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Posts Tagged ‘rescue’

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Clean Report

With three breezy and extremely lumpy (outside) days of racing, 2016 Sperry Charleston Race Week will be remembered mostly for disasters averted, and the biggest was the rescue of Orlando-based J/88 crew Patrick Daniel, whose heart stopped in the middle of Sunday’s first race.  We remember when the Van Liews, Draftz, the Coast Guard, and Doctor Stephen Shapiro from Roper St. Francis hospital created the CRW Safety Plan years ago, and now they’d get to put it into action.  Spoiler alert for those who haven’t yet seen my 5-minute video interview with Doc - A pulseless, breathless Daniel was breathing and talking by the time they got to the dock to transfer him to an ambulance.

IMG_7429-1Mer and I were just a couple hundred feet away when it all went down, and we immediately motored over to stand by for assistance, but it was apparent that the first responder – and then Doc – had things well under control.  The crew had CPR already started inside the 3 minutes it took the rescue boat to get alongside, and the AED was on Daniel’s chest maybe 2 minutes later almost before the sails were completely down.

With a sharp uptick in racing fatalities over the past few years, it’s a delight to not only hear a story about a sailor escaping death, but to watch it all happen in real time.  It’s also a vindication of the hard and seemingly thankless hours that organizers spend on developing and reviewing safety plans.  Most importantly perhaps, even with a perfect performance from the crew, the EMT, the boat drivers, and the doc, there’s always something to learn – and everyone knows that had the fleet been on their intended offshore course, the outcome would likely have been much more tragic.

Draftz awarded Doc Shapiro the Jubilee Cup Perpetual for sportsmanship while the crowd gave him a massive ovation.  It was well deserved.

While it paled in comparison to the potential tragedy averted on the Wando River, the weather was pretty tragic for those looking to race sausages in 6 offshore fleets on a single course outside the Charleston jetties.  All offshore racing was shut down on Friday thanks to massive, and most of Saturday was lost offshore thanks to a nasty injury on the RC boat and no easy way to transfer to a medical boat in the big waves.  When conditions continued to rage outside on Sunday morning, CRW boss Randy Draftz dug into his bag of tricks with a long morning of calls to Port Captains and Coast Guard Commanders, and had the Wando River closed down to traffic so the fleet could move under the bridge and get some racing in.

Like pretty much all regattas in the US, handicap windward/leeward racing has been falling off pretty continuously for the better part of the last decade at Charleston, even as inshore one-designs have made it the biggest regatta on the continent.  Giving those six fleets a 3-race day in gorgeous Charleston conditions may have saved the format for another few years.  Given the millions and millions of dollars that the event generates for the area, we’d try to push the local shipping orgs for a permanent Course 4 under the bridge to allow another 50 or 75 one-designs into the harbor or even some handicap fleets if the demand is still there, but then again we care more about enjoying Charleston and sleeping past 6 AM than we do about having obstruction-free race course.

There are literally dozens of videos and hundreds of photos (including some nice work from the back-on-the-water Meredith Block) along with news from all over the place over on CRW’s Facebook Page.  And of course, there is a thread.

 

April 19th, 2016 by admin

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First it was Sarah Palin.  Then it was Donald Trump.  Now it’s 71-year old Bob Weise and Steve Shapiro, the latest morons to make Americans look like the stupidest people in the world.  Worse yet, like crappy sailors!  Title shout to an icon of the 80s.

Threads abound about this winter Norway to US ‘voyage’, but this one was first.

 

January 28th, 2016 by admin

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This Montreal cruiser faced Haitian pirates, dismasting, a punctured hull, 70-knot winds, and days of passing boats ignoring his Mayday pleas, but he kept it together long enough for this rescue by a research vessel. The video is a good reminder that just because you’ve been found, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to actually get off the god damn boat! The fascinating story is here.

 

January 9th, 2016 by admin

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SA’er “WHK” brings us up to speed on this near-disaster aboard the J/130 Solarus.  From the thread.

Owner Noel Sterrett and I are safely back in Newport, RI after a potentially catastrophic sinking of J/130 Solarus in 4,000 feet of water approximately 90 miles from the closest point of land during a delivery from Charleston to Newport. Thanks to Eric Irwin, who we contacted via satellite phone to arrange for an emergency haul at Ocean City Sunset Marina, and to my wife who, on 1 hour notice, drove 9 hours to Ocean City Maryland to pick us up after a harrowing ordeal that occurred while delivering J/130 Solarus from Charleston to Newport.

We hit a submerged object approximately 4:30am Thursday 14 May resulting in a hole pictured in the stbd bow below the waterline that resulted in flooding in excess of the capacity of the bilge pumps. We had water in the bilge approximately 6 inches above the cabin sole. Emergency Mayday calls were made on VHF and Iridium phone to the USCG along with activating the EPIRB. The life raft was brought topside with the ditch bag and was ready to deploy if we needed to abandon ship.

20150514_081315Fortunately, within 30 minutes of our distress call we had excellent support from USNS William McLean (T-AKE12) approximately 3 miles west of our location. We were able to maneuver alongside USNS William McLean who launched a small boat with a crew with a high capacity pump to dewater the boat, Once the water was pumped it was determined where the flooding was coming from. There was a 15 inch crack in the bow on the stbd side of the v-berth. The crew from USNS McLean was able to prepare a temporary damage patch by wedging a 2×4 against a rubber mat across the crack that was held in place by nailing a strongback to the support in the v-berth. A USCG rescue helicopter air lifted an emergency pump to USNS McLean that was passed to us that we were able to have on board Solarus to dewater if needed. USNS McLean also provided additional diesel fuel so we could motor rather than sail to the nearest port in Ocean City, MD to be immediately hauled. USNS McLean provided a shield from wind and waves and escorted us 20 miles towards Ocean City where a USCG 47 foot boat from the USCG Station Ocean City met us. Two USCG Petty Officers were transferred to Solarus and remained onboard with Noel Sterrett and I as the 47 foot USCG boat escorted us back to Ocean City.

Immediately upon arrival in Ocean City we drove into the travel lift slings at Ocean City Sunset Marina and were hauled and met by a marine surveyor. It was there we were able to asses the true damage. A hole approximately 2 inches in diameter had been punctured in the outer skin on the stbd side about 6 inches below the waterline. Since we were sailing upwind in approximately 8 to 10 foot seas, there was significant “hull pounding”. This resulted in a hydraulic jack hammer from the seawater against exposed balsa core and inner skin. The effect was it cracked the inner skin approximately 15 inches where it allowed sea water to flow in at a rate faster than the bilge pumps could dewater.

Noel and I can’t thank the crews from USNS William McLean and the USCG enough for their rapid and complete response that resulted in the saving of Solarus and our lives. They were professionals who really helped us when needed.  Once we decompress there will be some more pictures posted.  Noel hopes to get the boat repaired in time for the Transatlantic race in June, followed by Fastnet race in August.

May 21st, 2015 by admin

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Our old pal Chris Museler always has something interesting to share with us.

Thought this would make you guys laugh.  My friend and his 5 year-old daughter were playing around on mother’s day and thought of me when their lego session turned into this. 

-CM

For a shot of how the rescue turned out, click here.  And to all the mothers out there, we hope you had a great weekend.

May 11th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 9.54.39 AMWe offer our condolences to everyone affected by the tragedy in Alabama.  Huge Kudos to logtime SA’er “Puffyjman” for keeping his head on during the bad, bad times on Mobile Bay.  Here’s his report, and there’s plenty more first-hand words in the thread.

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn’t panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.
When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.

The sailors we rescued yesterday were all wearing PFDs, they stated that the two victims were also wearing PFDs. The chop on the bay was so incredibly steep that it may have contributed to them drowning as the water was constantly breaking over their heads. Ironically one overboard sailor survived a three hour ordeal without a PFD. I’m not advocating against wearing life jackets I’m just telling you what I know that happened yesterday.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

 

April 27th, 2015 by admin

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The PR folks at Crowley’s Vessel Management department dropped a beautiful if somber photo bomb on the web last night, along with a short report of their assistance to Rainmaker last month.  Meanwhile, we’re still finishing up the crew’s own ‘lessons learned’ from the incident, which you’ll see here soon.  More from Crowley (and there’s a closer shot of Rainmaker in Crescent’s lee here).

The crew of the Crowley-managed, 393-foot, heavy lift vessel Ocean Crescent recently provided assistance to five people aboard the damaged and drifting catamaran Rainmaker during a routine transit from Progresso, Mexico, to Halifax, Canada. Following a message from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to render assistance, if possible, the Crowley crew onboard diverted the Ocean Crescent approximately 20 nautical miles to the west where they found Rainmaker stranded with two inoperable engines and a broken mast, which had penetrated the forward port window and destroyed the vessel’s navigational equipment.

First on scene, Ocean Crescent approached Rainmaker, pulled alongside and shielded the 55-foot sailboat from seas reaching six meters. The crew also relayed communications from the inbound USCG helicopter and search plane to the sailboat’s uninjured occupants, both of which arrived on scene about an hour after the Ocean Crescent. Once each of the sailboat’s occupants was loaded onto the helicopter, USCG dismissed Ocean Crescent from the scene, thanking the Crowley mariners for their assistance.

February 27th, 2015 by admin

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UPDATE 1: Here’s a shot of the boat just before leaving the dock.

UPDATE 2: Here’s yet another crew rescued off the East Coast this weekend, this time from a Condor 40 trimaran.  Details in the thread.

Like a well-written tragedy, the story of Reg and Jason McGlashan starts off from with a feel-good, family friendly triumph and ends with a near-death experience.  From the Newport Daily News:

The younger McGlashan has sailed since childhood from the port city of Port Macquarie, located between Brisbane and Sydney on the east coast of Australia. He first set eyes on Sedona when it appeared on eBay, the online auction site. He bought the sailboat with a winning bid of $10,000, U.S. currency.

He already had a racing boat that needed work, McGlashan acknowledged, but Sedona’s lines were too beautiful and her asking price was too good to pass up.

“I like to shop local as much as the next guy, but so many things are so much cheaper in America,” he said. “A sailboat like this back home, in the condition it was in, would go for $150,000 American, at least. New, we’re talking $300,000, easily.”

Having spent months here renovating the ‘classic plastic’ N/M 43′ Sedona from Carroll Marine, completely done with all the insane snow,  the McGlashans set off from Rhode Island into the teeth of this weekend’s blizzard.  And a day later, with the sails in tatters, the engine broken, and no options left, the boys in orange hoisted the father/son crew through near hurricane-force winds and blinding snow, into the waiting arms of a MH-60 Jayhawk crew.

Another nice one from the USCG.  Full rescue story here, with pics. And a thread to talk about it here.

 

February 16th, 2015 by admin

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“The man bought the 14-foot dinghy on Saturday and then set off on his 3,500 mile voyage across the Atlantic…not wearing a life jacket, his boat had no lights and his only navigational aid was a street map of Southampton.”

Seems like a good kit bag for most major voyages, right?  But wait – that’s not all.  “He had a passport containing a US visa, hot dogs, beans and a bag of biscuits.” Hot dogs?  Beans and biscuits?  Sounds like a fine transatlantic menu, as long as he’s alone!

The Bulgarian man was not interesting in whatever the RNLI was selling. “When we reached the gentleman he didn’t want us there, he wanted to carry on his way,” refusing assistance for 45 minutes, after which “the crew dragged him on to their boat and took him to shore.”

We can’t be the only ones who really, really wanted to see how far he could get.  If anyone runs into this guy, let him know that next time, Sailing Anarchy fund your YellowBrick tracker, an EPIRB, and some extra provisions…

Watch the video for the full ‘rescue’ and thanks to Brad T for the heads up.

 

August 18th, 2014 by admin

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One of the most interesting things to come out of an otherwise uneventful Moth Worlds was their sharing of this poignant story about Hayling Rescue’s Frank Dunster.  For an explanation of this enigmatic subject, we go to the film’s co-creator, Jack Pollington.  If you’re motivated to contribute to such a wonderful effort, hit up Hayling Rescue on Facebook, and for more on the producers, go here.

This was a short documentary created by Alex Forbes and me as part of coursework for Farnham Film School.  Frank runs a completely voluntary, non-profit life saving operation from Hayling Island Sailing Club.  He is a vital part of what keeps that very busy and active club safe and running,  year by year, and in thanks for that, the members of the club contribute to Hayling Rescue’s upkeep in an annual fundraiser.

 

August 15th, 2014 by admin

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