Jump to content

Solo sailor rescued off Raglan


Recommended Posts

Assuming a good anchor set-up with lots of rode length, it may just stop the boat. But it would have to be outside the breaker line. Once in that you'd be total toast.

 

The 20mt contour is about 2.5-3nm off Port Waikato so if you had the usual 100mts it just maybe enough but there would be a huge amount of good luck involved I think. If you had 150mts all up you'd have a better chance but again with the weather action a good lump of luck would be needed.

 

Fusion with 300mts would have a fair chance I think. It would all depend on slowing the boat long enough to get the anchor to bite hard and if it did that just how much wave action it all had to deal with afterwards.

 

Chucking it out should slow you down a bit so I suppose if push was coming to shove it would be worth a crack, it sure wouldn't hurt. With Fusion I'd expect if he dump the lot out it would slow him a fair bit, the drag coefficient of chain on a soft bottom is quite high.

 

Anchor off the stern?? I wouldn't unless there was no other option. When it gets to that no options left stage try anything, you just never know.

 

I think what Alan did was smart and well thought out. There comes a point where to much pissing around trying to save the boat will just end up killing the people on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Parachute I haven't used. I have heard of people having enough problems trying to use them when just practicing, let alone trying to deploy them in conditions like that. The other big issue with them is that you need to regularly check on the Line because the load is unbelievable and chaff a major issue to watch for. So that means having to go back out in the weather and the Bow of the boat(where all the breaking sea is coming over), often, checking that line. And hopefully you noted, The Parachute is deployed from the bow and thus holds you bow to the sea and stops you dead in the water. I have heard some say it worked well for them head into the sea and others say they still had the Waves breaking right over them.

A Drogue is deployed from the Stern and means you keep moving, but in a controlled manner.

An Anchor and Chain is fine if you don't have a purpose made drogue. Infact it always used to be a Chain used as a Drogue till the invention of what we now know of as a drogue. But once again, a drogue's purpose is to control the forward direction of the boat and most Anchors are on the front. The one thing you do not want to do is allow the boat to go backwards or you will damage the rudder. So that means you need to get the Anchor and chain down to the Stern and deploy it. Once again in nasty conditions, not so easy. If by some chance you did get it all hanging off the Stern and If by some chance you got into shallow enough water for the anchor to grab, I would say that with Seas of that size, you are going to do one of three things. Rip whatever it is that the Rode is tied to clean out of the boat, break the Rode or have it drag. If you had a drogue deployed, you would never want to deploy the anchor, because if it grabs, you are going to have the boat swing around and present itself side on for awhile till it gets to being bow on. Plus the chain could well go the wrong side of the bow as she turns and if will steel rod like tight and now under the bow and Keel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I was on a long-planned and well-prepared for solo voyage around the North Island. When I sailed from North Cape for Nelson on Monday, I expected to encounter a low, possibly a gale, so prudently stayed well offshore. When the gale arrived on Wednesday I was north west of New Plymouth, 60 miles offshore. I deployed the series drogue, and we rode out the gale with no problems. The sea state was probably a little worse than normal for a gale, as there was an underlying 4 metre swell, but it was no concern.

 

When it had become clear that another nasty developing low was on its way, my initial plan was to head for New Plymouth after the first gale and wait for the next system to pass, but on Thursday it became clear that I would not have time to safely reach New Plymouth before the system arrived, so was better to stay where I was and ride it out. I was still over 40 miles offshore, and on my calculations of drift rate on the drogue (around 1.5 to 2 knots) and forecast wind directions and durations, I still had plenty of sea room. As the forecasts kept getting worse for this ‘weather bomb’ system, I spent some time ensuring that everything was well secured on the boat – extra lashings on mainsail and around halyards etc. lashings across chain and anchor in the anchor well, dorades plugged and covers on below, shackles on the drogue moused with seizing wire, all the tie-downs in place throughout the cabin etc. etc."

 

Question: Seeing that the NZ West Coast is one giant lee shore most of the time, how come he didn't try gain more searoom before the 2nd weather system hit, especially as he knew it was on the way?

Please please please no hate mail as I am not saying this guy did anything wrong at all, and sure as hell blinking awful situation - just asking.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the thing we can learn from this unfortunate incident is that we should all go out and test out heavy weather gear in moderate conditions. We should all be aware of what we can do with our gear and then think of ways to mitigate or alter our abilities.

 

We should all be aware of what our leeway will be when on a drouge, and then consider how we could try to reduce that leeway to almost zero if we ever had to.

 

From reading this thread, he was making a considerable amount of leeway, in the order of 2-3knts I believe.

 

My wife asks why he did not rig a sea anchor with a storm job or such like. I can't say why he did or did not, especially as an armchair commentator, and I am aware that I'm not in a position of holding all the facts in one hand - or in one head. In these situations there are always lots of coulda, shoulda, woulda, and it's easy to have a solution in hindsight.

 

But I was very proud when I heard her ask that question. Especially as she's not done a vast amount of sailing, and far less than I have. Proud and comfortable knowing she would think of these things if I were lying prone on the cabin sole with a busted leg.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Certailny this event has given me a new respect for a lee shore and indeed what constitutes a lee shore. Anyone can get caught out as the late great William Atkins said "Never has man built any kind of vessel that will ride out any kind of sea. The sea is a most tremendous thing."

Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a very interesting thread as we were out there just ahead of him having come around the top at the same time.

 

I know the weather was crap and we were down to a fully reefed main and #4 but other than the sets of fast moving 15 to 16m waves that were coming through at there own angle and about 7sec intervals I never felt it wasn't sailable.

I guess the big difference was that we were 2 up and when we started taking on water with all the other problems we had the opertunity to run off towards shelter.

We did hove to for two hours to get some rest and found that we were doing 3.5 kts backwards and that was in 40 kts so unless you have hundreds of miles of sea room I think we would have been better under just storm jib along even if your only just making way atleast your not going the wrong way.

 

I have since looked at the data of that event and now realize what we sailed through, when your out there your just trying to do the best you can with what you have.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The leeway comments have been the most interesting and glad that they have been shared around.

 

The "what if's & How about's" would be a most interesting session.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That NASA ocean currents research thingo on youtube is interesting in regards to how one vessel could be in an area that has the current going with the waves and another vessel fairly close could be in serious sh*t because the current is against the wave direction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a followup I firstly just wanted to say thanks to crew.org members for your messages of support. There has been some good discussion about my situation, and extreme weather tactics in general, which is as it should be on a forum like this.

 

I have since been over the event many times in my mind, but haven’t really been able to come up with anything I would do differently in the circumstances. If the Westpac helicopter guys had not been able to get me off the boat, I would of course have tried something, but realistically would have been unlikely to survive. I have since learned just how touch-and-go the situation was for the rescue helicopter crew, and reiterate my gratitude to them as true heroes. The rescue will be shown later this year in an episode of the next TV series of Rescue 1, which will hopefully give them some further good publicity.

 

I would also like to give a big thumbs up to Neil Bailey and his team at Bailey’s Insurance Brokers. The issue of boat insurance has come up before on other threads, and in fact I changed to Baileys on the basis of positive comments on crew.org. The acid test of an insurance company is how they handle claims, and in my case Baileys and the insurer and assessor did a thoroughly professional, helpful and prompt job on settling the claim for total loss.

 

Following the adage of ‘get back on the bike as soon as possible’ I have just bought another boat, even though it was hard to ‘let go’ of Frolic III. My first priority will be to get out and about around the Gulf again with Kathy and family. I’m a fan of Alan Wright’s designs. After looking at several larger boats, I have bought a Marauder, which I know received some good comments on another thread. Mine is one of a couple of Mk II’s built by Hopwood Yachts, with a natty little transom-gate / boarding platform. The name will change from that which had a special meaning for the previous owner – soon will become ‘Korora’, which is ‘Little Blue Penguin’. I hope some of you will stop by if you see us out and about.

Link to post
Share on other sites
As a followup I firstly just wanted to say thanks to crew.org members for your messages of support. There has been some good discussion about my situation, and extreme weather tactics in general, which is as it should be on a forum like this.

 

I have since been over the event many times in my mind, but haven’t really been able to come up with anything I would do differently in the circumstances. If the Westpac helicopter guys had not been able to get me off the boat, I would of course have tried something, but realistically would have been unlikely to survive. I have since learned just how touch-and-go the situation was for the rescue helicopter crew, and reiterate my gratitude to them as true heroes. The rescue will be shown later this year in an episode of the next TV series of Rescue 1, which will hopefully give them some further good publicity.

 

I would also like to give a big thumbs up to Neil Bailey and his team at Bailey’s Insurance Brokers. The issue of boat insurance has come up before on other threads, and in fact I changed to Baileys on the basis of positive comments on crew.org. The acid test of an insurance company is how they handle claims, and in my case Baileys and the insurer and assessor did a thoroughly professional, helpful and prompt job on settling the claim for total loss.

 

Following the adage of ‘get back on the bike as soon as possible’ I have just bought another boat, even though it was hard to ‘let go’ of Frolic III. My first priority will be to get out and about around the Gulf again with Kathy and family. I’m a fan of Alan Wright’s designs. After looking at several larger boats, I have bought a Marauder, which I know received some good comments on another thread. Mine is one of a couple of Mk II’s built by Hopwood Yachts, with a natty little transom-gate / boarding platform. The name will change from that which had a special meaning for the previous owner – soon will become ‘Korora’, which is ‘Little Blue Penguin’. I hope some of you will stop by if you see us out and about.

 

Fantastic! If it's possible for a shipwreck story to ever have a happy ending, then this must be that story.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...