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Southern Ocean Distress

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Maritime NZ's Rescue Coordination Centre NZ is coordinating the rescue of a French yacht, No Comments, in distress, 750 nautical miles SE of the Chatham Islands. The 11 metre, steel-hulled yacht capsized last night and righted itself but has been dis-masted, taken on a lot of water and suffered, as yet unknown, equipment loss and damage.


The lone yachtie on board activated his EPIRB distress beacon - the signal was received at RCCNZ at 6pm last night. He has also had intermittent satellite phone contact with the French Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at Cap Gris-Nez, who are working closely with RCCNZ.


He is on single-handed circumnavigation of the globe from France to France, and is believed to be well-equipped and an experienced sailor.


RCCNZ has tasked an RNZAF P3 Orion, which will be over the yacht shortly. It can drop a life-saving package including life-raft, food and water, a radio and other emergency supplies if needed. Importantly, it will provide information to RCCNZ about damage to the yacht and any injuries to the seaman.


RCCNZ has also diverted a tanker, "Lindanger", from the usual America-New Zealand trade route towards the yacht. With strong wind and high seas, Lindanger is currently well over a day's sailing away from No Comments. NZ Maritime Radio is continuing to relay distress messages to any vessels that might be in the area. None are known to be closer than Lindanger.


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this mornings update

 

 

Multiple MEO and LEOSAR alerts were received for an un-registered USA coded EPIRB indicating a position in the Southern Ocean, approximately 750 nautical miles southeast of the Chatham Islands. Subsequent information was received from MRCC Gris-Nez that a French National is on board an 11 metre sloop that had dis-masted and was taking on water. Communication with the vessel had been lost. JRCCNZ have tasked the M/T LINDANGER, her ETA is approximately 0830 27 February NZ local time. A RNZAF P3-K2 Orion tasked by the JRCCNZ located the vessel and established communications with the person on board. The P3-K2 deployed two MADD packs to the stricken vessel, however she was unable to retrieve either. The P3-K2 departed the scene after exhausting its time on scene. JRCCNZ tasked an RNZAF C130 Hercules to the location. On arrival it discovered the French National had abandoned his Yacht and taken to a life raft. Communication was again established and an additional five MADD packs were deployed with one being retrieved. The C130 departed the scene after exhausting its time. JRCCNZ has requested a third aircraft from the RNZAF to arrive on scene together with the M/T LINDANGER to provide assistance as required

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in this case presumably they were presumably packed with gear to aid pick-up by the ship; vhf, epirb, food+water, flares?

 

In the Life Raft Bay at Base Ohakea, a team of specialists look after the AirForces life saving equipment and package the 10 seater liferafts that plummet from aircraft to boats in distress.
Whenever CPL Dan Peters and his three person team hear of another No.5 Squadron Search and 
Rescue, they wonder if their teams SRA has saved lives.
The Air Forces No.5 Squadron Parachute drops SRAs to seafarers or downed Aircraft when the vessel is in 
danger of sinking and lacks a suitable life-raft.
Peter's and his team assemble the 10 seater life-rafts, each with a CO2-filled inflation cylinder and two attached supply containers.
Wrapping the hundreds of metres of 
rope that tether the containers is the most time consuming job, before a further two weeks of fiddly, exacting work before the final product is ready to be shipped back to No.5 Sqaudron.
Rope skills-splicing to folding and wrapping- are essential but ultimately people's lives depend on the cylinders opening and inflating in exactly the correct sequence. Other specialists help: suppliers, chippies, avionics, armourers, medical and paint shop personnel.
Each SRA starts out as a basic 
inflatable life raft unit supplied by RFD. After minor modifications for Orion/RNZAF specifications, an extensive checklist ensures all components are working.
The team start building the containers and their trigger mechanisms. The SRA unit consists of three containers ropped together by hundreds of meters of coiled bouyant rope. The large, central container holds the MS10 Life Raft and the pressurised gas filled cylinder. After the main container deploys it's 
drogue parachute and hits the water vertically, an automatic firing mechanism starts inflating the life raft with the Co2. The gas pressure causes the containers expansion bolts to shear and allows the raft to inflate.
The two other containers, roped to the MS10 by the bouyant rope contain 
water, first aid, barley sugars, desalting kit, a Personal locator beacon and playing cards.
The cost of one of these SRA sets is approxamatley NZ$90,000, not including labour costs or the cost of deploying the Orion and it's crew.

The Airforce would be crazy to deploy one of these when not needed, so an alternative is the MADD pack( Minimum Aid Delivery Device). Put together at the Ohakea based Arial Delivery section, the MADD costs NZ$30.00 and can carry from 15 to 50lbs of equipment, eg, radio, water, medicine.

 

The packs are filled by the No.5 Squadron personnel depending on the needs of the search and rescue.

 

Often several MADD packs are dropped. For example, when a worker mangled his hand in a recent fish factory ship accident, the MADDs contained an oxygen tank and other life saving medical supplies.
Each SRA can only be used once, then has to be discarded. No.5 Squadron retains up to 10 SRAs, ready for rescue in the South Pacific patch. Each has a shelf life of 12months and then must be repacked and checked at the life raft bay before being returned to storage.

 

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f122/and-you-thought-your-raft-was-expensive-2675.html

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This mornings update. Rescued.

Multiple MEOSAR and LEOSAR alerts were received for an un-registered USA coded EPIRB indicating a position in the Southern Ocean, approximately 750 nautical miles southeast of the Chatham Islands. Subsequent information received from MRCC Gris-Nez that a French National on board an 11 metre sloop that had dis-masted and was taking on water. Communication with the vessel had been lost. JRCCNZ tasked the M/T LINDANGER to head to the distress location. A RNZAF P3-K2 Orion tasked by the JRCCNZ located the vessel and established communications with the person on board. The P3-K2 deployed two MADD packs to the stricken vessel, however she was unable to retrieve either. The P3-K2 departed the scene after exhausting its time on scene. JRCCNZ tasked a RNZAF C130 Hercules to the location. On arrival it discovered the French National had abandoned his Yacht and taken to a life raft. Communication was again established and an additional five MADD packs were deployed with one being retrieved. The C130 departed the scene after exhausting its time. JRCCNZ requested a third aircraft from the RNZAF to arrive on scene together with the M/T LINDANGER to provide assistance as required. MT LINDANGER arrived on scene mid-morning and despite heavy sea fog was able to locate the life raft and rescue the French National, he was treated for mild hypothermia and will accompany the Tanker to its next port of Punta Arenas.

(Duration 36 hours)

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