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Old 22-01-2018, 09:43   #46
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased.

This incident has got nothing to do with either the Volvo race committe, the Hong Kong officials or anybody else outside of the 2 boats: it all comes down to the 2 skippers.

The fact that all 10 crew of the fishing boat were reported taken off their boat, suggests their boat was in danger of sinking, but that's not relevant, either.

There are lots of questions and, as yet, few answers.

Col. Regs. state that sailboats give way to fishing boats, and Col. Regs clearly defines fishing boats i.e. boats that are engaged in fishing, or trawling, with their gear in the water, making way, or not.

The use of radar and radar reflectors, working lights and navigation lights, fog and fog signals, watchkeeping and speed in reduced visibility conditions are all common sense, and are part of the Col. Regs which all vessels are required to follow.

It has been reported that this fishing boat was only one of many in an area which suggests it actually was engaged in fishing, rather than travelling from A to B.

Fishing boats, to my personal knowledge, while engaged in fishing, often make strange, perplexing and radical course changes which might have contributed to the accident, but again, both skippers must follow Col. Regs. which have only one function - to prevent collisions.

The fact that Vestas appears to have been on port tack (there is major damage to her port side) is neither here nor there either, unless there were other sailboats in the vicinity and, in any case, Vestas didn't collide with another sailboat.

None of this will bring back a life, nor lessen family grief but it is a wake up call to all skippers and will undoubtedly produce new race cautions.
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Old 22-01-2018, 10:33   #47
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased.

This incident has got nothing to do with either the Volvo race committee, Hong Kong officials or anybody else outside of the 2 boats: it all comes down to the 2 skippers.

The fact that all 10 crew of the fishing boat were reported taken off their boat, suggests their boat was in danger of sinking, but that's not relevant, either.

There are lots of questions and, as yet, few answers.

Col. Regs. state that sailboats give way to fishing boats, and Col. Regs clearly defines fishing boats i.e. boats that are engaged in fishing, or trawling, with their gear in the water, making way, or not.

The use of radar and radar reflectors, working lights and navigation lights, fog and fog signals, watchkeeping and speed in reduced visibility conditions are all common sense, and are part of the Col. Regs which all vessels are required to follow.

It has been reported that this fishing boat was only one of many in an area which suggests it actually was engaged in fishing, rather than travelling from A to B.

Fishing boats, to my personal knowledge, while engaged in fishing, often appear to make strange, perplexing and radical course changes which might have contributed to the accident, but again, both skippers must follow Col. Regs. Col Regs have only one function - to prevent collisions.

And the fact that Vestas appears to have been on port tack (there is major damage to her port side) is neither here nor there either, unless there were other sailboats in the vicinity and, in any case, Vestas didn't collide with another sailboat.

None of this will bring back a life, nor lessen family grief but it is a wake up call to all skippers and will undoubtedly produce new race cautions.
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Old 22-01-2018, 11:05   #48
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

I can see why some may wish to ponder on which rule applied - was the vessel actively engaged in fishing at the time, did its lights comply with Colregs, and so on and on: the fact remains that no sailboat skipper outside of the VOR would have sailed through a fleet of small boats at anything other than a 'safe speed': 5 knots is the legal speed limit within 200m of another vessel in any harbour authority controlled area here, and 5 kts is unlikely to sink anyone, or kill anyone.

I understand these guys may have just crossed an ocean at maniacal speeds, risking their own lives daily, adrenalin pumping, but when small fairy lights begin dotting the horizon, then it's time to climb back into the real world. That may be hard to swallow but them's the rules.
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Old 22-01-2018, 11:44   #49
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Even though my wife and I kept vigilant watches as we sailed through southeast Asian waters, it was an intense experience and we had several close calls despite our best efforts to avoid a collision. We never insisted on being given the right of way and always assumed that other boats were engaged in fishing. Still, there were times where due to lack of proper lighting, poor returns on radar and other factors that the same incident could have happens to us.

My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the fisherman who lost his life, the captain and crew of the fishing boat and their families and the crew of the Vestas.
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Old 22-01-2018, 12:11   #50
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

The chances of the subject boat or any of its cohorts being properly lit to indicate "fishing t night" is beyond slim. They were reported as having a single kero lamp hoisted!! On the other hand, what the hell ELSE would a group of vessels be doing out there in the middle of the night? Any sailor should instinctively understand that.

But to expect top level pro racers to back off the throttle is (at this time and with the existing rulles) naive. And I don't see how the committee viewing AIS records could police from afar when the victim vessels don't have AIS. And good luck in setting up "exclusion zones" in these waters. Exactly who is going to enforce them, in the dark thirty miles out to sea?

When we learn a bit more about the specifics of the event, things like the size and construction of the victim boat, how fast it may have been going, how many other boats were nearby, exactly how it was lit and so on,then we can judge just how slack the watchkeeping was on Vestas. Until we have such info, all we can say is that it wasn't good enough.

Finally, comparing this kind of racing with the Mille Miglia etc isn't quite right. In those old races (and they were wonderful events for their times) the course was on public roads, but it happened at a pre scheduled time, it was widely publicized so that the local population was aware of it (and highly excited) and it was in a specific place. I don't think the Vestas incident fulfills any of those considerations.

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Old 23-01-2018, 05:59   #51
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

I read an article that stated the VESTAS boat was sailing at 20 knots in 23 knots of wind at the time of collision.

The article also showed the following AIS chart showing AIS transmitting boats in the Hong Kong area at the time. Of course this only shows those boats equipped with AIS and transmitting at the time.
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Old 23-01-2018, 06:09   #52
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pirate Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
The chances of the subject boat or any of its cohorts being properly lit to indicate "fishing t night" is beyond slim. They were reported as having a single kero lamp hoisted!! On the other hand, what the hell ELSE would a group of vessels be doing out there in the middle of the night? Any sailor should instinctively understand that.

But to expect top level pro racers to back off the throttle is (at this time and with the existing rulles) naive. And I don't see how the committee viewing AIS records could police from afar when the victim vessels don't have AIS. And good luck in setting up "exclusion zones" in these waters. Exactly who is going to enforce them, in the dark thirty miles out to sea?

When we learn a bit more about the specifics of the event, things like the size and construction of the victim boat, how fast it may have been going, how many other boats were nearby, exactly how it was lit and so on,then we can judge just how slack the watchkeeping was on Vestas. Until we have such info, all we can say is that it wasn't good enough.

Finally, comparing this kind of racing with the Mille Miglia etc isn't quite right. In those old races (and they were wonderful events for their times) the course was on public roads, but it happened at a pre scheduled time, it was widely publicized so that the local population was aware of it (and highly excited) and it was in a specific place. I don't think the Vestas incident fulfills any of those considerations.

Jim
I would imagine it was most likely a traditional Chinese junk rigged fishing boat.. else it would have looked like the fishing boats we see around the world with bright working lights at the stern and the radio blasting out loud music.. with no one at the helm.
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Old 23-01-2018, 06:45   #53
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
???? Dude ???
I will make it a bit more clear. "Right of Way" is a concept that exists in the Racing Rules of Sailing, but does not exist in COLREGS. The Racing Rules of Sailing only apply to sailing boats that are racing, they do not apply to fishing boats.

Therefore only COLREGS apply in this case, hence there is no "right of way" in this case.

Yes, I know there is some minor USCG publication that talks about "right of way", but there is no legal support for that in COLREGS and similar rules adopted by various countries.
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Old 23-01-2018, 06:48   #54
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Yes, I know there is some minor USCG publication that talks about "right of way", but there is no legal support for that in COLREGS and similar rules adopted by various countries.
The term is used in USCG Inland Rules for Navigation which obviously do not apply anywhere else.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:20   #55
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
...When we learn a bit more about the specifics of the event, ...then we can judge just how slack the watchkeeping was on Vestas...
Who would doubt the watchkeeping would be anything other than all eyes forward, all hands on deck? Nobody doubts the watchkeeping - what we doubt, Jim, is that an adrenalin-pumping VOR skipper chose to travel at a safe speed.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:33   #56
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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No race is worth dying OR KILLING for.
Some folks might disagree. Quite frankly I'd rather risk my life in a race of some sort than be shipped off the some foreign country and fight a war I had nothing to do with. Why do we feel one way is an ok way to die but not the other???
In the Isle of Man there is a world renowned motorcycle race, one I'm going to see somewhere in the future. A few hundred riders have been killed there over the years but it is so exciting, so pure, requires so much skill I can understand why young people have to do that race. I've never been a big believer in letting the State or some religion tell me what is ok to die for...
In this case it was an innocent bystander but that happens sometimes, bad luck for sure and very unfortunate.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:36   #57
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

I have to disagree with the safe speed argument.
The VOR65 is not much faster then a containers ship, Ferry, or Warship.
If you check AIS in that area, you can see containers ships going 12-18 kt. At those speed they would need close to a full mile to stop. And thats 30 miles out. I can even see a container ship doing 15 kt almost in the HK labour zone. A VOR 65 might come in 4 kt faster but will stop and can maneuver much faster.

If the fishing vessel had been hit by a containership, would you argue that the container ship should have been going slower.

ColRegs apply to both boats here.
Rule 5 was probably ok on Vestas. Don't know about the fishing boat.
Rule 7 Can't say for now for Vestas but already pretty obvious that the fishing boat was not.
The damage on Vestas is on Port side.....not conclusive but port side is port side.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:53   #58
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pirate Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

One can see the Bridge/Navigation lights of a container ship from a very long way off.. lights on a yacht.. not 1/4 so far.. if that.. and they have good radar.
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Old 23-01-2018, 11:07   #59
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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One can see the Bridge/Navigation lights of a container ship from a very long way off.. lights on a yacht.. not 1/4 so far.. if that.. and they have good radar.
The VOR boats have lights that are up to regulation or over.
The fishing boat??? Not sure.

Other questions to be raised.
VORs have radar, AIS and radar reflectors, fishing boat probably none of those.
Did the fishing boat have at least a radar reflector?
It was a pretty small boat because it sank right away after collision. Small boats do not have good radar signature.
Combine night, no radar signature, almost no lights. How can you expect to detect such a boat?
IT's like blaming a driver for hitting a pedestrian who was crossing a dark highway at night dressed in black.
Blaming Vestas and only Vestas for this is a very fast and early judgement in my opinion.
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Old 23-01-2018, 11:17   #60
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pirate Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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The VOR boats have lights that are up to regulation or over.
The fishing boat??? Not sure.

Other questions to be raised.
VORs have radar, AIS and radar reflectors, fishing boat probably none of those.
Did the fishing boat have at least a radar reflector?
It was a pretty small boat because it sank right away after collision. Small boats do not have good radar signature.
Combine night, no radar signature, almost no lights. How can you expect to detect such a boat?
IT's like blaming a driver for hitting a pedestrian who was crossing a dark highway at night dressed in black.
Blaming Vestas and only Vestas for this is a very fast and early judgement in my opinion.
I am not blaming anyone.. just commenting on speculations.. as I said earlier it was likely a traditional old wooden junk fishing boat.. wooden boats do sink fast if some planks are sprung.
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