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Old 22-08-2018, 08:15   #31
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Re: Collision on the Severn

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I've always thought the power/sail animosity thing was like driving cars in traffic; 98% don't have a problem and 2% get rage over nothing.


Itís way more than two percent for two very specific reasons. First, the vast majority of powerboaters have no understanding at all of the mechanics of sailing. Itís like a black box to them so everything we do out on the water is a mystery to them. And we donít do the things they think we should do and they donít understand why they canít.

Second, sailing definitely has a culture that appreciates history and nautical tradition whereas powerboating does not, or at least its widely ignored. That is seen as snobbery and it can be very snobby.

As an aside, Iíve met my share of sailors who have a very poor understanding of colregs and honestly believe that as the sailboat they always have the right of way. Like idiots you see taking up a narrow channel. I know what they are doing and they drive me nuts. Just imagine how a powerboater feels.
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Old 27-08-2018, 19:21   #32
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Re: Collision on the Severn

It would seem someone on the power boat failed to maintain a proper watch.
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Old 27-08-2018, 19:54   #33
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Re: Collision on the Severn

Confirming the classic principle that it takes two to tango, we now have some quotes from the helmsman on the sailboat:

Quote:
He said he saw the power boat ďway off in the distanceĒ and knew they were probably on a collision course. Motorboats typically give way to a sailboat, so Andorsky said he stayed his course.

And then it was too late.
(From Crash survivor: 'All of a sudden, his boat was sitting on top of our boat' - Capital Gazette)
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Old 27-08-2018, 22:17   #34
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Re: Collision on the Severn

This coverage is very timely and needed as a wake-up call if anyone is being too casual about watchkeeping. Someone posted that the fishing boat was traveling at 30 knots. Probably an overstatement but then no doubt they were at some high speed. My take on it, since we usually travel at 5 knots in my boat and are, I think, reasonably diligent in looking for any possible close encounters, I just can't imagine taking the helm of a powerboat at high speed and not being just petrified of taking my eyes off the water for more than 5 seconds.
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Old 28-08-2018, 04:48   #35
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Re: Collision on the Severn

ďIím waving at the guy, yelling, and all of a sudden, his boat was sitting on top of our boat,Ē Andorsky said.


Doesn't say whether the sailor tried to turn away...

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Old 28-08-2018, 12:05   #36
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Re: Collision on the Severn

I think the interesting questions come down to timing. Reports are that the power boat was making 30 knots. Such speeds are not unusual for fishing charters.



Due to the relatively small size of the power boat, it probably was not identifiable until it was within a 2-3 miles (though the power boat captain should have been able to see the sailboat much sooner due to the size of the sail). This would mean that the entire interaction, from the point of view of the sailboat, would have lasted no more than 5 minutes.


Winds were light. We don't know how light, but it would have taken time to make a turn. Perhaps 15 seconds, more if they were on a run and had the jib poled out or the boom prevented out. For the turn to have changed the outcome for the better for certain, they would have had to make it early enough to miss by a couple of boat lengths, which means another 15 seconds or so.


30 seconds before the collision the power boat would have been 1/4 mile away.


Now, the colregs require the stand-on vessel to maintain course until such point as it becomes clear that action by the give-way vessel alone will not prevent a collision, right? The give-way vessel, at 1/4 mile away, could have easily prevented a collision with a slight course adjustment, and so the stand-on vessel would still be under the obligation to hold course. At least that's my interpretation. Maybe someone who knows the colregs better will comment.


Regardless, the decision making window is very small at such high speeds.
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Old 28-08-2018, 12:24   #37
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Re: Collision on the Severn

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
ďIím waving at the guy, yelling, and all of a sudden, his boat was sitting on top of our boat,Ē Andorsky said.

Doesn't say whether the sailor tried to turn away...


Re-reading my earlier comment...

Didn't at all mean to imply critique... and just because the newspaper report doesn't say the sailboat attempted to avoid collision, I don't interpret that to mean the sailor didn't try to execute a turn or other maneuver...

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Old 28-08-2018, 12:57   #38
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Re: Collision on the Severn

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Now, the colregs require the stand-on vessel to maintain course until such point as it becomes clear that action by the give-way vessel alone will not prevent a collision, right? The give-way vessel, at 1/4 mile away, could have easily prevented a collision with a slight course adjustment, and so the stand-on vessel would still be under the obligation to hold course. At least that's my interpretation. Maybe someone who knows the colregs better will comment.
Rule 17(a)(ii) is your friend here. If we assume the power boat can maneuver to avoid collision well beyond the point at which the sailboat could, then Rule 17(b) would never come into play. Instead you'd have fall back on Rule 2, but you also have this:

17(a)(ii):
Quote:
The latter vessel may however take action to avoid collision by her maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules.
Since give-way action should be both prompt and obvious, if you're getting nervous about an oncoming powerboat you can sound the usual 5-blast warning and then maneuver if no response. The threshold for doing so would of course be based on the limitations of your own maneuverability, not that of the oncoming boat.

Perhaps a useful read on the topic: Be skeptical of rigid ‚Äėin extremis‚Äô dogma beyond ColRegs - Professional Mariner - October/November 2012
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Old 28-08-2018, 13:26   #39
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Re: Collision on the Severn

30 seconds before the collision the power boat would have been 1/4 mile away.


That's about right, but 30 seconds is plenty of time to deliver five short blasts from the sailboat's air horn. I imagine the skipper will get dinged in court for not doing so, if he in fact did not.
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Old 28-08-2018, 14:02   #40
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Re: Collision on the Severn

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30 seconds before the collision the power boat would have been 1/4 mile away.


That's about right, but 30 seconds is plenty of time to deliver five short blasts from the sailboat's air horn. I imagine the skipper will get dinged in court for not doing so, if he in fact did not.
Small craft are required to carry "a mouth, hand or power operated whistle or horn, or some other means to make an efficient sound signal."


Most horns on small craft -- whether sail or power -- would not be loud enough for a power boat running WFO to hear them in time.
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Old 28-08-2018, 14:11   #41
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Re: Collision on the Severn

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Small craft are required to carry "a mouth, hand or power operated whistle or horn, or some other means to make an efficient sound signal."


Most horns on small craft -- whether sail or power -- would not be loud enough for a power boat running WFO to hear them in time.
This is an interesting point. The canned air most of us carry is ear-splittingly loud though. I guess we'd have to do a test...
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Old 28-08-2018, 14:12   #42
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Re: Collision on the Severn

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Most horns on small craft -- whether sail or power -- would not be loud enough for a power boat running WFO to hear them in time.

Especially if not facing directly toward the boat being warned.

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Old 31-08-2018, 12:57   #43
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Re: Collision on the Severn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Small craft are required to carry "a mouth, hand or power operated whistle or horn, or some other means to make an efficient sound signal."


Most horns on small craft -- whether sail or power -- would not be loud enough for a power boat running WFO to hear them in time.
The rule defines "at least five short blasts" so giving short blasts until it's heard (or not) is pretty much only thing to do as trying to get out of the way is not an option..
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Old 31-08-2018, 13:53   #44
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Re: Collision on the Severn

The power boater took the ColRegs literally as to which boat was the one to go Stand On.

Obviously, no one was watching and steering the power boat for a considerable distance. And none of the passengers was watching towards the direction of travel.

This is an example of the definition of Reckless: characterized by the creation of a substantial and unjustifiable risk to the lives, safety, or rights of others and by a conscious and sometimes wanton and willful disregard for or indifference to that risk that is a gross deviation from the standard of care a reasonable person would exercise in like circumstances.

In my opinion, the power boat charter should loose all rights and privileges to ever own or operate a boat and the person on board that was in charge of the charter should do some jail time.

The picture reveals small waves thus the winds were very light making maneuvering of the sailboat to be slow and limited.

The reporting does not provide guidance as to whether the skipper of the sailboat ever noticed that the two boats were on a collision course or on a near collision course, or if the skipper did notice that the two boats were on a collision course, just how far away / how long of a duration passed for the skipper had to abruptly alter course of the sailboat. But even if the sailboat had changed course it likely would have been a far too close passing given the power boat was moving fast and closure to the sailboat would have yielded little time and travel distance for the sailboat.

Take away. Stay alert and watch where you are going and where others are going. Take evasive maneuvers early on, do not assume the give way boat will give way.

Damn lucky that there was no injuries or deaths.
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Old 31-08-2018, 14:00   #45
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Re: Collision on the Severn

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Originally Posted by requiem View Post
Confirming the classic principle that it takes two to tango, we now have some quotes from the helmsman on the sailboat:

(From Crash survivor: 'All of a sudden, his boat was sitting on top of our boat' - Capital Gazette)
Well there you go. The stand on boat failed to maneuver to avoid a collision with the give way boat.

Geez, self preservation would seem to trump holding to ColRegs.

If its coming at you get the hell out of the way. D'uh.

Waving and yelling ain't going to get the situation handled. If the powerboat doesn't see your large sailboat and the tall sail, your waving and yelling isn't going to get anymore attention.

I suspect this sailboater would get run over by an iceberg with that kind of mindset and reaction.
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