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Old 09-06-2018, 04:19   #31
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

We cannot say thank you enough for those that helped us along the way!

Thank you thank you thank you!


As we put our life back in order, I will post more about what happened that day my best best guesses to issues surrounding it and the 100 things that had to fall into place to have it become a truly life or death situation...we are seriously lucky to have made it with our pants on. Nothing else made it onto the cargo ship jacamar

Soo many places that one little extra safety net would have kept it from being as bad as it was....that is on me.

No GoFundMe...we knew what we were getting ourselves into.

Experience level...zero.
we bought the boat Jan 2. Mid Feb. left for Bahamas via indiantown Okeechobee ft Meyers Marco island key West marathon. 150 miles sail from boot key harbor to Williams island off West coast of Andros island Bahamas .


Capzise... 90 deg. Then 180 then Stern sank and 3-5 minutes? after rescue she went down

Realized issue about 6 pm.

Enough water intrusion to have a few electrical issues about sunset

Started mayday at suset
Didn't find a broken seacock/thruhull. Best guesses is a tear or separation in the inside starboard hull but not sure will ever know...again,when I have something I can type on better than a tiny phone I will be more than happy to share more and let other hypothesise sp?


Numerous ships in the area. Only jacamar responed...according to captain of jacamar.

Dominican navy told jacamar via sat phone call that they would respond but after an hour, no show and shut down of communication.

About 1/2 hr before jacamar on site...12 nidnight?...lost engine power.

Alot transpired and will fill in later but we were pulled out of the water about 4:30 am.

More details down the road.

Oh...jacamar was single digits nm away is my understanding.

Steve
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:46   #32
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

Quote:
Originally Posted by getyourbone View Post
We cannot say thank you enough for those that helped us along the way!

Thank you thank you thank you!


As we put our life back in order, I will post more about what happened that day my best best guesses to issues surrounding it and the 100 things that had to fall into place to have it become a truly life or death situation...we are seriously lucky to have made it with our pants on. Nothing else made it onto the cargo ship jacamar

Soo many places that one little extra safety net would have kept it from being as bad as it was....that is on me.

No GoFundMe...we knew what we were getting ourselves into.

Experience level...zero.
we bought the boat Jan 2. Mid Feb. left for Bahamas via indiantown Okeechobee ft Meyers Marco island key West marathon. 150 miles sail from boot key harbor to Williams island off West coast of Andros island Bahamas .


Capzise... 90 deg. Then 180 then Stern sank and 3-5 minutes? after rescue she went down

Realized issue about 6 pm.

Enough water intrusion to have a few electrical issues about sunset

Started mayday at suset
Didn't find a broken seacock/thruhull. Best guesses is a tear or separation in the inside starboard hull but not sure will ever know...again,when I have something I can type on better than a tiny phone I will be more than happy to share more and let other hypothesise sp?


Numerous ships in the area. Only jacamar responed...according to captain of jacamar.

Dominican navy told jacamar via sat phone call that they would respond but after an hour, no show and shut down of communication.

About 1/2 hr before jacamar on site...12 nidnight?...lost engine power.

Alot transpired and will fill in later but we were pulled out of the water about 4:30 am.

More details down the road.

Oh...jacamar was single digits nm away is my understanding.

Steve


Steve- so sorry you lost your boat. Thanks for sharing details and weíll all look forward to more that we can all learn from...

Mike
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:09   #33
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

Steve,
Thank you for sharing this!!
And, I'm so glad that you, Jessica, and daughter are alive and well!!
Truly glad!!!

If/when you feel like sharing/writing more in the future, I know we'd all love to read it....and nobody's gonna judge, 'cuz we weren't there...



If I may make a comment to everyone here, using the info that you posted here, shows again the reason that using the GMDSS (specifically EPIRB's and DSC signaling, both VHF-DSC and MF/HF-DSC....and for those venturing 'round-the-globe, INMARSAT-C, too), is so important to safety...
Even in these crowded waters, you're unlikely to find anyone monitoring VHF Voice comms (VHF Ch. 16 or Ch. 13), but all the SOLAS-grade vessels are required to monitor VHF-DSC, MF/HF-DSC, and INMARSAT-C...{that's 1000's of SOLAS vessels worldwide....1000's of VHF-DSC coast stations, worldwide....> 440 MF-DSC Coast Stations, worldwide.... >80 HF-DSC Coast Stations, worldwide...all monitoring DSC, and only a handful still monitoring any Voice channel....and it has been this way for almost 20 years now....this is the GMDSS...}

I won't dwell on this here....just going to point you all to these threads/stickies, where you'll find a LOT of useful info, that could save your life someday!!

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ds-146617.html

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post2629491

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ge-149499.html




Quote:
Originally Posted by getyourbone View Post
Capzise... 90 deg. Then 180 then Stern sank and 3-5 minutes? after rescue she went down

Realized issue about 6 pm.

Enough water intrusion to have a few electrical issues about sunset

Started mayday at suset
Didn't find a broken seacock/thruhull. Best guesses is a tear or separation in the inside starboard hull but not sure will ever know...again,when I have something I can type on better than a tiny phone I will be more than happy to share more and let other hypothesise sp?

Numerous ships in the area. Only jacamar responed...according to captain of jacamar.

Dominican navy told jacamar via sat phone call that they would respond but after an hour, no show and shut down of communication.

About 1/2 hr before jacamar on site...12 nidnight?...lost engine power.

Alot transpired and will fill in later but we were pulled out of the water about 4:30 am.

More details down the road.

Oh...jacamar was single digits nm away is my understanding.

Steve



And, if anyone desires info on MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephones (aka "SSB")....


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tc-133496.html


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tc-198305.html



Fair winds.
And again, Steve...so happy to hear you are all okay!!

John
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Old 09-06-2018, 20:28   #34
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Even in these crowded waters, you're unlikely to find anyone monitoring VHF Voice comms (VHF Ch. 16 or Ch. 13)...
You've said this twice now. Is this based on experience? A lot of sailors I talk to seem to hail large vessels on 16 somewhat routinely when in open water. Haven't heard anyone complaining of no response. I have heard they may not respond if you don't call them by name, meaning you need an ais receiver.
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Old 09-06-2018, 20:48   #35
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I thought catamarans did not sink?


Useless comment that makes you come across as a troll. Stay quiet and learn like the rest of us if you donít have a positive contribution.

Iím very pleased to hear that the family is OK and am very interested in the first hand information recently posted. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2018, 23:20   #36
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

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Originally Posted by wyb2 View Post
You've said this twice now. Is this based on experience? A lot of sailors I talk to seem to hail large vessels on 16 somewhat routinely when in open water. Haven't heard anyone complaining of no response. I have heard they may not respond if you don't call them by name, meaning you need an ais receiver.
I've certainly had that experience quite a few times offshore. Very close approach calculated, call out on 16 repeatedly with GPS coordinates and nothing, nada. I've always chalked it up to non-english speaking crews on watch at night. Can be a bit hair-raising to say the least.

Of course calling out with a mayday is a different story...I would hope.
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:17   #37
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

US sailors seem to have an unusually high degree of confidence in VHF.

I was surprised we didn’t need an EPIRB to cruise the PNW, they are mandatory to go out of protected waters in OZ.

There is also a lot more VHF activity in the US, and coastguard monitoring of Ch16.

Don’t assume it is like that anywhere else but in US waters...
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:19   #38
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pirate Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

A Prout 37 I delivered had a similar problem with intake of water into one hull.. not as severe consequences but it could have become so if not discovered.
After some heavy pounding at sea water ingress was discovered.. after extensive searching a large rectangular panel under the stbd salon seat that backed onto the hull had fractured and was working as the boat sailed allowing water to seep into the hull and salon bilges.
I could easily see this developing to catastrophic state if not discovered and repaired..
Have also nearly had a Catalac sink on me following hull/salon fractures in heavy seas.
Glad to hear you and yours are safe and well.. a boat can be replaced..
Best wishes to all..
Phil
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:15   #39
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

wyb,
I will be brief here, as I've already drifted this thread a fair amount...

Yes, this is based on my personal experiences, sailing offshore on and off for the past 40 - 50 years....across the Atlantic a few times, etc...where I've called numerous vessels in open offshore waters, with no response..AND
And, my personal experiences are complimented by the GMDSS / IMO / SOLAS rules and regs....
And, further complimented by the experiences of many, many offshore sailors (sailing outside US, Aus, or NZ waters)..

Of course, there are places outside the US where VHF Voice use is ubiquitous....such as Gibraltar, English Channel, etc....and areas with VTS management, etc....and vessels transiting these areas often usually have crew well schooled in VHF monitoring, so they usually DO keep Ch. 16 on, live 24/7/365, everywhere they are, but these are not the majority!!
{even us small sailboats hail Traifa Control, to notify them of our intentions, etc...still remember my times crossing the Straits..}

[note that when using AIS transponder, now-a-days there has been very little need to call other vessels, as most adjust course well before any voice comms would be required....but, in years past this was not the case....
BUT, by contrast, many years ago (1970's / 80's) everyone WAS monitoring VHF Ch. 16 and in the middle of the ocean, you'd get a call out-of-the-blue from some merchant ship saying hello! And, if we saw one and called them, they'd give us an updated weather forecast and plot our exact position (this was way before GPS, and most of those guys had gyro-compasses and inertial navigation systems, updated with LORAN-C and/or DECCA, some had SATNAV or OMEGA, too)...and while I never asked/received any food/water/fuel from those ships, there were many offshore sailors who did.
But, now-a-days, if needing to signal distress when outside of US waters, remember it is DSC and EPIRB's, and INMARSAT-C....(of course the USCG, AMSA and NZMA still do maintain a Voice SSB radio watch on the GMDSS SSB Voice channels, but nobody else! And, I believe some VHF coast stations in UK still maintain a VHF Voice radio watch??]
But..

But, to be honest, I usually don't preface my answers with "this is what I have heard", nor "this is what I do", nor even "this is what happened to me"....
Nothing wrong with passing on experiences and anecdotes....
Just that what one sailor experiences can be vastly different that what another experiences, even in similar situations...
So...

So, I prefer to simply pass on the facts, explain the "tech stuff" to help layperson sailors, and hopefully provide some "official info" (like the links to COSPAS-SARSAT, USCG, etc.)....as I feel this removes the "this guy said", or "I heard..." issues....and just leaves the facts...

So, with that....
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyb2 View Post
You've said this twice now. Is this based on experience? A lot of sailors I talk to seem to hail large vessels on 16 somewhat routinely when in open water. Haven't heard anyone complaining of no response. I have heard they may not respond if you don't call them by name, meaning you need an ais receiver.
Three basic facts to keep in mind:
a) The GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress Safety System) was finalized and implemented in 1992, and a few updates/changes in the mid-90's, and mandated for all SOLAS vessels and all signatory nations by Jan 1999. (so, this is nothing new)

b) Since 1999, outside of US waters (in US waters, the USCG rules still require monitoring of VHF Ch. 16, in addition to VHF-DSC), for the most part there have been NO voice radio watchstanding / monitoring required for almost 20 years now, only VHF-DSC, MF/HF-DSC, and INMARSAAT-C...(not sure about Aus/Nz ?? as they also have their own unique regs)

Also, for a couple decades prior to this Jan 1999 date, almost all merchant vessels / SOLAS-grade, etc., did maintain a VHF Voice radio watch (on Ch. 16), but NOT a voice radio watch on any longer range freq, such as 2182khz (where they used a "2182 alarm watch receiver"), except during the twice per hour "radio silence" time / "watch" time, where they'd turn off the "alarm-tone squelch" and actually listen for any
distress/urgency calls (3 minutes at the top, and bottom, of each hour)
So, if you're were beyond VHF radio range, and you didn't have a commercial SOLAS-grade HF-SSB radio (with alarm signal generator), then you had to wait 'til the top or bottom of the hur to hail a "Mayday", or you'd not be heard...
Further, this was the days of 121.5mhz epirbs, so this was the distress signaling method for vessels beyond VHF or MF(2182) coverage....(note that there were MANY HF SSB coast stations monitoring some SSB Voice channels back then, but radios had limited channel capacity, etc.)

So worldwide, since 1999 (except for in US waters), your ways of signaling distress / signaling other vessels / signaling coast stations, have been those proscribed in the GMDSS....
And, that includes VHF-DSC, MF-DSC, HF-DSC, INMARSAT-C (all monitored by both many, many coast stations and SOLAS vessels worldwide, their exact equipment and watchstanding requirements are based on where they're voyaging)....
as well as 406mhz EPIRB's (monitored by COSPAS-SARSAT)...
and SART's / Search And Rescue Transponders (radar transponders that "blip" when scanned by a radar beam, such as that of a rescue vessel)
And, the receive-only NAVTEX..is also part of the GMDSS, along with MSI messages...MSI / Marine Safety Information messages (Text sent by HF radio, INMARSAT-C. and /or NAVTEX)...
{although HF WeFax is not part of the official GMDSS...it has become an integral partner, still used by >80% of the merchant vessels surveyed in 2012...}

While the GMDSS does require vessels to have VHF-FM Voice and MF/HF-SSB Voice communication capability, the initial signaling/contact is done via DSC, not voice calling....voice communications, if requested / needed, is coordinated by the DSC call...
Again, the US has an extensive VHF Marine radio network, NOAA VHF Weather stations, USCG VHF Stations, TOWBOATUS, SEATOW, and 10's of thousands of VHF radio-equipped pleasure boats....and as such many US boaters assume that this is the same worldwide, but it is not...
It is unfortunate that many US-based sailors are not fully aware of this....(and to be honest, it's not their fault, as most of the marine electronics dealers/installers, and even some USCoastguardsmen are ignorant of these facts...)

c) With the GMDSS, came the unfortunate loss of the requirement of having a "radio operator" on-duty....he was replaced by DSC scanning receivers, INMARSAT-C terminals, etc...
So, if you don't have a DSC radio (can't imagine anyone would have at least a Class D VHF-DSC radio by now!!), nor INMARSAT-C, your only recourse to signal distress is via 406mhz EPIRB, and/or shout Mayday on whatever radio you have and "hope" someone is listening...
And, "who" this "someone" is?? That's a big variable...
Notwithstanding the IMO regs, the bridge crews on some ships might not be properly 'schooled", no matter what the captain's instructions / orders are, they may simply turn down the volume on the VHF, when being bothered by coastal fishermen, etc., breaking their squlech, etc. from dozens of miles away...(on the open ocean this is less of a problem, than when transiting near-offshore and coastal areas...especially in/near 3rd world countries/regions...)
And, back to my personal experiences the crews of Russian and eastern-European vessels (or crews of Russian / eastern-Europe countries), never respond to any calls!! (even had my DSC calls ignored by one...)

Now, EPIRB's do work, and if registered and deployed properly they work very well!!
But, it does take some time....and they alert COSPAS-SARSAT, who in turn notify your nation's RCC...
DSC radio (VHF-DSC for close range and MF/HF-DSC for long range) alerts:
----all SOLAS-grade vessels (most merchant vessels on the hi-seas) in range of your radios
----alerts > 80 HF-DSC coast stations worldwide,
---- alerts > 450 MF-DSC coast stations worldwide (within range)
---- alerts > 1000 VHF-DSC coast stations (within range)
{all of those coast stations alert their RCC's directly}
Also, note that INMARSAT-C also does similar, alerts all vessels "in your INMARSAT region" and the RCC, directly..



So, if you want to learn the details....all of the info is available to you, for free, on-line...
But, if you want a fairly concise explanation, have a look at these threads and click on the links in them, and read them all...and watch some videos...
You'll then know more than 90% of your fellow sailors!!

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ds-146617.html

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...gs-130640.html

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...on-169164.html

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post2629491

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ge-149499.html

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=GMDSS


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tc-133496.html

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tc-198305.html


Please watch these videos in the playlists in order....so they will make sense...

VHF-DSC
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...J6QugtO2epizxF

HF-DSC
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX

Maritime Communications
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y



Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY

Offshore Sailing
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY


I hope this helps...

Fair winds.

John


P.S. Guess I wasn't that brief after all...
Sorry!!
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:26   #40
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pirate Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

My experience here in Europe has been positive with VHF use.. and you just have to cruise the English Channel or pass through the Straits of Gibraltar to see that VHF Ch16 is heavily used by commercial vessels of all shapes and sizes.. it is monitored 24/7.. whether they choose to respond to "Blue hulled tanker Southbound this is the sailing vessel 3nm off your port bow".. well that's something else altogether.
My experience is if hailed by name and correctly, they will respond in all case's.
While crossing the Aussie Bight I even got a Chinese ship to respond after repeated unanswered calls.. I just said.. "Ahh..!!! Chinee shipee no talkee Guyjo's huh..!!!"
Doubt that's how its spelt.. but they answered..
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:21   #41
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

Thanks for that, lots of good info. I'm probably biased by that fact that pretty much all the sailors I talk to are in the north half of the Atlantic. I could imagine commercial vessels leaving 16 on way outside US waters out of habit if they are typically going to/from the states.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:50   #42
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

You're welcome...
Sorry if my words seem so strident...but there are reasons..


This applies to everyone...nobody in particular!
If you don't mind a suggestion??

Even if "things are done" some particular way, and have been that way for a while (whatever the "things" are), it is best to know and understand the correct / official / approved way...

In this situation, in these waters, you will find some merchant vessels monitoring Ch. 16....but, not all of 'em...
And, that's the point....

If you're calling to ask some innocuous question and get no response, not a big deal...but, if you're in distress, it's best to know how to get your distress call heard and responded to....




As I wrote above, there are reasons I'm so strident about this....
Just couple examples:

a) In brief, about 6 (?) years ago....Cruising World magazine published an article about distress (crew member head injury) on-board a sailboat on return trip to US (after the Bermuda Race)...
They were about half-way back to the US....about ~ 300 miles out of Bermuda...and > 300 miles off the east coast of the US...
And, aside from Bermuda Harbour Radio and USCG still monitoring 2182khz at that time (USCG no longer does so, and while Bermuda Harbour Radio still does, they do not recommend anyone call them on 2182, they officially told me that their VHF coverage is just about as good, and anyone outside of that can call 'em on 4125mhz!!)
Nobody else is monitoring that freq and hadn't in more than a decade!!!
And, the skipper did not have a modern MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radio, but rather an older non-DSC MF/HF-SSB radio, and he assumed that all he had to do was call on 2182 and they'd get help?? (remember this was > a dozen years after the full, worldwide implementation of the GMDSS)

So, as you can surmise, they got no response to their calls on 2182....so they grabbed their Iridium handheld sat phone and called for help, finally getting thru to the USCG....and they coordinated a rescue/evacuation of their injured crew member...
The lucky part (and one that even the author mentioned) was that they had fairly benign weather, which made use of the Iridium phone on-deck....if the weather had been sketchy, the use of this phone would've been problematic...

But, you see, the real problem wasn't the unfortunate ignorance of the author/captain of the sailboat, regarding the GMDSS!!
No...
That's not the real problem...
The real problem was the editorial staff and publishers that were totally ignorant of the GMDSS!!
Not only did the approve the article, and refused to print any corrections / addendums / clarifications....and also refused to print my "letter-to-the-editor", politely pointing out their ignorance and mistakes....but, what's even worse...
The worst was that they actually included a "side-bar" to the article, explaining how important it was to program the USCG phone numbers into your sat phone!! And, keeping your phone charged and at the ready!!!

Oh, and one last point....even if you gave everyone the best benefit-of-the-doubt, this was fairly poor journalism and could actually cause loss-of-life, at some point...
But, unfortunately, I also caused an uproar, as I mentioned multiple times (on-line and in my letter to editor) one of the advantages of using MF/HF-DSC for distress signaling, since you can send off a Distress call on multiple freqs/bands, the "guess work" of picking the right channel to get your Distress call heard is eliminated!!!
[I mentioned that specifically, as this was one of the worst times to try 2mhz (2182khz)....and even 4mhz (4125khz) would've been tough to get through on!! You see, it was summertime (June), middle of the day, fairly high solar activity....all indications of high D-layer ionospheric absorption, and indicating very poor MF propagation, and poor low-freq HF propagation...and with a range of 300 - 500 miles needed, 8mhz (8291khz SSB Voice or 8414.5khz DSC....both monitored by USCG 24/7/365, just about 300 - 400 miles to their west), would've been the way to go...and since that confused many, most of my well-intentioned advice was ignored. ]


b) In this same area, between northeast US and Bermuda, a couple years later, but in November (the rally that leaves from CT or RI, for the Caribbean beginning of Nov...with stop in Bermuda....the NARC rally??)
Lots of damages and injuries, and lack of communications between Rally organizer (sailing fast, on one boat) and his "fleet", and lack of most of the rally boats ability to signal for assistance....
All mostly due to the ignorance of the "organizer" and "participants", regarding:
---the GMDSS,
---HF radio comms in general,
---USCG and Bermuda Radio capabilities,
---radio com procedures,
---Distress signaling,
---and especially nobody actually "coordinating" anything, even though the "organizer" claimed all was good and everything would be fine...
{heck, there were some boats trying to use a PACTOR modem to send e-mails to other boats close-by and to shore, etc. just to give their positions, and/or ask for assistance!!}

After this fiasco, and for the coming months, I attempted to assist the rally organizer / and his crews in any way I could....but was rebuffed, and reminded that "due to litigation, we cannot proceed with anything, at this time"...


c) Then there was the loss of life, due to poor comms / no weather reports received....just another year or so later...in the same area...

Gosh, I didn't want to ramble on here....think I'll skip the rest of my soapbox, and forget the Rebel Heart incident...as well as the many others from Bahamas, N. Atlantic, and Caribbean, that I've had personal knowledge of...
Sorry about the long-winded rambles....

And, especially sorry to drift this thread so far off....'cuz we should we grateful that Steve, Jessica, and daughter are all safe and sound!!


Fair winds.

John
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:54   #43
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

I think those involved are looking to move on and not attract any undue attention to this
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:01   #44
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Posts: 5
Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

We have a 1980 Prout Snowgoose 35, with a keel-cooled freezer [newly added]. We saw Lost Marbles in Indiantown last fall. Am surprised that there was no warning about leaky thru-hull. I regularly check the bilges for excess water. Good advice about the ditch bag. We keep boat papers and passports together but not in a waterproof container...need to fix that. GLad the family is okay...sure hope they can recover. Sad to lose a Prout... there are so few of us!
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:52   #45
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Re: Any more info on Lost Marbles rescue off Puerto Rico

I'm glad the people survived.

I'm sorry they ventured offshore with no experience, by their own description.

I blame the rise of inexperienced boaters getting into trouble on two things:

1. Cultural aspects and the Disneyfication of everything and the glorification of "adventure", i.e. risk-taking.

2. The advent of cheap satellite navigation. Honestly, without a GPS, wouldn't most of these folks stick with an RV??

Call me cynical, but I learned to navigate the old fashioned way in the 60's with a compass, log, and clock, and have crossed multiple oceans with a sextant and clock and a WWV shortwave receiver.

These are genuine skills which require at least a little bit of work to acquire - not that much honestly. Navigating with these skills requires caution and common sense.

People trust GPS and chart plotters implicitly, and forget they are aids to navigation, not infallible navigation itself. I love GPS and radar and all the rest - they are terrific navigation aids, and I'd prefer not to sail without them.

The GMDSS system is amazing. When I first went offshore in the 70's it didn't exist, and rescue from trouble was pretty low probability, especially off the beaten path. Now it's pretty high probability, even in remote areas.

Every mariner should should know and follow the COLREGS, which in rule 2a implicitly includes awareness of the GMDSS system as the ordinary practice of seamen.

Don't you owe that to yourself and those with you on the boat? It's not Disney land out there, s**t happens.

Sorry for the rant.
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