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Old 11-07-2017, 14:14   #16
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
So if you study and know all the whys and hows and you do perfect boat and passage preparation and are an excellent skipper making perfect decisions then the risk is zero?
Definitely not! You bring the risk from maybe 2% to 0.2%, the difference might well save your and your mates life. Just like road accident rate decreases by driver experience. (and of course, increases again, when old age start to chew our nerves and eyes)
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Old 11-07-2017, 14:41   #17
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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I have pondered this issue, the real risk of transoceanic crossings. This question I have had for number of years after becoming a member of CF. A number of posters touch on risk and several attempted to catalog the losses but real risk numbers are hard to come by. We more or less know about the missing but how many cross the Atlantic or the Pacific each year? We don't know the denominator well. One can make estimates I guess?

It is my gut feeling that crossing oceans is a substantially higher risk than most are aware especially relative to driving cars or flying commercial or SCUBA diving or sky diving for example. In general, perceived risk is higher than real risk but with regard to crossing oceans I think the perceptions are reversed............Snip....
It is exactly the same with the small airplane crowd. Many pilots cling to the notion that "flying is safer than driving". While very true for Major airline travel, it is not even close for small, piston aircraft.

During my 20 years of involvement with little airplanes, I have personally known or met at least once, 16 flyers who died in 13 separate small plane crashes.

Conversely, during my 48 years on earth, I have met 100's of times more drivers (who drive nearly every day) than flyers, yet I cannot recall a single one who died in a vehicle crash.

Steve

On Edit: I just remembered one car fatality that I was acquainted with.
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Old 11-07-2017, 15:58   #18
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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The boat was one that crossed the Pacific in 2015 and they were friends we had eaten dinner with on our boat and they were still part of a nearly annual 1% loss rate of boats we know that are actively cruising the Pacific and beyond.
Now you are changing the goalposts. Or maybe the Title you picked for the thread is inappropriate?
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Old 11-07-2017, 20:46   #19
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Interesting and perhaps scary numbers. I have been sailing almost 40 years, 9 of those on oceans as opposed to coastal. I have never felt scared or unsafe at sea. Quite the opposite, I feel very relaxed and at ease, compared to both road traffic and air...no to mention a night walk in (some at least) urban environments. We've hit a few turtles (asleep perhaps) and half sunken tree trunks ( off Central America) that's about it. Occasionally a small coastal tramp or perhaps FV has passed us a bit closer than I would have liked. On our last 15000 miles we've never spotted anything hazardous on terms of flotsam.

I still find 1 % a rather thought provoking or downright scary number! but I still feel very safe on the water.....maybe I shouldn't?
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:03   #20
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

It seems some of the lost boats were racing, or at least built for racing and moving to or from competitions...
I'd think those incidents should not count towards the total numbers. Those boats are not built for safety in the first place, and are in a separate risk category, insurance-wise and otherwise.
It's just like racing cars - they have lots of accidents, and tend to catch fire spectacularly, which makes good TV but has nothing to do with road safety...
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:21   #21
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

I know of one guy who pays between 1 and 3% annually for insurance on a 53' 2000 Super Amel. The rate depends on the danger of the passages. The S. Indian Ocean was 3%, it is pretty rough and a long way from help.

I suspect that 1% losses/year may be on the high side. Otherwise, it would hardly be newsworthy. Wondering about yearly losses for landlubbers. Auto accidents/work accidents etc.

Would a seagoing life be an adventure without risk?

Weather has got to be the greatest risk. Now we have technology to get weather predictions for "anywhere" though the process is not fast. I forget the name of it. I believe it is called some type of "packets"?
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:52   #22
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Trying to compare apples to apples here so forgive me if I am too na´ve.

In the US, 2015, there were 3,147.8 billion vehicle miles traveled where 35,092 people were killed. Assume an ocean voyage takes 20 days. Also assume vehicle are driven at 60 miles per hour on average.

Therefore, the driving is equivalent to 109 million ocean crossings.

Consequently the auto equivalent death rate of an ocean crossing is 0.032 percent.

If 1 percent of the yachts sink on an ocean crossing and we assume one auto accident for each auto fatality then the rate at which yachts sink is 31 times higher than a fatal auto crash.


Just order of magnitude figuring here!
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:06   #23
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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Weather has got to be the greatest risk.

Though the original question in OP is boats lost, I suspect that more cruisers die of disease and physical malady than are lost at sea.

I've been shot at on Guadalcanal, had malaria in Western Province SI, food poisoning in Tuvalu and Tonga (almost died in Tonga.)

Some common but unexpected crises include appendicitis, stroke, heart attack and infection can be fatal if offshore or even onshore in some areas. Having made local friends across the Pacific, I've lost some to each of the above.

Then there is crime/ violence. I know people (natives) who were beaten, shot or killed in Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and PNG. While I don't personally know any white fellas who were killed, it has happened.

As sailors we have a fearful respect for the sea, but I think the numbers would bear out that the real threat is elsewhere.
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Old 12-07-2017, 16:37   #24
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

LakeSuperior, a good and realistic comparison - but weido media/public don't see it that way.

35,092 deaths(many slow and torturous) in mangled car wrecks not newsworthy in comparison to one small plane crash or one angry resentfull killer on the loose.

Could it be that the couch dwellers think boating and flying are adventurous so one shipwreck is to be avidly read because it justifies staying at home?
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Old 12-07-2017, 21:37   #25
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Too many people are unprepared or unqualified to do ocean crossing. I spent a long time on the ocean in ships and boats and participated in several rescues and assists. In almost every case I felt the rescued were oblivious of the dangers and their vessels improperly equipped. They go off half cocked and then someone else has to risk their life to rescue them. I think the real cause is reading too many adventure books and blogs that don't relay the real story. Having a gps and a sailboat aren't the only qualifications.
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Old 13-07-2017, 00:59   #26
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

Hi Lepke, I think that is an overly simplistic view of the causes of marine emergencies and total loss casualties at Sea.

My comments are for both Commercial and Private, (plus Navy)

While EXPERIENCE teaches you to Not Compromise your standards of perpetration:

#1 Even very good and experienced captains often fool themselves that they can catch up underway when critical time, weather or business pressures cause them to make calculated risks.

#2 Lack of Crew training and discipline in emergency drills, proper Lookouts, Hourly Safety Checks....., are the signs of a weak manager and captain who prefers popularity over prudence!

#3 Weak communication skills and a disdain for formal command and control protocols, creates confusion when clarity of action is most needed.

#4 The inability of Captain to manage and maintain their own Strength and Alertness levels is a sure sign of a weak captain, despite any amazing heroics.

Some say we can just have Bad Luck...!
Others say we make our Own Luck....!

I think our goal should be to anticipate and minimize Bad Luck by never getting into a #4 situation of weary Crisis Management, regardless of your Experience.

We all take risks!
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Old 13-07-2017, 14:56   #27
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

We were fine until you mentioned Superior since I'm doing the trans Superior next month :-)
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Old 14-07-2017, 21:53   #28
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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Not this Moondancer.
Maybe it was just a similar name? Sailing Anarchy dude.
Moonduster it was. You introduced me to him in Tonga Bob's in Nei-afu. Never forgiven you for that.
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Old 15-07-2017, 04:05   #29
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

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Moonduster it was. You introduced me to him in Tonga Bob's in Nei-afu. Never forgiven you for that.
Ha! You've a great memory!

Good to see you're still about ☺️☺️☺️☺️
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Old 15-07-2017, 16:46   #30
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Re: Boats lost in the Pacific.

I have seen two boats , maybe 3, on shore or a reef, 1 maybe both were singlehanders with the windvane set….
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