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Old 06-03-2018, 20:39   #106
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Updates from vestas website:

2nd March - 2018
Q&A WITH MARK TOWILL
By Vestas 11th Hour Racing
Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-founder, Mark Towill, spent time at home with family and friends after departing the Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong stopover where the team’s VO65 was involved in a tragic accident with a fishing vessel. Towill has now regrouped with the team and their VO65 yacht in Auckland, New Zealand, ahead of the next leg of the race. The team has now been informed that investigations by the Hong Kong and mainland China authorities will be closed shortly with no further action to be taken. As a result, Towill gives us his account on what happened in the early hours of January 20 in the approach to Hong Kong.


What happened as you approached the finish line of Leg 4?
We were about 30 nautical miles from the finish, and I was at the navigation station monitoring the radar and AIS (Automatic Identification System), and communicating with the crew on-deck through the intercom. I was watching three vessels on AIS: a cable layer, which we had just passed, a vessel farther ahead moving across our bow and away, and a third vessel identified as a fishing vessel. There were a number of additional boats on AIS, many of them fishing vessels, but these three were the only ones identified in our vicinity.

What were the conditions like? What could you see?
It was a dark and cloudy night, with a breeze of around 20 knots and a moderate sea state. As we approached the fishing vessel that we had identified on AIS, the on-deck crew confirmed visual contact – the fishing vessel was well lit – and we headed up to starboard to keep clear. I was watching AIS and communicating the range and bearing to the crew. The crew confirmed we were crossing the fishing vessel when, before the anticipated cross, there was an unexpected collision.

What happened immediately after the collision?
So much happened so fast. The impact from the collision spun us into a tack to port that we weren’t prepared for. Everyone who was off watch came on deck. Everyone on our boat was safe and accounted for. We checked the bow, saw the hole in the port side and went below to assess the damage. Water was flowing into our boat through the hole, and there was concern over the structural integrity of the bow.

How did you control the ingress of water?
We heeled the boat to starboard to keep the port bow out of the water. The sail stack was already to starboard and the starboard water ballast tank was full. We also kept the keel canted to starboard. We placed our emergency pump in the bow to pump water overboard. We were able to minimize the ingress, but the boat was difficult to maneuver because it was heeled over so much.

What actions did you take immediately after getting your boat under control?
It took roughly 20 minutes to get our boat under control, and then we headed back towards the location of the collision. Upon arrival, several people on a fishing vessel nearby were shining lights to a point on the water. Our first thought was that they could be looking for someone, so we immediately started a search and rescue. After some time searching, we eventually spotted a person in the water.


Who were you in communication with? Did anyone offer assistance?
We tried to contact the other vessel involved in the collision, and alerted race control straight away. When we initiated the search and rescue, our navigator immediately issued a Mayday distress call over VHF channel 16 on behalf of the fishing vessel. There were many vessels in the area, including a cruise ship with a hospital bay, but they were all standing by.
Communication was difficult. The sheer volume of traffic on the radio meant it was hard to communicate to the people we needed to. Not many people on the VHF were speaking English, but we found a way to relay messages through a cable laying vessel, and they were able to send their guard boat to aid in the search and rescue.

How was the casualty retrieved?
Difficult conditions and limited maneuverability hampered our initial efforts to retrieve the casualty. The guard boat from the cable layer provided assistance and every effort was made from all parties involved in the search and rescue. We were finally able to successfully recover the casualty after several attempts. When we got him aboard, our medics started CPR. We alerted Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre that we had the casualty aboard and they confirmed air support was on its way. He was transferred to a helicopter and taken to a Hong Kong hospital where medical staff where unable to revive him.

Did any of your competitors offer assistance?
Dongfeng Race Team offered assistance. At the time, we were coordinating the search and rescue with multiple vessels, including the cable layer that had a crewman who spoke Chinese and English and was relaying our communication. We advised Dongfeng that they were not needed as there were a number of vessels in the area that were closer.
Team AkzoNobel arrived while the air transfer was in effect. Race control requested that they stand by and they did, and we later released them once the helicopter transfer was complete.

What happened after the search and rescue procedure was completed?
Once we knew there was nothing more we could do at the scene of the accident, we ensured our boat was still secure, and informed Volvo Ocean Race that we would retire from the leg and motor to shore. We arrived at the technical area nearby the race village and met with race officials and local authorities to give our account of what happened.
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Old 13-03-2018, 06:46   #107
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Seems that Chinese and HK authorities do not wish to pursue the smatter any further.
They will close the investigation with no further action.
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Old 13-03-2018, 11:38   #108
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
... As we approached the fishing vessel that we had identified on AIS, the on-deck crew confirmed visual contact – the fishing vessel was well lit – and we headed up to starboard to keep clear. I was watching AIS and communicating the range and bearing to the crew. The crew confirmed we were crossing the fishing vessel when, before the anticipated cross, there was an unexpected collision. ... The impact from the collision spun us into a tack to port ...
...and that seems to be the total sum of information describing the cause of the collision - i.e. nothing at all on the actual cause. We are left to guess what really happened.
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Old 13-03-2018, 11:43   #109
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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...and that seems to be the total sum of information describing the cause of the collision - i.e. nothing at all on the actual cause. We are left to guess what really happened.
Probably intentional.
Other then sailing rules there are political and social reasons they might not want the exact cause of the collision to be made public.

But the VOR did order an independent investigation to make futur events safer.
Expected in june 2018
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Old 25-03-2018, 10:04   #110
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

In my opinion if your a commercial fishing vessel and you've got what appeared to be ten or more men on it, who also probably have a ton of experience then why in the hell would you ever be out fishing without having a clearly lit up vessel. One time I met a friend of mine that actually owned a boat marina, I met him after purchasing a boat from him. Myself and the wife and another couple flew out to P.I.B. An island in Lake Erie close to where I live. Well that friend asked me to take a brand new power boat back to the marina because he was leaving on a main ship with some other people. Now piloting a boat back to Port Clinton in the dark was nothing new to me, had been doing it for years. About a third of the way home the brand new boat lost all electrical power. Everything shut off. The boat was still running but we couldn't see ant gauges, nothing and couldn't find a flashlight, nothing! Well I stopped and tried to fixit, being an electrician as well as the othe male that was with me, but that was impossible because it was pitch black out. Sitting there dead stopped in Lake Erie and you can see and hear other boats flying by you was pretty close to one of the most terrified I've ever been, I can just remember praying all the way back in that we make it, and of course we did. As we came into the marina we were yelled at by several people about being underway without having proper lighting. That's why I find it hard to believe these fishermen would be so Nieves to be out on the water working and traveling that way an no AIS, and if that's the case then they really are at fault, you can't avoid what you can't see.
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Old 25-03-2018, 10:24   #111
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayski View Post
In my opinion if your a commercial fishing vessel and you've got what appeared to be ten or more men on it, who also probably have a ton of experience then why in the hell would you ever be out fishing without having a clearly lit up vessel. One time I met a friend of mine that actually owned a boat marina, I met him after purchasing a boat from him. Myself and the wife and another couple flew out to P.I.B. An island in Lake Erie close to where I live. Well that friend asked me to take a brand new power boat back to the marina because he was leaving on a main ship with some other people. Now piloting a boat back to Port Clinton in the dark was nothing new to me, had been doing it for years. About a third of the way home the brand new boat lost all electrical power. Everything shut off. The boat was still running but we couldn't see ant gauges, nothing and couldn't find a flashlight, nothing! Well I stopped and tried to fixit, being an electrician as well as the othe male that was with me, but that was impossible because it was pitch black out. Sitting there dead stopped in Lake Erie and you can see and hear other boats flying by you was pretty close to one of the most terrified I've ever been, I can just remember praying all the way back in that we make it, and of course we did. As we came into the marina we were yelled at by several people about being underway without having proper lighting. That's why I find it hard to believe these fishermen would be so Nieves to be out on the water working and traveling that way an no AIS, and if that's the case then they really are at fault, you can't avoid what you can't see.
That's just the way fishermen are, all over the world. They rarely show proper lights, they have their fishing nav status day shapes permanently welded to their vessels, they frequently don't keep a watch, they frequently maneuver erratically, they frequently (usually) ignore the COLREGS.

So what? None of this creates any problem at all for a vessel keeping a good watch. The faults of the fishing vessel are absolutely no excuse whatsoever for the crew of a vessel which runs into them. Even halfway decently tuned radar will pick up a wooden vessel of that size in plenty of time, on the odd chance that it's a pitch black moonless night and the fishing vessel is completely darked out, but they are NEVER completely darked out -- they always have some lights on for working.

Sorry, but I just categorically disagree with this post.
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Old 25-03-2018, 10:36   #112
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayski View Post
In my opinion if your a commercial fishing vessel and you've got what appeared to be ten or more men on it, who also probably have a ton of experience then why in the hell would you ever be out fishing without having a clearly lit up vessel. One time I met a friend of mine that actually owned a boat marina, I met him after purchasing a boat from him. Myself and the wife and another couple flew out to P.I.B. An island in Lake Erie close to where I live. Well that friend asked me to take a brand new power boat back to the marina because he was leaving on a main ship with some other people. Now piloting a boat back to Port Clinton in the dark was nothing new to me, had been doing it for years. About a third of the way home the brand new boat lost all electrical power. Everything shut off. The boat was still running but we couldn't see ant gauges, nothing and couldn't find a flashlight, nothing! Well I stopped and tried to fixit, being an electrician as well as the othe male that was with me, but that was impossible because it was pitch black out. Sitting there dead stopped in Lake Erie and you can see and hear other boats flying by you was pretty close to one of the most terrified I've ever been, I can just remember praying all the way back in that we make it, and of course we did. As we came into the marina we were yelled at by several people about being underway without having proper lighting. That's why I find it hard to believe these fishermen would be so Nieves to be out on the water working and traveling that way an no AIS, and if that's the case then they really are at fault, you can't avoid what you can't see.


You contradict yourself. If you could be left accidentally dark and without power, so could a fishing boat.
I don't know about the economics of the area at all. Are the fishing fleets expensive, modern, sophisticated ones or third-world, patched-up ones?
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Old 25-03-2018, 11:53   #113
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
Updates from vestas website: ... As we approached the fishing vessel that we had identified on AIS, the on-deck crew confirmed visual contact – the fishing vessel was well lit – and we headed up to starboard to keep clear. I was watching AIS and communicating the range and bearing to the crew...
Then someone posts this:
"In my opinion if your a commercial fishing vessel and you've got what appeared to be ten or more men on it, who also probably have a ton of experience then why in the hell would you ever be out fishing without having a clearly lit up vessel."

If you haven't been following the thread then maybe better not post what seems non-relevant comment.

No more excuses please - they got away with murder (figuratively speaking) and should be grateful.
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Old 25-03-2018, 12:10   #114
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

That last bit may be a bit strong. I thought it was implied that they were watching the well lit vessel and hit another vessel they didn’t aee
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Old 25-03-2018, 12:18   #115
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

No mention anywhere of hitting another "unlit" vessel they didn't see, visually or on radar - that would seem highly unlikely, if not impossible, and why no mention of it anywhere? Why would such an important detail pass unmentioned? This "theory" of another vessel makes no sense to me.
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Old 25-03-2018, 12:24   #116
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

VOR races must be banned! THey cause environmental damage, threat to everyone and are time wasters - better get these crew - unemployed folks to help with immigrant crisis.
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Old 25-03-2018, 12:27   #117
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post
No mention anywhere of hitting another "unlit" vessel they didn't see, visually or on radar - that would seem highly unlikely, if not impossible, and why no mention of it anywhere? Why would such an important detail pass unmentioned? This "theory" of another vessel makes no sense to me.
I also read the skipper's statement as saying they were trying to avoid the identified target when they collided with a different vessel. It's all in how you read the statement.

Your statement about "no excuses please" in a prior post seems to indicate that you've made up your mind, based on partial evidence. All the evidence may be hard to come by, whether due to political expediency or other reasons. Saying that the Vestas crew "got away with murder" is, as malbert73 pointed out, rather harsh, and there's nothing to truly substantiate it. If real evidence support that conclusion, then I'd agree with you, but I not seen that as yet.
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Old 25-03-2018, 12:43   #118
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

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...Your statement about "no excuses please" in a prior post seems to indicate that you've made up your mind, based on partial evidence. ...
Agreed, but I did say "figuratively speaking". If I were passing a vessel engaged in fishing, and if I were doing 20 kts, and if the vessel might manoeuvre unexpectedly, and if I didn't slow down, and if I leave sufficient room for any unexpected manoeuvre, then I would hold myself at fault - I'd feel entirely to blame for any collision resulting from the unexpected manoeuvre. 'Expect the unexpected' is my motto in life, and especially when within spitting distance of fishing boats. If I was then given a free pardon following such collision, then I'd feel I "got away with murder" (figuratively speaking) - that's a common enough expression used to describe getting away scot-free - apologies for any misunderstanding.

Now, was there another vessel lurking unseen?

If there was, then why not come right out and say so?

The plot thickens (another common expression, if a little meaningless).
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Old 25-03-2018, 12:48   #119
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Thanks for taking my post in the spirit intended!

It was not explicitly stated whether they collided with the originally identified target or another unlit vessel in their path as they maneuvered to avoid. As I mentioned, the way I read the Vestas' skipper's statement I believe it to be a second vessel, but I could be wrong. There has not been much publicly disclosed information, hence my hesitance to blame one side or the other. It would certainly be helpful for a full disclosure of the facts to clear up all the noise.

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Old 25-03-2018, 13:03   #120
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Re: VOR boat in Fatal Collision.

Quote:
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...It was not explicitly stated whether they collided with the originally identified target or another unlit vessel in their path ...
...and by not explicitly stating, yet leaving it as implied, was the intention to mislead...?
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