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Old 21-06-2015, 05:48   #31
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
No surprises here. Failure to see a yacht in good visibility, and killing someone as a result = a whole heap of trouble.

The skipper of Orca will also be blamed, but under the circumstances I doubt whether he will be seriously punished.
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Old 21-06-2015, 05:52   #32
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Yep, all he had to do was step out of his cosy little navigatorium...take a few paces to the left ... and look out the bloody window!!!!!
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Old 21-06-2015, 06:09   #33
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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No surprises here. Failure to see a yacht in good visibility, and killing someone as a result = a whole heap of trouble.

The skipper of Orca will also be blamed, but under the circumstances I doubt whether he will be seriously punished.
More info -

Dutch chief mate sentenced for fatal yacht collision - Practical Boat Owner
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Mr Chapel was sentenced to nine months, reduced to six months which has been suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals, section 58 Merchant Shipping act 1995.
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Old 21-06-2015, 06:18   #34
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Sounds like no actual jail time, but his career at sea is probably over.
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Old 21-06-2015, 06:32   #35
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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I think that a requirement that we broadcast AIS is inevitable. This will certainly help safety, but will also allow us to be tracked everywhere, all the time . . . That being said, I have a "transmit off" switch on my AIS which I've never used . . .


Whether AIS would have helped Orca or not is doubtful.
One of the main points here is that the accident happened in broad daylight and good viz, and everyone was relaxed. The dredger had a perfectly good radar return from Orca. But the OOW wasn't watching it.

In the place where this happened, I would have had all my guard zones and AIS alarms switched off, because in the approaches to a port like here, the alarms will drive you crazy. SOP for me in such a place is to go to a higher state of watchkeeping constantly looking out visually and watching the instruments. But SOP for me allows me to go below for a pee (not for 5 minutes, but still). I would like to think that I wouldn't do it while another vessel was 1.5 miles away, but if it were apparently following a channel, and I were outside the channel, apparently well clear? Hmm.

This really shook me up. Maybe AIS alarms could be set with different parameters in ports, rather than switching them off. That can't be done easily on my system.
Mandatory AIS already exists in some jurisdictions, notably in Thailand, for example, where it is bizarrely only required for visiting yachts. I have certainly turned my AIS to passive on many occasions, but only in areas like the waters around Borneo or the Southern EC where broadcasting position and nature of vessel may possibly be dangerous.
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Old 21-06-2015, 06:36   #36
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Sounds like no actual jail time, but his career at sea is probably over.
Likely yes. Unfortunate but that bridge was set forward with quite stupendous visibility and excellent layout. Really there was no excuse for missing sight of the yacht, and those were busy coastal waters. Fault correctly apportioned. The admission of guilt goes some long way to mitigating his punishment and shame. It sounds like he took it firmly on the chin. Sad all around.
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Old 21-06-2015, 08:23   #37
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Ralph:
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Old 21-06-2015, 08:58   #38
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I have been hearing these stories for more than 80 years, and involved in rescuing people for 60 of those years resulting from not maintaining a proper Lookout, while Sailing, Flying, and Driving. So I can not help but wonder why it has to be written in to the COLREGS... The results of not maintaining a proper Lookout are Logical, particularly when these larger commercial ships have plenty of "Trained Crew" to draw from. I n any event it is another sad story...
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Old 21-06-2015, 09:26   #39
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

It seems to me that fear had to be absent. I particularly fear barges under tow on long cables. (Particularly at night) It is a grinding annoyance to have to constantly alter course, or carry out a sub optimal plan B while under sail. Nevertheless it is a requirement to ensure safety. I assume they are all trying to run me down and act accordingly.
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Old 21-06-2015, 09:40   #40
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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No AIS on my boat, but interested. Does the AIS alarm go off due to proximity only? Or would it go off once a collision was imminent due to Shoreway's course change. The vessels were only 1.6 miles apart when Orca's skipper went for a piss.

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Depending on your AIS hardware, these items can be setup in the sytem menus. The alarm settings you want are very different for coastal sailing, in a tight channel, or open ocean. Having the equipment doesn't save lives...its using it properly.
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Old 21-06-2015, 09:45   #41
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Depending on your AIS hardware, these items can be setup in the sytem menus. The alarm settings you want are very different for coastal sailing, in a tight channel, or open ocean. Having the equipment doesn't save lives...its using it properly.
I missed RTB's question.

Yes -- AIS alarms will go off depending on two factors: CPA, and TCPA -- closest point of approach, and time of closest point of approch.

Offshore, I keep mine set at 30 minutes and 1 mile. That means if AIS tracks a vessel and calculates that it will pass within one mile of me anytime in the next 30 minutes, the alarm goes off.

This is no good inshore because a myriad of vessels will set off the alarms which are not actually dangerous. Much less in harbors where you will INTENTIONALLY go within a mile of many vessels.

Inshore, TCPA is especially important, because vessels following approach lanes, fairways, and channels, will be changing course, and 30 minutes away is too far to know whether it's a dangerous situation or not.

So you want to set a closer and closer CPA, and shorter TCPA, the more congested or complex the waters, and correspondingly you will want to keep a much tighter watch.

If Orca had had AIS, and has they set it say for 10 minutes and three cables, they would have gotten 10 minutes of warning -- probably enough to save themselves.

But the key is having it set right. I would not have had my AIS alarms set in that situation because I would be relying entirely on the visual watch. LIke many sailors. Time to rethink that.
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Old 21-06-2015, 10:36   #42
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Use by either party of the Mk 1 eyeball would have prevented this....
Exactly...

This discussion is reminiscent of those about MOB situations, and how quickly they often morph into the realm of how 'gadgets' and technology such as a personal EPIRB might have made the difference between life, and death...

What is so often so easily forgotten, is the simple fact that what would have made the biggest difference, is not falling off the damn boat to begin with...

:-)
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Old 21-06-2015, 11:30   #43
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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I missed RTB's question.

Yes -- AIS alarms will go off depending on two factors: CPA, and TCPA -- closest point of approach, and time of closest point of approch.

Offshore, I keep mine set at 30 minutes and 1 mile. That means if AIS tracks a vessel and calculates that it will pass within one mile of me anytime in the next 30 minutes, the alarm goes off.

This is no good inshore because a myriad of vessels will set off the alarms which are not actually dangerous. Much less in harbors where you will INTENTIONALLY go within a mile of many vessels.

Inshore, TCPA is especially important, because vessels following approach lanes, fairways, and channels, will be changing course, and 30 minutes away is too far to know whether it's a dangerous situation or not.

So you want to set a closer and closer CPA, and shorter TCPA, the more congested or complex the waters, and correspondingly you will want to keep a much tighter watch.

If Orca had had AIS, and has they set it say for 10 minutes and three cables, they would have gotten 10 minutes of warning -- probably enough to save themselves.

But the key is having it set right. I would not have had my AIS alarms set in that situation because I would be relying entirely on the visual watch. LIke many sailors. Time to rethink that.
Depending on your set (Vespermarine) you can also have an alarm based solely on distance from your ship. You can also be able to filter out targets that are not moving so that they do not trigger a CPA or TCPA alarm when they are at anchor or alongside.
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Old 21-06-2015, 11:45   #44
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

In reading the collective observations of experienced sailors on this thread, for which I thank you very much, some conclusions have been drawn for both single handers and crewed boats.

Firstly, if crewed, NEVER EVER go below with a vessel closer than 7 miles and doing 7 knots or more. If sailing single handedly, NEVER EVER go below with a vessel closer than 7 miles. This does not need a regulation to enforce it. It is pure mathematics.

Secondly, for a crewed yacht, given the criteria of above, Ask a crew member to cover for you. A pee could turn into a dump and a peruse of a magasine-it happens. If, given all the circumstances, the crew member is not to be woken, then whiz over the side. When I single hand, I ALWAYS follow these self imposed rules. Better to be seen with your tackle hanging over the side than on a mortuary slab.

Looking at AIS and Radar. Absolutely useless in real terms unless set up for the circumstances and environment of the moment. If it set up correctly, can be or more help than just visual sighting. I never knock advancements in technology and would use it PROPERLY to maximise efficiency. I have a clinic full of technology and will only use it after sufficient training and experience with it. Same with RADAR (I dont have AIS)....... I have it set for two positions, one is 2 miles and the other is 15. It doesnt matter where I am or how busy the area is, the 2 mile goes on and I will drop it down to 1/2 mile and reduce clutter with warnings set. It stays on.

We dont need more regulations. We need to do more with what we have. In fact we just need to use what we have properly.

I understand commercial ship operators get bored with the daily routine and tend to look at is a "job" and cut corners to alleviate the tedium. I have been on one or two commercial cargo vessels picking up crew who did not follow the rules and ended up injured. So easily could be a failed lookout or not even tending the RADAR. I have also been on cargo vessels where one person is always manning a properly set up RADAR and communications centre and swapped out by a physical watch crewman and they change jobs regularly to alleviate fatigue and boredom.

There are place where the risk odds are in the single or multi crewed vessels favour. Close to another vessel? Not good odds.

A sad ending to a sail. Those at fault will carry the blame internally till they pass away in later years.

If you examine the path backwards of an accident, there is usually more than one place where it could have been avoided. Blame is pointless. Attribution of fault is apportioned, and the victims will remain as dead if it had happened with care or with negligence.

We have all we need to be better sailors already.
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Old 21-06-2015, 11:55   #45
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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weavus said: Better to be seen with your tackle hanging over the side than on a mortuary slab.
Hang over the side for a whiz and you are likely to be seen on a mortuary slab sooner, rather than later. Bucket as mentioned above or one of the pilot products are much safer and will not stop you from keeping a good lookout.
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