This incident troubles me a little. It seems to me that it would be helpful to know more about this chain of events
I understand from a post by Don Street on another forum that the yacht took a further two days to sink after being abandoned, even (presumably) with no pumps running.
Assuming a displacement
of 10 tonnes, and that it was dry when they left it, I make that a leakage rate of 45 gal/hr, probably less (because those are both conservative assumptions.)
That's 45 strokes per hour on a decent bilge pump
. On one trip across the Pacific we routinely pumped water at four times that rate from the boat, by hand, with no hardship whatsoever.
This was not because we were even damaged, but because of a design issue with the drainage of the anchor locker
(the drainage overboard
was inadequate to keep up when going to windward, and seawater coming in through the lid when the bow dived through a wave would eventually fill the locker and drown the windlass motor
; we chose to divert the drainage into the main bilge
so we could keep it pumped out, thereby keeping weight out of the bow, and not ruining the motor
Given how close "Outer Limits" were (330 nm) to safety
, and that they had another yacht standing by, I have to assume either that their vessel was disabled (rather than just leaking) to some dangerous degree not mentioned in any reports, or that the weather
was highly unfavourable or threatening, so they couldn't be sure of making a safe transfer to the other yacht.
I know it's not currently fashionable to demonstrate self reliance, at least it seems that way sometimes on this forum, but I would at least like to see some sort of nod in that direction ... at least to the extent of an explanation of why self-rescue appears not to have been considered in this instance.
I can only hope seamanship issues were foremost in the decision.
If OTOH the answer includes words like "liability", "attorneys", "fine print", or "Loss Adjustors", - I'm not sure I want to know.