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Old 28-02-2013, 21:27   #16
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Oops, I ment post 11____Grant.
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Old 28-02-2013, 22:15   #17
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

Yeah, it was. But not as good at the coverage on the bounty. Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:07   #18
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

One of the problems with modern boats is that many of them have no bilge to hold water. If a couple of gallons of water get dumped below in rough weather it gets everywhere including the electrical panels. Wet cushions flying around, often floor boards aren't fastened down and suddenly you have a soggy cold wet mess. This could easily happen with the sudden loss of steering in a rough see. So, now you have no power, its cold, the boat is being tossed about along with everything else that wasn't properly fastened down and the whole thing is chaos.

Older boats generally had a bilge sump that could hold 5 or more gallons.

I think that is one of the main reasons why many boats are abandoned at sea. That and injury or sickness of a crew member.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:54   #19
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Foggy, stress does crazy things. I think experience is the key. Hopefully new boaters can gain experience before having to deal with a situation that could cause a malfunction in reasoning and common sense. After many miles of offshore sailing my experience tells me the " life" raft is merely a hail Mary. But I also know that if you wait too long to get off a foundering boat, your chances of injury and death increase. A sinking damaged vessel has weird and unpredictable movement.
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:52   #20
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Boats will survive heavy seas, people won’t survive boats.

20+ years ago myself and a friend went out in a Holiday 34 for an extended day sail out past Cape Point. Wx was forecast to be good with winds strengthening to 20kt in the evening and moderate 2 – 3 m wave height. We left the yacht club in Hout Bay just after 5am and reckoned we would be back before sunset so no worries. All in all this was about 70nm of sailing, our plan was to sail south to about 10nm SW of the point and then head due west for 15nm and then turn NE for the sail home. That was the plan.

We arrived at the turn just after 10am with a stronger wind than forecast and bigger seas than anticipated and things got progressively worse. Sometime after this we went from a really bad situation into another dimension. Really big confused seas, gale force winds clear skies. When we pitch poled (not quite, we pitched and then came down on the starboard side) I was down below trying to tie things down. I got thrown against the forward bulkhead, it is the most surreal frightening experience I have ever had, for a moment I was suspended above the galley and the next the boat was rushing past me until the bulkhead smashed into me (I am no longer sure if this account is accurate but this is how I choose to remember it). I was hurt, we had taken on water and the boat was being violently tossed around like a toothpick in a washing machine. It took another 3 hours to get into comfortable seas.

The whole time we were secure in the knowledge that help was only 30nm away should we need it. I had two cracked ribs and a head cut, my friend had two broken fingers and a broken wrist. When we were in calmer water I asked what happened, all he could tell me was that a big hole opened in front of us and we fell into it. We were bruised, battered and broken but the boat was fine, when we went over the wave crashed over us and water entered the cabin, that’s all the damage the boat suffered. If we were 300nm out we may have acted differently and requested assistance. Thankfully we were able to motor as it would have been difficult / painful to sail with our injuries. Had we been assisted, the armchair critics may have scoffed when they saw us standing on the quayside because if we can stand then….

This is what I have learnt; parachutes are not only for jumping out of airplanes and drogues are not Bob Marley paraphernalia. Life rafts I can surmise are a lot more comfortable in violent seas than hard boats especially when you have broken bones, are in pain and are being jolted and bumped.

There are a thousand things we should have could have done differently that day but every once in a while the totally unexpected happens and you can get caught up in it, boats in my opinion don’t easily fail in the most adverse of conditions but in those same conditions boats can very easily hurt the people using them and if someone wants to get off before this happens thats their choice and I'm not here to judge them.

I think containers pose a more real threat than abandoned boats.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:27   #21
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
OK, I can understand if a health issue arises and a rescue request is sent out. But I also read where people elected climb out of a floating large boat to enter a much smaller floating boat ie, dinghy/lifeboat. That makes no sense at all to me.
Likely a lot to do with events never being clear cut - easy enough to make a judgement if are looking at a 2 inch or even a 2 foot hole in the hull, but when the water is now 2 foot and rising with no idea of the cause / origin then getting out of Dodge does become a sensible option......no guarantee that it turns out to be the right decision, same as for staying onboard until the last moment which in practice might well be a few minutes past the last moment.....an orderly evacuation does take a little while.

Often when the doodah seriously hits the fan the good / easy options are all gone, but if you are lucky you do still have options even though they may only be between sh#tty ones.
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Old 01-03-2013, 16:10   #22
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

@ Reefmagnet: abandoning ship in not so much about trying to save the boat as it is about trying to save one's skin. In most cases, the crew care little about the ship. In the remaining cases, you may be right.

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Old 01-03-2013, 19:50   #23
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Deepfrz has a very valid point about modern designs tending to have small or no bilge sump at all. My Contessa 26 had proportionetly way more bilge capacity than my Peterson 44. Deep bilges have a lot more protection from water getting up under the floors , or bunks if the boat is rolling badly, than the more modern designs. A seasick crew who goes off watch to get some sleep that might revive him, crawls into a wet bunk and ends up worse off ,or even with hypothermia, is on the downward spiral towards being completely incapacitated and endangering the whole boat. A deep sump should be one of the considerations when buying a boat. I know that all boats are a compromise , but dry bunks are important.____Grant.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:05   #24
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

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Foggy, stress does crazy things. I think experience is the key. (...)
Experience is half of it and genes/upbringing are the other half. And it IS difficult to get experience in stress management: most people AVOID stress at all costs throughout their life: do as they tell you and you are fine, make SAFE choices, delegate decision making to OTHERS.

Except in a stress loaded situation there is no one to tell them what to do, there is no safety and no authorities to make YOUR decisions. So, some freeze, others do stupid things.

Plenty of good info in this thread. Also the thing above on deep bilges/water sloshing. All very good read.

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Old 02-03-2013, 14:39   #25
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

"If ya figure it's gonna float, then why are ya abandoning it in the first place??"

So what? Let's say it rolled in a storm, was dismasted, engine is out, one crew has a concussion and requires medevac, other crew is taken off with them in order to care for them or exercise care over them.

So the boat is floating, with more wx coming in, ready to make it toss any crew around for a week like dwarves in a commercial front-loading washing machine.

Who wouldn't abandon ship?
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Old 02-03-2013, 15:12   #26
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Tenacity. That and 500 gallons of bootleg cuban rum in the water tanks.
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Old 02-03-2013, 15:38   #27
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Quote:
So what? Let's say it rolled in a storm, was dismasted, engine is out, one crew has a concussion and requires medevac, other crew is taken off with them in order to care for them or exercise care over them.
And the engine mounts are broken, shaft is bent and the stove has been thrown across the boat and took out the nav. center. At least one of the hatches is leaking and there is battery acid in the bilge sloshing around amidst the oily water...now what...
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Old 02-03-2013, 15:43   #28
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Ah good, the tanks aren't leaking. Sail on!
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Old 02-03-2013, 16:53   #29
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
And the engine mounts are broken, shaft is bent and the stove has been thrown across the boat and took out the nav. center. At least one of the hatches is leaking and there is battery acid in the bilge sloshing around amidst the oily water...now what...
Presumably the internet access is now down so no access to CF for advice, support and comradeship hang on, we already know what to do - sail drift on........

Wait, no access to CF; abandon ship, this is not a drill, abandon ship.
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Old 03-03-2013, 16:24   #30
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

here is a perfect example of people evacuating a boat that wasnt going to sink. This yacht was found late last week. It had been adrift since Nov12.

I will point out, that in this case however, there were serious injuries onboard and evacuation was the sensible choice regardless of the boat ability to float.

PolAir 3 discovers Abandoned Vessel 'WINDIGO' - YouTube

The Story..
On Saturday 23 February 2013, Polair 3 were undertaking operations south of Coffs Harbour for flood relief, when they have come across an abandoned yacht located on Bongil Beach.

Polair 3 landed nearby and the crew were able to board the yacht, checking for signs of life or if any person may have been aboard.

The crew were able to establish that no person was onboard the yacht, and the investigation of how the vessel came to be on Bongil Beach swung into action.

The yacht, bearing the markings 'WINDIGO' was abandoned at sea in November 2012.

The two occupants of the vessel were rescued from the 'WINDIGO' after the vessel capsized in heavy seas. The rescue operation involved assets of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Royal New Zealand Navy and a French Naval vessel.

The Polair crew were astounded to learn that 'WINDIGO', after capsizing in heavy seas, was abandoned 435nm south-west of Tonga, and 738nm north of New Zealand. The vessel has been drifting since November 2012, and has eventually come to rest on Bongil Beach.

Det Supt Mark Noakes, Commander of Polair said, "Polair has been in contact with the owners of 'WINDIGO', and they are now making plans to travel from New Zealand to retrieve their yacht. The crew of Polair are happy to have played a part in the retrieval of 'WINDIGO', after her amazing journey across the Pacific Ocean
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