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Old 04-10-2020, 20:44   #1
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NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

NTSB report on the brief voyage of the Morning Dew.

Out of profound respect for the children whose lives were cut short, all Forum members are asked to post no comments or replies. As mariners, we should just read and learn.


https://www.offshoreblue.com/assets/...orning-dew.pdf
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Old 05-10-2020, 00:58   #2
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

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NTSB report on the brief voyage of the Morning Dew.



Out of profound respect for the children whose lives were cut short, all Forum members are asked to post no comments or replies. As mariners, we should just read and learn.





https://www.offshoreblue.com/assets/...orning-dew.pdf

Learn what? The conclusion points to an unknown set of failures on the part of the operator to prepare for an offshore voyage, along with some piss poor performance by the local Coast Guard unit. Sigh.
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:52   #3
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

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Learn what? The conclusion points to an unknown set of failures on the part of the operator to prepare for an offshore voyage, along with some piss poor performance by the local Coast Guard unit. Sigh.


Asking a bit much from a group with a deep interest in all things maritime and debate in no way infers any disrespect.

The report is based on speculation in a number of key facts.
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:45   #4
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

This report is from.... 1997?

Why is this being posted now? Did it just come out or something?

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Old 06-10-2020, 03:53   #5
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

There are lessons to be learned from all incidents. Not discussing them isn't helping anybody. After 23 years this incident can be a useful lesson to newer sailors.
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:44   #6
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

Poor preparation and poor decision making by the skipper, as well as some poor decisions by the Coast Guard. So, what is there to learn? Make better decisions, I guess.

Is something like this going to dissuade the posters we see frequently here who basically say, "I don't know anything about boats or sailing, but I have bought a sailboat and will be leaving soon to sail around the world; what kind of anchor should I buy?" I doubt it.

Those who do not understand (and won't believe) how unforgiving the sea is are not likely to pay attention to advice that they need to plan, prepare, and understand the consequences of the decisions that they make. They're in a hurry to go, and aren't interested in anyone telling them that they should probably think it through a little more carefully. Sometimes it works out okay, and sometimes it does not. In the case of the Morning Dew, it did not.

Thus, I suspect, will always be the case.
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Old 06-10-2020, 21:56   #7
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

There's a fair chance it would not happen today with multi function displays, chart plotters, tablets with OpenCPN, mobile phones with Navionics etc. In addition the VHF network has probably been upgraded with repeaters.

Would never have been a problem had they managed to stay in the ICW and both boat and crew were probably also sufficiently equipped and skilled for same.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:17   #8
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

Extremely well done report. Lots for me to think about. I’m especially thinking how to continuously develop my own judgement and decision making. I’m now more committed to taking the Safety at Sea training course. Thanks flyingfin for your post prompting me to read this. I’m probably the kind of newbie you had in mind when you posted.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:48   #9
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

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There's a fair chance it would not happen today with multi function displays, chart plotters, tablets with OpenCPN, mobile phones with Navionics etc. In addition the VHF network has probably been upgraded with repeaters....
Search the internet for the stories and reports of the Aldebaran running into the breakwater at Point Richmond, San Francisco Bay on July 4, 2013. She was returning to her home port in familiar waters, had a chart plotter in the cockpit, and still managed to miss rounding the end of the breakwater by a couple of hundred feet. In the investigation the skipper said his chart plotter was not zoomed in enough to show him the breakwater of his home port.

I was there that night, returning to the same marina and about 100 yards from Aldebaran. We tried to hail them, sounded the danger signal, and tried to highlight the rocks with our searchlight. Despite that, we watched them pile up on the rocks. The wind was fresh and the waves too much for us to be able to take people off. We stood by for two hours and would have risked ourselves if things looked dire, but the bow was so high on the breakwater that people could have stepped off if necessary. When the USCG RIB arrived they got one person off at a time. The coxswain had to time things perfectly, they would run in on a wave, grab one person off the stern, wash out with the wave, get set, and repeat. 19 times.

Electronics were available and didn’t help out at all. Even the radio calls that got the USCG involved came from boats nearby rather than the stricken vessel. Had it not been July 4 with a host of boats out on the Bay and he had been the only boat in sight....

And read the report posted about repeaters, the watchstander had 6 different repeater sites and used them all in trying to respond to the hail.
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:47   #10
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

Missing the end of a breakwater by 200' is an entirely different situation from getting into a wrong nav channel which takes one towards the open sea.

A "newbie" is not going to be able to gain much from this type of report. Too long, and the newbie individual will not have the experiential base upon which to draw informed conclusions.

Where I cruise has had a repeater chain for more than 3 decades and there are still dead spots in it.
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Old 07-10-2020, 17:00   #11
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

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.

Next point I'd like to emphasize is that wherever you are in the world, for reasons unknown to you, the local rescue outfit may have a glitch in their operations. They always do the best they can at the time, but they may not be able to save your bacon on the day.

The takeaway is really that as skipper, you're responsible for the welfare of your ship and crew. Even posthumously, you're responsible. That is a good reason to ask yourself, seriously, "what could possibly go wrong?" when you make the decision to take the boat outside and shorten the trip, which is what I think happened in the Morning Dew's case. It's not just food, water, and fuel, you need to consider a watch plan so as to ensure your and the crew's rest, and you need to consider the possible effects of getting cold and wet. The wet makes you lose body heat faster. You also need to have your crew practice their radio skills. Not holding the PTT button in firmly could account for Morning Dew's signal breaking up. The report would have mentioned it if they were out of or on the edge of VHF range.

Very haunting incident, all told.

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Old 07-10-2020, 23:31   #12
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

The brother said that the skipper had bought charts for the ICW, marked the route on them and the skipper stated that he intended to do the entire voyage via the ICW.

The salvage master familiar with the area stated that it was fairly common for vessels to take the wrong route and proceed towards the ocean rather than the continuation of the ICW.

It's a fairly long way back to retrace and access the ICW so the skipper made the fatal error of pushing on on a voyage he had made no preparation for.

A chart plotter of some type may have prevented the original error and kept him in the relative safety of the ICW.

Been there, done that, got away with it and will probably do it again some time. Although probably unlikely with three juveniles aboard.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:10   #13
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

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Extremely well done report. Lots for me to think about. I’m especially thinking how to continuously develop my own judgement and decision making. I’m now more committed to taking the Safety at Sea training course. Thanks flyingfin for your post prompting me to read this. I’m probably the kind of newbie you had in mind when you posted.
One thing my dad taught me from his time as a pilot is to try to as much as possible eliminate decision making based on judgement calls when you are tired and stressed. This means you make rules for yourself in advance and you stick to them. Ex: “Under no circumstances will I do any leg of this trip outside the ICW.” Or “if I change course from my planned route I will do this list of tasks:” where the tasks may be review the new route, contact someone to let them know of the change, etc. Or “if it is after X time when we reach Y spot, we will stop at Z overnight instead of pushing to finish the trip.”

Obviously you will still have decisions to make, but primarily what you are trying to do is remove the judgement call about your condition or how easy or difficult something is when you are most likely to be not actually able to really assess properly. You’ve already decided that the trip from Z to your ultimate destination is not something you should do as night is falling, and you decided it while you were comfortable and well rested, so you trust well-rested you knew more than exhausted you. If you see what I mean.

If you do this with big predictable stuff (it may take you longer to make the trip than you’re anticipating, that isn’t unusual) then you also free up what mental energy you do have for decisions that you CAN’T make in advance, like assessing current sea state or sails or dealing with a broken widget in the thingummy.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:05   #14
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

No doubt the owner/captain made many mistakes but I just can’t get over the fact that more was not done when they heard cries from the water that early morning, they could have saved a couple of boys. 🙁😡
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:06   #15
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Re: NTSB report - required reading for all Newbies

Reading the report all the way thru was very sobering and my heart goes out to the family for their loss.

From this I am glad that I have modern tools, GPS, Chartplotters, better VHS that I can use in my voyages, in addition the updates to procedures and equipment that the Coast Guard has at their disposal now makes me feel safer. I also make sure that we do our best to plan and put ourselves in the safest mindset, with actions as well as equipment that can help us.

Last year on the Chesapeake we went out on a Friday thru Monday to very windy and rough conditions, making our way to a protected anchorage that we stayed at for 2 days in 20+ knot winds. Listened to the calls on VHF of reports of issues and rescues and later found out that 6 persons lost their lives on the bay in different incidents. Very glad that we have the Coast Guard out there to come to our aid if trouble comes up.

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