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Old 18-07-2013, 13:57   #196
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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Not just racing when gliding. I was first on the scene once when a short landing resulted in a glider go through a wire fence before threshold. Single wire, plastic canopy .....
Happens a lot. One friend if mine had that happen, but it wasn't the canopy that the wire hit and he walked away uninjured. Another friend of mine lost both legs because he realised very late on that he was about to land in a field of Rapeseed (Canola) and tried to turn at too low a speed, spinning into a hedge. I was within 20 feet of what was almost a ground handling fatality (glider launched while a tractor was driving over the winch wire, the girl driving the tractor got off with seconds to spare).

One thing gliding (in the UK at least) is very good at and I've never encountered outside aviation and oddly anaesthetics (imported from aviation after a pilot's wife died during surgery) is an awareness of the human factor in accidents. This thread is actually a good example of how rare this is - lots of discussion of the decision to abandon and the failure of mechanical systems, a fair bit of the decision to undertake a voyage at an unfavourable time of year, very little of the alternative routes that could have been taken and none at all of the various points at which the plan could have been changed.
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Old 18-07-2013, 14:12   #197
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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One thing gliding (in the UK at least) is very good at and I've never encountered outside aviation and oddly anaesthetics (imported from aviation after a pilot's wife died during surgery) is an awareness of the human factor in accidents. This thread is actually a good example of how rare this is - lots of discussion of the decision to abandon and the failure of mechanical systems, a fair bit of the decision to undertake a voyage at an unfavourable time of year, very little of the alternative routes that could have been taken and none at all of the various points at which the plan could have been changed.
It is done well with all aviation in Australia (and I am sure worldwide). There is no crucifixion of the pilot (although consequences can be loss of licence and livelihood), just a careful breakdown of causes of the incident/accident and generally a great learning experince for everyone involved in the industry.

This is also done with commercial maritime accidents.

I think it would be of benefit to discuss and learn from episodes like this, however, the difficult thing is that basic information is usually unavailable or reported from the media or is second hand and sketchy if not plain inaccurate, limiting the value of analysis.
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Old 18-07-2013, 14:25   #198
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

Indeed. I work on a nuclear site (not a licensed one) and the culture there is very much one of pin-the-blame-on-the-donkey, no matter what the safety group try to do.

It does seem to be a pattern with threads like this that people focus on the "oh well, I wouldn't have done that" with the big things that go wrong, and don't look at the chain of mistakes that led to them.
One obvious example from this thread is the lack of planned bolt-holes if something went wrong/willingness to lose them. That's something drummed into me when flying - when things go wrong, it happens fast and you'll be under pressure. As a result, you make your decisions about what you will do in likely emergencies before they happen. How many people on here could, without thinking, rattle off what their plan would be for a battery failure offshore? Engine failure? Lightning strike killing your GPS while out of sight of land?
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Old 18-07-2013, 14:46   #199
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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How many people on here could, without thinking, rattle off what their plan would be for a battery failure offshore? Engine failure? Lightning strike killing your GPS while out of sight of land?
Put the kettle on for a cup of tea (honestly).
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Old 18-07-2013, 15:00   #200
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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Indeed. I work on a nuclear site (not a licensed one) and the culture there is very much one of pin-the-blame-on-the-donkey, no matter what the safety group try to do.

It does seem to be a pattern with threads like this that people focus on the "oh well, I wouldn't have done that" with the big things that go wrong, and don't look at the chain of mistakes that led to them.
One obvious example from this thread is the lack of planned bolt-holes if something went wrong/willingness to lose them. That's something drummed into me when flying - when things go wrong, it happens fast and you'll be under pressure. As a result, you make your decisions about what you will do in likely emergencies before they happen. How many people on here could, without thinking, rattle off what their plan would be for a battery failure offshore? Engine failure? Lightning strike killing your GPS while out of sight of land?
+1

The speed at which things occur is probably a big factor in how much preplanning for emergencies is drummed into students learning to sail though. Going from aviation to sailing I remember this difference initially seeming quite startling.

In all the examples you mention, there is generally no pressures to make decisions with a second or two (although you may sometimes need to react quickly with engine failure). Preplanning for events like this is still vital though, as it does mean a greater likelihood of carrying spares/backups/tools etc. and gets you into a "prepare for the worst" rather than "hope for the best" mentality.
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Old 18-07-2013, 15:32   #201
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

Abandoning a boat because plan A did not work? I assume beyond Bermuda there are the dragons.

And those 'sailors' who cannot sail their boats as soon as the engine or the GPS stop.

Really, this is not about sailing.

b.
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Old 18-07-2013, 16:19   #202
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Abandoning a boat because plan A did not work? I assume beyond Bermuda there are the dragons.

And those 'sailors' who cannot sail their boats as soon as the engine or the GPS stop.

Really, this is not about sailing.

b.
I think that summary above is to utterly trivialise what happened.

Armchair people who have not seen the " event cascade " issues that together can go from a simple problem to overwhelming even strong boats and crews. Unlike several boats lost recently these people are all alive and well , unlike grain de soleil or nina.

From their perspective they ran into bad weather followed by an event cascade , I beleive in the stated conditions running into the Chesapeake would have been very difficult. Whether you or I would avoid such a cascade is irrelevant.

Mistakes were made and a piece of plastic was left floating in the ocean for an insurance company to sort out , the carbon based life forms are all well = good result

I have much less sympathy for those that go down with the boat , there no valour in apologising to Davy Jones.

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Old 18-07-2013, 16:37   #203
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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Indeed. I work on a nuclear site (not a licensed one) and the culture there is very much one of pin-the-blame-on-the-donkey, no matter what the safety group try to do.

It does seem to be a pattern with threads like this that people focus on the "oh well, I wouldn't have done that" with the big things that go wrong, and don't look at the chain of mistakes that led to them.
One obvious example from this thread is the lack of planned bolt-holes if something went wrong/willingness to lose them. That's something drummed into me when flying - when things go wrong, it happens fast and you'll be under pressure. As a result, you make your decisions about what you will do in likely emergencies before they happen. How many people on here could, without thinking, rattle off what their plan would be for a battery failure offshore? Engine failure? Lightning strike killing your GPS while out of sight of land?
The more inexperience you are the more you need "plans" the more experienced you are, the less you need them...but they are really sometimes there...just tucked away in the "experience folder part of the brain"...

What I'm getting at is for some...the things listed are emergencies and for others they are not.

Some will have backups for what has failed..others may not.
I have had many of those things when I was a novice and they were scary...now after a lifetime of professional "boating/going to sea"...none of them are even really a concern because of backups, spares and the ability to improvise....as well a making better decisions of turning around or not pressing on when it's not the time.
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Old 18-07-2013, 18:13   #204
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The more inexperience you are the more you need "plans" the more experienced you are, the less you need them...but they are really sometimes there...just tucked away in the "experience folder part of the brain"...

What I'm getting at is for some...the things listed are emergencies and for others they are not.

Some will have backups for what has failed..others may not.
I have had many of those things when I was a novice and they were scary...now after a lifetime of professional "boating/going to sea"...none of them are even really a concern because of backups, spares and the ability to improvise....as well a making better decisions of turning around or not pressing on when it's not the time.
Coming from a background of working in and directing a large crew in a somewhat dangerous profession, your opening paragraph was disturbing. But the ending clearly indicates that you do have plans for most "common" disasters. Many of those plans were long ago vomited to your memory, but they exist.

Anyone who has dealt with a disaster knows that the second thing to go, is the disaster plan. Nothing ever fails according to the plan. But having a plan that addresses not only what to do, but what to look out for, is the starting point to engineering a sound recovery plan on the fly.
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Old 18-07-2013, 18:37   #205
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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Coming from a background of working in and directing a large crew in a somewhat dangerous profession, your opening paragraph was disturbing. But the ending clearly indicates that you do have plans for most "common" disasters. Many of those plans were long ago vomited to your memory, but they exist.

Anyone who has dealt with a disaster knows that the second thing to go, is the disaster plan. Nothing ever fails according to the plan. But having a plan that addresses not only what to do, but what to look out for, is the starting point to engineering a sound recovery plan on the fly.

I think the more people involved, the more you need a specific plan even for minor problems. That's just how groups of people are.

But if there's two of you, and you've sailed together for decades? You'd probably know what the other person was going to do 99% of the time. And when you needed to talk something through together, I think you'd know it.

It's all about who's on the boat, I think.
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Old 18-07-2013, 19:25   #206
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

really my point was that most peoples disasters aren't really disasters at all...like battery failure...I used to now guys who sailed that didn't have electric 12 or 120 volt aboard. Pre electronic nav except for depthsounders...and they really didn't need them at sea.

Or guys that would shut down a diesel (on a single engine trawler) because of a minor fuel leak because they really don't understand the systems involved or the true hazards.

There are thousands of scenarios that would be handled completely different by all kinds of skippers with all kinds of backgrounds....to some they would never call anything but a severe fire, flooding or storm "an emergency".
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Old 18-07-2013, 23:52   #207
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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In all the examples you mention, there is generally no pressures to make decisions with a second or two (although you may sometimes need to react quickly with engine failure). Preplanning for events like this is still vital though, as it does mean a greater likelihood of carrying spares/backups/tools etc. and gets you into a "prepare for the worst" rather than "hope for the best" mentality.
Indeed - which is why including having a cup of tea in the plan as mentioned by David above is a good idea (back when I was armying, my instructors referred to it as taking a "Hamlet moment"). HOWEVER, decision making under stress is usually impaired, often quite severely. This is where having a plan helps - knowing what you're going to be able to do reduces the level of stress, and in most situations a slightly inappropriate plan implemented well is better than the perfect plan implemented late or badly.

This is also where experience kicks in (and here I'm thinking of experience of things going wrong, not just miles sailed) - if you've seen a particular problem before, you have that template in your head plus the knowledge that it worked, cutting down on stress levels.
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Old 19-07-2013, 00:14   #208
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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Indeed - which is why including having a cup of tea in the plan as mentioned by David above is a good idea (back when I was armying, my instructors referred to it as taking a "Hamlet moment"). HOWEVER, decision making under stress is usually impaired, often quite severely. This is where having a plan helps - knowing what you're going to be able to do reduces the level of stress, and in most situations a slightly inappropriate plan implemented well is better than the perfect plan implemented late or badly.

This is also where experience kicks in (and here I'm thinking of experience of things going wrong, not just miles sailed) - if you've seen a particular problem before, you have that template in your head plus the knowledge that it worked, cutting down on stress levels.
I agree fully. And this seems to be done very little sailing - sitting down and thinking out strategies to cope with things that can go wrong (and then being well prepared by carrying vital backups/spares/etc), and not only that, then actually running through these strategies in your mind or discussing them with your crew/partner on a regular basis. This seems to be occasionally done with practising man-overboard procedures, but for little else.

This drumming in of constantly thinking "what if" has been lifesaving for me gliding when I had a rope break at 150 feet while taking another pilot for a routine check flight. Take over had to be instant and I had no time to be mulling over the best course of action, not even the luxury of an extra second. I am sure this type of awareness of the benefits of planning for emergencies has made me much safer on the water.
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Old 19-07-2013, 06:13   #209
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. Many of those plans were long ago vomited to your memory, but they exist.
Sorry that was not sarcasm.... To should have been "committed to memory". Dang auto-correct!!
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Old 19-07-2013, 06:34   #210
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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Sorry that was not sarcasm.... To should have been "committed to memory". Dang auto-correct!!
I think auto-correct was correct...the more experienced I got the more I realized how easy some things really are and how getting all excited or worried, even in tough situations just doesn't work.

Yes, I vomited to memory lots of stuff I used to have to follow lists when younger...
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