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Old 19-05-2014, 11:07   #106
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

While it's always heartbreaking to call off a search, it seems hopeless. The CG says that they "saturated the area" and "we would have found them". I think that's plausible given the special facts of this tragedy.

The water was cold, so they could only survive in a liferaft.

The CG found the boat - so the there's no reason to search vast areas of ocean for the liferaft. A liferaft released from that boat would have a very small drift radius over the short time involved. The CG has excellent systems to calculate drift in such situations.

And as noted earlier, the liferaft would have been well equipped with flares and signalling gear under racing rules. And likely a handheld VFH radio. And the homing signal from the PLB attached to crew members (which was within its 24 hour battery life)

The US CG (as that of many other countries) is a proud organization with a great tradition. They do not give up easily. I think it's unfair to not trust their judgement here.
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Old 19-05-2014, 11:22   #107
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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The US CG (as that of many other countries) is a proud organization with a great tradition. They do not give up easily. I think it's unfair to not trust their judgement here.
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Old 19-05-2014, 11:26   #108
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post

The US CG (as that of many other countries) is a proud organization with a great tradition. They do not give up easily. I think it's unfair to not trust their judgement here.
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Old 19-05-2014, 11:29   #109
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Just a cursory look at sea surface temps near 38N / 48W, show current temps in the 62*F - 65*F range (17*C - 19*C)....
Quote:
Originally Posted by europaflyer View Post
Survival time in a life raft is only 20 hours? Who knew.
My guess is that they are assuming not in a liferaft???

While the RYA spokesman was quoted as saying a liferaft would have been standard equipment, he also mentioned full survival suits being packed with it???? But, this was not specific to THIS boat, just a generalization of what would be "standard"....

And, while the "Stormforce" director/spokesman mentioned that when they lost contact with them, he assumed they had departed to the liferaft....this does imply that they had a liferaft, and while some have said that some First 40.7's have had a raft secured at the aft end of the cockpit...
My point is that, nobody has specifically said that this boat DID have one when it left Antigua...

Further, if it did have a liferaft, was it current with its inspection / service???
And even further, was the crew able to deploy the raft and get inside it???

My hope is that the answer to all of those questions is, YES...
But, I have NO knowledge of what those answers are / will be....(perhaps others here can make inquiries??)




Although, looking realistically at this situation, it seems highly UNLIKELY that they were able to deploy any liferaft and get themselves in it....particularly since no raft has been spotted, and because of the probable rapid nature of this incident (loss of keel and capsize)...


Again, my prayers go out to the families of those sailors...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 19-05-2014, 11:37   #110
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
The US CG (as that of many other countries) is a proud organization with a great tradition. They do not give up easily. I think it's unfair to not trust their judgement here.
This is a heartbreaking situation, particularly when there have been extraordinary examples of survival under different circumstances. But there are real souls behind the CG insignia who will also probably never forget having made this call and speaking with the families about the decision. This is not done lightly. My heart goes out to all involved in such a tragedy.
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Old 19-05-2014, 11:45   #111
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

John, of course it would have had a life raft!

Its one of the best known racing boats in the Atlantic doing Antigue, round UK and Fastnet races each year.

These are no mugs they are top notch outfit.

In fact the boat WON Antigua sailing week in its class.


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1st
Cheeki Rafiki / Stormforce CoachingGBR 9793T
Beneteau First 40.7
0.917
spi 136%
(2014)
1 1 2 2 3 1 2 2
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Old 19-05-2014, 11:49   #112
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pirate Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
And, while the "Stormforce" director/spokesman mentioned that when they lost contact with them, he assumed they had departed to the liferaft....this does imply that they had a liferaft, and while some have said that some First 40.7's have had a raft secured at the aft end of the cockpit...
My point is that, nobody has specifically said that this boat DID have one when it left Antigua...

Further, if it did have a liferaft, was it current with its inspection / service???
And even further, was the crew able to deploy the raft and get inside it???

My hope is that the answer to all of those questions is, YES...
But, I have NO knowledge of what those answers are / will be....(perhaps others here can make inquiries??)




Although, looking realistically at this situation, it seems highly UNLIKELY that they were able to deploy any liferaft and get themselves in it....particularly since no raft has been spotted, and because of the probable rapid nature of this incident (loss of keel and capsize)...


Again, my prayers go out to the families of those sailors...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
This was a Charter Race Boat.. not a privately owned 'lets save some money' boat.. they have strict regulations and kit standards.. and I would imagine go through regular inspections..
Likely similar to the ARC... don't have the kit.. you don't compete..
Doubt very much they would have headed for the UK leaving their kit behind..
Imagine the grief for Moorings if this happened on one of their boats on a charter in the Islands and no safety gear on board..
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Old 19-05-2014, 11:53   #113
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Just a cursory look at sea surface temps near 38N / 48W, show current temps in the 62*F - 65*F range (17*C - 19*C)....
My guess is that they are assuming not in a liferaft???

While the RYA spokesman was quoted as saying a liferaft would have been standard equipment, he also mentioned full survival suits being packed with it???? But, this was not specific to THIS boat, just a generalization of what would be "standard"....
Probably meant thermal protective aids, bit like a large bin bag if they were in the life raft.

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Old 19-05-2014, 12:07   #114
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Liferaft "survivability" is a touchy subject....mainly because there are many variables....
Not the least of which are the raft itself (type/style/etc.), the persons in the raft (age/health/status of injury), the location and weather, etc...

If you believe the liferaft salesmen, they'll tell you that nobody spends much time in a raft anymore, since the advent of the 406mhz EPIRB, etc...
But, that's actually a bit of "salesmanship", rather than fact...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
How survivable are liferafts in foul weather?

Is it reasonable to assume that, if weather conditions are bad enough, survival aboard a liferaft would be improbable, resulting in the search being called off?
I'm not an ocean survivability expert....but if you have a "offshore raft" or an "offshore rescue raft", or some other extreme offshore raft, (especially a raft that has a "air floor", that insulates you from the cold ocean water), then as long as you can get in the raft and haven't suffered much of injury, then in the springtime middle N. Atlantic (or other areas with water temps of 60*F +/-, or above), there is no reason you would not survive many many days, or even a couple weeks...
The limit here would typically be your fresh water supply....

But, if you had an "inshore" raft, one with only one tube...and one without canopy, etc...and especially one that had you butt sitting on top of the cold ocean water....
Exposure and hypothermia would shorten your survival time considerably....and whether it's dehydration, exposure, hypothermia or a combination of all 3....things are not too good after a couple days...

I, myself, have a vacuum-packed Winslow Ultralight Offshore Rescue raft, with air-floor and boarding platform....(I think they now call it the "Offshore Global Rescue")...
It ain't cheap!!! And it ain't cheap to inspect/service/re-certify every 3 years!!!
But, if you're going to choose to carry a liferaft, my thoughts are why not spend the extra $$$ and get one that has a better chance of saving your life???
(although, if someone was on a budget....I'd recommend REGULAR inspection/service/re-certification of a lesser expensive raft, vs. buying a more expensive raft and then not having the budget to do the regular inspec/serv/recert....)

Winslow Life Raft Company | Aviation and Marine Life Rafts








Not to drift the thread too far....but, when at sea / or just away from anchor/dock, I keep mine in a cockpit locker, with easy access...(although I haven't tried to access it, if my boat is inverted....I really don't want to try that...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Liferaft is kept in a garage in the back transom area. Go turtle, open hatch in back and get raft. Maybe a good idea for all boats?







I hope this helps some..


Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 19-05-2014, 12:19   #115
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

FYI,
I have confirmed that Cheeki Rafiki did have a 406mhz EPIRB registered to it... (# 1D0C518B42FFBFF)

And, they did have VHF-DSC radio, and portable VHF radio....


Fair winds..

John
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Old 19-05-2014, 12:23   #116
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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A boat that loses it's keel rolls instantly.
No always true...

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Old 19-05-2014, 12:30   #117
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
While it's always heartbreaking to call off a search, it seems hopeless. The CG says that they "saturated the area" and "we would have found them". I think that's plausible given the special facts of this tragedy.

The water was cold, so they could only survive in a liferaft.

The CG found the boat - so the there's no reason to search vast areas of ocean for the liferaft. A liferaft released from that boat would have a very small drift radius over the short time involved. The CG has excellent systems to calculate drift in such situations.

And as noted earlier, the liferaft would have been well equipped with flares and signalling gear under racing rules. And likely a handheld VFH radio. And the homing signal from the PLB attached to crew members (which was within its 24 hour battery life)

The US CG (as that of many other countries) is a proud organization with a great tradition. They do not give up easily. I think it's unfair to not trust their judgement here.
I just finished reading a book titled "Mayday Mayday Mayday" in which the survivor recounted that an airplane had dropped three different liferafts within a short distance of the boat, they inflated, and not one of them was found just 24 hours later. These were in conditions much less than 50 knots of wind and 20 foot seas.

Also, the rescue vessel asked the survivor to turn off the EPRIB and he could not do so because it was still under water in the cabin 12 feet down. So, the thing about not being able to transmit because its under water is suspicious.
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Old 19-05-2014, 12:54   #118
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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...Also, the rescue vessel asked the survivor to turn off the EPRIB and he could not do so because it was still under water in the cabin 12 feet down. So, the thing about not being able to transmit because its under water is suspicious.
That conclusion (that an EPIRB signal 12 feet below the sea surface could transmit to a satellite on 406Mhz) defies radio science as it is known today. Radio waves in the VHF range do not travel an appreciable distance through salt water. What might have happened in that case (if a book is to be believed and taken as fact) is that something else acted as an antenna (EPIRB touching bonded wiring to an iron keel above the water, or touching an aluminum mast , perhaps). In addition, GPS signals do not go underwater, so any transmission of an EPIRB would not have location information.

There's no conspiracy here, nothing suspicious; just a very sad ending.
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Old 19-05-2014, 14:02   #119
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
That conclusion (that an EPIRB signal 12 feet below the sea surface could transmit to a satellite on 406Mhz) defies radio science as it is known today. Radio waves in the VHF range do not travel an appreciable distance through salt water. What might have happened in that case (if a book is to be believed and taken as fact) is that something else acted as an antenna (EPIRB touching bonded wiring to an iron keel above the water, or touching an aluminum mast , perhaps). In addition, GPS signals do not go underwater, so any transmission of an EPIRB would not have location information.

There's no conspiracy here, nothing suspicious; just a very sad ending.
I believe this is before the days of GPS as we use it... he kept referring to the SATNAV keeping its location in memory through dead reckoning when it lost contact with the satellites. He never mentioned GPS.

He did lose track of the EPRIB so its possible that it in fact floated out of the cabin or something.

He also mentioned a study in which the probably of survival above a certain water temperature was impacted mostly by sharks rather than cold but if I remember correctly, the survivability in water colder than 60 degrees F is only a day or two at most.
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Old 19-05-2014, 14:26   #120
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Re: UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Some explanation as to why the box boat did not launch a lifeboat to check out the capsized yacht.
Box boats will roll on wet grass, in any sort of large seaway, being beam on, the ship will roll, in many cases violently (reason for all those lost containers at sea)
Ships lifeboats are designed to be launched in an emergency, not to be recovered.
They most likely had a small MOB boat, maybe a 3 or 4m rib, again, not easy to launch or recover at sea, and the crews certainly will not have practised boat work in heavy seas.
The old man of that ship would have to decide was it worth risking the live's of 3 or 4 of his crew against the possibility that they might find someone in the yacht, and then would he then be able to recover the MOB boat.

My thought's are with the family, there is still some hope.
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