Garbone - those headlands are very steep to. Dropping the hook would have done nothing - you would have had to lay out over 100' of chain before even hitting the bottom, and then it would have been laying on rock. You can tie up to those cliffs on a calm day (which is just about never) and still have over 80' under the keel
in many places.
The word I got from a friend on scene is that they were transiting a channel, close in, and engine failed due to water
or some other contaminant in the fuel
. in a force 5/6 on a lee shore, you need a lot of room to tack a boat like Astrid off. She'd do it with enough room, but we've all transited tight entrances and passages between steep to rocks - and sometimes there simply is nothing you can do if you lose power in the wrong place. It sucks big time - she was a lovely, capable and well run vessel.
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.
It is a brutal reminder about the importance of each piece of equipment
, and implications of single-point failures on boats. I know that this sort of thing gives me nightmares when I'm powering in our out of tight channels where a bail out under sail is really a touch-and-go backup. Having a dinghy
ready to go with a decent outboard
is sometimes a reasonable self-rescue option, but it really has to be well thought out and rehearsed to be realistic.
kudos to the onboard crew and the lifeboat crews for getting all off with no injury. That's a big win once you're in the situation.