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Old 27-10-2006, 11:27   #1
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Location: Deep Cove - North Vancouver, BC
Boat: Catalina 27 - Leaky Cauldron
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Queen of Oak Bay report in - Accident

Well you heard it here first when the Queen of Oak Bay experienced a loss of power and plowed into some boats in Horseshoe Bay, BC. A significant small pin worth about $5.00 fell out and led to no power to the ship. The large ferries get there primary steering, when pulling into dock, from their propellers - one in front and one in back. The variable props provide a much more precise change of directions for the ship at slow speeds. So a ship may have "way" but not "steerage way."

The Captain of the ship was praised for his bringing the ship in and avoiding the dock and creating a "smooth" landing by letting it slide into the recreational boat moorage area. If the ferry had hit the dock many passengers might have been seriously hurt with a "hard" landing. There was much media praise for the Captain and his bold act.

I can recall thinking even as I sat at the end of the Sewell's marina jetting looking into the stern of the Oak Bay while assistance was being provided by every local, provincial, and federal agency that the ship in no way could have had steerage. The rudder is almost useless at one or two knots, hence the requirements for "prop steering." If the power was gone, the vessel couldn't have had prop steering, thus there was no steerage way.

I told a couple of friends that the Captain couldn't have steered the ship purposely but of course I looked the fool when every paper in the province was praising the Captain for his brazen act of a soft landing. I posted here on my thoughts on the mishap and the lack of steerage. Please don't interpret this to mean I think what the Captain did was wrong; I just knew the Captain could do nothing and was along for the ride after the moment of the power loss; the ship just followed its natural arc of turning post loss of prop maneuverability.

The report has been released on the accident and it was confirmed the Captain was along for the ride and was powerless to do anything.

Here is a link to remind you of this accident. If you look closely you'll see a small tent canopy near the end of the far jetty by the large power boat. Under that small canopy is a dot which is me, sitting out of the sun watching the "show."

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Old 27-10-2006, 23:20   #2
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Talk about up close and personal! Hell, you coulda just grabbed a dock line

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Old 29-10-2006, 01:05   #3
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I dunno .. it sure looks like he could have just kinda pushed it out of the way a bit...
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Old 29-10-2006, 21:59   #4
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On the day of the accident, I was driving thinking I had no worries as my boat was not moored in the area the ferry hit, but on the other side which went unscathed. However I remembered my dingy was on the large "water break" barge on which I eventually sat. I heard on the radio the barge had been hit - which it was but only scrapped on one corner.

So I went down to check on my dingy. There were guys at the gate of the marina only allowing people in who were worried about their boat. I knew if I told them I was worried about my dingy they wouldn't let me in, so I feigned concern about my boat being struck. I sat down there for a couple of hours with my portable hand held VHF, monitoring the air traffic.

Some agencies took advantage of the situation and went "a little bit beyound" the necessary, to practise on their rescue skills. For example, a dive team went down to see if anyone had been trapped in the sunken boats (no one was trapped). Now most divers would have just swum out from the jetty or off a boat; not these guys, they jumped out of a helicopter.
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