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Old 18-05-2014, 21:28   #46
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
[SIZE=3]
Cannot understand this Bermuda route folk seem to favour.. search area looked well WNW of the Azores.

Thanks We're prepping for our Atlantic crossing right now....leaving from Miami. I wanted to make it down to St. Martin to jump off, but coming from Guatemala and having to hit the states first (need a stupid pet passport for our cat), we didn't make it there. We're still going to try and bypass Bermuda, but who knows how things will go once we cast off. I hope to leave around the beginning of June and watch the weatherfax for our route.

Matt
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Old 18-05-2014, 22:54   #47
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Matt,
Welcome aboard this thread....perhaps we can turn this tragedy into a learning experience for some...
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Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
We're prepping for our Atlantic crossing right now....leaving from Miami.
We're still going to try and bypass Bermuda, but who knows how things will go once we cast off. I hope to leave around the beginning of June and watch the weatherfax for our route.
I also have made Atlantic crossings, from S. Fla. to Gib (via Azores)...on my most recent, I left June 26th...and still had to contend with the darned Lows coming off the US coast....so be prepared for wide weather variations (from calms to Gales)...

And, be sure to utilize the NWS/NOAA offshore / hi-seas weather info/forecasts, and the NWS Ocean Prediction Center's synoptic charts (wefax)....

Described in detail....

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea

Favorite Nav/WX Websites?

azores 2014 how safe is it?



Here are a half-dozen recent postings of mine, specifically about Atlantic crossing (from US to Azores)....they are all different and have some pretty good info, if you're interested...

azores 2014 how safe is it?

azores 2014 how safe is it?

azores 2014 how safe is it?

azores 2014 how safe is it?

azores 2014 how safe is it?

azores 2014 how safe is it?

Yes, even though they look the same, these links all lead you to DIFFERENT postings, with DIFFERENT info/details....





And, if desire to watch a video...here is my video of my recent Atlantic crossing, from S. Fla. to Gib....enjoy....(not quite as exciting of a video, as my "westbound" passage later that year, but still might give 'ya some idea of what it's like.....EXCEPT that when the weather was crap, filming/videoing was the last thing on my mind, so no real images of the full-Gale that blew for 24hrs+....)






And, please be sure to read this thread and follow the links provided....
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds



And, if you have an HF radio (SSB / Ham radio), be sure to read these threads and watch these videos....

Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!



I hope this helps...



Fair winds..

John
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Old 18-05-2014, 23:10   #48
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Thanks John. I've used both the weatherfax (Radio) and GRIBs (sat phone), but even with all this data, I can't say I really have a good grasp of weather beyond what the arrows show me.

Besides sailing the Caribbean, this will be the first real passage for my wife, our boat, and myself. I know it's hard to predict the weather beyond 4 days out..... so just deciding today is the day to shove off maybe the hardest thing for us to do. Reading threads like this about poor sailors out there isn't helping the confidence.

Matt
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Old 18-05-2014, 23:33   #49
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

I bet if this happened in the Portugese sea area of responsibility, the Portugese Navy would still be out there searching.

Maybe the USCG had to go home and award more holding tank tickets...
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Old 19-05-2014, 01:29   #50
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Hi, my stepfather, Steve Warren, is one of the missing crew and as family we also do not understand why the search has been called off so early.

There will be some information on the BBC breakfast TV today I believe and we are campaigning the coast guard to resume their search as we feel that we just need more time to find the men.

All of them are experienced yachtsmen and are trained to handle this sort of situation.

Please keep talking about this and please help us to keep looking for them. A twitter account has been set up for this and there is a petition on change.org (not sure if I am allowed to post the link here).

As I don't sail I don't know all of the answers to the questions posed in previous posts but I can try to get more information on locations if you know of people who are out that way that we can get information to.

If anyone has any ideas on how we can resume the official search, please let me know. Some boats from Stormforce should be making their way to the area from today.

EDIT: the hull believed the be Cheeki Rafiki was found at 38-15.7N 048-38W, please can you pass this on to anyone you might be in contact with in the area.

Thank you

Lizzie
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Old 19-05-2014, 01:55   #51
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by LizzieW86 View Post
.

EDIT: the hull believed the be Cheeki Rafiki was found at 38-15.7N 048-38W, please can you pass this on to anyone you might be in contact with in the area.

Thank you

Lizzie
Thanks for the position, Lizzie. We have been trying to find the L and L because theres a radio net working with some cruisers heading that way.
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Old 19-05-2014, 02:00   #52
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Thanks for the position, Lizzie. We have been trying to find the L and L because theres a radio net working with some cruisers heading that way.
Thanks Mark, this is what we were hoping for by getting in touch on here.

Is there any other information that would be useful to people heading that way?

EDIT: "It is understood that the initial position of the distress was 38-45N, 048-00W and that a later Personal Locator beacon position was 38-34.9N; 048-15.4W at 2310Z on 16 May 2014. Broadly speaking, midway between the eastern coast of the USA and the Azores.
Read more at http://www.yachtingworld.com/blogs/m...x2AdqBCuOO8.99

Lizzie
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Old 19-05-2014, 03:30   #53
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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In 50 knots, and 20' seas ??? Seriously ???

In those conditions, it would take an extraordinary feat of shiphandling to maneuver a 1,040-foot container ship alongside a capsized 40' yacht. Even if they somehow managed to hook it up, how would they lift it?

Not to mention, where would they put it?

The MAERSK KURE:


One of the ship's two lifeboats is nominated as a rescue boat and the only crane on board is for stores so not strong enough to lift the yacht on board...from her track it looks like the ship diverted and slowed down but cannot understand why they then carried on because "there was no one on board"? Quite likely that there are still inside the cabin...
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Old 19-05-2014, 03:38   #54
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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One of the ship's two lifeboats is nominated as a rescue boat and the only crane on board is for stores so not strong enough to lift the yacht on board...from her track it looks like the ship diverted and slowed down but cannot understand why they then carried on because "there was no one on board"? Quite likely that there are still inside the cabin...
Not quite "quite likely", but is possible. The sea conditions and coldness bring their own issues. It might have been too difficult to launch a boat to check out at the time they were there. A ships captain has to weigh everything up for the safety of all. Hard decisions.
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Old 19-05-2014, 04:55   #55
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Not quite "quite likely", but is possible. The sea conditions and coldness bring their own issues. It might have been too difficult to launch a boat to check out at the time they were there. A ships captain has to weigh everything up for the safety of all. Hard decisions.
Yes I agree but even with the slightest possibility of someone being on board the ship should not have just taken photos and sailed off...Ok these guys are under a lot of commercial pressure but these ships are running at reduced speed nowadays and she could have "stood by" and still kept her schedule and, anyway, no operator should complain if a ship is late if it is involved in a S&R mission, especially one as respected as Maersk. To do nothing is just not acceptable
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Old 19-05-2014, 05:26   #56
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Yes I agree but even with the slightest possibility of someone being on board the ship should not have just taken photos and sailed off...Ok these guys are under a lot of commercial pressure but these ships are running at reduced speed nowadays and she could have "stood by" and still kept her schedule and, anyway, no operator should complain if a ship is late if it is involved in a S&R mission, especially one as respected as Maersk. To do nothing is just not acceptable
I agree seems like a pretty quick check by the ship considering at least two PLRB's were activated. Sure would like to see an actual picture of the overturned boat the ship came upon to make sure it was in fact Cheeki Rafki they spotted. The crew of the sailboat being experience sailors probably would know to stay with the boat for as long as possible. Additionally, they knew they were in trouble that why they were diverting to the Azores so they might have been prepared to abandon at any moment and might be in a raft nearby. I'm curious if the boat actually had an EPIRB (not just crew with PLRB's) I did not see mention of it in any of the reports. You would think they would but, maybe they thought they were covered with PLRB's.
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Old 19-05-2014, 05:52   #57
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Not quite "quite likely", but is possible. The sea conditions and coldness bring their own issues. It might have been too difficult to launch a boat to check out at the time they were there. A ships captain has to weigh everything up for the safety of all. Hard decisions.
One thing we tend to forget about these merchant ships participating in the AMVER program, particularly when making comparisons to other incidents. The crew of a Greek-registered container ship does not have the sort of training re deep-sea/offshore rescue as, for example, the Australian Navy team that rescued Tony Bullimore... If the crew of RAFIKI were still inside the capsized hull, seems it would have taken diving under the boat to get to them... I don't know, that sounds like an awful lot to ask of the crew of such a ship, in the conditions reported...

There will be very serious risk to a ship's crew putting a boat in the water in such conditions. The ocean does not turn into a millpond in the lee alongside even a vessel of that size, and the real difficulty would likely come in the retrieval of the rescue boat. This vid gives some idea of the risk posed to the crew in attempting to hook back up to the hoist, and bear in mind this is a twin screw shore launch designed for this purpose... From the NORWEGIAN GEM rescue of the crew of the yacht SANCTUARY, and I've seen other videos that make it clearer the extreme difficulty of hooking one of these launches back up for the lift:



A couple of summers ago, the 50' Gulfstar TRIUMPH was abandoned in the same approximate location, after the loss of their engine, and a single lower shroud. AMVER diverted the 900' tanker KIM JACOB to assist. Conditions were fairly benign, 5-10' seas, 15-18 knot breeze, but things went pear-shaped as TRIUMPH was dismasted after colliding with the ship. The skipper's wife was brought aboard the KJ, but in the confusion the skipper wound up in the water, without a suitable life jacket, drifting downwind...

it was almost 3 hours before he was recovered. Weeks later, he wound up participating in an epic thread over on Sailnet re the rescue, and was highly critical of the captain of the KJ for not launching a lifeboat at the time...

Well, it turns out the Master of the KJ actually had HIMSELF lowered off the stern, into the ocean, in an effort to SWIM the guy... Unbelievable... Seems to me, the fact that he was willing to make such a heroic effort, at such great personal risk, while declining to launch a lifeboat, indicates that perceived the risk to his crew in doing so would have been considerable...

Hard decisions, indeed...
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Old 19-05-2014, 06:08   #58
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pirate Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Don't be to hard on the Maersk ship guys.. my experience with the Container ship 'PRAIA' a few weeks back showed that if they can help.. they will.
The ship responded to my call for assistance and turned back and stopped engines so I could sail up to her windward side and take lines to keep us in place while they lowered bottled water, fresh bread and fruit down to us.. I was getting a stiff neck looking up that metal cliff...
Luckily the winds had been light the previous couple of days and the seas were calm.. but even with that we had a 10ft rise and fall with the swell.. imagine what the conditions would have been like with the seas kicked up by a 50kt gale...
You also have to remember these are big ship sailors with survival pods... not swift, agile ribs.. and small boat handling skills will be the harbour run in sheltered water type..
If the guys are in the hull.. the worst thing that could have been done was close and possibly sink the boat.. its no easy matter and to think it is, is plain delusional..
I am however surprised the search has been called of so soon.. especially as they have a position from the Maersk ship to go to.. would it be different if they were US citizens..??
As to them surviving in the hull like Bullimore..?
I cannot comment, don't know the boat and how its set up.. but Bullimores boat was way different and set up for the S Ocean with minimum openings/ports etc.. but I do feel at least a check on the hull is called for.. are there no Navy vessels in the area that could helicopter a diver to take a look.. that would surprise me if not..
Hang in there folks.. its still early days..
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Old 19-05-2014, 06:12   #59
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Lizzie,
As I wrote earlier, my prayers are with you and all the families of these sailors...
And, we all wish you good luck in your efforts...




Quote:
Originally Posted by LizzieW86 View Post
EDIT: the hull believed the be Cheeki Rafiki was found at 38-15.7N 048-38W, please can you pass this on to anyone you might be in contact with in the area.
FYI, this position is 1000nm ESE of Cape Cod (Chatham), MA....a fair bit closer (400-500nm) to US east coast than the great circle route, and in my opinion, perhaps even closer than would be usual for this Antigua-Uk passage...



Fair winds and God Speed to all...

John
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Old 19-05-2014, 06:14   #60
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

In the event that the emergency units had sent a position, it is also possible that the Greek ship was told that help was on its way and to continue.

It is unlikely that a professional mariner would not do all he could unless told to step down or had good reason to move on. I have been on commercial vessels on a tight schedule who threw it all up to help in an emergency.

We simply do not know at this stage.
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