Lifeboat As Rescue Platform?


#81

How do sailboats keep a proper lookout anyway. Seems they’re awfully undermanned. I’d imagine a logical solution to prevent unnecessary rescues at sea would be manning requirements on ocean going recreational vessels.


#82

Initially this operation involved transferring the crew from the S/V to the tanker. The tanker captain, for whatever reason decided not to use the boats. Then it became a man overboard situation which lasted for three hours. In that entire time the tanker never used it’s boats. For some of the operation they were searching for the skipper of the S/V and when they found him they had difficulty getting close enough to get him aboard. At one point the captain went over the side himself!

The tanker had a much stronger incentive to use the boat during the man overboard situation then during the in initial transfer operation but didn’t. Given this It doesn’t seem likely that they would use the boat initially when the problem was one of transferring from S/V to tanker.


#83

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;131224]How do sailboats keep a proper lookout anyway. Seems they’re awfully undermanned. I’d imagine a logical solution to prevent unnecessary rescues at sea would be manning requirements on ocean going recreational vessels.[/QUOTE]

You’ve actually hit on a very tender subject in the sailing world. Many, many sailboats out there do not follow the COLREGS in terms of maintaining a proper lookout. A great deal of them are being singlehanded - which makes that impossible. Of course, no one wants to talk about that really.

On the other hand, with the small handful of stories of lit sailboats being run down at night, or the larger handful of stories about ships passing liferafts at night and not seeing flares, or even more prevalent not answering VHF calls from sailboats, etc. - there’s a suspicion in the sailing community that they are not really seen anyway by the ships - so why bother?

Some of that may be true, some of it not, I don’t know. It’s just an interesting dynamic.

Again, what matters most to me is what happens when things go seriously pear-shaped.

BTW - the article I wrote is now online here:

Feel free to comment on that site. It would be great to get a mix of captains/mates putting their two cents in with the sailors that read it.


#84

I have been on the other forum and read far more than I expected to. It is clear that the rescued had a legitimate issue with the rescue being attempted on the windward side. I would have tried to put him in the lee. That being said, the rescued doesn’t seem to be on a solid mental footing and is extremely argumentative for no reason. His lifeboat ideas are nothing but bitter rantings. It may have been possible to pull of the rescue he envisions in retrospect, but it would never have been prudent. My father is a WAFI who does extensive blue water sailing. We are on the same page when we doubt this individual’s ability to undertake long ocean voyages. We are both academy grads and I am a tanker Captain. I hope I don’t meet this arrogant, self centered, ignorant jerk in a seaway. Money to buy a blue water boat does not make you a blue water sailor.


#85

[QUOTE=Radiocheck;131259]I have been on the other forum and read far more than I expected to. It is clear that the rescued had a legitimate issue with the rescue being attempted on the windward side. I would have tried to put him in the lee. That being said, the rescued doesn’t seem to be on a solid mental footing and is extremely argumentative for no reason. His lifeboat ideas are nothing but bitter rantings. It may have been possible to pull of the rescue he envisions in retrospect, but it would never have been prudent. My father is a WAFI who does extensive blue water sailing. We are on the same page when we doubt this individual’s ability to undertake long ocean voyages. We are both academy grads and I am a tanker Captain. I hope I don’t meet this arrogant, self centered, ignorant jerk in a seaway. Money to buy a blue water boat does not make you a blue water sailor.[/QUOTE]

With regards to the windward / lee side I was wondering about that. In this case the sea anchor complicates things. The S/V would have been pointed into the wind and if the tanker deliberately ran over the painter the tanker would have been to windward. Had this plan worked the S/V might have been brought alongside the lee side of the tanker. Later when the skipper was in the water it seems that he (the skipper) was upwind but we don’t really know what transpired during that 3 hrs when they were searching. It may have been he was spotted he was already on the windward side?

Here is my question. Without the sea painter how would you maneuver a tanker? I would think that a S/V would in many cases drift faster then a loaded tanker? Seem like you would need to approach from the windward quarter of the S/V under power and pass a line? Could you get a tanker stopped alongside if you were running at bare steerage?


#86

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;131282]With regards to the windward / lee side I was wondering about that. In this case the sea anchor complicates things. The S/V would have been pointed into the wind and if the tanker deliberately ran over the painter the tanker would have been to windward. Had this plan worked the S/V might have been brought alongside the lee side of the tanker. Later when the skipper was in the water it seems that he (the skipper) was upwind but we don’t really know what transpired during that 3 hrs when they were searching. It may have been he was spotted he was already on the windward side?

Here is my question. Without the sea painter how would you maneuver a tanker? I would think that a S/V would in many cases drift faster then a loaded tanker? Seem like you would need to approach from the windward quarter of the S/V under power and pass a line? Could you get a tanker stopped alongside if you were running at bare steerage?[/QUOTE]

I would attempt what you suggested. On a loaded tanker stopping is always the issue. I would approach at bare steerage, stopping and starting the engine as needed to keep the speed as low as possible. You should be able to to approach within heaving line distance and certainly within line gun distance. If I backed down hard I could get my ship stopped or nearly so. My ship is smaller than the one in the article so I can’t speak for him. The problem with this approach is you lose steerage as soon as you start backing. Positioning the ship prior to backing is critical. My ship backs hard to port and will swing 45 to 60 degrees before stopping completely. This is a rule of thumb and is greatly effected by environmental conditions. Ideally you will have a painter passed and secured as you pass the sailboat with slow headway (likely backing the engine at this point in an attempt to stop). By tending the painter and using the sailboats rudder you would attempt to bring the sailboat alongside in a controlled manner. Obviously a lot of things need to go right for this to work. The critical elements are a getting a good long line attached to the sailboat from the ship, and getting the ship stopped or nearly so. There is nothing easy about a rescue of this sort and even the best laid plans will likely go out the window before the evolution is complete. This guy is lucky he is still around to bitch.


#87

Every sailboat I have been on keeps a proper lookout the same way any other vessel does. One watch is sleeping and the other one is sailing :wink:
That said, there are boats sailing single-handed. The theory was the boats are light enough and slow enough that they only endanger themselves, not others. Not that that makes it more legal, but I can’t think of a tanker sunk by a 30 foot sailboat ramming it in recent memory. The grey area is the fairly common boat sailed by a couple. With only two aboard it is easy to get tired and stressed because there is no slack if one person is down for whatever reason and any two person sail handling operation cuts into someone’s sleep. OTOH most sailors with any offshore experience will have at LEAST one story of a passing ship that appeared to be utterly unmanned except for Otto. I once did some repair work on a trimaran that was becalmed in fog about 300 miles west of England. They had a radar detector and a radar reflector up. No signal on the detector and a ship comes out of the fog, ignores frantic VHF calls, rams them, and continues on into the fog. Two of the three bows were broken off :eek: Luckily this was a racing boat with numerous watertight bulkheads and they made port anyway.

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;131224]How do sailboats keep a proper lookout anyway. Seems they’re awfully undermanned. I’d imagine a logical solution to prevent unnecessary rescues at sea would be manning requirements on ocean going recreational vessels.[/QUOTE]


#88

[QUOTE=Radiocheck;131348]I would attempt what you suggested. On a loaded tanker stopping is always the issue. I would approach at bare steerage, stopping and starting the engine as needed to keep the speed as low as possible. You should be able to to approach within heaving line distance and certainly within line gun distance. If I backed down hard I could get my ship stopped or nearly so. My ship is smaller than the one in the article so I can’t speak for him. The problem with this approach is you lose steerage as soon as you start backing. Positioning the ship prior to backing is critical. My ship backs hard to port and will swing 45 to 60 degrees before stopping completely. This is a rule of thumb and is greatly effected by environmental conditions. Ideally you will have a painter passed and secured as you pass the sailboat with slow headway (likely backing the engine at this point in an attempt to stop). By tending the painter and using the sailboats rudder you would attempt to bring the sailboat alongside in a controlled manner. Obviously a lot of things need to go right for this to work. The critical elements are a getting a good long line attached to the sailboat from the ship, and getting the ship stopped or nearly so. There is nothing easy about a rescue of this sort and even the best laid plans will likely go out the window before the evolution is complete. This guy is lucky he is still around to bitch.[/QUOTE]

I have a huge sail area, sometimes I can use the wind to advantage, start upwind with the wind on the beam and blow down using a bump ahead or astern to hit the mark.

This kind of operation is very difficult for crew. I think of static vs dynamic; static being when two tugs hold the ship against the pier while the crew ties up, not to difficult. Dynamic being having to make a tug fast with way on, things are moving, a little harder. Then time critical; having to get the tug before we get in to a tight spot. Then there is routine and non-routine. Making up tugs, picking up pilots, mooring / unmooring are all routine in most cases ( at least that’s how we try to make it).

A rescue at sea is challenging for the crew, its dynamic, time critical and non-routine. Plans should be as simple as it possible.


#89

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;131352]I have a huge sail area[/QUOTE]

Don’t sell yourself short there, Cap. I think you look fine just the way you are. Have you considered Jenny Craig though?


#90

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;131353] Have you considered Jenny Craig though?[/QUOTE]

Why, does that stern ramp make my ass look big?

Someone should invent (you saw it here first) a small cheap remote control vessel to carry a line to another vessel. Be a lot easier to stand off and do it that way then maneuver in close.Of course getting the line over is only half the battle.

Also…I didn’t read thru all the tread but maybe a Pan Pan would have been more appropriate.


#91

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;131404]Why, does that stern ramp make my ass look big?

Someone should invent (you saw it here first) a small cheap remote control vessel to carry a line to another vessel. Be a lot easier to stand off and do it that way then maneuver in close.Of course getting the line over is only half the battle.

Also…I didn’t read thru all the tread but maybe a Pan Pan would have been more appropriate.[/QUOTE]

Small radio controlled boat my ass! We already have these:

They oughtta be standard issue for everyone not just the good ole’ navee!


#92

What the fuck? Why use a gun???


#93

[QUOTE=Kraken;131414]What the fuck? Why use a gun???[/QUOTE]

Careful, your Norwegian is showing. This is 'MERICA. THAT’S WHY we use a gun.

[video=youtube_share;6fZZqDJXOVg]http://youtu.be/6fZZqDJXOVg[/video]


#94

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;131404] a small cheap remote control vessel to carry a line to another vessel. Be a lot easier to stand off and do it that way then maneuver in close…[/QUOTE]

I think this would be an excellent idea. (also the implied uses to be a beer hauler would be enormous too! :wink:

The drogue is not being mentioned. All this talk of windward, leeward is not applicable in this case, because the sv was not drifting freely, as was the case in some of the videos posted. Whether the SV painter was run over or not, the drogue on the other end behaved differently than expected. In this particular case, the windward approach was the best, since the ship had more windage than the sv.

KC your comment about the differences between holding, coming along side with no way, and coming alongside WITH way is quite appropo. This is an example of thinking the problem through, after realizing it ‘wasn’t what it seemed upon first glimpse’.


#95

A giant version of a Lifesling would work. You get a LONG floating line with a float on the end. Do a “water-skier pickup” maneuver and it drags the floating line right to the boat. Difficulty with using a tanker instead of a Ski Nautique is unknown by me so YMMV.


#96

[QUOTE=yacht_sailor;131429]A giant version of a Lifesling would work. You get a LONG floating line with a float on the end. Do a “water-skier pickup” maneuver and it drags the floating line right to the boat. Difficulty with using a tanker instead of a Ski Nautique is unknown by me so YMMV.[/QUOTE]
Not practical. The ship has a turning radius of about a mile. so you would need about 3 miles of line.

Better to float a line down wind (from either vessel) for the other one to pick up. This is why the line throwing guns are mentioned. The greatly speed up the ‘float time’ between vessels.


#97

[QUOTE=smackdaddy;131241]

BTW - the article I wrote is now online here:

Feel free to comment on that site. It would be great to get a mix of captains/mates putting their two cents in with the sailors that read it.[/QUOTE]

I have read your article. It is a good initiative.

On one hand, we have to understand that there is a world between a Coast Guard Search & Rescue and to Render Assistance gratuitously, in good faith, without objection by the individual assisted and so far as the master in charge can do so, without serious danger to the master’s or individual’s vessel or to individuals on board. The merchant marine crew is compulsory trained in Marine Emergency Duties primary to save themselves from a sinking or burning vessel, a man over board occurrence, etc., but not necessarily to render assistance to individual affected from a danger caused by a marine casualty. But they will do the best of their abilities along with the equipment availability. Apart from pilot ladders, cargo nets, horse collar, life rings, life raft in extreme cases, painters, messenger and hoisting lines, there is not much more alternative. But I think that it is more than sufficient.

The cargo vessel type, its manoeuvring capabilities, freeboard heights, sailing surfaces, sea state and visibility can compromise a relatively safe transfer. Lack or quality of training, leadership, inventiveness, language problems, add to difficulties. As the Coast Guard, there is no obligation of success. You better be ready to survive longer than you hope. A CG chopper can turn back ashore if the SAR operation is found to be at undue risks …

On the other end, we have the right to address the competency of yacht skippers and the seaworthiness of their non-inspected crafts. What is the compulsory credential needed to sail a yacht on the high seas in terms of medical fitness, general yacht knowledge, navigation, meteorology, mechanics & electricity, marine emergency duties (distress, control damage, survival, fire fighting), medical first aid, just to name some of the required fields.

Moreover, what are the CG regulated criteria to class a sailing yacht Blue Water or Ocean Going in terms of anchoring systems, deck to hull connection & sealing systems, port holes, cabin hatchway, watertight collision or transom bulkheads, keel integrity, chain plates, rudder skeg combination & support, reinforced impact zones, bounding system, fore & back stays, life rafts, immersion suits, storm sails, etc.

So let’s start by requesting obligatory training to the blue water skippers who wish to sail offshore territorial seas and by the obligation of supplying certificates of seaworthiness inspections prior outbound clearances. You will then reduce the obligation to Render Assistance gratuitously and in good faith to the minimum.


#98

Good luck with that.
I can’t even imagine what the results would be if the USCG tried to turn everything that floats into commercial inspected vessels with licensed crews.

[QUOTE=Topsail;131535]I have read your article. It is a good initiative.

On one hand, we have to understand that there is a world between a Coast Guard Search & Rescue and to Render Assistance gratuitously, in good faith, without objection by the individual assisted and so far as the master in charge can do so, without serious danger to the master’s or individual’s vessel or to individuals on board. The merchant marine crew is compulsory trained in Marine Emergency Duties primary to save themselves from a sinking or burning vessel, a man over board occurrence, etc., but not necessarily to render assistance to individual affected from a danger caused by a marine casualty. But they will do the best of their abilities along with the equipment availability. Apart from pilot ladders, cargo nets, horse collar, life rings, life raft in extreme cases, painters, messenger and hoisting lines, there is not much more alternative. But I think that it is more than sufficient.

The cargo vessel type, its manoeuvring capabilities, freeboard heights, sailing surfaces, sea state and visibility can compromise a relatively safe transfer. Lack or quality of training, leadership, inventiveness, language problems, add to difficulties. As the Coast Guard, there is no obligation of success. You better be ready to survive longer than you hope. A CG chopper can turn back ashore if the SAR operation is found to be at undue risks …

On the other end, we have the right to address the competency of yacht skippers and the seaworthiness of their non-inspected crafts. What is the compulsory credential needed to sail a yacht on the high seas in terms of medical fitness, general yacht knowledge, navigation, meteorology, mechanics & electricity, marine emergency duties (distress, control damage, survival, fire fighting), medical first aid, just to name some of the required fields.

Moreover, what are the CG regulated criteria to class a sailing yacht Blue Water or Ocean Going in terms of anchoring systems, deck to hull connection & sealing systems, port holes, cabin hatchway, watertight collision or transom bulkheads, keel integrity, chain plates, rudder skeg combination & support, reinforced impact zones, bounding system, fore & back stays, life rafts, immersion suits, storm sails, etc.

So let’s start by requesting obligatory training to the blue water skippers who wish to sail offshore territorial seas and by the obligation of supplying certificates of seaworthiness inspections prior outbound clearances. You will then reduce the obligation to Render Assistance gratuitously and in good faith to the minimum.[/QUOTE]


#99

Good luck with that.
I can’t even imagine what the results would be if the USCG tried to turn everything that floats into commercial inspected vessels with licensed crews.

[QUOTE=Topsail;131535]I have read your article. It is a good initiative.

On one hand, we have to understand that there is a world between a Coast Guard Search & Rescue and to Render Assistance gratuitously, in good faith, without objection by the individual assisted and so far as the master in charge can do so, without serious danger to the master’s or individual’s vessel or to individuals on board. The merchant marine crew is compulsory trained in Marine Emergency Duties primary to save themselves from a sinking or burning vessel, a man over board occurrence, etc., but not necessarily to render assistance to individual affected from a danger caused by a marine casualty. But they will do the best of their abilities along with the equipment availability. Apart from pilot ladders, cargo nets, horse collar, life rings, life raft in extreme cases, painters, messenger and hoisting lines, there is not much more alternative. But I think that it is more than sufficient.

The cargo vessel type, its manoeuvring capabilities, freeboard heights, sailing surfaces, sea state and visibility can compromise a relatively safe transfer. Lack or quality of training, leadership, inventiveness, language problems, add to difficulties. As the Coast Guard, there is no obligation of success. You better be ready to survive longer than you hope. A CG chopper can turn back ashore if the SAR operation is found to be at undue risks …

On the other end, we have the right to address the competency of yacht skippers and the seaworthiness of their non-inspected crafts. What is the compulsory credential needed to sail a yacht on the high seas in terms of medical fitness, general yacht knowledge, navigation, meteorology, mechanics & electricity, marine emergency duties (distress, control damage, survival, fire fighting), medical first aid, just to name some of the required fields.

Moreover, what are the CG regulated criteria to class a sailing yacht Blue Water or Ocean Going in terms of anchoring systems, deck to hull connection & sealing systems, port holes, cabin hatchway, watertight collision or transom bulkheads, keel integrity, chain plates, rudder skeg combination & support, reinforced impact zones, bounding system, fore & back stays, life rafts, immersion suits, storm sails, etc.

So let’s start by requesting obligatory training to the blue water skippers who wish to sail offshore territorial seas and by the obligation of supplying certificates of seaworthiness inspections prior outbound clearances. You will then reduce the obligation to Render Assistance gratuitously and in good faith to the minimum.[/QUOTE]


#100

[QUOTE=yacht_sailor;131549]Good luck with that.
I can’t even imagine what the results would be if the USCG tried to turn everything that floats into commercial inspected vessels with licensed crews.[/QUOTE]

I agree that it would not happen but what are your thoughts on getting the proper training and equipment before trying to sail across any ocean or large body of water? Also, I am surprised the the Insurance Companies have not got into it yet. I guess the numbers of those claims are low as most do not try to sail that far.