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Old 01-01-2022, 04:23   #106
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

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Being ordered by a US warship in the Eastern Med (2010) telling me to alter course as they were not allowing boats to enter an area of water when I was delivering a UK flagged boat to Turkey.
As far as your Government is concerned you rule the world and can stop any vessel anywhere.
Where they ship fuel from was an assumption being as Florida is so close and seeing as the US subsidises fuel to an extent that has us in Europe drooling.. was not aware exports were taxable in the US.
Had that happen to me , sailed into the middle of two US fleets on a Bush mission , in international waters , got ordered away.

Same thing in Cartagena bay in Spain, local Spanish waters a US navel supply vessel ordered other vessel away much to the stunned Spainish coastal radio operator orders.

But I do know outside wartime or black ops , boarding a foreign friendly nation vessel requires vessel state agreement , this is habitually extended.
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Old 01-01-2022, 04:26   #107
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

“An oil sheen has been spotted from aerial observations at the estimated site of a sunken gas tanker, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources said on Friday.

Tar balls have also been spotted near the site.”

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2021/...en-gas-tanker/
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Old 01-01-2022, 04:27   #108
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pirate Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

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Ah there years more unwarranted judgement left in you boaty chin up, it can only get worse , imagine being completely ignored !
What makes you think I'm not...
My experience was related to the Hooha after the Israeli attack on the Gaza Relief Misson by commandos..
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:14   #109
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

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It would be a big surprise for the passing smoker who just flicked a cig into the water.
Hey, anything that helps cure a nicotine junkie is a plus, in my book!
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Old 01-01-2022, 16:09   #110
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

Quite a good new video with A LOT of updated information and further details.

It appears that the small vessel visible assisting and picking up crew from the liferaft may in fact be a big (independant) tender to the motoryacht 'Amara', since it looks like they have the same colour scheme.

Like most of these incidents, regardless of whether it be on a superyacht or a merchant vessel, a combination of factors seems likely to have contributed.





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Old 02-01-2022, 09:15   #111
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

Watched the above . . . . Yep, Captain looking for another job if true, I hear that McDonalds is hiring . . .
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Old 03-01-2022, 08:50   #112
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

With my 28' sailboat Etap 28i, "running" at 5 or 6 kn, during 30 y of sailing many times I was overtaken by motoryachts running at 20-30 kn looking for the supreme amusement of the bet: will I hit her or will I manage to shake her a bit? Something similar to the M/S Concordia and Captain Schettino, who wanted to show he was able to pass just a few meters from a coastal rock at Giglio island. Oh , the supreme pleasure of going to (maybe beyond) the limit. Isn't our entire civilisation based on that? Why to complain?
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Old 03-01-2022, 17:16   #113
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

The AIS operation on the tanker or weather conditions are all irrelevant to the case.

These are both very large vessels with all the electronics and crew needed to avoid collision. The utopia has multiple RADARS and they could see each other - especially the mega yacht could, at least 20 miles ahead which would give each bridge crew enough time to verify the situation, change course and communicate with the other vessel.

From the report link below here, the Utopia was running at 20Kts on an auto pilot. Even before watching the report below here, the only conclusion I could have was that the bridge was practically abandoned - as reported here, for at least 10 min... in spite of the location and clear situation ahead of them. The problem is not those 10 minutes, but goes way back and can only be described as criminal neglect as a minimum.

To add to this crime, the Utopia actually did not help or initiated the rescue of the tanker crew, but another power yacht that rushed to the area.

The latest update can be seen here:

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Old 03-01-2022, 17:33   #114
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post

To add to this crime, the Utopia actually did not help or initiated the rescue of the tanker crew, but another power yacht that rushed to the area.

The latest update can be seen here...
Most of your post is valid, however I believe the quoted portion above to be false - see my post on page 7 for why: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3547000

Here is an excerpt:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh2002 View Post
"...according to one Instagram user commenting on what appears to be the first report of the Utopia IV collision, the yacht’s crew did try to rescue Tropic Breeze’s crew, but was unable to fully assist. That same social media user says that one of the yacht’s crew sustained injuries in the process."

And as I mentioned in an earlier post, there is an instagram photo that appears to show Utopia IV (grey superstruture visible) with their stern swim platform / garage door open (she has this less common design for her size), and life boats/rafts in the background.

Click here for the original: https://www.instagram.com/p/CX5zbzFLTAU/


As for the 'latest update' - it was already posted here 2 days ago, just 3 posts above


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Old 03-01-2022, 17:55   #115
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

Thanks for the note. I’ve seen your earlier post.

As a licensed skipper (although never my day job) for the last 35 years with vast experience in the military, ocean crossing, seamanship and sailors advanced training, I stand behind my claim, based on the known information:
“Tried” is not “rescued”. Utopia has the best possible aids for a small crew rescue on board including a low transom platform and a garage that could do more than any other vessel in rescuing. But they simply didn’t care, just like they didn’t care for the entire hour before the collision.

And in a way, I’m not very surprised; I’ve seen the common behaviour of these mega yacht, especially in the Caribbean all the way from the owners down to the last crew member - on land, in marinas, on anchor and during passages. Definitely not all of them, but a frightening large numbers - and we should not even see a single case.
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Old 03-01-2022, 18:43   #116
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

Well, I don't entirely disagree with you, and I'm not trying to defend the overall actions of Utopia, but your exact words were:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
To add to this crime, the Utopia actually did not help or initiated the rescue of the tanker crew, but another power yacht that rushed to the area.
Yet the photo that I reposted seems to show the opposite - that they did initiate, and did help - even if they were not the final rescuers.

Obviously we don't have an exact timeline but from everything we know so far those photos were taken immediately after the incident.

In addition Utopia also put out a Mayday call, and it was (the other) motoryacht 'Amara' who then responded to that Mayday call.

Let's also remember that Utopia was also damaged and that the two vessels were stuck together until 'the motion of the sea separated them'. So Utopia wasn't running away anywhere.

They would have also been checking the status of all their crew (some of whom would have been asleep up in the crew quarters up forward), and their boat, to see if they had a lot of water ingress too. On many boats they may well have been on their way to the bottom as well and may well have been preparing to abandon initially too.

So I expect what happened was something like this > Crash > Oh shxt! > Mayday call > let's check our crew / if we are sinking too / prepare to abandon > ok we are not sinking, so let's get the transom door down and try to assist > some crew member gets hurt > motoryacht 'Amara' arrives on the scene...

And with what I suspect is a big towed tender already in the water, motoryacht 'Amara' is now in a better position to offer assistance so takes over to pick up the Tropic Breeze crew from their life raft / boat.

So if my supposition is correct that all sounds somewhat reasonable and I don't think that Utopia will face any type of 'failure to render assistance' charges.

Other charges though, well yes, it seems pretty clear that they will be found mostly at fault despite any other mitigating circumstances.

One needs to be very careful leaving more junior crew members 'in charge' (even if we don't exactly know this crew member's experience). They will always say 'I've got it, I understand, no problem' - because they want to please, and want to have responsibility and learn - but really they haven't 'got it' as much as they think they do.

For my part I can honestly say that I rarely left the bridge when I was Captain onboard high speed motoryachts and we were underway - at 40kn+ things happen just way too fast for that to be prudent in my mind. Utopia's 20kn+ is more reasonable but it's still certainly not the 6-8kn of a small sailing boat.

And we almost always had 2 on the bridge when at speed, and sometimes even 3 if there was a lot of traffic and we needed the extra lookout. Then again it's not like the passages were very long at that speed either, so it was possible to make it work even if it was stressful and tiring, especially on my side.

But there was no way I would leave a junior deck member 'in command' of the bridge at speed - no way. At most it was the first officer, and even then normally only briefly. If we were underway at speed during crew meal time I would either not eat until we arrived, or I would eat in the bridge to be directly at hand and available.

As I wrote earlier in the thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmh2002 View Post
I am in fact more concerned about why the ship wasn't visible electronically, especially on radar (it seems probable that AIS wasn't transmitting), and why it wasn't being tracked on radar/arpa from some miles before the collision?

That would be pretty standard practice on a superyacht in this situation - night time, running at speed, vessels forward of the beam, etc, etc. As soon as they cleared New Providence on their new course it would be normal to acquire all those targets on the north side (and probably remove some on the south side) and monitor them.
And I would have expected all of the above to be done BEFORE the Captain left the bridge.

We also don't yet know why he left the bridge and/or was called away, but obviously he should not have done so until he was confident the situation was 'in hand'.

Maybe he was? We don't have all of the information. But bits and pieces are coming to light.


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Old 03-01-2022, 18:58   #117
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

All the money in that yacht, all the electronics, 2 radars and they still could not see a freighter in front of them.
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Old 03-01-2022, 19:08   #118
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

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All the money in that yacht, all the electronics, 2 radars and they still could not see a freighter in front of them.
Yep, definitely strange. On the other hand, one wrong setting on the radar could cause that...

That latest video suggests the watchkeeper was 'switching between radar and chart plotter'. Is that significant, or does it just mean 'looking at both' (which would be natural and expected)?

Or the ship was visible on the radar but the target and it's motion wasn't properly 'understood' by the watchkeeper. I can only guess that it was not an 'acquired' target via the radar's arpa though, because then there should have been a CPA alarm.

What mode was the Radar (and Chartplotter) in? North up? Course/Head up? etc... Did that contribute to a 'misunderstanding' of what was happening by the watchkeeper?

It all has influence on the situation. I could see how North up might more easily confuse a less experienced crew member, especially at night.

We just don't know yet.


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Old 03-01-2022, 19:23   #119
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

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Well, I don't entirely disagree with you, and I'm not trying to defend the overall actions of Utopia, but your exact words were:

*****
We also don't yet know why he left the bridge and/or was called away, but obviously he should not have done so until he was confident the situation was 'in hand'.

Maybe he was? We don't have all of the information. But bits and pieces are coming to light.

I think we agree on the basic and important facts. Weather they assisted the tanker's crew rescue immediately or not, is more of on the semantics. The fact is that another yacht, had to arrive to initiate and process the the rescue speaks for itself.

Why the operator of Utopia (I will not downgrade the profession by calling him "Captain") left the bridge is also irrelevant, as he HAD to know, at least 20-30 min in advance of a potential collision course, also considering the very busy navigational waters over there - that's the #1 fault!, but he left the bridge, on autopilot, at 20Kts... - these are #2-10 faults...

We'll have to get more information to really understand the details, but the facts are quite straightforward. The big questions now are:

- What the Bahamas law authorities and the USCG (that also has a base in Nassau) will do on the criminal side.

- How strong is the tanker's insurance company and their attorneys, as clearly, the owners of Utopia will bring in the heaviest canons possible, and we know how things are processed...

Sounds like you have the experience with large power yachts and I agree and respect the practices mentioned. But even on my tiny 17 metric tons sailboat with a max speed of ~9Kts, a trained crew member has his/her eyes on the radar screen at the cockpit (with a repeater below) while cruising at night, *every few minutes*. With our 24 miles range we know about any other vessel at least 30 minutes before any potential proximity, not to speak about a collision course - because of their possible speeds, not mine. We have two fully operated AIS but we know we can't trust who has one out there and if it is transmitting or operational.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 03-01-2022, 20:08   #120
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Re: M/T Tropic Breeze Struck by Mega Yacht Utopia IV and Sinks Off the Coast of New P

Just as a side note, the autopilot question is a red herring, because on these larger vessels they are almost always on autopilot even if someone is standing right there 'steering'. One of the superyachts I captained (the 45m/148ft) didn't even have a conventional 'steering wheel' in the first place. So apart from docking or anchoring it was rare to actually physically 'steer' the boat when underway.

Steering tends to be done by changing course on the autopilot or the 'power steering' in one way or another. It's not really an issue. In fact at speed I preferred to be on autopilot so that more attention could be paid to actual 'watchkeeping' instead of 'helming' which can sometimes cause a bit of a 'deer in the headlights' loss of concentration. More like a commercial aircraft, the pilot isn't actually holding the stick the whole time during the flight - but they are still actively 'piloting' and navigating the plane.

On the question of time scales I did a very rough calculation based on the below AIS track that I posted earlier.

It seems to me that they had run something like 16nm towards the north from when they last altered course after leaving the west end of New Providence, to when the collision occured.

The reports of their speed seem to vary from 20kn to 28kn.

At 20kn boatspeed 16nm would take 48mins.

At 28kn boatspeed 16nm would take 34mins.

(and just to throw in an example from the fast motoryachts that I captained - At 40kn boatspeed a 1nm CPA (common on a coast like the French Riviera, where the other boat might also be coming towards you at 30kn+ too) would take about 1min30s - things happen really fast)

Then let's say 10-15mins to get setttled on this new course from New Providence, acquire the various radar targets via arpa, brief the watchkeeper, etc (could be more than 10-15mins too) - they might actually already have travelled 5-6-7nm in that time.

All of sudden it's actually not that long until the collision, especially if they were travelling at 28kn.

All food for thought.

(but not for excuses - clearly they messed up regardless)




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