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Old 09-10-2020, 00:27   #16
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

The other end of the story is when you do become very experienced and familiar with your vessel and consequently start to perceive situations of high hazard very casually.
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Old 09-10-2020, 18:59   #17
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
First point that really rings a bell for me is that the clothing was inadequate for the outside route. Possibly the skipper minimized that. For the newbies, cold and fatigue are among the primary enemies for the offshore sailor. They are part of why the environment becomes hostile. The effects of hypothermia are well known, but often people who have never experienced it don't consider it; nonetheless, it can kill you, even without your boat sinking out from under you.

I agree; having clothing available that is warm and comfortable in reasonably foreseeable weather conditions is vital. I've had some close calls over the years. Always at night. Always in shoulder season weather not bitter cold, when it's easier to get complacent.


A point not made in the report is that a VHF installation that was properly working should have been able to transmit a clearly audible distress call. So many boats have VHF installations that have deteriorated due to corrosion, water getting into the transmission line, or UV deterioration. Perhaps that was one of the factors at work.
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Old 09-10-2020, 19:09   #18
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

Since this 1997 tragedy there have been many changes to not only Coast Guard equipment and procedures - for example, the CG's Rescue 21 communication system is much more capable then the local station based system in place in '97. Navigation and communication equipment on recreational boats have also come along way. A good historical account and analyses of this tragedy can be found in: “Lost in Charleston’s Waves: The 1997 Morning Dew Tragedy​”. The author notes that despite it happening over 20 years ago there are still lessons to be learned.
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