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Old 25-07-2013, 10:02   #16
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

Wonder what Capn Cook did? :>)
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Old 25-07-2013, 10:17   #17
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

Deploy the gigs and whip the crew into rowing hard to tow the ship in.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:08   #18
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

So here's a brief account from a very knowledgeable source who was there:

They were coming out of Oysterhaven in 20 knots of southerly wind, it faces south and is only a few 100 metres wide. There is a story of water being put into the diesel tanks by a previous trainee crew who were ‘difficult’. We were all at a bar-b-que the night before and when I asked after the captain I was told that he was aboard ‘assessing the damage of the previous crew’! I believe they thought that they had cleared the water but maybe the lumpy sea stirred things up.



They did try to push the bow around with a rib, but it was not powerful enough at 90hp.

So there it is... experienced crew and management, tight spot, frantic efforts with a service boat to save the vessel; and suggestions of possible sabotage. Nasty situation all around, and a very sad loss.

Best possible thing for us rubberneckers to do is applaud the actions of the rescue services and those involved for facilitating a casualty free evac.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:09   #19
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Waiting it out for favorable wind and tide was probably the rule in years gone by before motors, these days, not so much. Sounds like there was nothing for it in this case, sad.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:23   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1000 islands View Post
Why would the Captain take her out in force 5/6 winds?

I know that these aren't the worst but still not easy to sail in.

Could they not have waited for more calmer seas?
Force 5/6 would be nothing for a square rigger. Leaving a river estuary on the outgoing tide with an onshore wind was the cause of the swell and in all honesty looking at the video footage the swell was nothing compared to what is usually experienced on the Cork coast. There was a small flotilla of boats out to watch the Astrid depart. A small RIB with. 90hp engine attempted to pull the Astrid away from the rocks but it was not able to cope with the tow.
I've heard that in the past, that square riggers only considered the voyage to have begun, when they had left the confines of the likes of the Irish Sea.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:27   #21
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

That really sucks. Glad everyone is ok.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:06   #22
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

So pretty, so sad. Those sovereign Islands have been wicked lately ...
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:25   #23
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

This looks to me like a case of a skipper who was primarily a motor boat captain rather than a sailor/square rig captain.

They were out of the tight confines of the harbor, and had room to sail, if they had a sail ready and crew able to handle it.

We all make mistakes, and the trick is to learn from them. I think the lesson here is to have a sail to deploy if (when!) the engine fails.

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hell, ships without motors used to get right into Kinsale. Its one of the reasons it was an important harbor. There is usually (we wintered there) a decent wind on the beam, and just enough room to maneuver.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:27   #24
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

Sad sight indeed, but good to see everyone safe.
Was only in Oysterhaven and Kinsale myself a couple of weeks ago, and sailed through the Sovereigns, but on a much calmer day, it's a bit of coast to stay well clear of in onshore winds if it can be helped.
The RNLI and Irish Coastguard have been pretty busy these past few weeks, I spent about 6 weeks cruising the coast and there were a number of call outs every day.
Hats off to them for a job well done
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Old 26-07-2013, 12:07   #25
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

I think you might have have as answered my question Evan. In looking at her configuration, couldn't Astrid have employed her aft missen and a jib forward and sailed out of there? I am not trying to be critical, I am just wondering if she could have avoided the lee shore if : 1. She could get some cloth up quickly or 2. if the sails were already deployed and she was "motorsailing".
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Old 26-07-2013, 17:15   #26
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

This is a real shame. I wish there were a way to make someone who does things like put water in fuel tanks on purpose understand what the "real" consequences are and the possibility of lives lost.
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Old 26-07-2013, 19:02   #27
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

It's amazing how critical people on this board without much information, and seemingly disregarding what information is given in the article to put blame on a 'stupid captain'. A couple of the comments that have irked me include:

"Why would the Captain take her out in force 5/6 winds?
I know that these aren't the worst but still not easy to sail in.
Could they not have waited for more calmer seas?"

This one isn't so bad, but the article clearly states that the Astrid was taking part in a Gathering Cruise that was on its way to a classic boat festival and due to arrive that day in Kinsale. There was at least one other tall ship in the vicinity, as many of the crew were evacuated to that one. Additionally, these winds/waves are not usually dangerous for an ocean going vessel.

"In picture 3 of the article it appears the anchor is still snuggly nestled on the bow."

This one's been addressed, as an anchor is not always the solution.

"About your only hope in a situation like that is to have help nearby to give you a tow. even a small rib or two might have delayed the impact long enough for bigger power to arrive, but you're really at the mercy of the scene at that point."

Yep. They tried it to no avail. They were unable to safely pass a tow line to a larger vessel, as they were swept to the rocks too quickly. But they did try.

"Engine failure seems to foretell the end of these ships.... could it be they're really motor boats? or is it the captain and crew dont have the experience to sail that type of vessel?"

They are sail boats that are trying to meet 21st Century schedules. While it is probably true that as a TRAINING vessel, this crew was not as experienced as they could have been, that does not mean that the Captain or professional crew were not up to the task. Remember, that in the age of sail before engines, many more vessels were lost on lee shores. They usually didn't start blaming the crew (at least on merchant ships) unless there was gross misjudgment. There was a much higher acceptance for loss as there is today.

"This looks to me like a case of a skipper who was primarily a motor boat captain rather than a sailor/square rig captain.
They were out of the tight confines of the harbor, and had room to sail, if they had a sail ready and crew able to handle it.
We all make mistakes, and the trick is to learn from them. I think the lesson here is to have a sail to deploy if (when!) the engine fails."

First off, they probably struck their sails to reduce windage as they were preparing to motor in to a harbor. I'm not sure which, if any, sails were set prior to the engine failing, but there were at least 4 set by the time she ran aground, and the youtube video of the incident shows them setting the main, and in the pictures it's easy to see that the fore lower tops'l is ready to set as well. On boats like this (and I have sailed a number of them), it takes a coordinated effort by many people to set the sails. They didn't do too bad, but it just wasn't enough. So, they obviously did have some sails ready to deploy and attempted to sail to safety.

"I think you might have have as answered my question Evan. In looking at her configuration, couldn't Astrid have employed her aft missen and a jib forward and sailed out of there? I am not trying to be critical, I am just wondering if she could have avoided the lee shore if : 1. She could get some cloth up quickly or 2. if the sails were already deployed and she was "motorsailing"."

Um...she's a brig. There is no mizzen sail. Additionally, with just her main and a jib, she wouldn't have had much force, and would have had a hell of a time keeping from being caught in irons. Furthermore, she had two headsails, a main stays'l, and the mains'l set before running aground (iirc from the video which I watched yesterday, she may have struck the mains'l prior to going aground, and eventually struck all the sails once aground, probably to prevent as much damage as possible and make the rescue efforts easier).

Ultimately, this was a very tragic loss of a tall ship. Luckily, nobody was killed, though. To defend the captain, when the engine quit, he tried to tow and sail the boat into safe water, but also had a boat full of what appears to be teenage trainees. Once it was clear that getting to safe water was not likely, he focused on getting them, and ultimately the whole crew, safely off the boat. This is foresight and good judgement, not incompetence. It was only about an hour from when they first had engine problems to when the boat was on the rocks and sinking. In that time, they were able to attempt two different means of saving the ship from going on the rocks, and then ultimately take measures to ensure the survival of the 30 people onboard. They called for help early, and there were no casualties. Captain and crew: success in a bad situation.
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Old 26-07-2013, 19:10   #28
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders



Here is the video footage of the boat soon before striking the rocks. In the very beginning, you can see that she has the main stays'l set and is setting the main. A little later, she has two headsails set as well. Shortly before striking, she douses the heads'ls and later all four sails are doused. I also forgot to mention in my previous post...GOOD JOB RESCUERS! Without a quick and effective response, the outcome could have been different.
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Old 26-07-2013, 22:31   #29
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

I'm really glad Pyrate your here to whip us into shape. When I penned my question (at the office) I didn't have access to you tube. But if I had, I would have known the captain had those sails up until it was too late. Boy you sure straightened me out. I will never assume a Brig has a mizzen again.
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Old 26-07-2013, 23:35   #30
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Re: Another Lovely Old Girl Founders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrate View Post

Thanks for the youtube link.

First off, they probably struck their sails to reduce windage as they were preparing to motor in to a harbor.

They were well outside the entrance, with a known potential engine problem, motoring extremely close to an avoidable lee island, with several sails that can (we see it happen) be dropped extremely quickly.

I'm not sure which, if any, sails were set prior to the engine failing,

Pretty obviously none (immediately prior to the failure), except maybe perhaps the staysail. They are shown raising the main and then the headsails. The staysail is the only one that gets set effectively.

:04 staysail set, main not yet. Looking at this picture, I wonder about a bear away as downwind would clear the island. She does appear to have some boat speed but can't come up to clear the island. There is obviously no way they are going to tack thru, and also obviously not going to clear the island on this tack. However I can't tell her distance off or steering response (they may well already be too close to make the turn). Bearing off would probably have needed the headsails earlier rather than the main.
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:15 Headsails been set only briefly and now dropping as they are aground
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They didn't do too bad, but it just wasn't enough.
Hmmm . . . . I would have phrased it somewhat differently . . . . the skipper made a (very) bad judgment call, while the crew responded to the emergency reasonably well.

Look a mistake was made. This was an avoidable incident. The point of discussing it is to possibly learn from it and not repeat the mistake.
............
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