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Old 29-05-2013, 14:17   #46
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I have read here that Jay had no functioning autopilot, but maybe he rigged up some basic self-steering to help through the long hours. (Does that boat have a wheel or a tiller?)

Also, awful as it is to picture, his body dragging in the water may have had some sort of drogue/rudder effect on the boat.
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Old 29-05-2013, 14:28   #47
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

40 years ago I was in USCG aviation. Enlisted AT, radioman. I also sat lookout, as all crewmen did. We were flying HU-16 and C-130. The HU-16 were over airframe hours and were not allowed to make water landings. They also had IFF-1 transponders with destruct buttons, but they had been disconnected.

They are still flying some of those same HC-130's I flew on. They are right at 40 years of age.

I flew a number of search missions. The lookout would stand behind the piot or copilot and look out the window. We st to either 15 or 30 minute watches, can't exactly recall. But you do quickly loose focus. It is not being bored, your mind simply wanders. There is nothing you can do, despite your best efforts. That's why they rotate fresh observers so often and have extra eyes.

Also, back then the electronics were pretty primitive. While the radar could be very good, it was easy to miss-align without knowing. I was embarrassed once by missing an aircraft carrier. But you can't readily tell, no return is because there is nothing to see or because the unit is not working well? I was generally a pretty good operator and that one hurt my ego.

I know that personally, having previously worked on fishing boats, I wanted to do a really good job. None-the-less ny mind would simply float off. Or, you would be looking for a 40 sailboat, and you expect to see something so big. Then you see a freighter and realize that your size expectations were wrong and you could have easily missed something so much smaller. Not to mention the sea state, reflections, optical mind tricks that cause you to see false color. It is MUCH more difficult than you would think.

At least that was my experience.
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Old 29-05-2013, 15:13   #48
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

Some questionable posts have been removed. Please consider that there are real people with real feelings about Jay who read this and the derogatory remarks are just not appropriate in this thread.

Take your conspiracy theories to some 911 forum.
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Old 29-05-2013, 17:33   #49
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post

I flew a number of search missions. The lookout would stand behind the piot or copilot and look out the window. We st to either 15 or 30 minute watches, can't exactly recall. But you do quickly loose focus. It is not being bored, your mind simply wanders. There is nothing you can do, despite your best efforts. That's why they rotate fresh observers so often and have extra eyes.
Well, I probably should not have used the word "boredom" to describe the situation but, losing focus as you describe I imagine could be a problem in SAR missions. In addition the fatigue flying for hours in a noisy, vibrating aircraft does not sound like much fun to me either. So yeah we need to give the SAR guys some slack. It can not be a fun job. The good things about computers they don't mind doing the same thing over and over again. That would include scanning miles and miles of ocean for hours and hours looking for an anomaly in the waves. The Coast Guard needs to have at it's disposal some sophisticated watercraft recognition drones that could help in future SAR. Military probably has some already but, they probably would need to be adapted for the Coast Guard SAR needs.
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Old 29-05-2013, 17:55   #50
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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they probably would need to be adapted for the Coast Guard SAR needs.
And funded of course. More debt for all.
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Old 29-05-2013, 18:19   #51
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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You really want this kind of Nanny state? I'll happily take my chances when heading offshore with an EPIRB and a life raft. don't need a blimp or ASI following me all around.
I hear you about the nanny state. But, Jay was not that far offshore. Also putting all your eggs into the proverbial EPIRB basket may not always work out if it gets separated from your boat/liferaft as happened in this case. That's why I am glad I installed AIS on board last year. Rescue is still not guaranteed but, it is another tool to help anyone involved in a SAR. Not just my boat but, if I were to hear about another craft in distress and they had an AIS transponder I could also hopefully render some type of assistance if I was near enough. Putting an AIS transponder on board is voluntary. Don't want one don't install it. But, I see more upside than downside and I can always shut it off if I want.

Another thing that helps me is that when things get dicey on the water is this song by Greg Brown which often pops into my head and helps me focus:

One wrong turn is all it takes
and there ain't many signs -
you only get a few breaks.
Some get more. Some get less.
One wrong turn leads to the next.

The days go slow and the years go fast.
The future you look for is soon the past.
You seldom end up where you thought you would.
One wrong turn can change it all for good.


Greg Brown's One Wrong Turn in Minneapolis, April 21, 2012 - YouTube

Well, it works for me.
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Old 29-05-2013, 19:21   #52
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

Why so sad? The guy died with his boots on doing what he loved. And he has the opportunity of going into the family plot too. Sometimes the story ends with the guy being dead. No, wait. It always ends that way.
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Old 29-05-2013, 19:43   #53
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I've been following these threads closely. My sympathies for all those close to the lost sailor. My contribution is in the aerial search side. I'm a pilot that has done searches. I fly over water alot. I can tell you that if there are any whitecaps it's virtually impossible to see a drifting sailboat. The only way to see a smallish boat in those conditions is if it is leaving a wake. Spotting a drifting boat amidst whitecaps is nearly impossible...
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Old 30-05-2013, 06:01   #54
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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............
Its the 'Techie Propaganda Bull' that so many folk cling to with false hope of rescue...
When disaster strikes its 50/50 and the odds deteriorate with every hour... no magic eye in the sky... unless its Air Force 1...
Actually in this case the "Techie Propaganda Bull" aka EPIRB was found pretty early on without any problem at all. Shame Jay was not attached to it but that is not the fault of the techo stuff


Quote:
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I've been following these threads closely. My sympathies for all those close to the lost sailor. My contribution is in the aerial search side. I'm a pilot that has done searches. I fly over water alot. I can tell you that if there are any whitecaps it's virtually impossible to see a drifting sailboat. The only way to see a smallish boat in those conditions is if it is leaving a wake. Spotting a drifting boat amidst whitecaps is nearly impossible...
Indeed +100.
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Old 30-05-2013, 07:32   #55
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by pilotdave View Post
I've been following these threads closely. My sympathies for all those close to the lost sailor. My contribution is in the aerial search side. I'm a pilot that has done searches. I fly over water alot. I can tell you that if there are any whitecaps it's virtually impossible to see a drifting sailboat. The only way to see a smallish boat in those conditions is if it is leaving a wake. Spotting a drifting boat amidst whitecaps is nearly impossible...
That certainly makes sense but, apparently Jay's boat was still under sail and moving that's how it landed on the Cuban shore.
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Old 30-05-2013, 07:45   #56
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by pilotdave View Post
I've been following these threads closely. My sympathies for all those close to the lost sailor. My contribution is in the aerial search side. I'm a pilot that has done searches. I fly over water alot. I can tell you that if there are any whitecaps it's virtually impossible to see a drifting sailboat. The only way to see a smallish boat in those conditions is if it is leaving a wake. Spotting a drifting boat amidst whitecaps is nearly impossible...
One way to improve one's odds it to carry a Safety Streamer that floats on the surface along a boat, raft or MOB's line of drift. Some of these devices include LED's.

https://tslresponse.files.wordpress....05/slide10.jpg
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Old 30-05-2013, 07:54   #57
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pirate Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Actually in this case the "Techie Propaganda Bull" aka EPIRB was found pretty early on without any problem at all. Shame Jay was not attached to it but that is not the fault of the techo stuff
LOL... was not talking about the EPIRB mate... though even that's no safe bet either... Grain de Soliel for example off the Azores...
I was referring to the 'Read a paper in Baghdad over someone's shoulder while sitting at a computer in Florida' etc...
Sorry guys... but once your 'out there' the odds are 50/50 of survival.. how many stories of recovery are posted on here... vs how many are not rescued...
And those rescued are usually not in any real danger... just had enough of the washing machine and want to go home...
But the sinking's... never had a 'personal experience' post in my memory on here of someone being rescued after their boat sank..
I remember listening to a Mayday relay on a delivery a couple of years back with a hysterical solo sailor saying his boat was sinking 50 miles of the W Portuguese coast... he got heli'd off eventually after about 7 ships and 4 yachts diverted to his position... the boat was a regular Nav Warning for the next couple of days till it moved W out of the shipping lanes... the actual sinkings are a different story... usually they are found.. eventually... dead in their rafts
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Old 30-05-2013, 08:11   #58
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

What this accident shows is that when you want your boat to be found efficiently, you should just spent some (gasp) MONEY and install an AIS transponder. If you don't do that, count on not being found.

I don't think it would have saved Jay; I know for sure he would have been found within seconds of the SAR aircraft arriving on AIS coordinates.

There are so many who claim to despise AIS transponders and I hope this makes them rethink that POV.
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Old 30-05-2013, 08:18   #59
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

Though in this case it isn't clear AIS would have done anything. The EPIRB was what alerted authorities and it was located 30+ miles north of Key West--we have no idea if the boat was within VHF radio range of that position when the search and rescue folks found the EPIRB. AIS doesn't track vessels that are out of VHF range. I suppose that range is pretty good when aircraft are involved, but still there is a limit. If the EPIRB had stayed with the boat it would have been found. So in this case a better tether would have been the technological fix.

Also, another thing is that a fairly common emergency situation is losing the mast and the VHF antenna goes with it. Sure, AIS is another way to be found, but I'm not sure its function provides that much more than a standard VHF radio and an EPIRB.
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Old 30-05-2013, 08:24   #60
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
There are so many who claim to despise AIS transponders and I hope this makes them rethink that POV.
I agree with you Nick.

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AIS doesn't track vessels that are out of VHF range. I suppose that range is pretty good when aircraft are involved, but still there is a limit. .
I think you need to play with an AIS.
The base stations in the USA track AIS for a LONG distance, I would sugest 100nms. Definitly cover waters to Cuba.

VHF/AIS is line of sight, a plane would have it for a huge distance.

The resistance against AIS amazes me. Only by people who dont have it, or havent sailed with it. It should be manditory for boats sailing in the ocean, just like EPIRB. Only then will most get the idea of how totally essential it is.
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