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Old 12-04-2012, 15:52   #1
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Question Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

I use a Google alert with the key word "sailboat" and it seems that the majority of the stories it flags about actual boating events are about someone being rescued by the CG because the sailors? got themselves into a situation which could/should have been avoided. Recently there has been a rash of capsizes of small boats (sadly some with fatalities) out in wx conditions that overpowered them because (as I read it) the skippers simply did not know how to handle the situation. So my question is, what gives? With all the training that is available, a lot of it for free, all the warnings and advice in every sailing publication around it seems to me that a lot of these folks are either seriously over confident, unqualified, or just plain foolish! Should those rescued have to pay for the CGs' (God Bless 'em) effort if it is clearly a case of "their own fault"? I'm interested in your opinions.
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:06   #2
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

It is bad enuf that you have to pay for "volunteer" ambo transport in Florida...

I say the USCG is money well spent
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:07   #3
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

It is a catch-22 situation.

The fact that the coasties are available to rescue you and are so easy to contact (epirb, spot, cell ph, sat phone) means that many sailors do not feel the need to be as self-reliant and independent as they did before.

A few decades ago, you sailed over the horizon with your sextant and tool box and, unless you had an SSB, no one heard from you for months. If you got into trouble off shore, you had to sort it out yourself. It bred a tougher cruiser.

The modern cruisers these days are pussies compared to how they were before.

Is that why the coasties are doing more rescues?
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:15   #4
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSeeker View Post
I use a Google alert with the key word "sailboat" and it seems that the majority of the stories it flags about actual boating events are about someone being rescued by the CG because the sailors? got themselves into a situation which could/should have been avoided. Recently there has been a rash of capsizes of small boats (sadly some with fatalities) out in wx conditions that overpowered them because (as I read it) the skippers simply did not know how to handle the situation. So my question is, what gives? With all the training that is available, a lot of it for free, all the warnings and advice in every sailing publication around it seems to me that a lot of these folks are either seriously over confident, unqualified, or just plain foolish! Should those rescued have to pay for the CGs' (God Bless 'em) effort if it is clearly a case of "their own fault"? I'm interested in your opinions.

It takes years to acquire expert sailing skills. Most people don't do it every day. With driving, there's a pretty fast learning curve and within six months of getting my driver's license, I was a pretty competent driver.

Six months after my first sailing class there was still a WHOLE lot I didn't know.

So do we restrict sailing only to people with, say, 500 hours of actual sailing on the water? Then we can watch the right to go sailing become slowly extinct.

I don't know of ANY free training. I paid for every bit of formal instruction I got. So where is this free training that would have taught me how to handle a sudden blow?

When I bought my first sail boat, the person who went with me to look at it, who presented himself as an expert on sailboats, assured me that the reefing system was quite adequate. It consisted of two loose pieces of rope, carefully stowed in a pocket in the cockpit. If you needed to reef, you lowered the sail, put the line through the cringle, and tied it around the boom -- at the mast and at the end of the boom.

In reality when I needed to reef the first time, the wind was from behind with a five foot following sea. Once the boat sailed down a wave, it went nuts and tried to broach. It was COMPLETELY unsafe to be standing AT the boom, chest high, when it could swing around.

A bunch of other things went wrong. the coast guard didn't have to rescue us because I had towing insurance, but it could have come to that.

Was that "my fault?" Well, I was the skipper, but I was new to sailing and relied on someone with more experience (not after that day, however!)

Beginners make mistakes. Sometimes experts make mistakes. If your taxes pay for the Coast Guard, why should you pay twice?
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:17   #5
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
It is a catch-22 situation.

The fact that the coasties are available to rescue you and are so easy to contact (epirb, spot, cell ph, sat phone) means that many sailors do not feel the need to be as self-reliant and independent as they did before.

A few decades ago, you sailed over the horizon with your sextant and tool box and, unless you had an SSB, no one heard from you for months. If you got into trouble off shore, you had to sort it out yourself. It bred a tougher cruiser.

The modern cruisers these days are pussies compared to how they were before.

Is that why the coasties are doing more rescues?

Sailing has become a sport available to many more than before. So, there are more people out there with limited experience. How nice to be described as a "pussy." Meow.
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:22   #6
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

It's because of idiots!!!!!!!!

I have a large boat and will go out in 20+knot wind and 5-10' seas when there is a small boat advisory in effect. It amazes me the number of 10-15' boats out during the time.

So basically the CG spends most of their time dealing with idiots!
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:29   #7
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

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It's because of idiots!!!!!!!!

I have a large boat and will go out in 20+knot wind and 5-10' seas when there is a small boat advisory in effect. It amazes me the number of 10-15' boats out during the time.

So basically the CG spends most of their time dealing with idiots!

I think a lot of times it's a beginner mistake. They think that skill, not size, counts when the wind is up, and they read comments that call people "pussies" and don't want to be thought of that way.
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:31   #8
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I think its not a big deal If no one needed them they would spend just as much of tax payers dollars training then doing real life s&r. I am glad they are there but they are not a replacement for common sense and multiple people being first aid cpr trained on board. The cg are the last ones who will save you in a medical situation.
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Old 12-04-2012, 16:41   #9
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

Ive been a PUSSY sailor for about 50+years !! and ya know Im alive and kicking because of it !! In the 50 and 60s we just had to WANT to cruise cus it was lonely out there!! But most all the real cruisers Ive met in my years have been as big a pussies as I am At least the Alive ones are !! Just my 2 cents !!
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Old 12-04-2012, 17:20   #10
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

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Ive been a PUSSY sailor for about 50+years !! and ya know Im alive and kicking because of it !! In the 50 and 60s we just had to WANT to cruise cus it was lonely out there!! But most all the real cruisers Ive met in my years have been as big a pussies as I am At least the Alive ones are !! Just my 2 cents !!

EXACTLY! It's when sailing becomes a macho contest that people take risks they shouldn't be taking. But in addition, I live in Florida, where pop up thunderstorms can be unpredictable and quite severe.

But there ARE beginners/intermediate sailors who will get themselves into trouble in a situation a more experienced sailor might have been able to avoid. It would be really easy to call these people idiots. It's a long learning curve for sailing.
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Old 12-04-2012, 17:21   #11
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
Ive been a PUSSY sailor for about 50+years !! and ya know Im alive and kicking because of it !! In the 50 and 60s we just had to WANT to cruise cus it was lonely out there!! But most all the real cruisers Ive met in my years have been as big a pussies as I am At least the Alive ones are !! Just my 2 cents !!

EXACTLY! It's when sailing becomes a macho contest that people take risks they shouldn't be taking. But in addition, I live in Florida, where pop up thunderstorms can be unpredictable and quite severe.

But there ARE beginners/intermediate sailors who will get themselves into trouble in a situation a more experienced sailor might have been able to avoid. It would be really easy to call these people idiots. It's a long learning curve for sailing. I would not deliberately do that but experience makes a difference in sailing, and you just don't accumulate it all that fast. Time on water counts.
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Old 12-04-2012, 18:05   #12
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
It's because of idiots!!!!!!!!

I have a large boat and will go out in 20+knot wind and 5-10' seas when there is a small boat advisory in effect. It amazes me the number of 10-15' boats out during the time.

So basically the CG spends most of their time dealing with idiots!
Don,,, I have taken my jetski out in bigger seas than that and did not have to be rescued. Some people just do not belong on the water unless it is flat calm,,,,,,we both have seen our share of idiots on the water
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Old 12-04-2012, 19:01   #13
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

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Don,,, I have taken my jetski out in bigger seas than that and did not have to be rescued. Some people just do not belong on the water unless it is flat calm,,,,,,we both have seen our share of idiots on the water

I heard an amazing call to the Coast Guard once. Just to the west of the north end of the Skyway Bridge that goes over the mouth of Tampa Bay is a channel locally called "the ditch." The water is extremely shallow in that area, and the ditch is a nearly straight and narrow, but safe channel that runs more or less north and south. It's southern opening is into deep water. It's very clearly marked with reds and greens. Can't miss it.

So I'm traveling north, heading to the ditch, and I hear a call for the Coast Guard. They tell the guy to go to channel 68, and I went along to listen in.

Seems the guy's handheld GPS went out. Well, it happens.

So without his GPS he can't find the entrance to the ditch -- and he wanted the CG to come out and guide him to it!

No kidding.

They declined.
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Old 12-04-2012, 19:47   #14
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

Great responses, thanks!
Believe me I'm the last guy in the world that wants to see more gv'mint interference in our sailing world!!!!! It just seems to me that something ought/could to be done to save the idiots from themselves. I love sailing and want to see as many as possible experience "the freedom of the seas" but with as solid a basis of info as possible. NO, I do not want to see some sort of licensing requirements, we've got enough of those now! More suggestions????
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Old 12-04-2012, 20:11   #15
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Re: Too Many Coast Guard Rescues?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I heard an amazing call to the Coast Guard once. Just to the west of the north end of the Skyway Bridge that goes over the mouth of Tampa Bay is a channel locally called "the ditch." The water is extremely shallow in that area, and the ditch is a nearly straight and narrow, but safe channel that runs more or less north and south. It's southern opening is into deep water. It's very clearly marked with reds and greens. Can't miss it.

So I'm traveling north, heading to the ditch, and I hear a call for the Coast Guard. They tell the guy to go to channel 68, and I went along to listen in.

Seems the guy's handheld GPS went out. Well, it happens.

So without his GPS he can't find the entrance to the ditch -- and he wanted the CG to come out and guide him to it!

No kidding.

They declined.
Why did they decline? Where they tending to an emergency elsewhere? Where they waiting for the skipper, who was evidently no Vasco Da Gama, to run aground and become a hazard to navigation, then they would do something? If I can't find my way around a new town, I have no problem asking a cop for directions, what makes the CG any different?
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