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Old 11-04-2019, 14:10   #1
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Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

⛵🌊 POLICE PRAISE SAILORS AFTER 'MIRACULOUS' RESCUE IN TREACHEROUS WATERS OFF PORT STEPHENS ⛵🌊

Three men whose yacht sank in rough seas off Port Stephens last night have been rescued after setting off an emergency beacon and swimming to an island.

The three friends were sailing from Sydney to the north coast when their 12 metre yacht hit a submerged object near Fingal Island just before 8:00pm last night.

The owner of the boat told police the yacht sank within minutes, just enough time to set off the distress beacon and don life-jackets.

Sergeant Stewart Mann says the beacon alerted rescue authorities in Canberra, sending water police and two helicopters to the area.

"They were in the water for approximately 40 minutes and managed to swim their way to shore on Fingal Island," he said.

Sergeant Mann says the men, who were aged in their 60s and 70s, did well to make it to shore safely.

"Surprisingly with the swell and the rocky beaches there they actually managed to make it to shore unhurt.

"They've done quite well and been really lucky, given it was night-time, they didn't have much time to get off the boat, set the EPIRB off, they managed to stay together and get to shore uninjured, so quite miraculous to be honest with you."

The men were winched to safety by a helicopter from Newcastle's Williamtown RAAF base and required no medical treatment once they arrived at the RAAF base.

📸: Marine Rescue Port Stephens, Facebook
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Old 11-04-2019, 14:55   #2
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

Some Australians warned us about an onshore set along there, all the way to Point Stephens. I was never sure if it were due to wind driven current from strong SE trade winds, or had some other cause. It's hard, from my chart, to figure out where they came to land. Perhaps on Fingal Head, but there are a lot of rocks in the vicinity.

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Old 12-04-2019, 05:17   #3
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

Given their ages and the conditions, the fact that they swam ashore suggests it might be the shore that the boat hit.
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Old 12-04-2019, 14:32   #4
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

Anyone know where this "Fingal Island" might be? There's Fingal Head. Fingal pt, Fingal Bay and Fingal Spit on my chart, but no Fingal Island. The whole coastal area is littered with rocks and small islets, and I suspect that one of those was the "submerged object' they struck. Perhaps they were a bit closer in than they thought... who knows?

Glad they were ok, sorry about the boat.

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Old 12-04-2019, 15:44   #5
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

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Anyone know where this "Fingal Island" might be?
Some locals call the headland "Fingal Island". You could say that it's an error to do so.
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Old 12-04-2019, 16:38   #6
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

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Some locals call the headland "Fingal Island". You could say that it's an error to do so.
I confirm that Shark Island is "Fingal Island".


When I looked at the local newspaper (Newcastle Herald) the story was: the three men swam to Shark Island; the incident was a collision with a bombora; and the story was accompanied by a graphic suggesting that the incident occurred E of Shark Island.

See for yourself: https://www.theherald.com.au/story/6...-await-rescue/
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Old 12-04-2019, 16:44   #7
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

No wonder Fingal spits on people's charts! He's just an ill-disciplined all-over the place giant.

Take a Captain Cook at these, all confirming that Shark Island = "Fingal Island" = the high land on which the lighthouse was placed:

1. https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au...-fingal-island

Quote:
Point Stephens Lighthouse on Fingal Island is one of a kind. Kayak or take a boat to the island to explore the lighthouse and historic ruins.
2. https://www.myfavouriteescapes.com/s...port-stephens/

Quote:
How to walk to Port Stephen’s Shark Island and Point Stephens Lighthouse
The most important thing to know to walk to Shark Island (also called Fingal Island) is that it must not be visited at any time. It is essential to check out the tide times to plan a safe trip there.

Shark Island is only an island at high tide. When the water goes down, a tombolo (sand spit) appears and links Shark Island to Fingal Bay Beach.
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingal...ew_South_Wales

Quote:
Headland and Point Stephens
The irregularly shaped headland, which is sometimes mistakenly called "Fingal Island", covers an area of approximately 1 km2 (0.4 sq mi), most of which is part of the Tomaree National Park, and reaches 75 m (246 ft) in height.[5][16][17] Point Stephens was connected to the mainland prior to the "Maitland gale" in 1891.[18] The southeastern most point of the headland was named "Point Stephens" by Captain Cook when he passed on 11 May 1770, honouring Sir Philip Stephens who was Secretary to the Admiralty.[19] Stephens was a personal friend of Cook and had recommended him for command of the voyage.[20] It seems Cook's initial choice had actually been Point Keppel (named after Augustus Keppel, a Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty), but instead he used Keppel later when he named Keppel Bay.[21] The name first appeared on chart 1070, prepared by Captain Phillip Parker King in 1845.[10]
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Old 12-04-2019, 16:51   #8
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

Well, that's a different story, isn't it?

"The three men, aged 70, 63, and 62, were travelling near Shark Island when a bombora forced their vessel to run aground about 8pm Wednesday."

Bloody bomboras... always running amok and forcing folks to run aground. Seriously, that is a complicated headland/reef structure there off Shark Island. We give it a wide berth, even in daylight, for there are some submerged reefs that break in modest weather... possibly the one that they hit.

Again, glad that they were able to get ashore and that the rescue was so professionally conducted.

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Old 12-04-2019, 17:00   #9
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

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No wonder Fingal spits on people's charts! He's just an ill-disciplined all-over the place giant.

Take a Captain Cook at these, all confirming that Shark Island = "Fingal Island" = the high land on which the lighthouse was placed:
Here's a chartlet for those who sail not on the E coast of Aus:
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Old 12-04-2019, 17:15   #10
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

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Bloody bomboras... always running amok and forcing folks to run aground. Seriously, that is a complicated headland/reef structure there off Shark Island. We give it a wide berth, even in daylight, for there are some submerged reefs that break in modest weather... possibly the one that they hit.
Agreed, Jim.

Again, for those not sailing the E coast of Aus, "bombora" is an word imported into Australian English from one of the indigenous languages.

The word seems to have originally been used in the late 19th - early 20th centuries for the breaking seas over a submerged rock or a submerged reef and especially for the breaking seas that show when the seas and the wind are calm.

Since then the meaning of the word has shifted and bifurcated, so that it is:

(1) a surf break, specifically a "reef break", the sort of thing favoured by people who picked up an activity once traditional to Hawai'i; and

(2) a submerged rock or rocky reef, particularly one that causes a disturbance on the sea surface even in otherwise calm conditions.

Jim's comment about the complications in the sea bottom is borne out by the chartlets (and note the small differences in the two chartlets: one is CMap 93 v 2 and the other CMap 93 v 3).
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Old 12-04-2019, 17:59   #11
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Seriously, that is a complicated headland/reef structure there off Shark Island. We give it a wide berth, even in daylight, for there are some submerged reefs that break in modest weather... possibly the one that they hit.
Still on OpenCPN 4.8.0?
Time to upgrade to ver5


https://opencpn.org/OpenCPN/about/ver500.html
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Old 13-04-2019, 19:15   #12
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

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Still on OpenCPN 4.8.0?
Time to upgrade to ver5


https://opencpn.org/OpenCPN/about/ver500.html

Only slightly off-topic, but hey, it's weekend!

I just happened to download 5.0 for Mac earlier today and most plugins are not available ATM. So no rush just yet.

Other than that, 5.0 looks more polished, for sure!




I feel sorry for those guys losing their boat yet wonder if they wanted to pull in to Fingal Bay for anchoring or why were they so darn close to the hard bits?
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Old 13-04-2019, 20:34   #13
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

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...




I feel sorry for those guys losing their boat yet wonder if they wanted to pull in to Fingal Bay for anchoring or why were they so darn close to the hard bits?
We pasted by there a few weeks ago. We came in pretty close heading northbound from Pittwater because we wanted to see if we could anchor in the bay formed by the island for the night. Too much swell was getting in so we continued into Port Stephens clearing the point fairly closely. It appeared very well charted on my up-to-date CMAP charts. Seems you'd have to get really close in to hit those rocks.
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Old 13-04-2019, 20:37   #14
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

Whatever they hit there are now at least 2 submerged objects in that vicinity.
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Old 13-04-2019, 22:18   #15
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Re: Submerged object off Port Stephens NSW?

We sailed in and out of port Stephens several times earlier this month. The recommended track in lines up spot on with the channel marker light. Unless they suffered from engine failure they may have just cut the corner ....
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