Lifeboat As Rescue Platform?


#21

Making a decision on how to do the rescue would require knowing the circumstance. A professional mariner would have to take into account the specific circumstances, the handling characteristics of the vessel, the equipment on board, the weather, the forecast, the skill level and experience of his crew and so on and so forth.

There was a professional mariner on scene that was familiar with all these factors and that was the tanker captain. He weighed all the factors and came up with plan and pulled it off. With a big tanker, in shitty weather.

The rescued sailors couldn’t run their engine and their sails were shredded. They can’t successfully sail a recreational sailboat and they want to tell a tanker captain how to do a rescue at sea? After he pulled it off?

Jaysus.

Here is an article, the tanker was 900 feet.

BOSTON - Two sailors were rescued from their sailing vessel by the motor vessel Kim Jacob at about 12 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 780 miles northeast of Cape Cod, Mass.

At approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday, Watchstanders at the First Coast Guard District command center in Boston received a report from a man aboard the Triumph, stating that he and his wife were aboard, the sails were broken, the engine was disabled and the boat was taking on water.

Both sailors donned lifejackets and activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

Due to the distance offshore, the Coast Guard contacted vessels in the area to assist. The 899-foot motor vessel Kim Jacob, an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System member, responded to the distress call.

The Kim Jacob crew arrived on-scene at approximately 12 p.m. Wednesday and safely rescued the couple from the Triumph.

The man was treated for mild hypothermia.

The Kim Jacob is en-route Port Tupper, Nova Scotia and is expected to arrive at 12 p.m. Friday.


#22

Yet again - thanks for the feedback.

So, generally what I’m seeing here is that this lifeboat technique is [I]possible[/I] - but the risks and problems it creates outweigh taking this approach unless it is a last ditch effort? Basically, it’s safer to move the ship into position to get a ring, line, net, etc. to the person in the water than launch a lifeboat and deal with these additional risks and complications?

Is that the consensus?

(And, of course, at the end of it all, actually be grateful to those that went to a hell of a lot of trouble to save you.)


#23

[QUOTE=smackdaddy;130730]Yet again - thanks for the feedback.

So, generally what I’m seeing here is that this lifeboat technique is [I]possible[/I] - but the risks and problems it creates outweigh taking this approach unless it is a last ditch effort? Basically, it’s safer to move the ship into position to get a ring, line, net, etc. to the person in the water than launch a lifeboat and deal with these additional risks and complications?

Is that the consensus?

(And, of course, at the end of it all, actually be grateful to those that went to a hell of a lot of trouble to save you.)[/QUOTE]

I just read the post about the rescue on the other forum.

I’ve been sailing deep-sea for a while. I have used the ship’s lifeboats in a rescue. The conditions in this case were far too rough to even consider using them. It’s just not safe.

As far as towing, it is possible in theory but in practice it’s not going to happen even if it was safe to launch, which it wasn’t.


#24

Thanks Cap. That’s what I thought - but I wanted an expert opinion. I’ll let the guy know that it’s not the panacea he thinks it is.

If he decides to join over here, you fellas can discuss it with him.

In the mean time, I will do my damnedest to never need you guys. But if I do, you’ll have my eternal gratitude regardless of how messy things might get. Just like these folks:

http://www.bluesuit.co.nz/1994.htm

I’ll keep checking back in - but I really appreciate everyone’s help.


#25

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;130711]EDIT: if you google my user name and “lifeboat” you can see what I think about them.[/QUOTE]

I checked out your blog. You kind of wrote the book!


#26

[QUOTE=smackdaddy;130733]Thanks Cap. That’s what I thought - but I wanted an expert opinion. I’ll let the guy know that it’s not the panacea he thinks it is.

If he decides to join over here, you fellas can discuss it with him.

In the mean time, I will do my damnedest to never need you guys. But if I do, you’ll have my eternal gratitude regardless of how messy things might get. Just like these folks:

http://www.bluesuit.co.nz/1994.htm

I’ll keep checking back in - but I really appreciate everyone’s help.[/QUOTE]

The crew from the sailboat was having a tough day, no question, he went through hell so I can see why he was wound up.

Those big single screw tankers are made to cross oceans at the lowest cost possible. They are not intended or designed to maneuver in rescue at sea situations. Don’t know what kind of limitations he was up against, loaded tanker, low-speed diesel engine, the crew would have skill limitations. In rough seas things are not likely to go well. I think the captain and crew deserve a lot of credit for pulling it off even if there were problems.


#27

Actually lifeboats, or at least the Fassmer lifeboats I am familiar with, do not have rudders. When you turn the wheel the propeller pivots. Again, there is no rudder.


#28

There’s still steering control. But in big seas like that poor steering and underpowered engine combine so it’s pretty useless. Not too terrible in a calm though. Idk how in the world you’d connect a line between the boat and the ship it just seems crazy dangerous. I don’t even know why the guy in this rescue even has opinions on this matter. There’s too many variables to assume and the tanker captain has to take a lot into consideration and do what would work best for any type of person in the water regardless of whether they’re young or old, injured or in good shape. It’s not like the Cap knows the guy well enough to think he can do something that’s considerably more technical.


#29

I once picked up a girl whose car had died. She kept complaining about my choice in music so I pulled over and said STFU or GTFO - your choice.
Same deal here - if YOU are the bonehead dead in the water don’t go telling the guy whose boat/ship/airplane/whatever still works how to run it.

Sometimes I swear sailors did better without modern equipment to call for help. Back in the day this guy could learn to sew and fix engines or just float around. They used to just deal with it and get going again.


#30

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;130737]The crew from the sailboat was having a tough day, no question, he went through hell so I can see why he was wound up.[/QUOTE]

Yeah - and he’s pissed. I linked to this thread from the other forum because I never want to be someone who talks about someone behind their back. He read what I’ve written here and thinks I’ve misrepresented the situation and his attitude about it.

I don’t. But he does.

You’ve read the other thread - so you can make the judgement on whether I’ve been fair or not. I’ll leave it to you.

At the end of the day - again - all I really care about is that we are compiling accurate information on this subject. AMVER participants are putting a lot on the line to help us recreational sailors when things go pear-shaped. We’re playing…often with very little training. You’re working…and have trained your asses off to do so…and you’re simply adhering to the time-honored commitment of never turning your back on a distressed sailor - risking a lot to pull us aboard.

We thank you for that commitment. Seriously.


#31

I had some time to kill today so I read most of what was said on the other forum. Now, I realize that this guy went through something that all of us hope to never experience but he is way out of line. IMHO, he is the type that gives all of the rec boaters a black eye. From reading his posts or to put it better his rants about how the big bad tanker wrecked his boat and not being grateful that they rescued him is unforgivable. The only reason that ship went to his aid was to save their lives not to save his boat. Add that to the fact that he even went on to say that he should not have listened to his wife and instead acted like a Captain and not a Husband is laughable.

I was shocked to hear the the Captain of the Tanker tried to lower himself off off the stern to try to save this clown only to have hims say that this proved his point that they could have done this for him.

I am sure that most of those that decide to do an ocean voyage in a smaller vessel do try to plan but Mother Nature can be bitch sometimes.

What this guy does not realize is that ship could have said that they could not do anything and stood by until he had to abandon his vessel or until someone else came to his aid.

I hope that he does not get what he seems to want, that ONLY specially trained crew and ships should be rendering this type of aid. This would really cut down on the chance to have your ass pulled out of the fire.

Smackdaddy, Part of me would love for this buy to come on here to teach us in the proper way to rescue people at sea.


#32

[QUOTE=yacht_sailor;130777]Sometimes I swear sailors did better without modern equipment to call for help.[/QUOTE]

Quite many of them also died.

Around here, some recreational sailors insist that they want to be helped by the professionals of the Border Guard instead of us volunteers as if they could choose. Unless it is a life-threatening situation, the maritime rescue co-ordination centre tells them they indeed have two options: take it or leave it.


#33

Can we get links to the other forum or at least a name?


#34

[QUOTE=smackdaddy;130802]Yeah - and he’s pissed. I linked to this thread from the other forum because I never want to be someone who talks about someone behind their back. He read what I’ve written here and thinks I’ve misrepresented the situation and his attitude about it.

I don’t. But he does.

You’ve read the other thread - so you can make the judgement on whether I’ve been fair or not. I’ll leave it to you.

At the end of the day - again - all I really care about is that we are compiling accurate information on this subject. AMVER participants are putting a lot on the line to help us recreational sailors when things go pear-shaped. We’re playing…often with very little training. You’re working…and have trained your asses off to do so…and you’re simply adhering to the time-honored commitment of never turning your back on a distressed sailor - risking a lot to pull us aboard.

We thank you for that commitment. Seriously.[/QUOTE]

With regards to the lifeboats; ship’s crew do not trust them.

The boats are designed for only one thing; meeting SOLAS requirements. In fact one recommended procedure for meeting the requirements to operate the boats is to lower the lifeboat to the water without a crew, then put the crew into the lifeboat from a boat which has been hired. Then after the release, operation and hook-up, take the crew back out of the lifeboat before it is hoisted aboard.

The boats can be launched with a trained crew with acceptable risk in good sea conditions but if there is much of a sea or swell running most captains in this type of situation will opt for a ship rescue.


#35

Since you;ve linked this forum to the other one, how about linking THAT forum to this one, so we can have the benefit of reading the ‘rest of the story’. Getting one half the info is sort of tough to make an informed opinion.


#36

True - it was Darwinian.
I would not set off without proper comm equipment in 2014 just to prove I was tough. That said, I have been in a few fixes that seem to be a lot worse than what some people decide is an abandon ship situation now and we just dealt with it. Our rescue options back then were having someone show up in VHF range or an uncertain 121.5 MHz epirb. Also our liferaft was not anything you would want to get into unless it was a step UP.
(excuse me while I hike uphill to school in the snow and work 26 hours a day in the mill :stuck_out_tongue: )

EDIT - Our wayword sailor may have a yacht-like idea of what a lifeboat can do. My dinghy that also would be a rescue platform for a MOB and a quasi-liferaft in some conditions is quite fast (20+ knots) and easy to maneuver. Nothing like a SOLAS lifeboat. He also may have a thought like a Navy whaleboat that is common now as a water taxi.

[QUOTE=Tups;130813]Quite many of them also died.

Around here, some recreational sailors insist that they want to be helped by the professionals of the Border Guard instead of us volunteers as if they could choose. Unless it is a life-threatening situation, the maritime rescue co-ordination centre tells them they indeed have two options: take it or leave it.[/QUOTE]


#37

[QUOTE=TractorTug;130832]Since you;ve linked this forum to the other one, how about linking THAT forum to this one, so we can have the benefit of reading the ‘rest of the story’. Getting one half the info is sort of tough to make an informed opinion.[/QUOTE]

Here is the link


#38

The ongoing discussion on the Sailnet forum is http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/80615-rescued-sea-you-prepared.html This is not the same link as KC’s post.

To be honest reading though the various (Sailnet forum) posts has started to give me a headache. There are a lot of things that can be done better in hindsight, but it is always that…hindsight. There is also a point that should be made very clear. A rescue operation (which is what was called for) is not, and should not, be equated to a salvage operation.


#39

@Smack: After sitting through 1200 some odd comments there is one glaring omission.

The expectation to launch a lifeboat (in the same conditions) risks the exact same happenstance upon recovery that happened to the Triumph. So, it really is not recoverable, and damage will likely happen unless an “Exceptionally Lucky” repatriation would occur. It should be easy to see how well fiberglass (either the Triumph or the Kim Jacobs fiberglass lifeboats) would have fared in the recovery. We already see how it went for the Triumph.

There is an actual procedure that is mandated to recover a lifeboat. It uses a ‘sea painter’ to attach, which (while using the headway of the vessel) brings the lifeboat (or the Triumph in this case) together in an unstoppable fashion. This is how crews train, are educated and practice. In reality, this is how the KJ tried to bring the Triumph alongside. But what escaped them. (Both the KJ crew and the Triumph…And is probably a VALUABLE lesson here) The sea painter of the Triumph had a sea anchor attached. The drag from the sea anchor exceeded the resistance of the Triumph herself. If the sea anchor was collapsed the sea painter would have simply dragged around the bow, so the crew could retrieve it. What happened is: The sea painter with the sea anchor deployed as a drogue acted as a winch and towed the triumph up to and around the bow of the KJ! The sea Painter was actually pulling down the Stbd side of the ship (because of the ships headway) more than the triumph was resisting getting pulled UP the Port side of the ship.

Now. In that light, who was responsible for the deployment of the sea anchor? If the Triumph was pulled along side the ship (even in 10 or 15’ seas) amidships there would (could) have been a nice lee from a 900’ breakwater’. But, with the Triumph pulled to the bow, there was no lee. The problem was not that the KJ acted badly. The problem was that both vessels did not do the appropriate thing to help each other.

In the end the solution was successful. Two Human beings were saved. The boat is secondary.

Regarding the ‘absolute’ expectation of a lifeboats use: The different vessels designs makes there NO mandatory consideration. Looking at pictures of the Kim Jacob lets you see that her lifeboats are WAY aft (Aft house tanker) with quite a pronounced tumblehome. It would be folly to try to reship a lifeboat in 15’ seas, without risk to crew. The mention of ‘towing’ back would seem to indicate that the Triumph crew does not understand how much of a puke filled adventure that would have been.

Honestly, after reading his comments, it would probably be his next demand that the yacht be towed behind the lifeboat back to port too! Sometimes there’s no thanks, no matter the outcome of a job.


#40

Here is the bottom line: Nobody is going to care about the guy’s sailboat. A large tanker burns about a gallon of fuel every 50 feet. And time is money. Say goodbye to the boat.