety issue. The disappointment of the skippers and crews was palpable that in 10-13 hours of racing we wouldn't even get to round the light <sigh>

However having used virtual marks they make sense in certain cases.

In this case set two marks, set past the rocks far enough and laterally so that you create a square rounding. Make it close enough so that folks can see the rocks but far enough away to avoid cowboys putting people in danger.

Bash - your comment about passing a guy and then having him severely cut the corner and pass you brings something to mind. A fair race is one in which all sailors sail the same course distance. If the rock itself is the distance and the rock has arguably unnavigable water near it with no buoys to mark a stand off, then the race committee is inviting excessive risk taking and sailors by taking excessive risk sail a shorter course.

Sure the big cowboys may be able to sail close, but what about an inexperienced skipper. He follows the cowboy thinking its the norm and boom, tragedy. Yes every skipper is resoonsible for their own boat but the race committee needs to consider what they are inviting by setting this course. No one should be allowed to sail a course in breaking surf conditions.

An analogy might be, lets take all the guard rails off motor sports tracks cuz they were a lot more interesting when the drivers crashed and died.
__________________

__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-04-2012, 05:32   #78
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Whilst I accept that not all the facts are known (and probably never will be - just people's take on events), nonetheless I beleive that working through a few "what if" scenarios is a useful learning excercise - even where they depart from what actually happened. Sad that wrapped around an event where people lost lives, but useful nonetheless.

I can understand that for freinds and relatives it may be unsettling / upsetting to read, but - at the risk of sounding harsh - that's the internet for ya, if you are looking for comfort then be careful where you look. It may not be how many want the world to be, but it's how it is.

Although I may well be proved incorrect, my guess is that the events may not have occurred due to the Skipper intentionally going too close to shore, may have miscalulated a tad or simply took a course that would have been ok if nothing had gone wrong (as I suspect many other boats have).........add in that if the events started with a MOB (or something before that led to the MOB) then attention of the helm / skipper would have not been solely on the course......easy to get sucked inshore a bit more than would have chosen.

Add in the diffilculty of preparing for and then executing a MOB recovery whilst the MOB is drifting inshore could easily place the yacht both in the danger zone and in a situation (laying ahull and / or beam on to the seas) that resulted in the outcome.....even where the MOB recovery attempt went well first time.

A hard fact of life is that sometimes the best you can do is simply not good enough. A mile offshore and the result would likely have been very different - nothwithstanding that the MOB may instead have been eaten by a shark .

Am not a big one on the Nanny State etc etc, but on this I would have thought the race organisers setting an arbitary exclusion zone (say 1/2 mile offshore - the low water mark?) around the entire island would be prudent, to save folks feeling pressured to taking too much of a risk (it's not as if introducing rules into a race is a new concept - hell, even have the start line marked that is not onshore!).

With regard to the Crew - I personally feel that they do have a responsibility (at least to themselves) to pick their Skipper / Boat / other crew members with care. Simply jumping on an unknown boat in a race (especially one known to be challenging) does carry a risk - offshore sailing (and even racing) is not inherently "dangerous", but it's not a Disneyland risk free experiance either. Sometimes you do have to look after No.1 - and with boats that often is about whether to get onboard in the first place.

In this case does sound like they all had time together onboard / racing, so clearly had accepted the manner in which the Skipper operated. If they had not understood the pros and cons of his approach / capabilities, well, that is down to them.
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-04-2012, 09:45   #79
Registered User
 
jeremiason's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Punta Gorda, Florida
Boat: Sea Ray 270
Posts: 1,427
Images: 2
Send a message via ICQ to jeremiason Send a message via Yahoo to jeremiason Send a message via Skype™ to jeremiason
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Quote:
Originally Posted by At sea View Post
Every sailor I know goes racing with the fully reasonable expectation that they'll return for a beer at the end. Sometimes things go wrong and that is not always anyone's fault. But learning from what went wrong and taking action to lessen the chances of that happening again is what every sensible sailor, and every sailor who cares about the welfare and safety of their fellow sailors, should want.
I agree with you that we all go sailing with the intent on returning and sometimes things go wrong or are out of our control...

I also agree we should learn from this tragedy.... Discus how it happened and more importantly how to prevent it, but only when the facts come out in the form of an official investigation or statements from the surviving crewman or witneses.

Currently, no eye witnesses have been identified (except the survivors who are not talking about the incident and the other crews that saw the aftermath); no photos; no recorded radio transmissions; no written reports by expererts or officals investigating the incident; or anything else that would give evidence as to how this incident happened.

So far what we do have in the form of infomration is media reports interviewing the SFYC Commodore, the "former" Skipper of the vessel and a host of other experts or aquiantances opinioning what might have happened.


Some people on this thread have also gone so far as to accuse or suppose the Skipper and crew of making mistakes, not using proper safety equipment or deliberately hazarding the vessel, by traveling to close to shore...

Of course with no evidence, except their own "What if's and opinions" based on media reports or their own trainning or experiences.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the way we do things now... Talk about other people's mistakes, assign blame and shame.

I just never thought it would come from fellow sailors who rationalize this by calling it a learning experience...
__________________
Tom Jeremiason
Punta Gorda, Florida

jeremiason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-04-2012, 19:53   #80
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 679
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
...this seems to be the way we do things now... Talk about other people's mistakes, assign blame and shame.
With respect, no-one in this thread has done that at all. But there has been some speculation and "what ifs" and a general airing of thought about what may have gone wrong and what steps may be taken to help to protect fellow sailors from a similar fate and generally make the sport safer.

Your view is that this discussion should happen only at the conclusion of an official investigation. Fair enough; in that case, don't thus comment.

But my view is that any and all searching thought aimed at identifying the things that can go wrong at sea, and how life on the water can be made safer for fellow sailors, is welcome - anytime.

Threads like this are especially helpful to new sailors in that the fundamental key to safety at sea - as one earlier poster noted - always comes back to staying on board. MOB drills and equipment are important but, once someone is on the water, the real strife starts.
__________________
Wand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-04-2012, 20:03   #81
Registered User
 
Astral Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sacramento, CA
Boat: Bayliner Victoria 2750
Posts: 313
Send a message via Yahoo to Astral Blue
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

While I can't and won't speak for others, I have learned tremendously from reading the posts on this thread. In fact, this thread has been one of the most useful ones I've read -- as all the speculation and "what ifs" about the unfortunate tragedy prompted me to rethink much of what I do when I cruise; and the extent of preparedness I need to aim for in the future.

It is so easy to lose sight of what can go wrong if it is not discussed.
__________________
Ed & Lindsey - Sacramento, CA
1977 Bayliner Victoria "Astral Blue"
MMSI #: 338127697
Astral Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-04-2012, 20:32   #82
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 584
MOB drills are all very fine in open water, but in this case the skipper was one of the crew washed overboard and remember they were within spitting distance of a lee shore and attempting a recovery of the overboard crew members was almost certainly the cause of the lose of the boat. A second boat that was nearby could not assist because of the dangerous lee shore.
As a local experienced sailor I would like to know what PFD's they were wearing, assuming they were wearing them and if they inflated why we're they not recovered? I personally use Spinlocks which I consider to be the best out there and I'm about to upgrade my jacklines to 24,000 lbs +. I would never sail that close to a lee shore anywhere in California racing or not.
Bazzer
__________________
bazzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 12:08   #83
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Lectronic Latitude just published and article with a survivor's firsthand account of the tragedy, here: Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude

Quote:
In the aftermath of the worst sailing tragedy in recent memory, there have been conflicting details reported in the press, and discussed wherever Bay Area sailors congregate. This morning, Bryan Chong, one of only three survivors of April 14th's Full Crew Farallones Race nightmare, sets the record straight with his moving, first-person account of the deadly incident, as well the crew's actions preceding it, and he shares his thoughts on how such terrible calamities can be avoided in the future...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2012-04-24_2403_   LSCSophieWebbLL.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	151.9 KB
ID:	40324  
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 12:14   #84
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

I just read it. A lot can be taken away from it in the way of knowledge. It got me thinking that it is time to either redo my PDF cylinder or go to a crotch harness type.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 14:06   #85
Registered User
 
Connemara's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Boat: Mirage 27 in Toronto; Wright 10 in Auckland
Posts: 671
Images: 2
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Powerful. Lots of food for thought ... including the fact that sometimes things happen just too fast.

Connemara
__________________
Connemara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 12:20   #86
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 584
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Bryan Chong has stated that the reason for his excellent account of the incident is to improve safety.
IMHO PFD's that are USCG approved are woefully inadequate that is why I have chosen a British product, Spinlock, for my personal safety. Additionally I am installing a new Jackline to the center of the cabin top that will not allow the tether to reach much further that the lifeline. The Jackline material is 24,000lbs+ which should allow for several crew members to be "over the side" at the same time.
Thank you Bryan for your report. I would love to read what the other survivors have to say. I don't think the skipper is at fault, but it does look like a bad judgement call to me. I certainly would never sail that close to a lee shore unless I was heading towards a safe berth and never parallel to to breaking seas.
__________________
bazzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 16:14   #87
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 70
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
[snip] I certainly would never sail that close to a lee shore unless I was heading towards a safe berth and never parallel to to breaking seas.
How close is "that close" Bazzer?

Do you have information that hasn't been published? Were you secretly there? Did you read information in Brian Chung's report that got edited out later? Are you going to be a fact witness at Mr. Bradford's trial? Or did you assume something you don't really know?
__________________

LH44 Anne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 16:44   #88
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 584
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Quote:
Originally Posted by LH44 Anne View Post
How close is "that close" Bazzer?

Do you have information that hasn't been published? Were you secretly there? Did you read information in Brian Chung's report that got edited out later? Are you going to be a fact witness at Mr. Bradford's trial? Or did you assume something you don't really know?
Its not speculation at all, if you bothered to read Byan Chungs report you will see all the detail that is needed. There will be NO trial, why should there be, I never suggested he made anything than a error in judgement. NOT getting the crew to clip in is a error and as a skipper sometimes my requests are a bit more than that.

He gave a estimated distance from the Farallon rocks and the fact they had a beam sea very close to the surf zone.
Personally I have been sailing for many years including skippering a 65 footer out of Boston for a while. I safely took her single handed around the coast including one glorious day under full sail including the large kite. This was a paid job as was the skipper of Slow Speed Chase. I always consider the standards expected of paid skippers to be very high. Always be safe.
You really should get your fact right before this type of critical post.
Sailing parallel within spitting distance of a lee shore of this nature is very very risky. I would not have done it. Oh, I have spoken to two sailors who were present on this race and they both agree with the risks taken by Slow Speed Chase. Would I sail as crew under this skipper, almost certainly yes. I bet he will not make the same judgement again.
My vote is to give lee shores a wide berth, wear the best PFD that money can buy, and clip in under the conditions that were experienced on that day.


As a footnote, the area leaving San Francisco Bay are alway to be very respected at any time. Have a look at any pilot notes and you will see what I mean.

bazzer
__________________
bazzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 16:44   #89
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, Wash.
Boat: no longer on my Cabo Rico 38 Sanderling
Posts: 1,794
Send a message via MSN to John A
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Sailing outside of my personnel comfort zone is not something I would do - ever. People should know that a lee shore is one of the most dangerous places for a sailboat to be.

This tragic event ocurred because they where to close to a lee shore with breaking waves when they were over taken by several rogue waves which overwelmed their boat.

Yes you can sail close in to a lee shore -- you can also jaywalk across a freeway if the conditions are right.
__________________
John A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2012, 05:13   #90
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: Rogue-wave tragedy at the Farallons

Talking about "rogue waves" in this situation is a bit misleading. What Slow Speed Chase experienced wasn't a rogue wave, but a normal part of the wave height spectrum.

NOAA and most other weather organizations use the "Significant Wave Height" to describe swell conditions, the definition being "the average of the highest 1/3 waves". What most sailors don't realize is that the "Maximum Wave Height" can be as much as twice the Significant Wave Height.

So if you're sailing along and have been properly noting the size of the swells, you'll likely have been lulled in to the conclusion that you're going to continue to see, say, 10' swells, with sets of 14' fairly frequently, as an example. The "Maximum Wave Height" in this case would be around 24'. I recall reading somewhere that Maximum Wave Height swells can occur about every 2,000th swell. For a 15 second period, that would be once in a little over eight hours. That doesn't mean you're bound to see a Maximum Wave every eight hours, but certainly some that will be much higher than the Significant Wave Height.

The sailors on Slow Speed Chase were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't a "rogue wave" that got them, it was Statistics.
__________________

__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rogue wave

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:41.


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.