Lifeboat As Rescue Platform?


#101

[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]

The Coast Guard would have to set the regulation standards:

  • for the Ocean Yacht Master Recreational Certificate offshore 12 nautical miles,
  • for the Safe Construction & Safety Equipment standards for an Ocean Going Pleasure Craft,
  • to accredit private nautical schools who would offer Ocean Sailing Program & Exams leading to Ocean Yacht Master Recreational Certificate,
  • to accredit private Boat Surveyors who would deliver SAFECON Pleasure Craft Inspection Certificates from yards or existing vessels.

Ocean Yacht Master Recreational Certificate and Safe Construction & Safety Equipment Certificate would be required by insurers and for outward clearance.

That would straighten up the system.


#102

I am very much for proper training and equipment. I would not suggest anyone just sail off and see what happens. Insurance companies ARE into this. Rates are much higher for ocean crossings than daysails. They frequently deny coverage to single and double handed operations. More than one couple has been displeased to find the insurance company requiring a third hand at the least for an ocean passage if not more. Any offshore race has pretty strict requirements to enter the race that are actually quite expensive to meet. You can see them here: http://www.sailing.org/specialregs. There is a ton of stuff in there about training requirements, equipment, etc. etc. Boats built after 2010 have to be in class too, no random “looks good enough” designs. No winpy flares, only SOLAS stuff, etc. etc.

But…and there is always a but…

Getting the government involved is nothing I am in favor of right now. I am up to my eyeballs in it for charter flying and I would HATE to see that kind of death-by-paperwork descend on my boat.

[QUOTE=Tugs;131560]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.[/QUOTE]


#103

[QUOTE=yacht_sailor;131571]I am very much for proper training and equipment. I would not suggest anyone just sail off and see what happens. Insurance companies ARE into this. Rates are much higher for ocean crossings than daysails. They frequently deny coverage to single and double handed operations. More than one couple has been displeased to find the insurance company requiring a third hand at the least for an ocean passage if not more. Any offshore race has pretty strict requirements to enter the race that are actually quite expensive to meet. You can see them here: http://www.sailing.org/specialregs. There is a ton of stuff in there about training requirements, equipment, etc. etc. Boats built after 2010 have to be in class too, no random “looks good enough” designs. No winpy flares, only SOLAS stuff, etc. etc.

But…and there is always a but…

Getting the government involved is nothing I am in favor of right now. I am up to my eyeballs in it for charter flying and I would HATE to see that kind of death-by-paperwork descend on my boat.[/QUOTE]

I’m not convinced that S/V are even a problem, Do yachtsman need assistance more often (in portion to their number) then fisherman or commercial?

Commercial mariners sometimes underestimate how skilled and experienced some of these ocean sailors are.


#104

[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]

Careful reading of the Triumphs story tells you that the bulkheads that the chain plate was bolted to was rotted out. There is a reason that these 30, 40 year old boats (quite similar to the bounty) don’t have an indefinite life at sea. They become harbor drinking platforms, and across the bay drifters. Unfortunately they also ‘catch the eye’ of dreamers and uninformed (although they certainly THINK they are informed) who make bad judgments, not having the professional competence to make the decisions of whether the boat is fit to make a transatlantic trip.

Personally, I think this is akin to the guys who try to row across the atlantic in an 8’ (or 7’) dinghy. They are nuts. But, it’s their life. Let them go empty the ‘pool’ a little quicker. This has always been the ‘free thinking’ part of going to sea, making do with your own resources, making your own way through life. But, the catch side is: If you screw up, you’re DONE! It seems, some people expect to ‘make their decisions’, opt for their own choices, then, when the shit hit’s the fan they expect others to do the ‘professional rescuing’ for them.

This reminds me of the recent attempts by rescue organizations to ‘bill’ the rescued for help helicopter fees, air time, search and rescue costs and fines for rescues needed when they determine that the people were either incompetent, or so inexperienced they should have known better than to do something as stupid as they got caught doing. Maybe the issue is, if you expect rescue, you need to have a HEFTY insurance plan to cover such contingencies? Sea Tow has a 75 mile limit that they can come out and rescue you. Maybe, as quoted, the $250,000 dollar towing fee wasn’t so far off the mark? If people like SV Triumph want/ expect to get professionally rescued, and have their little ‘bundle of dreams and hope’ saved, they need to purchase insurance to cover these incidents?

This guy is lucky he got help. He’s lucky he didn’t get dismasted. Once he got dismasted he would have lost all communications. Then, it’s game over charlie. This seems less and less like a ‘good samaritan rescue’ gone wrong, Than an owner who doesn’t understand the differences between salvage and life saving.

There is a phrase for what the Sabbahs expect. It’s Lloyds Open form, Salvage, no cure, no pay. It costs money. Ain’t nuttin’ for free!


#105

[QUOTE=cappy208;131580]Careful reading of the Triumphs story tells you that the bulkheads that the chain plate was bolted to was rotted out. There is a reason that these 30, 40 year old boats (quite similar to the bounty) don’t have an indefinite life at sea. They become harbor drinking platforms, and across the bay drifters. Unfortunately they also ‘catch the eye’ of dreamers and uninformed (although they certainly THINK they are informed) who make bad judgments, not having the professional competence to make the decisions of whether the boat is fit to make a transatlantic trip.
.[/QUOTE]

I didn’t realize it was an old wooden boat. That changes things a bit. No wonder the thing came apart when it came up against the tanker.

The other thing is he had his wife with him. I read one post where the skipper said she wanted off. Having family for crew throws a whole other angle into it.


#106

It’s not an old wooden boat. It’s a fiberglass boat. the hull and deck are glass. But the bulkheads that the chain plates are bolted to are typically 3/4" plywood, glassed over. Once the wood is glassed over, it is VERY hard to tell if the plywood is any good. You actually have to cut away a little glass to '‘dig into’ (usually with an ice pick) into the wood to check for dry rot. Of course ‘no one’ has admitted this from the Triumph, But, having repaired many of these types of yacht issues, It is common. All the bulkheads inside fiberglass yachts are NOT just fiberglass. And the typical method of construction is to ‘sandwich’ them into the hull first. then all else is ‘piled’ on top of them, making them just about inaccessible to check later.
This is a typical bulkhead mounted chainplate on a yacht. ( I got it off the ‘west system’ © website, concerning bulkhead repair, replacement.)

Here is a more typical chainplate installation. http://www.westsystem.com/ss/replacing-damaged-bulkheads/

Note the plywood, with the bolted on chainplate. Works very well… as long as the plywood isn’t rotten. The mention “the chainplate pulled right through the deck with the bolts on it” makes this so obvious as to what happened. I know, monday morning and all. But, I have seen enough to know dry rot and it’s affects when I see it.


#107

If you had read the SailNet discussion completely, (which I FULLY understand not doing), you would have also read more statements about their Rescue Boats:

  1. They were suspended on cables on each side - I was not talking about the one on a ramp.
  2. When they entered the Canadian Port, they had to lower and raise one to follow Port Regulations; which proves they can be easily deployed.
  3. While this deployment was happening, I asked the Captain of the KJ why they hadn’t deployed one to retrieve me. First he said they couldn’t retrieve it because the waves would have made it very difficult / impossible to reattach the hoisting cables. To which I responded, couldn’t you have towed it AFTER hoisting ALL the people out of it from the stern of the Kim Jacob? He looked down and said: We’re not the Coast Guard, and I didn’t think of that. Which indicates he, like me, realized that was a viable process.
  4. Granted, the 2 crew who would have deployed in their Rescue boat would have been exposed to more discomfort (it was a sunny day, not bad weather), than just staying on deck, but their exposure to danger would have been absolutely minimal.
  5. If you were the person in the ocean, drowning, you too would have wanted the only human beings near you to use the equipment they had to save your life. Trying to rationalize letting the person in the water drown, while you take pictures of him, on a sunny day, would clearly strike you - the person drowning - as a cold thing to do.

A couple other points should also be cleared up:

  1. I wanted to transfer only my wife onto the KJ, since there was no real reason to abandon ship.
  2. The Captain of the KJ and I discussed the plan prior to their actual actions on our behalf, for them to go outside of our ‘sea anchor’ and use a grappling hook to grab it. Then, use that line to pull us to their stern. So, that is why I had not pulled the sea anchor in as they approached.
  3. On their second attempt, they intersected the line, which quickly drew us alongside them, and pulled us forward until we were squished from the waves pushing us up, into their anchor housing, which smashed our boat like a giant hammer. I couldn’t cut the sea anchor line unless I had responded to do so, in a very short period of time. Sadly, I did not, and within seconds, that idea became a deadly one.
  4. The KJ kept circling me as I sank and re-emerged, with me on their windward side, though I was screaming to them to approach me from the other side. The problem was that the wind kept pushing their buoy back toward them, as a person threw it at me, sometimes even coming right back, hitting the ‘thrower’. Had they approached, with me down wind from them, throwing a buoy at me would have been carried toward me, by the wind, instead of rendering the thrown buoy dysfunctional.

Overall, I made the largest mistake of my life by abdicating my role as Captain, for my role as a husband, to the woman who had it with our cruise and wanted off the boat following the ‘issues’ we were experiencing, on our way to Europe.
I followed that error up with more errors too.
I DID thank the KJ crew and officers profusely. But, simply because I managed to live through this deadly mess, does not mean WE (all of us) can’t learn from this.
And finally, if the roles were reversed, and I was onboard a boat, with someone drowning near my boat, on a sunny day, yes, with some waves too, I surely would have utilized all of my available equipment to rescue that person. And THAT is what I naively ‘expected’ of my fellow man.


gCaptain Hidden Gems
#108

Your assumptions about the chainplates were false. What drove the two shrouds / stays to break at their connections on the deck, was something called ‘harmonic resonance’ occurring from the mast. We had stepped and re-installed the main mast prior to this voyage, and had not (as I have since learned I should have), re-torqued the turnbuckles with the sails up.
So, the main mast was vibrating - fore to aft - and was therefore bending the tab of the chainplates fore and aft, repeatedly, until they broke.
We HAD checked the condition of the chainplates while the interior / cabin walls were removed, during the full re-fit in Fort Lauderdale a year earlier to the doomed voyage. Now, it is true, I did not have them Xrayed or use the blue dye to check them, but nothing was rotted, or rusting.


#109

Three plus years thinking on this and you still have no clue. The fact that there is an emergency does not give the tanker captain the green light to operate in an unsafe manner.

Don’t forget, “We are not the Coast Guard”. Our duty is to save lives in distress at sea so long as we can do so without endangering our own lives. That’s a very short paraphrase of what’s been noted years ago in this thread.

Lifeboats are lifesaving appliances, look through some professional forums and various countries Coast Guards to see all of the precautions and alerts we have due to injuries and fatalities from simply testing them in good conditions. The non free-fall lifeboats are not as easily deployed as one would think. And certainly not easily recovered in any kind of sea. They would have been exposed to hazards from the moment they got on the lifeboat simply from getting in it, not simply bothered by discomfort.

If my ship is sinking, in danger of exploding, or in extremis and the Captain orders me to the boat, sure I’m going. But to take three or four crew from a limited supply of people is something that would certainly not be at the top of my list of ideas to affect a rescue that can be done another way that does not put the crew in as much of a hazardous position.

It may sound cold to a drowning man that a Captain decided to not do something that you deem would have been more convenient. It also would be pretty cold for the Captain, or the companies lawyers, to have to explain to a seafarers spouse that a member of his or her crew perished in a rescue attempt, especially when the actions causing the death did not need to be accomplished.

Sorry, not sorry. Be happy you had a ships Captain that was good enough at ship handling to get you on board.


#110

Actually, he wasn’t ‘good’ at getting me onboard. First, their maneuvers destroyed our vessel, then since he kept approaching with me to windward, it was only by the grace of God, that the wind died for 30 seconds, and a buoy got to me. I had ‘gone down’ numerous times, and had only re-emerged when my body expelled the water from inside me, which enabled me to fight to the surface, again, and again.
Your image of the dangers for some men to get into a 24 person capacity lifeboat with a strong diesel engine, fully contained, (not an ‘open boat’), in the late morning, on a sunny blue sky day, is quite wrong. No ‘spouses’ would have been receiving any bad news.
And, again, I challenge YOU to be drowning, while looking up at those RESCUE BOATS and not think they should be USED to get you.
Addendum: If the ‘rescuers’ actually aren’t willing to do what they CAN DO, to save someone, they would be better to not stop to ‘render assistance’ at all.


#111

Sell, maybe if after reading all of your posts, they might just reconsider putting themselves in danger to safe your ass!


#112

Just going by the AMVER press release here.
http://www.amver.com/Content/Docs/PressReleases/07-29-11_press_release_2.pdf

"The sailors sent a distress call to U.S. Coast Guard rescue personnel in Boston stating
their sails were torn, the engine was disabled, and they were taking on water."
Sounds like you were in distress there, and in need of assistance, and you got it.

"The rescue was complicated by the size of the Liberian flagged tanker and the worsening
weather conditions as winds over 30 knots and waves over 8 feet hampered the operation. "
I have yet to sail as a vessel master, but those weather conditions are not something I would subject anybody under my authority to when there was another, safer method of rescuing you. Which they did.

"One of the Triumph sailors fell into the ocean while attempting to climb aboard the Kim
Jacob but the crew kept a sharp lookout and recovered the survivor three hours after he
went into the water. "
After participating any many planned man overboard drills in good weather, I have a great respect for any crew that can keep you in sight for three hours in eight foot seas.

Addendum: If the ‘rescuers’ actually aren’t willing to do what they CAN DO, to save someone, they would be better to not stop to ‘render assistance’ at all. They did. You are alive to gripe about it. My hat goes off to the Captain and Crew several years later.


Are you professional enough to post on "gCaptain"?
#113

Jesus you are a miserable cunt.

For the record, if you have another boat I think we’d all like the name and description so when we get the next Amver alert we can ignore it.


#114

hear, hear…they should have just let you drown since it it was YOU who ended up in the water mandating their phenomenal efforts to save YOU when it would have been very easy for the tanker master to simply say " oh well, we tried but the guy is FUCKED now"

btw, I am with Traitor_Yankee…you are a miserable cunt as well as a bloody obtuse fool who hasn’t an effing clue about ships and the sea. Lifeboats are NOT suspended by cables you idiot…they are suspended by wire rope falls. Further, they are designed to only be launched at sea and not recovered AND they are not designed to be towed for long distances behind their own ship. There is a very great likelihood that the lifeboat would have rolled over whilst under tow and thus lost to the ship and her crew if there had been a need for it after your rescue PLUS who was going to compensate the ship owner for its loss…YOU? Thirdly, I would like to know the risk to the vessel crewmembers to be hoisted up to their ship from the lifeboat while astern? I would certainly think great so instead of only YOU perishing, the master would have to explain why he lost two other men in the process of trying to save YOU. Biggest rule of rescues…do not lose any rescuers. YOUR life is NOT worth MORE than theirs!


#115

Ha ha… “Strong Diesel Engine” in a lifeboat… (wiping tears from my eyes from laughing so hard… sorry) Wow, that tells me all I need to know right there. Let me put it this way, I think I rented a moped once that had more oomph than ANY lifeboat engine I’ve ever run. Yes, they’re supposed to be able to go 6 knots for 24 hours… BUT, and this is a big but here, that’s in calm water. Not to mention the fact that aside from the open ones we had on a tanker I was on, they don’t steer worth a sh*t even on glass calm days.

So, you were asking the Captain to put his crew in imminent peril to save you with a way that you don’t fully comprehend the additional dangers of, or the risks that would have entailed to both the crew of the Kim Jacob, AND yourself. You’re alive today to still grouse about this in a thread that was 3 years old (and long dead) until you revived it… that seems like something I’d sit down and just be thankful for.

Side note: Before you say that I don’t understand sailboats and pleasure craft (because I just have a feeling that one is coming), lemme stop you right there. I grew up on sailboats, raced sailboats, did long cruises on sailboats, and am a Quartermaster Sea Scout that became a professional mariner/Captain. So I know both mentalities at play here, and while it may inconvenience your thought process, what you suggest should have been done for your rescue with a lifeboat, wouldn’t have been prudent or safe seamanship for the Master of the Kim Jacob.


#116

Of course they don’t. They were designed for a very specific purpose. And that purpose is to save our tail in the event our ship sinks or is about to explode. Now, I know some are not made very well and some of the designs really stink, and the various mechanisms for launching can be sketchy, but so long as they actually safely launch they are better than a raft or getting in the water when they are actually ‘needed’.

We had a free-fall boat hop off the skids since it was not secured with the turnbuckles on the outskirts of Hurricane Ike. Well yeah, that was bad, very bad, to lose a lifeboat. But you know what, it was recovered later and after repair of the sprinkler bars and some other work, was able to go back in service after floating around the edge of a hurricane for a few days. I’m sure it would not have been comfortable, but it did not sink and was not destroyed. So, apart from the fact that it should not have gone in, the boat actually did the job.


#117

Yep… I had this in my post too, but figured it drew away from the point I was making so I deleted it.

“Side note 2: I’ve heard many a crewmember say “screw the lifeboats, if the ship ever sinks, I’m going for a raft” and I’m sure a few of the other guys on here (especially the ones on ships with free falls, but that’s a whole other story) have heard the same. Would you really want to be towed in that for what might be days? Weeks? The buckets in them aren’t just for bailing… they’re for puke and toilets too for a reason.”

And yes, I’d rather be in the pukey stinky lifeboat than a raft any day if I had to abandon, and I spend a lot of time explaining how much more miserable a raft is in rough seas to those crew members.


#118

I’ll take a free-fall over a davit launched lifeboat any day. Fewer moving parts to fail. Royal pain to recover after a test launch though. Dead flat calm and use the FRC to help it a bit. Mainly since the four-point hoisting bridle on the ones we had were in a spot that a couple of AB’s had to get in interesting positions and worry about pinch points. So, dead flat calm in the Gulf was the best to test launch.

Not because of the launch, that’s easy and on the semi-submersible I was on at drilling draft it was not much of a drop. It was mainly due to the recovery. But, well, they were made to launch and keep you alive, that’s all.


#119

As I mentioned in another post, unless people REALLY want to save someone, even if you have to use all of your equipment to do it, then don’t bother. You can’t imagine the frustration as you are drowning, seeing people on a sunny late morning, taking pictures of you.


#120

I am NOT alive because they ‘rendered assistance’, I am alive IN SPITE of their ‘assistance’.
Yes, I suck. It is very unreasonable of anyone to expect anyone else to USE their LIFEBOAT to pluck someone out of the water. I hope YOU remember that if you are DROWNING and LOOKING UP AT A 36 foot 24 person capacity LIFEBOAT, while the guys are taking pictures of you for 3 - 4 hours on a sunny late morning.
I trust you will wave everyone off - because you wouldn’t want them to use that LIFEBOAT just to save YOU, right?