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Old 28-02-2013, 19:13   #1
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Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

Reading a few threads about abandoning boats in the middle of the ocean that then are found either drifting or washed up on shores weeks or months later has got me thinking.

Would there be any sense in throwing out the anchor and rode just prior to abandoning mid ocean? The theory being that the boat will have at least some chance to anchor itself as it approaches the shallower water of a shore line. Sounds like a sensible thing to do to me, although I have no idea how the boat would handle with the anchor and rode dangling off the bow.
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:22   #2
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

Yes, it would. Although it could pose a slight danger for anyone trying to salvage her. But aside from that, its a good idea. However, in the panic of the moment its possibly something that will be forgotten.
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:30   #3
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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?? just sayin, if it aint going down don't leave it !! you have a better chance rideing it out !! just my 2 cents
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:39   #4
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

I suppose ... if you had nothing else to do in those final minutes ...

But I do gotta wonder ... if you think there is enough of a chance that the mothership may come through the hell, and therefore it's worth the effort of putting out the anchor, shouldn't you just stay with the ship?
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:42   #5
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

That is a great idea! Make sure to set your snubber and leave your credit card on the chart table too, just to make everything copacetic for the salvage guy's.
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:42   #6
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

If I remember it is like 70% of abandoned are found to be floating weeks and months later. people abandon for medical reasons and that would leve a good boat behind. one not to long ago the guy was evacuated from his sailboat and his boat was still on it's way to Hawaii.
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:49   #7
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

I would think that if you have an instinctive thought to throw an anchor over in case she washes ashore, stay aboard and rethink your strategy and why you are leaving her in the first place.

The one time I readied a boat to abandon. I was not thinking clearly. We were taking on water. We were in a hell of a storm with some monster waves, a rogue once in a while to keep things even more interesting. Thankfully my captain just calmly told me to get a grip. I'll never forget her logic. She screamed, or rather I lip read, because i couldn't hear anything above the sound of the rigging screaming, she said, if this vessel can't handle the storm, what makes you think a rubber life raft would.

I've known 4-5 people who abandon their ship. One captain really struggled with the fact that he scuttled her before getting off. His vessel struck a conatiner, the leak was not accessible, and he injured himself fighting to repair her. After many hours he climbed into the life raft. Scuttling her caused some slack from his insurance co, but his first concern was avoiding another vessel colliding with his foundering boat.

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Old 28-02-2013, 20:19   #8
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

I was alway's taught to not get off the vessel until you have to step UP to get off.. All your gear and food are still floating, why would you leave this........ Michael...
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:25   #9
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
If ya figure it's gonna float, then why are ya abandoning it in the first place?? just sayin, if it aint going down don't leave it !! you have a better chance rideing it out !! just my 2 cents
There was a really neat interview with a coast guard rescue guy about how there were a lot of cases where people did the smart move and abandoned perfectly fine vessels. Situations where someone was sick on the boat, they were in the path of a major storm, stuff like that.
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:34   #10
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

Its a good read.

Hurricane Survival – No Place for Absolutes | gCaptain - Maritime & Offshore News
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:37   #11
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

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Originally Posted by captainbri View Post
one not to long ago the guy was evacuated from his sailboat and his boat was still on it's way to Hawaii.
Cruising Club of America

really cool story.
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:43   #12
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

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Good read, but... there is also the common sense factor. If your out with a hurricane bearing down upon you. HELP... Also 1000 miles off with out a near by rescue, That's when the fight starts to survive, my lift raft is my last resort in that case.. I choose to fight for my life and vessel... Michael..
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:44   #13
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

I don't go "mid ocean". I do go where it can be many hundreds of feet deep very close to shore (rocks). Throwing out the anchor before getting off the boat (and before hitting the rocks) is one of the imagined scenarios that caused me to fit the bitter ends of my rodes with about 20 feet of chain. Chain can grind on the bow of the boat unattended for quite a while.

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Old 28-02-2013, 20:46   #14
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Re: Abandoning ship mid ocean

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.
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Old 28-02-2013, 21:26   #15
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Re: Abandoning Ship Mid Ocean

If you go back and read the link on post 14 you will see that the boat abandoned on the way to Hawaii was from a medical emergancy and the last thing the very ill skipper did was to set the sails and windvane towards Hawaii where others in the race rescued his boat without damage. A damn good bit of seamanship on their part. I agree that too many boats get abandoned too soon, but to say to wait until the deck sinks out from under you is not safe advice. A boat full of water is unstable and can turn turtle at any moment. Keep control of the situation and cut the lines when it cant be saved, not just after it has capsized. Just another 2 cents worth.____Grant.
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