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Old 13-12-2013, 18:14   #1036
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Boatie wrote, "That's what legs are for.. give your ass a break and walk now and then to admire the view..."

I'll second the motion. It also wakes you up if you're drowsy. A stroll to the bow will allow you to see what's on the other side of the genny. A tour of the whole deck may show you a surprise (like a broken bit you didn't hear fall) that you want to see. The stroll arouses me when I'm flagging on a long watch.

We don't know if the guy on the Riga II kept a dark cockpit at night. We do, 'cause we see better if we do.

It's not so hard to hold on to the backstay, or the compass guard and make a full 360 oneself to make sure you see all the way around, I'm surprised that people reportedly often don't look astern.

What happened to "turn to port: see you in court"? Seems like going to port is something to be done when agreed upon by both skippers.

There's a safe principle hiding in here: set your course so that you are to one side of everyone else's preferred routes [when practical]. The yacht could have chosen to be off the "dotted line", and so could the ship, to some extent. Just like separation lanes. You imagine the preferred route, and stick to the stbd side of it. Not hard. Just have to think of it. At times of mass migrations, the more space you can give yourself, the safer you can be. I'll quit preaching to the choir now.

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Old 13-12-2013, 19:10   #1037
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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See and avoid" applies whenever two or more moving objects may exist in the same time whether they be automobiles, aircraft, or marine vessels. If the ship truly were blocked by the headsail of Riga II, it is the unchanging relative bearing which is the telltale of his fate. And he would be blissfully ignorant right up until point of impact.

That's what legs are for.. give your ass a break and walk now and then to admire the view...
True that but let's consider that to leave the cockpit at night in a high sea state may be enough to keep folks seated. After all, it seems the consensus among many folks is to never leave the cockpit...this based on anecdote provided from others or forums on the innerwebz.

If one should not to leave the cockpit they sure can swing the bow through the compass to widen their view. Crazy Ivan.
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Old 13-12-2013, 19:18   #1038
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

You don't have a cockpit big enough to walk around in? Golly!

Agreed re leaving the cockpit but if you are on autopilot you can shift position to see under the genoa and everywhere else that may be in a shadow.... same as if you look at those photos of the view from the bridge of Furness Melbourne.... essential to move around.
Ann re not keeping a good lookout astern...I am just going by the number of times I have actually seen it happen on my boat and a few others....happens a lot... most likely when hand steering... least likely on auto when crew is hunkered under dodger looking astern and not keeping a good lookout ahead.
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Old 13-12-2013, 19:25   #1039
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Ann, you're not preaching to the choir as collisions and lose calls still happen. Surely not every sailor is on CF nor even a majority but to sum it up it can be said the beatings will continue until compliance is assured. Ann's comments need to be repeated.

As Ann alludes I have found several things in disrepair on my walks around the deck. Yes, the primary purpose is to maintain a watch to all points but, aside from stretching my legs and breaking the lethargy induced by idle sitting, I have found a VHF antenna on deck, several burned out sidelights, and a pin come loose on a come loose on a turnbuckle for the standing rigging.
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Old 13-12-2013, 19:31   #1040
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pirate Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
True that but let's consider that to leave the cockpit at night in a high sea state may be enough to keep folks seated. After all, it seems the consensus among many folks is to never leave the cockpit...this based on anecdote provided from others or forums on the innerwebz.

If one should not to leave the cockpit they sure can swing the bow through the compass to widen their view. Crazy Ivan.
If they're in a sea one presumes the genoa would have at least 1/4 furled... usually takes a f5 at least to raise a lump and they're in sheltered waters behind the Barrier Reef so that break ocean swell... now I call a sea 3-4m+... so they'd be reefed for comfort if nothing else..
Still reckon his night vision was buga'd... nothing to do with the genoa blocking the view.. sorry
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Old 13-12-2013, 19:38   #1041
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

His night vision would only be buggered if he had been down below.... but buggered night vision and the genoa would do it.... most things are a combination of factors odd he never mentioned seeing her steaming lights.... maybe we should ask him... he's probably on CF
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Old 13-12-2013, 19:48   #1042
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pirate Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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His night vision would only be buggered if he had been down below.... but buggered night vision and the genoa would do it.... most things are a combination of factors odd he never mentioned seeing her steaming lights.... maybe we should ask him... he's probably on CF
Dunno about that.. last 2 boats I delivered were Lagoon 380's and the instruments were smack in front of the helm position/seat... even with the plotter/log/wind/speed etc turned down to minimum I'd still have to move to the side deck and give it a couple of minutes before my vision went to maximum range and clarity..
Don't take a lot to make a dark night black..
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Old 13-12-2013, 20:00   #1043
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Boatman, nothing to be sorry about. I agree with all you have said. I might have missed something but I think it was assumed here on CF that the jib blocked the view. I didn't read the very last of the report of the Riga II so I don't know if the headsail was listed as causative factor.

My opinion is whatever the condition of the boat, to stand watch means to meet and overcome those obstacles whether it be a deck sweeping headsail or other. Specific to this accident, everything was greatly compounded by the 3rd mate being so asinine about the lights he saw. The mate demonstrated such an utter complacency of which a person of his position should be acutely aware and prepared to avoid. Yet he did not. He was so danged sure he was accurate in his opinion of the lights that he confidently expressed it to the duty watch and seemingly did not revisit his interpretation. Is it that rare that a professional would cross check for accuracy? The 3rd mate could have acted to avoid the collision if he had checked his observation of the lights against other references. He confidently dismissed the concerns of the duty watch.

IF the 3rd mate had acted correctly, that Riga II did not maintain a proper watch would have been on a contributing factor to a near miss rather than collision. The onus is on the 3rd mate, not because of his professional capacity, but because of his better view with better equipment and crew.
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Old 13-12-2013, 20:14   #1044
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Last week at 3 am about 15 miles offshore I was hard on the wind, starboard tack, when I spotted something far away on the horizon. It was a glow of white light on the horizon, so I assumed it was a big commercial fishing boat of some kind.

It didn't take long to realize the bearing of the glow had not changed by the time it was a mass of white lights, still on the horizon. Even though I was under sail and on starboard, I assumed the vessel was fishing, and altered off the wind a little, for what was now clearly a shrimper.

The next bearing was the same, he had altered also, in the same direction. I altered again, even more, off the wind. Neither of these changes resulted in more speed (which can cancel out the greater angle) and yet after a couple more minutes, the bearing remained unchanged.

I altered again, after a time the bearing remained the same. I get no response on the VHF, trying several times since the first turn.

Finally, when he is steaming down on me, I crank the engine and turn her around, and he steams by.

I was showing a masthead tri-color, so the 8' swells were not a factor in my visibility. I was a bit confused, as his course alterations made no sense whatsoever.

Only after a review of my track did I realize that his course clearly followed the bottom contour. I assume he set waypoints to follow the preferred depth, and set the autopilot. I am pretty sure they never knew I was there.

I have been told many times by the commercial guys that some of them feel that we are on our own out there. They assume they have the right of way because they are fishing, and are likely to suffer no damage in a collision with a recreation vessel. As there is no shipping at those depths, they have no fear of an even bigger vessel. With no fear, they can set the autopilot, and go out on deck and work.

I was lucky that when I finally cranked the engine and chose to turn around, the bottom and the shrimper didn't automatically make a waypoint turn to port, or I would have been fish food.

I did everything right from beyond the horizon, and yet I still was only saved by pure luck.

I was only that near shore because I was passing the cape, and shallow depths extend way offshore.

I am at a loss for a way to deal with the the seemingly random, erratic course behavior made possible by new technologies. How can we miss a ship whose behavior is nearly impossible to predict at the time?

With the current level of automation available, only the COLREGS will require a watch on the bridge, as the ship itself no longer does. I always was taught to assume no vessel sees you, and act accordingly. Nowadays, that may be an assumption that's right much of the time.

'
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Old 13-12-2013, 20:37   #1045
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

RE: the Riga II accident I would like to focus on how the several course changes made by the ship in the span of several minutes may have changed the aspect as seen by Riga II. This especially since the report mentions how Riga II owner stated he saw the ship's port light when the investigators said that couldn't have been the case.

BTW: I once steered sharply to avoid the planet Venus...brightly lit on the horizon.
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Old 13-12-2013, 22:06   #1046
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
Boatman, nothing to be sorry about. I agree with all you have said. I might have missed something but I think it was assumed here on CF that the jib blocked the view. I didn't read the very last of the report of the Riga II so I don't know if the headsail was listed as causative factor.

My opinion is whatever the condition of the boat, to stand watch means to meet and overcome those obstacles whether it be a deck sweeping headsail or other. Specific to this accident, everything was greatly compounded by the 3rd mate being so asinine about the lights he saw. The mate demonstrated such an utter complacency of which a person of his position should be acutely aware and prepared to avoid. Yet he did not. He was so danged sure he was accurate in his opinion of the lights that he confidently expressed it to the duty watch and seemingly did not revisit his interpretation. Is it that rare that a professional would cross check for accuracy? The 3rd mate could have acted to avoid the collision if he had checked his observation of the lights against other references. He confidently dismissed the concerns of the duty watch.

IF the 3rd mate had acted correctly, that Riga II did not maintain a proper watch would have been on a contributing factor to a near miss rather than collision. The onus is on the 3rd mate, not because of his professional capacity, but because of his better view with better equipment and crew.

The report mentions that the OOW was a national of the Philippines.
It is possible that he, and many others may find themselves out of work due to the poor record of many of the maritime schools in the Philippines.
At the moment, the Philippines is on the STCW "whitelist". Last April, due to concerns over the standard of teaching and certification, these schools were audited by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and failed. They were again audited in October, and whispers are they may have failed again. If this is the case, holders of certificates issued in the Philippines will not be allowed to work on ships in EU waters. As owners will not be crew changing just to get a ship into Europe, they will need to retake their certificates once the Philippine schools are back in order.
Bit harsh for those concerned, but if it keeps everyone else safe, its the price to pay.
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Old 14-12-2013, 01:16   #1047
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

While there was poor watchstanding on both vessels, I believe this collision was caused by the yacht skipper's failure to understand that ship's officers are trained to turn to starboard to avoid collision in head-on and crossing situations. Turning the Riga II to port was absolutely the wrong thing to do. I've never had a collision, but I've learned that lesson--I've had several ships turn starboard into me when I tried to pass them green-to-green, even when I had over a 1 mile CPA.
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Old 14-12-2013, 01:47   #1048
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Apart from anything else, bad planning by the yacht. Following the exact track of a preferred shipping route at night in a small pleasure craft where there is several miles of safe water on either side of that route is questionable to say the least. There is plenty of navigable water for at least 5NM inshore of that route all the way from the Whitsundays to Cape Bowling Green. Had they planned a course which paralleled the track 2-3NM to Port of it, they would have been far safer.
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Old 14-12-2013, 04:38   #1049
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Most accidents in the North Sea area happen between fishermen and commercial craft.

Major cause of accident is keeping no watch. Although it is strictly prohibited for fishermen to fish or trawl in the Traffic Lanes, they do. They use their fishplotter as navigational instrument which is also not allowed. Paper charts are required to be used and by all means available.
It is clearly stated by "De Raad v.d. Scheepvaart" that absence of paper charts and not updated - in case of an accident - will be prosecuted.
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:24   #1050
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

You have to connect the dots.... Starting with the collision the dot before that was the turn to port etc, and before that was this that and the other. Then at the very beginning was the carrier (who has greater visibility up on the bridge) observing the lights of the sailboat (twice) and failing to verify what it was that they were seeing. Thus a failure of watch keeping and a failure to give way to a sailing vessel.
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