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Old 12-08-2012, 08:11   #61
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

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Originally Posted by micah719 View Post

I shudder to think how many "missing at sea" cases are because someone nodded off and got run down by a freigher....or smashed from below by a sub, .....
14 July 2009: A 406 MHz EPIRB activated 1,100 NM northeast of Bermuda. The owner of a sailing vessel activated his EPIRB after he believed his vessel was attacked by a submarine. The Coast Guard Lantarea Rescue Coordination Center launched a fixed wing aircraft. The crew of the aircraft located the sailing vessel. The merchant vessel CMACGM Vancouver was diverted to pick up the owner and bring him back to the mainland. One SARSAT Rescue.
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Old 12-08-2012, 16:16   #62
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Had a little look re subs....the problem with attributing sub-hits is that they're unlikely to admit it, though the skippers and watchstanders probably have some interesting moments on the carpet. The subs are known to hit each other, the sea bottom, or huge commercial ships....a little cruiser's boat wouldn't stand a chance against several thousand tons of steel crashing into it from below.

A cool vid of a sub surfacing alongside....food for thought.
http://av.vimeo.com/40952/156/179338...02a320f5f341fb

An inconclusive report....but one wonders.
Tapes 'show fishing boat was hit by submarine' - UK - News - The Independent
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Old 12-08-2012, 16:35   #63
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

The Pescado, the scallop trawler in the second link above was offically declared sunk by her own gear and crew inexperience. The Scallop dredge they were dragging supposedly hung up on something on the bottom which dragged the stern down and resulted in the boat flooding and sinking. Owners and crew were held responsible for not responding properly to the emergency. BBC News | UK | Ship operators blamed for deaths

The first link doesn't work for me.

A US sub did sink a Japanese training ship off of Hawaii. The sub made a simulated emergency surface to impress some visiting dignitaries. The sub came up under the Japanese vessel causing it to sink almost immediately. Ended the careers of a few sailors and cost us millions to recompense the survivors of the students who were killed and replace the boat. IIRC, the submarine didn't realize what had happened and left the scene of the accident. Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville collision - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'd like to hear why the boat in the initial post thought it was attacked by a submaring. Nature's submarines have sunk a number of boats in the not so distant past. Calif man rescued after whale hits boat off Mexico | Fox News
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Old 13-08-2012, 04:18   #64
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Ok, the Pescado thing did sound dodgy....

The Greeneville I remember, must have been out from under my rock that day. Goes to show....even the best gizmos and training can't guarantee safety.

Sorry for the broken link, here it is, hopefully intact this time:

Almost hit by a submarine on Vimeo
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Old 17-08-2012, 03:56   #65
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Re: Sleeping While Auto Pilot Is On

Day time is no different than evening offshore in terms of encountering hazards on a collision course. But you can see better... obviously.

One problem with single handing off shore in *popular* regions like the Caribbean is that with GPS precision... and quality autopilots... especially AP driven by GPS is that vessels on reciprocal source have a good probability of a head on collision... even when they are navigating between distant islands.

I encountered this when I set out from English Harbor one morning quite early to sail to Deshais, Guadeloupe about 55 miles to the south if I recall. It was a beam reach and I set the way point and get the AP on a track straight as an arrow.. no xtrack error. Wonderful sail! At mid day I went below to prepare a lunch thinking I was 25 miles from both islands and out there alone! But as I was down in the galley I looked through a portlite above the stove and a boat whizzed by about 50 feet away!

I jumped up to the cockpit and saw his stern disappear toward Antigua... a Beneteau charter boat with no one in the cockpit... They were probably down below preparing lunch too... and probably had set the waypoint for English Harbor and were also on a beam reach. We were traveling on the same *road* between Deshais and English Harbor in opposite directions. Had we been in the cockpit and on watch either of us would have seen the collision approach and taken action. But we were both below decks doing lunch prep. YIKES!

This is a hazard that shipping lanes and APs and GPS have created. It's even more a common problem in coastal waters.. where so many use the same waypoints (buoys or published in cruising guides) and are running reciprocal courses. LOTS OF 'EM. Block Island to Watch Hill R2 is a very well travel *road*. Watch out! Maybe the name Watch Hill was prophetic?

All sorts of audible alarms are helpful. Use them!
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Old 17-08-2012, 04:58   #66
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

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Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
Had a little look re subs....the problem with attributing sub-hits is that they're unlikely to admit it, though the skippers and watchstanders probably have some interesting moments on the carpet. The subs are known to hit each other, the sea bottom, or huge commercial ships....a little cruiser's boat wouldn't stand a chance against several thousand tons of steel crashing into it from below.

I must have been on the wrong sub, we never hit anything!

If you are getting worried about being hit by a sub to the point that you have actually done a web search about it; well you should consider whether you are just too paranoid to go to sea to start with!
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Old 17-08-2012, 06:14   #67
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

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Perhaps those skippers who wind up on the beach have set their AP's to steer by the wind or are using vanes. Better to set AP to a compass course if anywhere near land.

To those of you who have lots of offshore miles, esp. solo, how realistic is it to heave-to for a nap when tired, or when having to hand-steer due to AP failure, etc.? This is assuming you're well offshore & your boat does this predictably. Even if not needing rest, it could be a prudent approach on a dark night if there's concern about unlit fish boats, logs, etc.

Any comments for a newbie/wanna-be from the folks with serious offshore miles?
Interesting thought, anyone?
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Old 17-08-2012, 06:37   #68
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Re: Sleeping While Auto Pilot Is On

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This is a hazard that shipping lanes and APs and GPS have created.
How is this any different than that for a windvane self-steered boat?

Shipping lanes are usually much less of a problem because they are divided into inbound and outbound sections and easily avoided or navigated - particularly with AIS.

If one is leaving the helm for an extended period, one should set a watch zone on the radar to warn of approaching vessels or make frequent visual checks.

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