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Old 11-08-2011, 10:20   #1
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Boat Capsize on Lake Ontario - Two Rescued

This in today's news. For those who don't know, yesterday the Environment Canada was posting the following marine weather for this particular section of the lake: strong wind warning in effect, wind blowing 20-33 knots with gusts of 40 near storms. Waves one meter increasing to 1.5 meters.

What sailing instructor decides to take a student out in this weather, and on a boat that is known to "flip all the time"? Another story of balls over brains, another rescue on our tax dollars that could have been avoided if common sense would have prevailed.

It's one thing to be caught by bad weather while cruising, but it's inexcusable IMHO to purposely go out in bad weather and risk your and your rescuers lives.

Luckily, they were wearing life jackets and wet suits, otherwise they would have qualified for the Darwin Award.

2 sailors found safe after boat capsizes on Lake Ontario - CityNews

"Two men are safe after a near-six-hour ordeal on Lake Ontario Wednesday night after their sailboat capsized.

The pair disappeared off Gibraltar Point, near Toronto Island, around 7:30 p.m, when a strong gust pushed the vessel over. The Toronto Police Marine Unit, the Coast Guard and a Hercules C130 aircraft were used in the search.

“These boats flip all the time and we’re trained for that,” sailing instructor Charlie Macchin said.

“What messed things up this time … is (student sailor) Gord got caught under the trampoline. So I grabbed my knife, this is what we’re trained to do, and I dove under the water and I saw him, I saw him fighting to get out.”

Rescue teams found the men on their five-and-a-half-metre catamaran about 4 kilometres southeast of the Eastern Gap just after 1 a.m. Thursday. The men were conscious and breathing when help arrived.

"We were wearing life jackets. More importantly tonight, we were wearing wet suits because even though it seems warm in the summer, it's too cold (in the lake)," Gord Sperry said.

"It could've been different if we weren't wearing wet suits and the life jackets."

The sailors, a student and instructor, were taken to the Westwood Sailing Club while their boat was pulled to shore. "
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened.
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Old 11-08-2011, 13:08   #2
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Re: Boat Capsize on Lake Ontario - Two Rescued

It depends ... those are not conditions suitable for taking a beginner out by any means, but an athletic advanced student might benefit from learning how to sail a high-performance small catamaran in reasonably strong winds. And, it would be better to practice and learn advanced or heavy weather skills with an instructor than on one's own.

Admittedly, it would have been better to have gone out with a companion or safety boat. I'm guessing and hoping that the instructor had filed a float plan or had people on shore who knew they were out there and would call for rescue if they were overdue, and am hoping that they would have had a submersible VHF radio and/or or personal locator beacon attached to a lanyard or secure inside a pocket.
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Old 11-08-2011, 19:53   #3
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Re: Boat Capsize on Lake Ontario - Two Rescued

I wonder what our Canadian friend Gord will have to say about this?
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capsize, lake ontario

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