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Old 24-10-2012, 07:31   #1
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Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

Dramatic moment rookie yacht crew were rescued in rough seas after skipper 'ignored warnings and sailed into Force 10 storm' | Mail Online
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Old 24-10-2012, 08:09   #2
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

Some less sensationalist reporting.


Dungeness and Dover RNLI lifeboats launched in Storm Force 11 conditions to vessel in distress

Men face trail after dramatic rescue | Yacht News | Yachting World

Sailing school students suffered hypothermia | Sailing news | Yachting Monthly
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Old 24-10-2012, 08:09   #3
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

sounds like the yacht was still seaworthy till the crew panicked!
running for refuge in tidal harbours on the east coast in stormy weather,can be way more dangerous than heaving too in the north sea.....
sounds like this is a case for maib(marine accident investigation bureau),not a civil court who know nothing about sailing!
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Old 24-10-2012, 08:14   #4
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

Sorry I do not see 20 foot waves, looks like 4 feet of chop. I do not see a boat in danger but I see how someone could be injured by the boat bucking like that.
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:18   #5
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

The skipper apparently set sail with a completely novice crew, when force 10/11 was forecast. He then ignored several ports of safety en-route. Doesn't matter if the boat was sea-worthy - if you go out with a crew, both the boat and the crew must be sea-worthy.
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:24   #6
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

I'm trying to figure out why they couldn't bend the wheel back enough to steer. I guess the boat couldn't use an emergency tiller either.
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:34   #7
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

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I'm trying to figure out why they couldn't bend the wheel back enough to steer. I guess the boat couldn't use an emergency tiller either.
I was thinking of this too. I think the boat is a Beneteau First. It has a large wheel which requires a slot or groove in the cockpit floor. If the wheel is bent it will not turn as it will not fit in the slot. Therefore, in these circumstances, I do not think the emergency tiller will work unless the wheel is disconnected or removed. Removal of the wheel is not difficult.
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:41   #8
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

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I was thinking of this too. I think the boat is a Beneteau First. It has a large wheel which requires a slot or groove in the cockpit floor. If the wheel is bent it will not turn as it will not fit in the slot. Therefore, in these circumstances, I do not think the emergency tiller will work unless the wheel is disconnected or removed. Removal of the wheel is not difficult.
That's the same train of thought I had and if one removes the wheel, it shouldn't be too hard to hammer the wheel back into a useable shape.

I guess they just wanted off the boat more.
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:46   #9
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pirate Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

The Skipper was a (expletive deleted)... between the Solent and Ramsgate the first easy to access port is not until Brighton.. the ones before all need the right tide conditions and even then are dodgy in a blow... Eastbourne next and then Dover.
He should not have sailed... simple as that.
Tho' with a SW gale he should have been running with just 1/3rd jib and been at the helm himself
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:59   #10
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

I did that (leaving port in a storm) once when I was young and foolish, had to steer all night with a seasick crew, learned my lesson and will never do it again.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:00   #11
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

For those of you unfortunate enough to have a wheel, might want to try the emergency tille before you actually need it. Had to disconnect the steering cable from the quadrant to steer. Too much resistance in the wheel and cables to over power and steer with the emergency tiller in my boat before the wheel steering system fell over board.

Still waiting to see a tiller steered boat with an emergency wheel back up.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:02   #12
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

My limit is gale force. If I can avoid that I will. Twice I have turned back from trips around Vancouver Island when the wind exceeded that limit: one 40 knots; another 55 gusting 70 with 6-8 meters seas. In the first case I was unsure of the vessel and crew, in the second just too much even with a good vessel and crew.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:11   #13
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
sounds like this is a case for maib(marine accident investigation bureau),not a civil court who know nothing about sailing!
I think will find that as a commercial operation that the Skipper is held to higher standards than a recreational sailor is (IMO quite correctly).

Likely what helped cross the line into prosecution (and brought the corporate Owner / Director in) was piss poor paperwork, both to support the decision made and for the dull end of day to day operations (which no one checks until the SHTF - and then picks holes in!).

Doesn't seem the skipper is being done for the boat being unsuitable or unlicenced for those conditions (the boat would have been coded for it's use, albeit I believe that is more around distance from shore than sea conditions (inshore requirements less than offshore) - the presumption being I guess that few would set sail into a F10!).

But certainly the term Dickhead does seem to apply to the Skipper - including for simple commercial reasons (even with no incidents how many would be repeat customers? ) as well as setting sail with untested crew on a voyage that would have needed at least some reliable crew.

Having said that, I suggest that those crew who clearly had doubts were also dickheads for getting onboard . Perhaps says much about certification they already had (not clear in the reports - but sounds like some sort of low level RYA course -"inshore sunny day sailing Yachtmaster"? )....would have thought that would at least have taught them a Force 10 is not a fun place to be. and that most of us don't choose one!....or simply common sense .

My bet is that once onboard and the predicted unpleasant became unpleasant (no ****!) that a group think also overcame the crew as well as the seasickness.....adding to the Skippers problems.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:32   #14
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

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I did that (leaving port in a storm) once when I was young and foolish, had to steer all night with a seasick crew, learned my lesson and will never do it again.
It sucks, but I'm a firm believer that everyone should have the experience of hand steering all night in a storm. You need to know what that's like, in large part to avoid it as much as possible.

I *still* have the image of the bulkhead compass in my head. I was so sleep deprived I couldn't actually read the numbers, they were just symbols. It blows my mind.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:33   #15
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Re: Skipper Ignored Warnings Faces Charges

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For those of you unfortunate enough to have a wheel, might want to try the emergency tille before you actually need it. Had to disconnect the steering cable from the quadrant to steer. Too much resistance in the wheel and cables to over power and steer with the emergency tiller in my boat before the wheel steering system fell over board.

Still waiting to see a tiller steered boat with an emergency wheel back up.
Not all of us with wheels have cables. Worm drives are pretty stout.
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