While one tends to think that once anchored one is relatively safe, that may not always be the case, even if the yacht does not drag.
We have just received an email
message via GlobalStar
from friends aboard our sistership on passage
between Union Island and Grenada
. It seems that while they were departing the harbor at Clifton on Union Island earlier this AM they overheard VHF
exchanges between a yacht anchored at the Tobago
Cays and St. Vincent authorities to the effect that the man aboard the yacht had apparently gone overboard
during the night but was not discovered to be missing by his wife until somewhat after 0600. He was last seen at at around 0300. Our friends had earlier been anchored at the Tobagos but quit the place for the shelter of Clifton harbor for a day or two as the conditions at the Cays were extremely rough and, in their view, untenable. Evidently it took St. Vincent authorities 4 hours or more to get a SAR asset to the Tobago
Cays and as of the time of the message, they had not yet found the MOB
. Hopefully they will but the prevailing conditions, coupled with the swift currents, make possibilities remote
after so much time.
For what it's worth, whenever we anchor
we keep our swimming ladder deployed and a floating line attached to a quoit in the water
, trailing off the back of the boat
a few yards so that if one does go in the water
, one has something to grab if one finds oneself being swept past the boat
by the current
. Whether that might have been of any help to the MOB
in the Tobagos is anyone's guess but it would have been better than nothing.
Further, even anchored, in very rough conditions we remain clipped onto the yacht while on deck
, particularly after dark. Our friends report that as the winds increased, they quickly built up a terrific sea that had the yacht rolling from rail to rail at anchor
and that one wave actually had the boat's rail under water, which is a pretty tough trick with a First 42. Going forward to check on or retrieve the anchor under such conditions was/would have been very hazardous.
PS: IF we learn any more about the incident I will up-date this post.