Lifeboat As Rescue Platform?


#41

[QUOTE=PMC;130853]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.[/QUOTE]

True. But it appears smackdaddy wants some professional mariner insight to figure how to ‘write a book’ on the subject. No one mentioned the money aspect. It does not appear that is even a consideration in the discussion. It was about his question: Is a lifeboat use mandatory, or the use even to be routinely expected to ‘rescue’ someone at sea?


#42

[QUOTE=cappy208;130852]@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.[/QUOTE]

Hey cappy, wondering what happened to you.

I couldn’t understand what was up with the sea anchor. The ship was going to grapple it and use it as a painter?

Obviously we weren’t there but but just in general…one way to do this is approach the boat so your just setting down on them a bit and drop them down a sea painter. Once they have the painter fast drop them back to where your ladder / net etc is by slacking out the painter as you slowly bring the ship around to a good course. Once you have a good lee and the boat is alongside where you want, haul the crew aboard. The boat crew can use the way to steer the boat away from the hull of the ship to minimize smashing together Of course this is easier said then done, lots of things can go wrong including communications problems.

Years ago we sent a painter down to the crew of a sunken log ship that was in a raft and instead of making it fast to the raft the crewmember that caught the painter tied it to himself and signaled for us to pull him up!


#43

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;130860]Hey cappy, wondering what happened to you.

I couldn’t understand what was up with the sea anchor. The ship was going to grapple it and use it as a painter?

Obviously we weren’t there but but just in general…one way to do this is approach the boat so your just setting down on them a bit and drop them down a sea painter. Once they have the painter fast drop them back to where your ladder / net etc is by slacking out the painter as you slowly bring the ship around to a good course. Once you have a good lee and the boat is alongside where you want, haul the crew aboard. The boat crew can use the way to steer the boat away from the hull of the ship to minimize smashing together Of course this is easier said then done, lots of things can go wrong including communications problems.

Years ago we sent a painter down to the crew of a sunken log ship that was in a raft and instead of making it fast to the raft the crewmember that caught the painter tied it to himself and signaled for us to pull him up![/QUOTE]
Hi KC. I got busy with life. Now back to haunt the denizens of the deep!

After reading the posts on the other forum it was stated that the ship approached once and the crew was trying to grapple the sea anchor painter. When that didn’t work they came back and split the difference between the two. it went AROUND the bow of the ship. Drogue on one side, Triumph on the other side. It seems the drogue was really efficient and wouldn’t pull through the water. The only way the Triumph could have ‘gotten propelled’ up to the bow was because the bow of the ship acted like a pulley, with the drogue being more resistance than the Yacht it just yanked the triumph up the side.

To be honest, I never would have suspected that. It must have been a hell of a drogue! Of course, now I would know to pull the trip line as the ship approached (assuming they had one out)

Think how swift it would have been if the ship could have grabbed the painter and they swung around to about 60degrees off the seas! It would have been comparatively a parking lot there. with the Triumph alongside to hop aboard!


#44

[QUOTE=cappy208;130861]Hi KC. I got busy with life. Now back to haunt the denizens of the deep!

After reading the posts on the other forum it was stated that the ship approached once and the crew was trying to grapple the sea anchor painter. When that didn’t work they came back and split the difference between the two. it went AROUND the bow of the ship. Drogue on one side, Triumph on the other side. It seems the drogue was really efficient and wouldn’t pull through the water. The only way the Triumph could have ‘gotten propelled’ up to the bow was because the bow of the ship acted like a pulley, with the drogue being more resistance than the Yacht it just yanked the triumph up the side.

To be honest, I never would have suspected that. It must have been a hell of a drogue! Of course, now I would know to pull the trip line as the ship approached (assuming they had one out)

Think how swift it would have been if the ship could have grabbed the painter and they swung around to about 60degrees off the seas! It would have been comparatively a parking lot there. with the Triumph alongside to hop aboard![/QUOTE]

Ok, that makes sense, weird that the sea anchor wouldn’t collapse ? Well, strange shit goes wrong in an emergency.

A loaded 900 foot tanker, getting course, speed and position precisely where you want. Not easy, not on a good day.


#45

[QUOTE=cappy208;130857]True. But it appears smackdaddy wants some professional mariner insight to figure how to ‘write a book’ on the subject. No one mentioned the money aspect. It does not appear that is even a consideration in the discussion. It was about his question: Is a lifeboat use mandatory, or the use even to be routinely expected to ‘rescue’ someone at sea?[/QUOTE]

Actually, as I mentioned in my first post here, I’ve already written an article on AMVER rescue for Cruising World. This incident was what compelled me to write it - seeing that we sailors need to learn a hell of a lot more about this type of rescue. We all typically think about, talk about, and even train for the far simpler CG-helo-basket-hoist…where everything is done for you. There is virtually no training or education in the Safety At Sea seminars for the much more complex AMVER rescue…which essentially makes the skipper of the sailboat the “rescue swimmer” for him and his crew. So I tried to do something about that. We need to know this stuff.

As for Doug and the threads on SN - I didn’t want to post links here as I didn’t know the ground rules. And I don’t personally want to hammer on the guy too hard. I just wanted some expert advice on the lifeboat thing because Doug is/was so convinced it was the best means of getting someone out of the water. And it just didn’t make sense to me.

So, I continue to follow this thread - and am learning a lot from the conversation. Thanks for that.


#46

As far as saving any boats, who really cares about that part. It’s why they’re insured. The only technicality is that if you do save the boat, the crew and company would have a salvage claim. But in most cases it’d be more trouble than it’s worth.


#47

@smack: It is easy to see how a lifeboat would make it easier to get somebody. Using dissimilar sized vessels is a paint in the butt. However it is done though when in extremis as long as it is successful. Reading his comments does make one wonder about his actual expectations. He stated several times that he wanted the chance to find the Triumph to ‘get what he could off it’. That seems to be clouding his judgement and expectations. His LIFE is what needed to be retrieved. Instead he expects a clean break, all his belongings and s shiny topside to boot. The ‘rescuing vessel’ is acting under a kind of ‘good Samaritan’ concept. They do what they can do to save lives. They are NOT a salvage vessel. They do NOT have the ability (either physical or knowledge wise) of how to save another vessel. This has traditionally been a way to bring the people to safe haven.

If this were another large commercial vessel the rescuer would have just shipped the other people out of their lifeboat and left the abandoned lifeboat there in the ocean. It is too dangerous to do heavy lifting at sea.

There is an old story of a rescue at sea. I can’t recall the complete details, but a ship needed to rescue a crew off a sinking ship. The rescuers had to make a decision whether to use a motorized lifeboat or a boat with oars. (It WAS a while ago!) The guy in charge of the rescue boat opted for an Oar powered boat! After the rescue when debriefed he was asked about that choice. He stated it was what allowed them to save the other crew. He said their was SO much debris, lines, and nets in the water from the sinking vessel that he would have undoubtedly fouled the prop on a conventionally powered lifeboat. So, even with a trained crew there are often obstacles that arise that you can’t foresee, or even read about.


#48

[QUOTE=smackdaddy;130865]Actually, as I mentioned in my first post here, I’ve already written an article on AMVER rescue for Cruising World. This incident was what compelled me to write it - seeing that we sailors need to learn a hell of a lot more about this type of rescue. We all typically think about, talk about, and even train for the far simpler CG-helo-basket-hoist…where everything is done for you. There is virtually no training or education in the Safety At Sea seminars for the much more complex AMVER rescue…which essentially makes the skipper of the sailboat the “rescue swimmer” for him and his crew. So I tried to do something about that. We need to know this stuff.

As for Doug and the threads on SN - I didn’t want to post links here as I didn’t know the ground rules. And I don’t personally want to hammer on the guy too hard. I just wanted some expert advice on the lifeboat thing because Doug is/was so convinced it was the best means of getting someone out of the water. And it just didn’t make sense to me.

So, I continue to follow this thread - and am learning a lot from the conversation. Thanks for that.[/QUOTE]

Well, after reading more of the tread at SN I am less inclined to find fault with Doug. He doesn’t really criticize the captain of the KJ. Good that he posted for discussion.

Sometimes its easy to forget how difficult it is during an emergency at sea. I do think he is overestimating the utility of the boats in rough weather.

There is also a lot of variance in the skill level of the crew. If you put your three best crew in the boat you might not have enough left on deck to accomplish much.


#49

After reading several pages of the other forum, I’m left to wonder just how bad Mr. Sabbag believed his situation to be. He states repeatedly that he should have stayed on the Triumph. If your options are a vessel still afloat or treading water, take the vessel still afloat. If said vessel is foundering then move from it to a liferaft (he did have a liferaft fot this trans-Atlantic voyage right?). If the liferaft begins to sink then switch to a ring bouy (had one of those too right? This wasn’t a sail up the coast.). If the ring bouy somehow becomes useless, then and only then do you tread water. He went from a vessel that stayed afloat for many days after the rescue to treading water in a matter of seconds.

I also see several times where he complains that the tanker would not put personell into the water to rescue him. Umm… yeah!! If the owner of that tanker fell overboard they would not have put personell into the water to save him. Now instead of 1 life in jeapordy you have 2.

I think Mr. Sabbags real issue is that he was looking for assistance not rescue. If you want assistance, you pay the $250k for a tow back home. If you want rescue you call the CG and be grateful for what you get.


#50

Captain Doug Sabbag, unlimited master of the SY Triumph after his wife, has been banned of the SailNet Forum. Wondering why …

Most of the sound sailboats rescued at sea were abandoned due to lack of knowledge in meteorology, mechanic, electricity, damage control. But nearly everyone knows how to operate an EPIRB.

Have a look to that rescue video. Instead of complaining about the cargo vessel not lowering her own lifeboat, SY Baccus should have use her personal Dinghy like most others could. But I would suggest boarding the Dinghy wearing Immersion Suit, PFD, Ditch Bag and use rows instead of out-board. Then, be prepared to make fast the painter(s), put on Rescue Horse Collar, jump from a rocking Dinghy to a cargo net, climb summit and swinging pilot ladder, jump over steel railings and finally, express gratitude to the crew that have save your life !

//youtu.be/D05V_bQFF70


#51

[QUOTE=smackdaddy;130865] We need to know this stuff.
… expert advice on the lifeboat thing because Doug is/was so convinced it was the best means of getting someone out of the water. And it just didn’t make sense to me.

[/QUOTE]
It’s easy for Doug to harp about ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ all day long. Until HE can launch and recover a lifeboat at sea (in heavy weather) to risk his own crew to save his backside then we can talk about this. Amver is not about having a 'professional rescue crew at your beckon. It is about using the ‘good Samaritan’ in all of us to help out our fellow man as best we can, with no recriminations or fault found if we can’t help. We do our best. We try. Apparently this is not ‘good enough’ for Doug. That’s too bad.

The Saggatts were lucky they were rescued at all. Period.

I have further lessened my opinion of the Gulfstream family of old fiberglass boats!


#52

[QUOTE=Topsail;130896]Captain Doug Sabbag, unlimited master of the SY Triumph after his wife, has been banned of the SailNet Forum. Wondering why …

Most of the sound sailboats rescued at sea were abandoned due to lack of knowledge in meteorology, mechanic, electricity, damage control. But nearly everyone knows how to operate an EPIRB.

Have a look to that rescue video. Instead of complaining about the cargo vessel not lowering her own lifeboat, SY Baccus should have use her personal Dinghy like most others could. But I would suggest boarding the Dinghy wearing Immersion Suit, PFD, Ditch Bag and use rows instead of out-board. Then, be prepared to make fast the painter(s), put on Rescue Horse Collar, jump from a rocking Dinghy to a cargo net, climb summit and swinging pilot ladder, jump over steel railings and finally, express gratitude to the crew that have save your life ![/QUOTE]

Actually, he was only banned for a week or two. He’s back. As mentioned above, there are two threads going on this subject. The first one was locked after a few guys went supernova on Doug. The following thread is the current discussion that he is involved in:

You’ll see the link to the original, locked thread in that first post (the “S/V Triumph lost in the atlantic” thread). I started this new thread to discuss the more general issues surrounding AMVER rescue and move the focus away from the S/V Triumph incident itself. But, as threads tend to do, it has come back to that incident. And that’s okay by me…though I certainly don’t agree with his view of things, it’s just another viewpoint to discuss.

In the mean time, I’ll continue to learn about this - and work to get some training into the Safety At Sea curriculum if possible. As you can see, there’s a lot of ignorance about what it really takes to get from a boat to a ship in rough conditions.

At the end of the day, you’re right. EPIRBs are much easier to use than a bucket. And that’s a problem…that doesn’t have a simple solution.


#53

I see a bit of a culture clash where the small boat cruising community, which take pride in old style seamanship, meets the modern assembly-line deskilled style of today’s ocean transport industry. The emphasis in the industry is on moving large quantities of cargo at lowest cost while meeting the minimum safety regulations.

Is it really such a far fetched assumption that a ship would use its “rescue boat” to rescue someone? If you think about it what’s the point of carrying around a rescue boat that can only be used in calm seas?

What? Use the rescue boat? There’s 1/2 meter chop out there. You want to kill someone?


#54

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;130901]I see a bit of a culture clash where the small boat cruising community, which take pride in old style seamanship, meets the modern assembly-line deskilled style of today’s ocean transport industry. The emphasis in the industry is on moving large quantities of cargo at lowest cost while meeting the minimum safety regulations.

Is it really such a far fetched assumption that a ship would use its “rescue boat” to rescue someone? If you think about it what’s the point of carrying around a rescue boat that can only be used in calm seas?

What? Use the rescue boat? There’s 1/2 meter chop out there. You want to kill someone?[/QUOTE]

No one is saying that they can’t be used/useful in rough seas. These are a few of the points that I have seen brought up.

  1. The lifeboat is primarily there for the benefit of the crew. If you send it overboard, you deprive those men of it’s future use since getting it back aboard in weather would be very risky.
  2. The question here has been specifically whether towing it would work. There are multiple reasons why this was said to be a bad idea including having crew off the boat to man it, rough weather would make for an unpleasant trip, time needed to safely tow it would be costly to a commercial vessel etc…
  3. The fact that something is risky in rough weather… ie smaller life boat… doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value as a safety device. As someone mentioned… you stay with the biggest boat… until that becomes unsafe… then you hop in your dinghy… then floatation device…etc… The crew might not be as safe in that lifeboat in rough seas… but if their vessel is sunk… well it’s better than nothing.

The commercial vessel’s primary purpose is not to run around and rescue people… their lifeboat is set up to rescue their own crew… not launch and recover/tow. The guy who thinks that it would be just as easy as anything to pull him along like an innertube is off base. He isn’t thinking of anyone’s benefit but his own. He is ignoring the fact that for the lifeboat to be deployed like that… many other people are at risk. The bottom line is that they saved him… he should not only be thankful… but seriously… stop thinking up “new and innovative” rescue techniques when his only experience is being someone who had to be rescued…


#55

IIRC the seas mentioned were 10 to 15. That’s not exactly 2’. Also. From photos I have dredged up on the net. The ship doesn’t have a fast rescue boat anyway. None that I could see from the crappy photos


#56

Well, I just spent some of my Valuable time (not really as I am retired and have nothing better to do) reading more of the posts on sailnet.com. The owner of the lost sailboat will never get it that he is lucky to be alive. It is guys like him that make companies leery of lending assistance unless life is in danger as they are afraid of being sued.

I am not sure if this guy has ever got a new boat or not but it might be a good idea to write the name down just in case.

I remember once going to the aid of a boat that had got swamped on the Delaware River while jumping the wakes of ships. They were dead in the water in the middle of the Main Shipping Channel. We ran out and got them out of there as a Loaded Tanker was heading right for them. The guys on the boat were more worried about any damage that we “Might” have caused to their swamped boat. They were pretty shocked when the local Fire / Rescue Boat came out to take them off of us told them to shut up and say thank you to us for saving them. Our Company called us into the office and told us NOT to ever do this again without getting prior advice from Legal Counsel. This is the world that we live in now, it seems everyone is out to sue or are worried about getting sued.


#57

[QUOTE=Saltgrain;130904] The guy who thinks that it would be just as easy as anything to pull him along like an innertube is off base. .[/QUOTE]

This is exactly my point. How different the world of the cruising sailor is from the world of the deep-sea captain. The boat sailor evidently thinks about using the ship’s lifeboats the same way he thinks about using his own boat’s dingy.

I am saying that it’s somewhat understandable that small boat sailor would think a large ship would use it’s “rescue boat” as first choice for a rescue just as he wouldn’t hesitate to jump in his dingy, but that a ship’s captain would weigh the pros and cons including the skill and training level of the crew and would more likely opt not to use the boats.

My remark about only using the rescue boats in calm seas was (mostly) meant tongue-in-cheek


#58

[QUOTE=Saltgrain;130904]No one is saying that they can’t be used/useful in rough seas. These are a few of the points that I have seen brought up.

  1. The lifeboat is primarily there for the benefit of the crew. If you send it overboard, you deprive those men of it’s future use since getting it back aboard in weather would be very risky.
  2. The question here has been specifically whether towing it would work. There are multiple reasons why this was said to be a bad idea including having crew off the boat to man it, rough weather would make for an unpleasant trip, time needed to safely tow it would be costly to a commercial vessel etc…
  3. The fact that something is risky in rough weather… ie smaller life boat… doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value as a safety device. As someone mentioned… you stay with the biggest boat… until that becomes unsafe… then you hop in your dinghy… then floatation device…etc… The crew might not be as safe in that lifeboat in rough seas… but if their vessel is sunk… well it’s better than nothing.

The commercial vessel’s primary purpose is not to run around and rescue people… their lifeboat is set up to rescue their own crew… not launch and recover/tow. The guy who thinks that it would be just as easy as anything to pull him along like an innertube is off base. He isn’t thinking of anyone’s benefit but his own. He is ignoring the fact that for the lifeboat to be deployed like that… many other people are at risk. The bottom line is that they saved him… he should not only be thankful… but seriously… stop thinking up “new and innovative” rescue techniques when his only experience is being someone who had to be rescued…[/QUOTE]

I think this is a damn good summation.


#59

A sailboat carries a dinghy in davits (sometimes). They launch the dinghy ALL THE TIME and use it ALL THE TIME. It is likely to actually be a quite capable little vessel. In skilled hands a 12-14 foot RIB with 25 HP can do a lot.
So…they see a ship go by with a boat or two being carried that is far bigger than their dinghy. They may assume the ship sometimes anchors out and launches their boats and use them routinely and that they are even better than a RIB. They are off course far wrong. Also note they would never launch a dinghy off davits in any kind of sea and even carrying a boat that way is dangerous in big waves. So the impression “this would be easy” is kina-sorta understandable for the less experienced but still very wrong. They have also never watched anyone try and get a dinghy back on davits in any kind of swell. It is a real good way to get your head bashed in or worse.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;130916]This is exactly my point. How different the world of the cruising sailor is from the world of the deep-sea captain. The boat sailor evidently thinks about using the ship’s lifeboats the same way he thinks about using his own boat’s dingy.

I am saying that it’s somewhat understandable that small boat sailor would think a large ship would use it’s “rescue boat” as first choice for a rescue just as he wouldn’t hesitate to jump in his dingy, but that a ship’s captain would weigh the pros and cons including the skill and training level of the crew and would more likely opt not to use the boats.

My remark about only using the rescue boats in calm seas was (mostly) meant tongue-in-cheek[/QUOTE]


#60

Working where I do I’d hesitate to do anything with a vessel in distress other than standing by just in case until someone else shows up to handle a rescue. I guarantee I’d be bent over the barrel for not clearing it with the office and doing the appropriate paperwork… “Just think of the risk you exposed us to!” Not joking or exaggerating, that’s how it is working in this neck of the woods.

Why doesn’t this guy just come on here himself for a direct pointy-stick attack? Bottom line is its a complex issue that is situationally weather, crew, vessel and circumstantially variable. Whatever way you get rescued should be good enough.