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Old 07-08-2013, 16:52   #76
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

I'm still hoping to find a floating container that has boxes and boxes of brand new boat's toys; radars, GPS, VHF radios, SATnet transceivers...and... a partridge on a coconut palm tree!

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Old 07-08-2013, 17:18   #77
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

I've thought about this scenario a lot because I've known two people who were sunk by containers and I sailed within 100 feet of one. All occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. My friends sunk within weeks of each other(crazy!). We now think it was the same batch of containers lost further south around Belize or Honduras, that sunk both vessels. One was a hunter, singlehanding. The other, a 42 foot Catalina. Hunter went fast, guy barely got off. Catalina went slow but repair was impossible for a couple reasons. One, the hole was behind a water tank. Two, owner became injured trying to repair the hull.

The only reason I spotted my container is because the setting sun off the stern reflected off the exposed triangle poking up out of the water, we were also enjoying a nice peaceful sea. No way I would of seen it at night,in the morning, or in heavy seas.

I had such good luck with 5200 on a sinking wooden boat, I'd definitely have that at the ready (Cures underwater).

So the question, what would I do? It's a loaded question and too many factors for a cookie cutter answer.
If I know it's a container collision. Maneuver away from the darn thing so it doesn't cause more damage. Determine damage. Easy access, try to repair from inside the boat. Bad or no access, go overboard to make repair. Of course it will depend on the speed of the ingress of seawater. Fast ingress, we would probably be inclined to just dive over the side due to all the debris floating around below.

Having an abundance of bilge style pumps, electrical and manual is a must. One trip, we had two electrics and one manual pump. After three days of taking on water they all, one by one, failed. So a heavy duty pump that is made to run continuously is a good idea to add to your already robust arsenal.
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Old 07-08-2013, 18:32   #78
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Steel has it's merits for long distance offshore.
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Old 07-08-2013, 18:54   #79
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

the standard operating procedure is pretty straight forward
"in the event of holing the forward section of the hull in collision with a whale or container, immediately reverse the sails and set the boat sailing as fast as possible BACKWARDS, creating a vacuum in then forward section of the hull to suck the water out..." I've never had to try it but i reckon it'd work...
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Old 07-08-2013, 19:21   #80
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

I was on delivery of a 32' irwin in the late 70's and we were sailing fast across the Chesapeake a cold nite in November.Coast Guard gave out a securite' call that a barge had overturned and dumped a load of containers ,now floating somewhere near entrance to the bay.I had no doubt that if we hit one ,the Samauri Maru was going to sink post haste. In a seaway, esp. at night,one would have to be inordinately lucky to find and plug anything but the smallest crack. i occasionally have to pull my speed/log if fouled and that inch and one half hole lets in 55 gallons/minute. It is quite a scary fountain when at anchor but in the conditions that a damaging collision would occur in open water I would be wishing I was back on my old steel sloop.
Have read that upwards of 10,000 containers are lost overboard each year.
Raku: you may find some comfort in knowing my $10 foam plug did a fine job of stopping all water from entering via my manmade symmetrical hole, but one must give it a good twist once it is in to make it stick.
If however the hole is jagged as in the video............
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Old 07-08-2013, 19:36   #81
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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I was on delivery of a 32' irwin in the late 70's and we were sailing fast across the Chesapeake a cold nite in November.Coast Guard gave out a securite' call that a barge had overturned and dumped a load of containers ,now floating somewhere near entrance to the bay.I had no doubt that if we hit one ,the Samauri Maru was going to sink post haste. In a seaway, esp. at night,one would have to be inordinately lucky to find and plug anything but the smallest crack. i occasionally have to pull my speed/log if fouled and that inch and one half hole lets in 55 gallons/minute. It is quite a scary fountain when at anchor but in the conditions that a damaging collision would occur in open water I would be wishing I was back on my old steel sloop.
Have read that upwards of 10,000 containers are lost overboard each year.
Raku: you may find some comfort in knowing my $10 foam plug did a fine job of stopping all water from entering via my manmade symmetrical hole, but one must give it a good twist once it is in to make it stick.
If however the hole is jagged as in the video............
I would think you'd have to really jam it in there. There's a lot of pressure on the outside. But an irregular hole could work to your advantage with such a malleable foam.

I know a guy who cuts thruholes under water. Two people tap VERY carefully (with him in the water) so they know exactly where it's going to be.

Then he jams a toilet plunger over the spot, and the inside person cuts the hole.

Of course they have a plug handy ...
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Old 07-08-2013, 20:01   #82
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I know a guy who cuts thruholes under water...
Uhm... why?
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Old 07-08-2013, 20:11   #83
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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Uhm... why?

It avoids the cost of hauling the boat and is much faster.

the guy does excellent work, but if he puts in a thru hole for me, we're hauling her first.
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Old 07-08-2013, 20:20   #84
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Re: Worst Case Scebario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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I think this actual occurrence is fairly rare. You might be worrying about something along the same odds as winning the lottery.
I think a lot more common that that judging by the number of Vendee Globe boats of late having collisions with UFOs. At least 4 in the last edition, which seems pretty typical IIRC. With a total of a bit under 400K miles, that would be about once per 100K miles. Certainly not an everyday thing, but far more likely that winning the lottery. Luckily most collisions do not result in a gaping hold that sinks the boat.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:35   #85
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Re: Worst Case Scebario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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Certainly not an everyday thing, but far more likely that winning the lottery.
Unfortunatly I agree.
I know several friends that have hit something bad enough to be in serious danger of sinking. No friends have won the lottery.

My impression is the number of whale strikes are rising dramatically. The number of container strikes modestly. The number of debris strikes is high at the moment, but this will only be short lived.

The risk of dying from the cause is not high, but it one of few hazards that you can do very little about other than having a yacht that is more likely to survive a strike. The latest generation of PLBs and personal AIS transmitters provide some possibility of rescue even if the sinking is too rapid to deploy the life raft, but in offshore conditions the chances are still very slim.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:04   #86
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Re: Worst Case Scebario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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My impression is the number of whale strikes are rising dramatically. The number of container strikes modestly. The number of debris strikes is high at the moment, but this will only be short lived.

.

I've never met anyone who has actually seen the whale or the container that they allege has hit their boat.

I've never seen a container at sea.

I've seen lots of junk floating around. Hitting some would make a nice ‘donging’ sound.
And zillions of trees.

A boat I was on nearly ran over a couple of whales once but if we had hit it wouldnt have caused damage in the situation imho, just would have woken them up and made them angry. We were heading over the narrow bit between the whale and the tail of one that was lying right next to its mate.

Hitting wave/tide recorders at sea wouldn't be so much fun and I’ve come close to a number of them, unmarked, drifting in very deep water. They are huge.

So I guess container strike is very very rare. Everything else is very rare to cause catastrophic damage.

I do agree that with the expanding whale numbers they will became a temporary problem solved by some boffin with an acoustic signal that warns whales away from slow moving boats (ships go too fast).

But its all so rare that if you are going to waste your life worrying about it you are probably going to die young anyway from stress. So sell your boat, buy a Zimmer frame and go play lawn bowls.



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Old 08-08-2013, 06:32   #87
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Re: Worst Case Scebario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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I've never met anyone who has actually seen the whale or the container that they allege has hit their boat.

I've never seen a container at sea.

I've seen lots of junk floating around. Hitting some would make a nice ‘donging’ sound.
And zillions of trees.

A boat I was on nearly ran over a couple of whales once but if we had hit it wouldnt have caused damage in the situation imho, just would have woken them up and made them angry. We were heading over the narrow bit between the whale and the tail of one that was lying right next to its mate.

Hitting wave/tide recorders at sea wouldn't be so much fun and I’ve come close to a number of them, unmarked, drifting in very deep water. They are huge.

So I guess container strike is very very rare. Everything else is very rare to cause catastrophic damage.

I do agree that with the expanding whale numbers they will became a temporary problem solved by some boffin with an acoustic signal that warns whales away from slow moving boats (ships go too fast).

But its all so rare that if you are going to waste your life worrying about it you are probably going to die young anyway from stress. So sell your boat, buy a Zimmer frame and go play lawn bowls.



Mark

I think your attitude is silly.

If the risk is small and the consequences small, then I would agree. But since the consequences can be HUGE, I think the discussion is useful and it's reasonable to think about how to handle it should it happen.

In fact this is the ideal place to do it, packed with sailors who know lots of other sailors.

You are looking at it only from your experience. In YOUR world it isn't happened. But we just had someone else who knew two people who hit one within a week, and then he *did* see one.

I bet it looks like a real problem to him.

I look at your post, which offers no solutions *anyone* here would find palatable ... I'd rather hear from the guy who has seen it and knows nearly first hand what the consequences are.

If you don't want to think about it, skip the thread.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:02   #88
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Here are my 2 Euro-Cents:

First, most containers will sink. I have loaded and unloaded enough of them to know that the doors never close watertight. So if it does not contain buoyant merchandise (and there are very few long time buoyant objects, tennis balls probably being one of them) the chances that it will remain afloat are slim at best. And if they do (without buoyant content), they need to have tilted the door down, and have no holes in the rear section. Now, if that happens, we've got about 72 cubic meters of air keeping a max 25 ton container afloat. Even if I take an average depth of 5 meters for the air, which will compress it somewhat, it would still stick up like a sore thumb.

Second, it is impossible for a container to float "just beneath the surface". If it floats, some part will be above. If it is just beneath the surface, it will keep descending until it has found its final resting place.

I have seen enough floating stuff so far to be aware of the potential problem of hitting something partially submerged. The worst were tree trunks - I really would not like to hit them, especially at night.

Now if I would, first my crash box would go (I don't think monos have these, do they?), which is about half a meter long. If that didn't suffice, my forward storage locker would become flooded. Which would mean I would have to close the valve that drains it into the bilge to avoid a constantly running bilge pump and/or flooding of the main part of the hull.

Next, I would immediately activate the fresh water pump of that hull and dump as much as possible of the 300 l of water to lighten the hull and restrict the amount of water that can enter the storage locker. Next comes anything else of significant weight, which would go into the rear end of the opposite hull, again trying to keep the damaged front from diving too deep.

A scrape near the midsection might be more serious. Bad weather could make either scenario really ugly.

As to a permanent remedy, I think there are plans underway to require containers to have some water soluble plugs somewhere, so that the only ones really floating would be the ones with floating stuff in them. It won't be at the corners, since these need to carry the load, but I assume the cost of installing these even in existing containers would be very small.

...and it won't stop me from going out there...

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Old 08-08-2013, 08:22   #89
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

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First, most containers will sink.
I would hope so about 10,000 are lost per year so we would be in trouble if most floated.

The lookout that is used by offshore sailors means that it is unlikely a container will be spotted its time to prevent a collision, at night this probably rises to very unlikely.
Essentially its down to luck (or the lack thereof) if you hit one or not.

The risk is not high, but the consequences are often very serious.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:40   #90
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Re: Worst Case Scenario: Hitting A Sunken Container - What To Do!??

Oliver L. Sounds spot on. The container I saw was sticking out like a pyramid was about 5-8 feet out of the water, it may of been more. It looked brand new, white and shiny, no labels or logos. I do think a collision with it would of caused us damage, it was such a beefy looking object, seemed no match for fiberglass. We did get its lat and long, and called the CG as soon as we were able. It seemed to be following the Gulf Stream.
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