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Old 18-04-2013, 08:32   #121
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?..is because it should be the last resort and that it is usually the right thing to do.
But who determines what was the last resort? Us on this forum or the skipper who made the decision? Additionally the idea of last resort is also a questionable method of decision making.

If you realise that at this moment you could make an escape with 90% chance of success in a situation where you would have a 100% chance of being able to stay onboard successfully for 48 hours longer but at the end of that 48 hours you might find yourself in a situation where successful rescue might drop to 60%, is it then wise to stick it out - the last resort model of decision making - or is it wiser to make a calculated decision that the value of lives is more important and to put the ego aside and seek help when help is likely to be successful?

Remember, these guys knew they didn't have the nav equipment nor experience to make landfall. They only had an ipad with dead batteries and no radio. This is important info when evaluating their decision to use the EPIRB to call for help.

Edit: that said I would personally like to think I would have hove to for awhile, but again they had never practised this and also didn't have drag devices on board? It is a serious cluster **** of unpreparedness...
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Old 18-04-2013, 08:45   #122
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In other words, lives were lost as a consequence of abandoning ship. The reason it has become a cliche to wait to abandon ship until you can step up into the raft, is because it should be the last resort and that it is usually the right thing to do. The raft is a raft, not a boat. You can't trail ropes, you cant steer it, and on and on. It's a raft. And entering that raft, or being rescued carries risk too.

I'm trying to be really polite, despite my propensity to be condescending, especially when it's a response to condescension, but you seem to want to pick a fight, when the most salient point of my posts has been to point out that abandoning ships carry its own set of risks. Call that "armchair sailor" all you want, it doesn't change the facts.

I could make a tongue-in-cheek comment about your signature, but at this point I will refrain
I'm not picking a fight , I actually agreed with you in part in the last post.

There is no " conclusion" that the couple of deaths that occurred in liferafts , specifically those that died or drowned not as part of the rescue efforts , that these would have been better off in the boat , the fact is we will not know , maybe they'd have died on the yacht instead.

I'm not saying , that in general , the yacht is not a safer place , it " usually" is , though sometimes it may not be. Its only a decision you can make when you are in it. But people trot it out like a mantra , and that is just nonsense.

Everyone abandons their vessel if they are rescued !

In the case of wolfhound , they merely left it to be rescued , the mere fact that it it still above the water , in itself does not indicate that is was survivable by the crew. ( as foolish sailor pointed out ) . We simply don't know

Until we do know , I will reserved commentary to general points , but no more then the Portuguese incident , I certainly wouldn't go calling anyone a " jerk ". ( whatever poster did that ).

I personally never would critise a person for seeking rescue , if they believe they are in" grave and imminent" danger, that all that matters. If I get to know more specifics I may form an opinion, I've been in several hairy moments and I've seen at first hand what fear does to people.

Dave
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Old 18-04-2013, 08:49   #123
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

Of course people abandon their boat if they're being rescued. I was saying that abandoning ship (even if to be rescued immediately) also carries risks, and for some types of rescues also a risk to the rescue personel.

Just to make it clear (not that you accused me of it), but I wasn't the person calling anyone a jerk. I don't know who was.

Edit: I just checked - It was Blue Crab who began the "jerk" thing.
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Old 18-04-2013, 08:54   #124
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Edit: that said I would personally like to think I would have hove to for awhile, but again they had never practised this and also didn't have drag devices on board? It is a serious cluster **** of unpreparedness...
Everyone always seeks " techniques " to provide solutions, what you don't factor is the crew and its ability to continue. That's the major factor is lots and lots of issues ( and I'd say in the Portuguese one as well)

Hove to, tried it in survival weather ? , have you, it works sometimes , sometimes it just causes knockdowns ,

Drag devices , requires active methods , deck visits ( chafe) , requires specific heavy weather experience etc

All these " solutions" are useless with a tired frightened crew that have no morale and just want off the boat. And that my friend is 99% of most leisure sailors. I've seen it again and again

( there's a reason all delivery skippers are looney nutcases!!)

Yes on the face of it it may seen unprepared., and maybe it was or it wasn't , its not easy to tell.

I done 10000s of sea miles in boats that don't have drag devices , sea anchors , etc etc , and few skippers , very few have any real experience of using any of this stuff in a survival storm.

Kit doesn't solve problems, that a skipper has no experience of, you can't make the boat defend itself, only you can. If you therefore want not to do that's, you have no choice but to hit the button.

Better alive and chastened , then dead and brave ! ( even if the pundits prefer bodies )

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Old 18-04-2013, 09:15   #125
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Dave,

You have many valid points but lets not be pedantic about the fact that these lads were wholly unprepared.

1. The first and ONLY time they checked the charging systems was several days out of port
2. They did no sea-trial. As a past delivery skip I also have done this but if I had I wouldn't have done the following:
3. They didn't have spares or the ability to clear the fuel filter
4. They didn't have a handheld GPS - only and Ipad
5. They didn't have a handheld VHF
6. They didn't have drag devices, or didn't know how to use them

It goes on...

They made their own bed, even if I armchair that it is true. I'm saying this knowing I have to meet this guy.

I think it is totally fair and important we dissect the events that led to the need to abandon.

However, like you, I feel the decision was theirs to make. In fact based on the limited info available I actually think it was the right decision to make.

Edit: According to AMVER the winds were fifty knots, the seas were 20ft and the visibility was almost nil

Not sure this would qualify as survival conditions, however it is not whether we we say it was as much as the skippers perception of it. And it doesnt take a rocket scientist to properly rig and toss a drag device off the bow or stern - even for the first time...
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Old 18-04-2013, 09:54   #126
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

50kts and 20' seas, is just another day at work in my patch. I don't see a lot of dissecting of events as much as dissecting the people that were there, and the ones who comment on the dissecting. Regardless they survived the event and left a perfectly good vessel alfoat by itself. Hey boatman, I'm getting ready to cut the lines permanently, maybe we could join forces and make a deal with the insurance companies for recovery of said vessels.
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Old 18-04-2013, 10:03   #127
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For those of us lurking on this thread a big THANKS!!!

It is spirited conversations like this amongst guys who have been there that are great learning tools for the rest of us.

That said. Where do I sign up to crew on the recovery- sounds like a hell of an adventure
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Old 18-04-2013, 10:10   #128
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

Quote:
1. The first and ONLY time they checked the charging systems was several days out of port
2. They did no sea-trial. As a past delivery skip I also have done this but if I had I wouldn't have done the following:
3. They didn't have spares or the ability to clear the fuel filter
4. They didn't have a handheld GPS - only and Ipad
5. They didn't have a handheld VHF
6. They didn't have drag devices, or didn't know how to use them

It goes on...
We only know this from published accounts and I refuse to beleive a 500K boat didnt have functioning GPS and radio. I beleive they lost power and thats whats they ended up with all right. ( I believe they had a functioning engine up to the end is that not the case )




What I am interested in , is the event cascades, Ive made a personal study of this of several rescues or near rescues that I know of.

I would conclude the following

* Crew Morale is a huge factor, had I lost the ability to serve Hot food, on a multi day trip in cold weather, Id consider going into port to fix it, if I couldnt at sea ( I usually can, being "handy").

* Recognition of an Event Cascade , things started failing, they could have put into the chesapeake and sorted stuff

* Position fixing , it does seem they knew where they were.

* They reported in was actually too dangerous to remain below, so it must have been quite bad.

* I believe they did change filters but it blocked again ( have you ever tried bleeding an engine in a very heavy storm!!, puke everywhere!). It seems there was a lot of sediment in the tank from he being not used.


Yes, a bad decision ( all decision like this are of course bad in hindsight)

What I would congratulate them on, is actually realising they were outside their competencies and actually getting off, rather then continuing and making a fatal mistake, in fact they " continued" for far too long.

From what I hear Alan McGettigan is an experienced sailor and anyone that sails from Ireland tends to very familiar with bad weather. what he doesn't seem to be is "handy"

I think the key thing that experience tells you is to spot the event cascade and do something early and also that they is no loss in pride in turning back or going somewhere else.

The solutions heres is, I dont believe where necessary being unprepared, but that if you cant sort problems, then change plan and go where someone can. don't just keep blindly going forward.

Again , schedules kill people at sea.
dave
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Old 18-04-2013, 10:34   #129
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pirate Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

Perhaps we're too polite when the worst we call each other is jerks and armchair sailors. Peace brothers. Going to sea unprepared is jerkish behavior in my long-considered opinion.
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Old 18-04-2013, 10:51   #130
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

I wasn't there, so I can't comment on the decision to push the big red one.

From the reports, the skipper did little to ensure the boat was ready to go to sea. any vessel that has been on the hard for a year or more should have its tanks checked (actually any new-to-the-owner should be checked), faced with a missing charger/inverter, it would have been wise to ensure the damn thing was charging correctly before setting out.

A good skipper also plans for emergency hidely holes if the sh*t hits the fan - apparently this one didn't.

Finally, the idea of sailing from up north ot the carribean in February/march is, well to put it mildly, ill-conceived. A new untried boat, in winter/early spring weather, sure to end up with wind against current in the gulf stream -

well - really?

apparently they had a couple of knock-downs. 50 knots and 20 foot waves. unless you're flying a hell of a lot of canvas, a 48 foot heavy boat like a swan shouldn't go over. But admittedly, I wasn't there and maybe they were hit by freakish waves.

still doesn't change the fact that they should not have been out there in an untried boat in the first place.

my 2 cents.

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Old 18-04-2013, 11:02   #131
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pirate Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

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50kts and 20' seas, is just another day at work in my patch. I don't see a lot of dissecting of events as much as dissecting the people that were there, and the ones who comment on the dissecting. Regardless they survived the event and left a perfectly good vessel alfoat by itself. Hey boatman, I'm getting ready to cut the lines permanently, maybe we could join forces and make a deal with the insurance companies for recovery of said vessels.
Sounds good to me mate...
Gotta beat getting monkey food for deliveries....
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:07   #132
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

Sods law says it will collide with this
Abandoned Russian cruise ship found 1,300 miles off Ireland
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:12   #133
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pirate Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

Holy Halyards Boatman... its getting dodgey for solo sailors out there...
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:17   #134
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Sounds good to me mate...
Gotta beat getting monkey food for deliveries....
I want in. I can handle public relations.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:58   #135
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Re: Abandon Ship! The Rescue of the Crew of Wolfhound

We'll need a front man to strike the deals with the insurance companies. I took a knock down once in the straight of Georgia, and it scared the crap out of us, we were caught unawares, is was a sudden gust, being a full keel monohull, made by Skookum, she righted herself and we picked up the stuff that went flying, kept on our merry way to Seattle . As far as food etc... when you are commercial fishing you don't stop for anything, unless it's eminent death. As long as the fish are coming aboard you keep working; food or no food, and if anyone suggested going into port for a hot meal, the rest of the crew would fall on him and eat him raw.
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