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Old 21-06-2015, 23:10   #106
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Who out of us doesn't go below for a minute to take a leak, or make a cuppa? There but for the grace of God go I . . .

This case is deeply disturbing.
Here's one who doesn't. If one of use needs to go below, we hand off the helm to the other.

Even if she was disabled, he could have gotten her in a position to keep an eye out and holler if something didn't look right. If you claim she was truely incapable of standing any type of watch then we are back to the arguement that single handing (as she was purely a passenger) is in violation of the colregs.

10% in the wrong is still in the wrong and the accident would have been avoided if the yatch was keeping a proper watch.

The correlarry of "there but for the grace of God" is "God helps those who help themselves."
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Old 22-06-2015, 00:05   #107
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Apart from the weather and location aspects ( sunny afternoon and close inshore v shitty night well offshore ) this reminds me of the loss of an american yacht offshore from N Cape New Zealand maybe 15 years ago... maybe more.

Watchkeeper went below to make a cuppa.. hit ship.... lost her husband and two children... Tragic.

Ship ( either her or a sistership shown in my photo taken from the bridge of my day job) steaming north in half a gale... .. I think they saw the yacht at about a mile or less

So, you are watchkeeping on that bridge ... windows covered in spray... cranes all over the show... yes... radar good... maybe...ais good ... maybe...
Don't know if you're talking about the same incident, but the book called "Ten Degrees Of Reckoning" is a tragic true story of a yacht about 30 miles or so north of Cape Brett, Bay of Islands, NZ. Lady on watch at night in poor conditions never saw it coming until too late. Absolute tear jerker. Apparently saw crew members peering down at them as their boat and family were disintegrated. No one turned back or even reported it, but seems obvious they were aware of some incident. Being the only crew member dressed for the conditions, she was the only survivor washed up in liferaft on a remote bay. A member of our church, a Policeman spotted her from the air after they were overdue in Opua. NZ govt took up the case with the ship and tracked it down but don't know the outcome which I think has been some years in finalizing.
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Old 22-06-2015, 01:21   #108
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

We have a headstone saying in NZ: "Here lies the body of Johnathan May, who died preserving his right of way, he was right dead right as he sailed along, but he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong." Five minutes with no lookout in a busy harbour entrance? Always assume the other guy is a homicidal maniac out to kill you; you'll only be wrong most of the time.
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Old 22-06-2015, 03:36   #109
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Don't know if you're talking about the same incident, but the book called "Ten Degrees Of Reckoning" is a tragic true story of a yacht about 30 miles or so north of Cape Brett, Bay of Islands, NZ. Lady on watch at night in poor conditions never saw it coming until too late. Absolute tear jerker. Apparently saw crew members peering down at them as their boat and family were disintegrated. No one turned back or even reported it, but seems obvious they were aware of some incident. Being the only crew member dressed for the conditions, she was the only survivor washed up in liferaft on a remote bay. A member of our church, a Policeman spotted her from the air after they were overdue in Opua. NZ govt took up the case with the ship and tracked it down but don't know the outcome which I think has been some years in finalizing.
Same incident and I think that is the actual ship involved. A bit of revisionism has crept into the story... understandable seeing she lost her family.
At the time she stated she had been below for about 15 minutes.
Ships crew said they thought they saw a sidelight and then they didn't...
She said that she could see faces at all the portholes looking down at her.... v unlikely.
Tracking down possible ships isn't all that hard... they look for paint ( ex yacht) on the bow of ships on their short list.
There was a settlement which was never disclosed.
The one involving the Patanela.... the master ( v long time friend) told me about that... interviewed etc. No paint evidence but based on where she had been and where Patanela had been at the same time they were pretty sure that was what had happened but saw no point taking it further.
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Old 22-06-2015, 04:14   #110
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I'm not sure this is the right place for this, but at the close of my day here, I'm remembering the times we have come up on unlit sailing yachts on longish passages.

PLEASE, PLEASE do not sail unlit. Don't even be tempted.

Ann
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Old 22-06-2015, 04:19   #111
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Difference between being on watch at all times and watching at all times?

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LOL...please enlightenment me
Its more distinct when far from land :-
"On watch at all times" The person on watch can scan 360 degrees, check the GPS/charts see there is nothing within 10 miles then take a few minutes off before the next scan. They may be down below for a couple of minutes but they are still the one "on watch", they are still the one responsible for collision avoidance, preparedness for squalls etc and are responsible for the length of interval between reviews. 24 hr cycles of rotating watches means someone is on watch at all times.

"Watching at all times" clearly means a continuous lookout with no breaks. Probably a good idea in the middle of a yacht race but a bit weird on a trip when you haven't see another vessel for more than a week and there's no land for a couple of hundred miles.
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Old 22-06-2015, 04:34   #112
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Difference between being on watch at all times and watching at all times?



Its more distinct when far from land :-
"On watch at all times" The person on watch can scan 360 degrees, check the GPS/charts see there is nothing within 10 miles then take a few minutes off before the next scan. They may be down below for a couple of minutes but they are still the one "on watch", they are still the one responsible for collision avoidance, preparedness for squalls etc and are responsible for the length of interval between reviews. 24 hr cycles of rotating watches means someone is on watch at all times.

"Watching at all times" clearly means a continuous lookout with no breaks. Probably a good idea in the middle of a yacht race but a bit weird on a trip when you haven't see another vessel for more than a week and there's no land for a couple of hundred miles.
Yes, offshore (and off-topic) we've always worked on a max of 30 knots closing and a 6 mile horizon (swells take away your horizon). So even offshore we set the old wind-up alarm timer to 10 minutes and then the on-watch person spends a minute with binoculars searching for the person that is going to kill you.
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Old 22-06-2015, 04:55   #113
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

OK got it DumnMad... Makes sense now.
To me it is the difference between a lookout and a watchkeeper.
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Old 22-06-2015, 06:16   #114
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I was curious how the slipper pushed open the hatch when the boat was already under water. Wouldn't the water pressure from outside the hatch have prevented him from opening it once it was underwater?
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Old 22-06-2015, 09:39   #115
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

How did the skipper open the hatch when the boat was already underwater...seems like the water pressure would have made that impossible once the boat was submerged
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Old 22-06-2015, 09:43   #116
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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How did the skipper open the hatch when the boat was already underwater...seems like the water pressure would have made that impossible once the boat was submerged
Because it had sunk and was full of water and heading for the bottom. The pressure difference was zero. There might have been some air there, but it would have been at the same pressure as the water outside.
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Old 22-06-2015, 09:52   #117
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Let's go back to the original incident where we have the report for data.

The "passenger" wife, drowned when she was swept below decks, sustaining some injuries, and her life jacket pinned her to the overhead. Her lifejacket was of the self-inflating variety, and performed as designed. Her husband's did not inflate as the CO2 cartridge was not fully threaded into its socket. It's failure to inflate saved his life, as he was able to swim to the surface. The boat, Orca sank within 3 minutes (iirc), pretty fast.

Besides the issue of uninformed or mobility impaired passengers, we have the lifejacket issue. Muckle Flugga, whom I respect greatly, for his encompassing knowledge and wisdom of the sea, stated pretty forcefully that only self-inflating lifejackets should be used, with an implication that they can be left abovedecks.

My own view is somewhat different. I think people need to weigh carefully the chances of being knocked unconscious and overboard, according to their practices. Do they use tethers? Do they routinely prevent the boom when sailing off the wind? How often do they go forward? Can they trust the self-inflating ones to work? Into what temperature water will they fall? After the massive (to me) failures to inflate properly of all but one of the demonstrated ones at this years Wooden Boat Festival in Tasmania, I have little faith in them. So, I'd rather pull my tab to inflate (and yes, we check ours annually, and log it) and top off if necessary. But, even more, I prefer to stay on the boat. As a short handed sailor, I think you're dead if you get separated from the boat, so that's best avoided.

Ann
Thanks Anne, and likewise. Self inflaters are not the silver bullet. They are my preference for the reasons stated, and as if they fail the manual and lung powered options remain available. At the wooden boat festival, were these new or owners' jackets? I have found that many owners and charter companies do not adequately maintain their jackets. My own travel jacket (I use for charter work as day after tomorrow en route to Newport to pick up a boat for the transat) is currently inflated on the floor since yesterday (puffpower), something I do regularly, along with checking all aspects. A 3.5 gram discrepency with a rearm bottle new from kit led me to discard the old one after 1.5 years, yesterday. Often the bottles work loose in the inflators. Sometimes the auto mechanisms are likewise loose. Sometimes they have been fired and repacked without rearming.

In any case I appreciate your words and agree it is a matter of personal judgement. Sometimes safety equipment can kill us. I also am leery of the autoinflate option for its possibility of sweeping one off the vessel if caught by a boarding wave. this is why I ALWAYS use with tether, which is permanently attached by soft end to the jacket (2 hook spinlock).

Each system has its weaknesses, and each has its dangers which must be mitigated. I mitigate the ones associated with the auto inflate by maintenance, and strict observation of method of wearing: ie, not below decks, and not on deck without tether. The latter would likely have avoided her being swept below and so pinned, but ultimately either requires the ready to hand knife. I carry a lanyarded sailing knife in a spinlock pouch always attached (along with laserflare, and PLB all lanyarded within the pouch), as well as a secondary quick release blunt linecutter permanently attached in its own holster to the lifevest.

One more thing, I am sorry if I was unclear but I would not "leave" a PFD above decks but rather ALWAYS in a designated and particular place belowdecks (to avoid confusion in the dark, upside down, or in a scramble with others for the companionway!). What I meant is that auto PFDs should be removed and so stored when belowdecks, and donned prior to exiting the companionway. The best practise is to secure tether prior to actually exiting the companionway, and indeed this is what I do offshore.

All the best Anne and much respect likewise
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Old 22-06-2015, 09:59   #118
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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How did the skipper open the hatch when the boat was already underwater...seems like the water pressure would have made that impossible once the boat was submerged
A boat with a BIG hole in the hull has higher pressure on the top of entrapped air pocket than the water above. The difference is the same as the head of water as high as the height of the air pocket..

A small hole like a broken seacock is another matter in ballasted vessel becouse there's pressure difference on the opposite sides of the hole. If the amount of that diffence is greater than the forementioned "air-pocket-head-height-pressure" then the pressure above the hatch is greater.

BR Teddy
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Old 22-06-2015, 11:43   #119
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

I do not rely upon technology to determine that I am safe. I use technology as additional input that MAY see something that I missed. If technology shows me something that is a danger I can act accordingly. But if technology does not show a danger all it tells me is that there MAY be a danger that doesn't show, that there MAY be a problem with the equipment, or even that there MAY be no danger. All just MAYBEs. But when the equipment shows nothing I still have my eyes, ears, nose, even feeling of what the boat I'm on is doing. My senses AND my equipment are complimentary to each other.
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Old 22-06-2015, 13:46   #120
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Muckle Flugga, and anyone else interested in the life jacket portion of this thread:

Said jackets were provided new, from vendors. Many of them floated the volunteers face down. The event has caused some rethinking of how testing of such devices is done here. Life jackets are being re-designed even as I write. I am awaiting further testing. I don't want a self-inflator that will float me face down when I'm unconscious.

This of course would lead into an inadequate safety gear thread, something Evans Starzinger has done some interesting investigation of, such as inadequate stitching on tethers, there's a thread here on CF somewhere about that, too.

Ann
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