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Platino report finally out


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Anyway I wanted to say I disagree about safety manuals. First and foremost they can create a better safety culture; Platino shows we need that. Second, they also create a line of command so that everyone on board knows what their role is. Third, they create a legal framework (Duty of Care).

 

Therein lies the rub Kevin, I'm not saying safety manuals aren't useful or don't have benefit. The question is around compulsion.

 

Culture is a difficult thing to define. More so creating a 'safety culture'. There is a reasonably sized demographic of offshore sailors who simply wouldn't read a safety manual, yet are objective and thorough with all aspects of setting up and running their boats. Its around applying a 'one size fits all' requirement, that will not have universal benefits. Examples of requirements that do have universal benefits are things like the need to carry life jackets for everyone onboard, masts that don't fall down, keels that don't fall off and the like.

 

The same applies to the sea survival course. I could be an overweight out of shape office worker that pays some $$$ one weekend to get a sea survival course. Or I could be a globe trotting sailor who is lean, strong, can swim a couple of km's and free dive to 50m on one breath, and scale the rig with his bare hands, but doesn't have the $$$ or inclination to get a sea survival certificate. 

I'd back the lean strong individual over the out of shape office worker in any situation (accept building spreadsheets or writing code, the office worker might have an advantage there, but in a storm on a sinking yacht, not so much...)

 

These items shouldn't be compulsory. They should be available at the discretion of the skipper, and the inspector should quizz the skipper to gain confidence all aspects of boat management, operation and culture is well thought through and thorough. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

 

Requiring compulsory items infers a high level of importance on that item. This can have negative outcomes for safety as a whole, and serve to remove the impetus of skippers and crew to think about situations and their set up. Much like how life jackets are now seen as a 'magic cloak' so you don't need to check the weather, sea conditions or boat condition, you only have to take a life jacket and two forms of communication, and nothing else matters, at all, ever...............

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Try writing a manual that will accurately cope with all situations at sea.  Basically, line 1 of the manual would say "Gain enough experience so you don't need this manual".

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Right on Dtwo. So you write a manual. Then you have to remember whats in it. Then you have to apply the 'safety' instructions to the prevailing  circumstances. Oops,manual didn't cover that scenario !  what do we do now ? Oh that's right .Read Dtwos first line. Then grab your certificate and manual  and hope ?

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No. Line one would say:

 

SAFETY IS HABIT So always do tasks exactly the same way. Even if it take a bit longer, enjoy the zen of safety. When you’re tired and in trouble, your brain will do the thing you’ve trained it for.

That is for good seamanship. And I agree, it is the foundation of safely running a boat. But it doesn't help when you need to think your way out of a situation.

Problem solving.

Thinking on your feet.

Providing leadership to scared people in challenging situations.

Remaining calm and objective in the face of adversity.

Risk assessment on the fly.

Applying judgment.

Assessing the best of limited options.

 

I'd love to read all of that in a manual / book. I'd love a reference, but I think some of those skills can't be picked up from books.

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Now I've got over the time it took to write the report,( thanks for the insight regarding the legal issues).  Its still such a sad happening even  now in retrospect, just terrible for all concerned.

 

 

 Its always the gybe isn't it. Witness the recent RTW.

 

 Every boat has its idiosyncracies but getting the mainsheet and traveller out of the cockpit on a cruising boat is well worth noting. This is from someone who has had 2 near misses on other peoples boats.

 

I'm happy with preventing our short boom mainsail ( which has its traveller  on the cabintop incidentally)   and like Willow  has pasted in his post,  it attaches to what I call spans, ( old classics here will know what I mean).

 A gaff span is basically a bridle  to spread the load over a spar ( a gaff in that case) but the same applies to a boom, it spreads the load particularly away from the vang area  where most booms break.

 I'm not averse to a boom brake either.

 

 But the other giant issue and I know it has been alluded to earlier , and in the interests of a reminder for all us , is that of the untried and untested boat going off to sea after a major refit where many of the systems were changed. I'm sure we all understand why  and how that has happened but thats the stand out for me .

It reinforces to me that  sailing the heck of your boat so you understand all its systems and foibles before you head off ,is imperative.

Totally agree, that was the biggie 

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Try writing a manual that will accurately cope with all situations at sea.  Basically, line 1 of the manual would say "Gain enough experience so you don't need this manual".

 

No. Line one would say:

 

SAFETY IS HABIT So always do tasks exactly the same way....

 

Actually you're almost saying the same thing. Habit requires experience, not just in general but with the boat in question. To me the lack of experience with the boat seems like one of the major factors in play here. By all accounts none of them had ever sailed the boat in more than 10 kts! And it's not hard to imagine that anyone with their level of past sailing experience could be complacent about the need to really take time to figure out the boat. The accident happened not much more than 12 hours into the only significant breeze they had ever experienced on the boat.

 

To me a written manual seems like one of the less helpful suggestions that have been made. Even if it exists, lots of people just glaze over when faced with written directions. And it's easy to check a box saying we've got it without it really having much actual impact on behavior.

 

I've posted the following before, maybe more than once so sorry if I'm a broken record, but to me it is the single most helpful advice about safety I've seen and highly relevant to the present situation. This guy is 75 and recently completed his 2nd solo passage from California to Hawaii and back.

 

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I'd heard about the traveller being removed from an arch and put in the cockpit too, but didn't want to say anything without confirmation. If only.

 

I spent quite a lot of time sailing a quite big gaff mainsail boat and the consequences of an unintended gybe in those  is generally the loss of the boom or the rig. That means you tend to try and run angles as a preference and certainly shorthanded or in a seaway. That makes me more gun shy than many I think.

 

 So again in the interests of learning from this tragedy, I think its also worth noting another  sailing policy for a cruiser in  heavier conditions at sea should really be to  crank off the DDW and sail some angle. If the AP dies you get a round up, not a gybe.( that is if you're running a main and not twins or just a jib)

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The more 'compulsory' there is and the more it is seen as 'pointless or onerous' the more people will do the bare minimum to pass, often without learning or even looking at why.

 

 

Interesting the report has had the names removed from it, I wonder why that was?

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I cant even read my whole manual for the GPS let alone write a full safety manual for the boat.

 

Planning for the expected is best addressed via practice and preparation.  Planning for the unexpected is both harder and easier once you get the hang of it.

 

On going specification of rules and regulations often runs the risk of creating a tick box approach and can stop people from thinking about planning for the unexpected, or formulating plans (in the broadest concept) for foreseeable eventualities.

 

Planning for the unexpected is about preparing for how you will make decisions about some unknown event.  It is often a missing component in crisis or risk management plans.  I am not saying it would have affected the outcomes in this case, as from my read of the report it would not.  

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Cant remember anything from frst day of two day survival course in the classroom. I remember day two realy well, hard work swimming with all the survival and wet weather gear on in swimming pool. Deploying, getting in and paddlling a liferaft was interesting.

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I cant even read my whole manual for the GPS let alone write a full safety manual for the boat.

 

GPS's have manuals. Ha fancy that, you can learn something new every day :)

 

I have all the paperwork that came with all my gear. 80% of all manuals of all the paperwork are things like 'This unit is not designed to be stuck up your arse' and other mindless dribble written for Americans. They really must be a dumbarse bunch judging by many of the 'Do nots and do do's' most manuals contain. 

 

No names, pretty obvious, to stop the witch hunt.

Hmmmm…… One wonders why a witch hunt would be pretty obvious. 

 

Cant remember anything from frst day of two day survival course in the classroom. I remember day two realy well, hard work swimming with all the survival and wet weather gear on in swimming pool. Deploying, getting in and paddlling a liferaft was interesting.

 

Snap, exactly the same here...both times. 

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This is long but well worth the watch.  talks about his shipwreck off NZ's north east coast in a Tall ship in the 70s , then onto the Solo Tasman yacht he built, then back to England and prepping new boat for Arctic sailing. No liferaft , epirb, manual, drysuit...I dont even think a VHF - but before you pooh pooh him for abstaining from those items, take the time to watch and listen to how he prepares his boats.

Im not saying he is right, wrong, or anything , he has his way, and it seems to work for him.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLMROWo1dbY

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