Lifeboat As Rescue Platform?


Oh pretty pretty please say “I’d Absolutely dive in to save them!” so I can get him hired on the next benzene tanker I can find.


I was going to say, “no hints.” Benzene does have a sweet aroma does it not?


Ooooooooooo… he took the time to stuff $50k in his pockets instead of taking the time to grab a suitable PFD. That… might have been an interesting revelation during his “campaign.”

@smackdaddy (grumbles) thanks for making me wade through 100+ more pages of his ranting… though I did smile a bit again when I saw he’d been given the ban hammer there…


You’ll notice I hadn’t brought that up until now. He no longer deserves “protection”. I’m done with this dude.


@smackdaddy did you bring him here so that he would have less time to mash the keyboard on your yachtsmen forum?

That’s very clever, and I won’t forgive you for it.


Here’s a quote of Doug from SailNet. Unbelievable. “Or else they may move along, and we will wait for another more reasonable savior.”

But, in retrospect, what I really do see as the most viable and safest alternative for trransferring from the Triumph to the tanker, would have been to calmly enter our dinghy… and then bring that dinghy to the stern of the tanker, where we could have much more easily used lines from their deck to hoist ourselves AND EVEN our belongings up to their deck…

If I ever find myself in a similar situation, I will talk to the Captain of the “rescuing tanker / freighter”, and insist on doing this to transfer to their vessel. Or else they may move along, and we will wait for another more reasonable savior.[/quote]


It’s too bad that the liveliest conversation in awhile is wasted on a crazy Shitbag that is not smart enough to change his name and shut his mouth.

I cannot help but wonder if that incident was followed by a divorce.


What would the legal responsibilities of a rescuer be in a situation like this? Say you receive a distress call and your ship responds. You find a sailboat and dingy with two passengers. The dingy comes alongside and you hoist the lady aboard. The man in the dingy shouts up, “Hold on, I’m going back to get our things!”

He casts off the painter and moters back to his sail boat to fetch their clothes, expensive navigation and communication equipment, electronics, photos and whatever else he can load into his dingy. He returns and demands you load his things aboard. (To save time you do it.)

He then says, “Pass down a line so you can tow my boat to port!” You refuse and tell him to come aboard. He shouts up, “Well I’ll be damned if I leave her here! I won’t come up until you agree to salvage her!”

At this point, what do you do?

Threaten to leave him behind with his now stripped and stricken boat? The lady screams, “Murder! Murder! You’ll kill him if you leave him here!”

You agree to a salvage and pass a line - all the while knowing that you’ll cut her loose as soon as he’s aboard? His lawyers will sue you and the company for breach of contract.

You wait him out and put your ship even further behind schedule? He pulls out emergency water and rations from the dingy and waits you out. The office is on the sat phone asking, “What the f*ck is going on?!”

Until yesterday I thought no one could have this happen to them. Maybe the guy is in shock. Maybe he’s an asshole. Doesn’t matter. What would you do?


From the sound of how things were going, I suspect the wife would have said “leave his stupid ass”

I will do my damnedest to rescue a person, and yes, a pet if they have a critter on board, but belongings? Yeah, “tie the dingy off to these lines and climb on up, we’ll hoist it up once you’re on board… oops, knot slipped.” Lines part sometimes. Hence, “No Cure, No Pay” and nothing in LOF says you’re guaranteeing the salvage to be a success. Though had I the foresight to see what a dick he turned out to be, I might have done it just to take his boat in admiralty court on the Open Form.


This is a cut and paste from from our our Dougy Boy and was date stamped 9-16-2011

A big problem with the AMVER program is that these freighters / tankers are not either trained nor are they overly inspired to do everything they can to minimize the dangers to US.

After I recuperated from the hypothermia, (2 days later), I was on the deck of the Kim Jacob (tanker) when they were in Canada, and were doing a regulation test of their life boat deployment.

I was standing next to the Captain, as this deployment was happening. Well, you can imagine how I was seething inside to see that they do have these life boats and could have deployed one to get me, rather than just watch as I sank and by herculean afforts managed to rise again.

So, I asked him, (nicely), why didn’t you deploy a life boat to get me?

He said that in the 10 - 15 foot seas we were in, they wouldn’t have been able to re-attach the life boat to their cables to bring it back up.

To that I said, well, you could have brought it around to the stern and simply towed it the 2 days to Canada, and hoisted us up to the deck.

Then he said: We’re not the Coast Guard, we are tankers, delivering oil from Africa to Canada.

So, with that in mind, they will not dive in to get you; they will not even deploy a life boat to get you. If you let go of your own boat, you are dead unless you are one hell of a determined little dude, and extremely lucky. :slight_smile:

Again, I should not have called for “assistance” unless the Triumph was without any doubt whatsoever SINKING. These “saviors” can easily kill you, and will, unless you maintain control of yourself.

I met with the Coast Guard, and did a de-briefing with over 2 dozen of them in Boston.

The bottom line is that these tankers / freighers / AMVER participants are better than nothing, and they can’t be trained or pushed further, because they will simply not participate anymore.

So, if you think you need help, but the responder appears to be dangerous to your scene, tell them thank you, but no thanks, GO AWAY. I really should have.

I could go on and on, but fear and emotional distress and domestic dynamics were at the helm, not us at our best. That is a very dangerous combination, even worse than alcohol / texting / drugs… :slight_smile: - end of cut and paste

Funny how the sea state that he mentioned here differs just a tad from what he reported there! Also, so much for the Captain of the Tanker saying he never thought of that. This clown (no offence to any real Clowns out there) can’t keep his story straight, not that any of us believed his rants anyway.


Here’s a link just in case anyone is bored and wants to read some of his rants there.


Wait until he’s out and thus gives an inherent approval (not sure if this is the legal term), just like a person found motionless and out like a light on the street would give a person properly trained in CPR. You then have the green light to render aid such as CPR unless they have a DNR letter stapled to their forehead.

If I a reasonable mariner concluded they were still in distress, I would continue to render aid (which could include just standing by until they change their mind) and would document things out the wazoo. I’m not going to risk having a fun sit down session with the Coast Guard over leaving the scene if I’m the only asset there. He can and will be as big of a jerk as he can be, that still does not justify leaving them both there.

It’s very true that shock would come into it, especially on when scene. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt when on we are on-scene. I can think of my last time responding to a fire, I felt like I was talking over the P.A. like a little girl and I was not even the one to have to go fight the fire. And we actually had a very good response and kept an engine fire from melting down an entire engine room. Six years later, no. They no longer get the benefit of the doubt when whining about their cold hearted rescuers.


And he got banned from that forum for threatening people…

The scariest part is that some people might take his advice and then we are in a big pickle.


“The scariest part is that some people might take his advice and then we are in a big pickle.”

That is one of the main reasons I wrote the article.


I hope the banter back and forth here helped. It looks like eventually there were perspectives from several people with varying maritime backgrounds.



Yeah, murph - that’s why I started this thread here when I was researching the article. John Konrad (among many others) was very generous with his time and knowledge in advising me on the article - and many here were great about offering their perspectives as well. The AMVER program is an incredible safety net out there. And we recreational sailors need to respect what you guys do - and what you’re willing to do for us - and play our part in making the process fast, safe, and successful for everyone involved. Awareness and training on our side helps with that. Complaining about successful rescues, impugning the character of professional captains and crews, and offering dangerous ideas/“solutions” helps no one.


Another check would be with OSHA and confined space fatalities ashore, then comparing how many are multiple-fatality incidents due to a person trying to help their buddy. It’s not the same, but it deals indirectly with the attitude and mindset of the rescuers, specifically how that needs to be kept in check at times so the rescue goes off as good as possible.

And the rescuer does not then need rescue as well.


Needn’t be onshore. We have our own confined space accident/rescue mistake tragedies. This one is talked about a lot where I come from. Its terribly sad. I had my most recent fire fighting training done by one of the first responders to this incident.

D/L the pdf for the full report. Its 100 pages, but the last half is diagrams and photos.

Written in blood, indeed.


The complaining and character-impugning I generally disregard because of the source. It shows poor character, manners and form, but so what? I don’t get mad if a dog barks at me while I’m walking down the street, either.

What is dangerous is the idea of looking at most true lifeboats, meant only for abandoning ship, as a genuine rescue platform to be used as he saw fit. Worse is to go on ceaselessly about it to the point where other non-professional people, well-meaning but equally ignorant, might start to think it’s a good idea also. It is most assuredly not.

I can’t honestly say that it’s absolutely impossible to do it, and that under some extremely narrow circumstances it might be something that could be given real consideration, but those circumstances would be very rare.

Besides the inherent dangers of lowering and, especially, attempting to raise a lifeboat at sea, lifeboats, in and of themselves, are also poor-to-terrible rescue platforms. They’re meant to be boarded while still on the ship. So trying to use one to respond to a MOB/PIW-situation would be inadvisable.

Worst-case scenario is you’ve got a lost lifeboat & crew, in addition to the initial casualty, with the remaining ship’s crew now even more short-handed than the usual crappy manning standards allow for left to deal with it all. That’s not putting the odds for a good outcome in anyone’s favor.

And anyone who thinks that a vessel equipped with either a fast rescue boat (FRB) or rescue boat is substantially more fit to respond needs to get their head checked. STCW-approved FRB training is essentially a joke. You either have real training and substantial experience with at-sea small boat launch & recovery operations or you don’t. For those who don’t, which is almost everyone, trying to wing it in the middle of a crisis is setting yourself up for a possible disaster. Don’t do it.

It’s much better to spend your efforts and resources in acquiring and setting up the hardware & rigging to hoist a PIW aboard from the most advantageous location or locations, usually amidships or slightly aft of it. Scramble/cargo nets can be very good for this, amongst other things. Like the Jason’s Cradle…

Throwing life rings at people, especially from the height of a ship’s deck, is also generally a bad idea. Seriously.

Instead, use this…

…and you’re much more likely to have a good outcome.

Also, having a full complement of top-grade SOLAS-approved Type I life jackets for everybody onboard your sailboat, yacht, etc. is highly recommended, no matter what else you’re carrying. Make sure you have SOLAS-approved strobe lights of equal quality attached to them. Inspect and test them regularly. Do everything you can to make yourself more visible. Put extra retro-tape on everything. Make sure you have a GMDSS 16/6 emergency handheld radio. And sea dye markers. You just never know what little thing it will be that makes the difference, but every little thing improves your odds.

Assuming that a full or partial personnel hoist would be part of any shipboard rescue, making sure you have properly-rated harnesses in good condition is very important too. The aviation rescue crews will only use their own gear to hoist you, without exception, regardless of whether they deploy a rescue swimmer or not. But commercial ships and boats are generally not equipped for it. We can do a much better job of helping you if you are rigged up yourself, with lift-rated harnesses, in advance.

If you’re looking for anything more specific don’t hesitate to ask or just PM me.

Good luck!