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Old 27-04-2012, 10:09   #46
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

The USCG ban seems overprotective because it doesn't take into account the rational decisions of all the sailors reacting to the recent tragedy. Can you imagine anyone cutting too close to the islands in the next month . . . the next year . . . ? Everyone has learned from that terrible accident.
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Old 27-04-2012, 10:13   #47
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The USCG ban seems overprotective because it doesn't take into account the rational decisions of all the sailors reacting to the recent tragedy. Can you imagine anyone cutting too close to the islands in the next month . . . the next year . . . ? Everyone has learned from that terrible accident.
You don't think like a racer.

My boat? I would be thinking exactly like you except in my pre start race brief to my crew I would be saying, "everyone is gong to be afraid so let's hold our normal tight course and we will gain hugely, and this time let's clip in"

Edit: and now that I have actually typed it in and thought about it,this event cuts to the heart of any competitive sport where there is a balance between risk and reward...it should be up to the competitor to judge their own level of risk..

..it should really beup to any individual to decide if they want to commit suicide, not a governmental body.
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Old 27-04-2012, 10:23   #48
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

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you are a professor for gods sake
yes, one currently sitting in office hours. Apologies for the hasty composition; a student was waiting to see me.
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Old 27-04-2012, 10:25   #49
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yes, one currently sitting in office hours. Apologies for the hasty composition; a student was waiting to see me.
Just messing mate... couldn't debate your position so threw a straw man...
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Old 27-04-2012, 10:59   #50
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

Empire building, hmmm...No, I can't think this was sanctioned from the top, since the smoking ruins of "zero tolerance" and "secured head" were cleared up, I'd have to think the Commandants have been a little more sensitive to the concept of "we're going to piss off the people who fund our budget line". Hard to build an empire when you piss off the people who fund your operations, and radically pissing off their constituents is one real good fast way to do it.

It would be quite analogous to the USCG simply shutting down all cruise liners until after the Concordia inquiries were finished, in the interest of preserving life during the dangerous activity of cruising. (Speaking of which, incidentally, there have been meetings in the industry and apparently there's just been a preliminary agreement to carry more life preservers on cruise liners, oh boy. And keep non-crew of the rbidge during "critical" times.)

Never having organized an offshore race...I have no ida what tolls the requirement for a USCG marine event permit, but I suspect anyone who can navigate a buffet line, much less a protest committee, will be able to figure out a way to take their racing series OUT side that requirement.

I once asked a USCG station at an inlet when slack water was, and was told they couldn't respond because that might make them liable. Really. Well, now this port captain is going to take on the responsibility of saying when and whether it is safe to race? Oh boy, would THAT one come back in her face. "But the USCG said it was safe to go out and play today...and it wasn't."

No, there's no way this one comes out good. She's stuck her foot in it but good.


As to SCUBA being self-regulating...Nah, even back in the 80's there was enough bumf and FUD going around that world. We used to joke about "Did you hear you'll need to use a rebreather, the EPA is banning exhaust emissions at sea?" and people would believe it. You can't pick up artifacts from the mud, they're historical now. You can't anchor near sea grass or coral. You can't fill your tank without someone inventing a new expensive inspection "because the insurance requires it". that's the big self-regulation, making mythological insurers happy. The SCUBA industry doesn't need government help, it self-regulates based on lawsuits and damage awards. And plenty of FUD. Now there's a perfect match, maybe that captain needs to find a job in the insurance industry after her service career ends. (shudder)
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Old 27-04-2012, 11:04   #51
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

goboatingnow, you are correct in that there is quite a difference in definition of political affiliation around the world. Without getting into specifics and getting flamed by the mods, liberal has more of a socialist or left wing progressive connotation in the US than in other parts of the world say like Australia where it means more conservative.
Having travelled the world over the years, I try and take the measure of the man and his community rather than reacting to a political label. Cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 27-04-2012, 11:17   #52
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

I gotta jump in and defend the USCG and their mission at least here on the west/left coast. The men and women in the service have always treated me exceptionally well on over half a dozen boardings during deliveries up and down the coast over the years.
They have offered up accurate, up to date bar and weather conditions on entrances from Cape Flattery to San Diego. Their performance when boarding and inspections has been businesslike, professional and sensitive to the condition of my vessel. On a couple of occasions they even donned 'booties' before walking across carpeted interior decks.
Their hospitality has extended to inviting me and my crew to visit their stations in Astoria and Fort Bragg. My guess is that this edict is from somewhere up the food chain, probably from a politico and will be tempoary in nature, I hope. Their mission is focussed on SAR, drug interdiction and to some extent illegal immigration. Let's hope they keep that focus. Capt Phil
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Old 27-04-2012, 11:21   #53
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

a follow on to hellosailor on the uscg lack of response and not taking liability -- a couple of years ago we were going up the potamac to wdc for a few days - our charts had a lift bridge that was recently replaced by a high bridge and we had no data on it -
so i called the uscg - it took 3 tries to get them to answer the question on the bridge height and they finally told us to call the army corps of eng. - what a waste - a local water taxi heard the converstation and told me the new bridge height -

maybe i should have stopped and anchored in the channel and called and and but what in the world is the uscg there for - all i can figure is talk on the radio - talk about a waste of government money
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Old 27-04-2012, 11:26   #54
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

"talk about a waste of government money "
I wouldn't say that. I think the SAR folks would argue that everything else has been a dilution of their mission and a confusion of purpose, but the USCG does after all date back to the Revenue Service and "revenue" enforcement was part of the original mission. It wasn't just the Lifesaving Service.
The gummint's continual "Oh let's just do it with the coast guard" really does make you think about the mouse designed by a committee though. (Elephant.)
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Old 27-04-2012, 13:34   #55
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

didnt that stricken boat have a skipper who CHOSE to sail too close to the island??
isnt the fault of the race, but of the soul who CHOSE his route. wtf, anyway--i am sooo glad i do not choose to race--but i do agree that the uscg individual has overstepped and overreacted a tad on this one.
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Old 27-04-2012, 14:10   #56
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Re: USCG suspends premits for Ocean Races

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Actually SCUBA diving is a self regulated sport!!! They have managed to keep the government pretty much out of it by self imposed requirements for filling tanks, mixing gases, and cave diving.
Unfortunately the government (mostly local) is starting to get involved there as well. Some cities have imposed "no solo diving" ordinances telling divers they may not dive alone due to the safety issue i.e. in case something happens to you and no one is there to help. A very debatable subject (from someone who is a certified "solo" and technical diver).

While I agree that not everyone should be diving solo, some are competent (and probably safer than diving with some potential partners).

This is similar to banning ocean racing for those who are careful and responsible, to protect those who perhaps are not.
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Old 27-04-2012, 15:09   #57
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

I don't post here very often .. as my experience level doesn't lend itself to offer much of value ..

but this incident is close to home in many ways and I will offer the following (found on Sailing Anarchy) .. not in any way to stir controversy .. but rather hopefully for each of us to reflect ..



Hard Lessons

Amidst the terrible grief of our friends in San Francisco over the loss of five crew of Low Speed Chase comes the inevitable overreaction from the government and investigation by self-proclaimed experts. A boat is rolled in big surf and it’s time to ban racing outside the Gate for two months? When’s the last time fishing was banned when some johnboat was blown out to sea and lost? Loss of life is horrible, but even worse is loss of freedom. None of the dead would have wanted that, and we hope the folks at the USCG and US Sailing remember that. Anarchist “keel haulin” wrote maybe the most difficult analysis of this matter we have seen yet, but it rings true…from the “Wide Open Discussion” thread. Also, take the time to learn more about what happens to big waves when they come to shore.

I don't post on this forum often; but I see lots of argument about whether Low Speed Chase was too close, and what should have been done, what equipment should be worn, etc. I'm going to go on the record here and say that everything I have read and seen about where boats were on the Crewed Farallones tells me that ALL of the boats that transited the area were in too close and that LSC got caught in a large set. I hate to burst bubbles about what people think is safe, but I think this tragedy should burst a few; and hopefully the skippers who go racing there next time will consider what I am going to say here before they also decide to round the windward side of SE Farallone two to three waves away from the break.

I'm going to say this once. It is the responsibility of the skipper of a vessel to ensure the safety of the vessel and her crew. Regardless of what happens; or how it happens. It makes little difference if the wave was 'freak' or larger than average. It is still the responsibility of the skipper to ask himself "WHAT IF". With regard to the LSC tragedy; the WHAT IF should have been asked about the possibility of ANY FAILURE or sea condition that would put the boat into the danger zone. This question was not asked by the LSC skipper AND THE BOATS HE WAS FOLLOWING. Everyone else got lucky that a big set did not arrive and smash them into the shore.

The NW end of SE Farallone is a reef. Anything 10 fathoms or less is "reef depth" and a potential break zone. The topology of the break zone is similar to the Mavericks reef. On days when there are large seas; this area would look like a big day at Mavericks. If the seas are 12-15 feet, large sets of waves that are 20-25 feet should be expected. In normal offshore sailing conditions these swells are noticed but not dangerous. When they run up onto a reef (a shallowing zone) they turn into 30-40' monsters. They break much further out than the 'normal' break zone. These waves are not uncommon and they are not to be 'unexpected'. Based on photos and looking at charts; being 125 yards outside of the break zone would put the LSC and other transiting boats in a depth of 30-40 feet. It's too close to a lee shore/reef with large breakers. I'm sorry but that's just the way it is. Mistakes were made by the skippers who sailed through the area in those conditions. We all need to accept it and learn from it; and stop bickering about what people don't want to accept (that the skippers who sailed through that reef were all doing the wrong thing).

Waves of this magnitude put all bets off in terms of survivability on the boat, tethered on, or off. The three that survived were lucky. Everyone onboard were in grave danger before the wave broke. In a breaking surf wave, jacklines, tethers, and harnesses, will snap like weak rubber bands. They are not designed to withstand these types of loads. If they did stand up to it the forces on the human body would be deadly. While I agree that staying onboard is paramount to crew safety ("don't fall off the boat"); there is another cardinal rule that supersedes it. It's "give lee shores a wide berth". If that had been done we would not be talking about what the sailors should be wearing. If change is to come from this (and it should) it should be for a call from within the racing community for racecourse laylines/waypoints or off-limits depth contours.

I'm pretty sure the USCG suspended racing so the racing organizations can get their **** together and come up with some 'lessons learned' mitigation for this tragedy; so that public outcry can be tamed. Otherwise expect the USCG to be up everyone's ass who goes racing; especially racers going outside of the bay.
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Old 27-04-2012, 15:26   #58
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

Don't you Americans already pay Taxes for the coast guard? So do away with air traffic control, or better still just have it for large aircraft. Why have police, give everyone a gun to use.

Nanny State my ass, it is called living in a civilizes world. Of course America could copy the good old Nanny of them all and have civilian run lifeboats and just have the coast gaurd as another killing organization.
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Old 27-04-2012, 15:38   #59
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

Himself,

Glad to finally here from you directly. I have heard about you via Sara. In your sport of car racing, aren't you glad the federal government doesn't step in and close Laguna Seca after an accident? I totally agree that the lost souls would not have wanted racing halted for a time period on their behalf, but rather continue racing with a raised awareness.
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Old 27-04-2012, 15:52   #60
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Re: USCG suspends permits for Ocean Races

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Don't you Americans already pay Taxes for the coast guard? So do away with air traffic control, or better still just have it for large aircraft. Why have police, give everyone a gun to use.

Nanny State my ass, it is called living in a civilizes world. Of course America could copy the good old Nanny of them all and have civilian run lifeboats and just have the coast gaurd as another killing organization.
Common Sense and logic are in extremly short supply.

As Pogo once said,"We have met the enemy and it is us".
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