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Old 28-02-2014, 08:38   #46
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Most of the folks posting, obviously have never dealt with a situation with a man overboard. The sailboat helmsman didn't have a clue as to what to do after the wave hit, or as I watched the video a second time, it appears to me that the helmsman who was also likely the skipper was dumped overboard, leaving a less experienced crewman to deal with rescue... Clearly that person was in over their head. Prior to the wave, all seemed to be going well. After the wave hit, there was nobody at the helm.
The powerboat did an excellent job dealing with a rescue situation thrown at them quite unexpectedly. MOB is something to practice in case this happens to you... it's happened to me, two overboard.... hopefully, never again. But... stuff happens.
Yes.... And I think this person did a magnificent job... There were still a few seconds here and there of under-utilizing the power that was available to him... You can see him goose pretty good a few times... But overall... in an emergency multiple MOB when your helmsman went over???? Pretty Flippin' Flappin' good....

Quote:
Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
I was wondering if the violence of the knockdown damaged the engine mounts or something such that the sailboat couldn't maneuver, but I also think its likely the skipper was thrown over and the crew left was inexperienced.
You can see that in several instances after the event, the sailboat has plenty of power... Unfortunately dropping the throttle on "thinking you were in" was the cause for all this... I saw it coming the second he did...

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
That's easy for you to write sitting at your computer, second guessing what the skipper who go dumped overboard should have done. Haven't you ever sat outside a harbor entrance and wondered if you were making the correct decision to enter? From the angle, I don't think he saw it coming.

I call this one bad luck... not stupid. IMHO
I agree Keno... I also agree that new sailors need to be aware that "bad luck" like this can and DOES happen all the time to us...

What can be learned is that regardless of a situation... There is a way to best handle it with the minimum of consequences...

This is NOT a newb helmsman "learning opportunity" regardless....
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Old 28-02-2014, 08:53   #47
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Looks like a heroin induced approach to me.
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Old 28-02-2014, 09:18   #48
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Lots of armchair quarterbacking going on!

A few observations.

The foredeck crew stayed on. The helmsman, one other crew from the cockpit, and the person on the midship's rail went overboard.

Looks like they were staying close to the breakwater to get to sheltered water as quickly as possible. Impossible to really tell from the angle and foreshortening of the camera.

Doesn't look like they backed off the throttle at any point to me. Hard to tell again from perspective and potential surge in that area that may have slowed the boat's VOG in the video.

The boat seemed to circle back in a contemplated attempt to rescue before disengaging. That seems to have been ruled out by the subsequent breaking wave in the area. We can't see what was rolling in from the right.

The center console came out pretty quickly. All the talk about lines and horseshoes is moot since we don't know what they had on board.

Saying it took too long to rescue shows a lack of understanding and experience with respect to how challenging it can be to get potentially injured/exhausted/shocked people onboard even a small boat of that sort. They dragged the first person, the one without a PFD, off I assume to get out of the breaking waves until they had them onboard, which was likely prudent in those conditions. They circled back as they were able to retrieve the others.

All in all I think it's really impossible to comment intelligently and with conviction about any of the decisions that anyone made. We weren't there, we don't know the area, the conditions, the time of day, the experience of the crew or skippers, etc.

I do know that any breakwater on the open ocean can be challenging even in relatively benign conditions, and that a view from a distance (such as with the camera in the video) can give you a completely different impression of conditions right where the boat is in the inlet. Often being 20 yards one way or the other can make all the difference in the world.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:06   #49
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The sailboat helmsman didn't have a clue as to what to do after the wave hit, or as I watched the video a second time, it appears to me that the helmsman who was also likely the skipper was dumped overboard, leaving a less experienced crewman to deal with rescue... Clearly that person was in over their head..
I'm going to take back what I wrote in the above post late last night. My bad.

After watching the video a third time, I think the crewmember who took the helm in the skipper's absence did an excellent job, making all the right moves to get the boat and crew out of harms way. It appears that he acted quickly and decisively. It also appears that be made the right decision to defer the rescue to the powerboat when it was known that it was in the immediate area and not further endanger the remaining crew onboard the sailboat. The powerboat most likely returned quickly to the sailboat to inquire as to how many were in the water before attempting the rescue.

A job well done by all in my view regarding the resue.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:07   #50
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Not to contribute to the bonfire, but a friend sent me this comment two days ago, when I first saw this video. Unlike most, he has sailed that particular area, and I've sailed with him in some squally French weather on...wait for it...a Bavaria 36:

"The video ticks many boxes of what not to do: Crew in the wrong place, no harnesses, bad MOB manoeuvres. They got stuck in Biscay’s armpit, a no-go area in strong NW winds, picked the wrong wave, you can see the bigger one coming behind. Most importantly, they picked the wrong harbour, had they gone W 2 miles of Zumaia, they would had found safe harbour in San Salvador with no bar: http://goo.gl/maps/HkeII With that wind, it would have taken them 20 minutes. A good skipper should have a plan B and know when to use it.
"I’ve crossed Biscay many times, it’s tricky, trickier than most places, definitely not for the faint hearted."

I find my friend's comments credible.

If you check out that Google Earth link, you will note he is correct about the relatively short run to a better harbour.

My reply is as follows, keeping in mind that while I have sailed in France, I haven't sailed down that way: "The San Salvador harbour is not only turned 90 degrees clockwise, but appears to have a shielding headland to deflect the wind and the waves. I would imagine the prevailing winds in February are SW to NW, depending on what side of the low you are on, and I have no idea why you would choose to sail in heavy stuff in the SE corner of the bay.

"Anyway, the prudent skipper has to be prepared to divert, sometimes dramatically, to preserve ship and crew, or even to stay out hove-to until conditions moderate."

So are we also armchair sailors? Or was that a calculated risk that went pear-shaped? I can't agree that being untethered (short tethers for the cockpit) was a good idea.

Frankly, the foreshortening of the lens used to shoot the video makes some of the actions unclear. Nonetheless, I was cringing along with the rest of you watching it like the worst kind of horror movie.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:25   #51
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Let me go through this footage, please…

00:00 – 01:20 – helmsman is assessing the entrance – well done.
01:20 – 01:50 – helmsman turns around and is positioning the boat for run into the harbour – well done.
01:50 – 02:00 – helmsman is putting all the revs on and is making a quick dash for the entrance – well done.
02:00 – 02:40 – helmsman is running into the entrance under the screen of breakwater – well done.
02:40 – it is possible (but not sure) that helmsman is taking off some revs (“We are into, lads!”). If so – it was a mistake, but I’m not at all sure if marginally higher speed would had help…
02:40 – 02:58 – huge breaking wave knocks the boat flat. It was unexpected and unpredictable. No reason to blame helmsman. Four people get to water – helmsman, one from port sidedeck, one from cockpit, the last one or from starboard sidedeck or from cockpit – difficult to be sure. The boat rightens itself. Bothe people from foredeck stay on the deck.
02:58 – 03:16 – one of the crewmen jumps to the wheel, helming the boat just off the surf, hiding under the lee of breakwater. Crewmen from the bow are getting to the cockpit. Well done – not a sign of the panic.
03:16 – 04:30 – new helmsman keeps boat just outside the surf, Crew is deploying the horseshoe buoy on the line, but to no avail, as the surf is getting all four overboard out of inner breakwater, toward the cove with a beach (see satellite on Google maps). Nothing wrong on the side of the crew.
One crewman is not in the cockpit – probably already down and on VHF.
04:30 – 06:20 – boat is standing by, slowly closing the entrance channel. Motorboat appears. Look carefully: there is her skipper at wheel, one person in red suit in the forward cockpit and at least one (or rather two) quite small silhouettes in blue. Children perhaps? Only three minutes thirty seconds passed from the knock down. It is only half a mile from Marina Urola, but still it is rather too short a time for somebody there to be alarmed, get to the boat, don a wetsuits, start the engines and get there. It is occasional boater rather, with a family on board, perhaps. Bavaria disappears into the channel.
06:20 – 06:35 – motorboat is turning around and disappears in channel following Bavaria.
06:35 – 07:30 – Bavaria slows down in the channel (mast is still visible). Motorboat reappears after less than a minute.
07:30 – 08:49 – motorboat has now three persons on board: the skipper and two men in red suits in fore cockpit. My guess is skipper of motorboat dropped less able people on the Bavaria and took a red-suited guy from a yacht. They are now attempting a rescue action. People overboard are out of dangerous surf now, and the motorboat crew perform their task steady and purposefully. Good job of motorboat skipper, really.
08:49 – 08:55 – next huge breaker forces the motorboat to break over. The motorboat skipper is doing extraordinarily well. The sail yacht appears from the entrance channel.
08:55 – 12:33 – the newly arrived yachts is staying by, while the motorboat and her crew are completing the rescue. Please note: LAST person was taken aboard the motorboat in about nine minutes thirty seconds after the Bavaria knockdown.

I think everybody involved did their best in this dangerous situation. I can not see any stupidity on this footage. But there is some good seamanship I think…
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:31   #52
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Re: Bad Bad Day

So you're seeing all 4 being rescued? There was some question online whether they were all retrieved.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:45   #53
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleWhisky View Post
Let me go through this footage, please…


02:40 – it is possible (but not sure) that helmsman is taking off some revs (“We are into, lads!”). If so – it was a mistake, but I’m not at all sure if marginally higher speed would had help…


I think everybody involved did their best in this dangerous situation. I can not see any stupidity on this footage. But there is some good seamanship I think…
re: 02:40 ......That's what I saw....

and ... Not so much stupidity... as lack of prior experience.... (helmsman)
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:51   #54
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Re: Bad Bad Day

I whole heartedly agree that in those conditions especially when you are unsure of the approach the crew should have been jack lined or down below. As far as not making the approach at all its hard to say with the evidence at hand.

As far as I can tell it looked like a rogue wave hit them unlike the others that were coming in. If that's the case then the guy just had really freakin bad luck. Now if we were able to see all the waves that were coming in and they were all like that then definitely a bad move.

My theory is he was trying to time the waves and saw that the entrance was doable with moderate waves but when he finally got there a much larger swell hit and then lost crew.

It's definitely his fault for failing to secure the crew but the video of the approach doesn't give us all the info that he had at the time.

I'd like to say I would have gone off shore and waited it out but I can't see what he saw at that time when he decided to go for it.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:53   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleWhisky View Post
Let me go through this footage, please…

00:00 – 01:20 – helmsman is assessing the entrance – well done.
01:20 – 01:50 – helmsman turns around and is positioning the boat for run into the harbour – well done.
01:50 – 02:00 – helmsman is putting all the revs on and is making a quick dash for the entrance – well done.
02:00 – 02:40 – helmsman is running into the entrance under the screen of breakwater – well done.
02:40 – it is possible (but not sure) that helmsman is taking off some revs (“We are into, lads!”). If so – it was a mistake, but I’m not at all sure if marginally higher speed would had help…
02:40 – 02:58 – huge breaking wave knocks the boat flat. It was unexpected and unpredictable. No reason to blame helmsman. Four people get to water – helmsman, one from port sidedeck, one from cockpit, the last one or from starboard sidedeck or from cockpit – difficult to be sure. The boat rightens itself. Bothe people from foredeck stay on the deck.
02:58 – 03:16 – one of the crewmen jumps to the wheel, helming the boat just off the surf, hiding under the lee of breakwater. Crewmen from the bow are getting to the cockpit. Well done – not a sign of the panic.
03:16 – 04:30 – new helmsman keeps boat just outside the surf, Crew is deploying the horseshoe buoy on the line, but to no avail, as the surf is getting all four overboard out of inner breakwater, toward the cove with a beach (see satellite on Google maps). Nothing wrong on the side of the crew.
One crewman is not in the cockpit – probably already down and on VHF.
04:30 – 06:20 – boat is standing by, slowly closing the entrance channel. Motorboat appears. Look carefully: there is her skipper at wheel, one person in red suit in the forward cockpit and at least one (or rather two) quite small silhouettes in blue. Children perhaps? Only three minutes thirty seconds passed from the knock down. It is only half a mile from Marina Urola, but still it is rather too short a time for somebody there to be alarmed, get to the boat, don a wetsuits, start the engines and get there. It is occasional boater rather, with a family on board, perhaps. Bavaria disappears into the channel.
06:20 – 06:35 – motorboat is turning around and disappears in channel following Bavaria.
06:35 – 07:30 – Bavaria slows down in the channel (mast is still visible). Motorboat reappears after less than a minute.
07:30 – 08:49 – motorboat has now three persons on board: the skipper and two men in red suits in fore cockpit. My guess is skipper of motorboat dropped less able people on the Bavaria and took a red-suited guy from a yacht. They are now attempting a rescue action. People overboard are out of dangerous surf now, and the motorboat crew perform their task steady and purposefully. Good job of motorboat skipper, really.
08:49 – 08:55 – next huge breaker forces the motorboat to break over. The motorboat skipper is doing extraordinarily well. The sail yacht appears from the entrance channel.
08:55 – 12:33 – the newly arrived yachts is staying by, while the motorboat and her crew are completing the rescue. Please note: LAST person was taken aboard the motorboat in about nine minutes thirty seconds after the Bavaria knockdown.

I think everybody involved did their best in this dangerous situation. I can not see any stupidity on this footage. But there is some good seamanship I think…
Perfect analysis!

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Old 28-02-2014, 10:57   #56
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Re: Bad Bad Day

He defiantly let off the throttle for un know reasons, you can clearly see everyone bracing for impact. was most likely a few second panic. Call me an arm chair ass all you like. Bad mistake, risking lives and a boat. 20 minuet sail to a safer harbor !
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:59   #57
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Re: Bad Bad Day

Quote "I think everybody involved did their best in this dangerous situation. I can not see any stupidity on this footage. But there is some good seamanship I think…" agreed but after the fact
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:14   #58
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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You will drown people hanging g on to a rope if you power at more than dead slow, and the power boat was dodging breakers. With people hanging on to a rope he might not have been able to dodge. A rope in the prop would have been death - imagine that little powerboat caught by a wave like the one which knocked down the sailboat. I'm not sure this technique would have been prudent here.
You might be right in those conditions. I wasn't there and never experienced that type of big wave action in a powerboat and I agree that towing them would not be a good idea if you were dodging seas. However, to get a life ring to them and have them stay together the line would have been helpful and as I stated, hand over handing the line with people on the end would pull the boat to them and get them along side more quickly. Sometimes armchairing it doesn't give the right perspective and hindsight is always 20-20. My computer would not allow me to see it in real time. It was fits and starts and the timeline was not correct. It took me 25 minutes to the end to see what happened. I was concerned for time in the water but as was stated later it was only 9 minutes. Not too bad.

Did they recover all the folks in the water? My thoughts were that there were two picked up. If all those in the water were recovered then they did a pretty good job.
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:19   #59
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Did they recover all the folks in the water? My thoughts were that there were two picked up.
Thats my question too. unanswered.
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:19   #60
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Re: Bad Bad Day

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Are you nuts. (A) trying to stay holding a line is almost impossible , (b) the risk of the whole lot entangling in the prop.

Dave
As I replied to Dockhead, you might be right. These were severe conditions and the powerboat skipper, I'm certain, had his attention glued to incoming waves.
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