classic 21m US schooner NINA missing

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Titirangi, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    My mate PDW always said he would never carry an EPIRB on a trip. He said that it is the only truly responsible approach, to take on the responsibility personally, and not have rescuers risk their lives and time.

    The 'low tech' approach may have been similar thinking.
     
  2. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Ray
    PDW has an almost indestructible hull and will likely be a single hander. But if you have crew I think we have a moral responsibility to use every possible means of rescue in adverse situations. It's not very expensive now to have an Epirb packed in the life raft and the life raft on a hydrostatic release. I'd recommend it for people in older trad timber and any modern light weight unless it's well compartmentalised.

    A large expensive French catamarn was blown over a few months back by a gust in calm water. They were in cold water in Scotland at night around 11PM , the close to hypothermic casualties (7 of them) swam out of the wreck and were only rescued promptly because an Epirb automatically activated ironically from contact with water sloshing around inside the hull. They hadn't even been able to get at their safety gear themselves and had no idea the beacon had activated. Ask them what they think of Epirbs ;)

    These days rescues are fairly routine and the rescuers have good equipment and operate quite safely. If the service is there it's good to be able to access it. Rather than searching huge tracts of ocean for overdue craft searchers can pinpoint a search area and arrive on time. They still have to go and search for wreckage and recover bodies.

    Unfortunately a few people are very selfish in their unnecessary use of rescue beacons but these days you could be ruined financially through the courts for not carrying one if you as owner/master survived and someone else's loved one as crew didn't.
     
  3. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    An EPIRB is kind of superfluous when the limit of your sailing aspiration is Bruny Island.

    PDW
     
  4. Titirangi

    Titirangi Previous Member

    A FN Qld. ranger I know told me they have a problem with Thursday Is locals going fishing, they never take enough fuel for OB.
    At first they would call CG for help - bring more fuel until they were told don't bother calling. Then they started buying cheap EPIRBs to summon more fuel.

    I suggested an Orion aircraft fuel drop - 44gallon drum one on one delivery
     
  5. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    I thought NZ already tried this and the law was overturned since they could not force foreign vessels to comply with local standards when traveling to other countries. Within NZ yes but not on an international voyage.
     
  6. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

  7. Titirangi

    Titirangi Previous Member

    It was reported that MNZ was going to revisit the matter for a change of rules but it's not clear what the rules are.
    MNZ has this month prevented a US citizen from leaving Whangarei in his US flagged yacht for Pacific Is. The owner has been instructed to make repairs to his hull & rudder mounts before he can sail from NZ.
     
  8. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Hah! That's a very capable craft you are assembling.... You wait... :)
     
  9. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Personally, I wish that the nanny state types would just bugger off and find something else to do. This is why I've an issue with EPIRB use - it leads right to the argument that since people have them and use them, and rescue is expensive, the authorities have a right to protect public expenses by regulating the boats.

    From a strictly financial POV, this argument has merit. I don't like seeing yacht racers rescued at public expense either, but I'd bet that racing would be exempt anyway. So don't allow EPIRB sales to blue water pleasure craft unless they come with an insurance policy, don't go looking for people if their EPIRB isn't registered, and allow people the choice of sailing without one, as they have done for all of recorded history up to the last handful of years. If some die at sea, so what. They made the decision to take that risk when they left port, nobody made them go.

    I don't really care if NZ brings in the nanny rules, all it will mean is people will sail off without clearing out, just like last time, and that less yachts will go there to sit out the cyclone season in the first place, just like last time. It's an 'own goal' just like last time.

    'Solitaire Spirit' by Les Powles is an interesting read. He wasn't permitted to clear out of NZ the last time this stupidity was tried despite having done 2 circumnavigations, one non-stop. So he left anyway and sailed from NZ back to the UK non-stop. Quite a few things in that book made me twitch (basic lack of knowledge of nutrition being one of them, he didn't seem to realise he was suffering from scurvy) but none of those things would have been addressed by the NZ rules anyway.

    Mike's point WRT crew lives at risk is a good one. I'll have to think about that if I get to Bruny and want to go further, say Maria.

    PDW
     
  10. Titirangi

    Titirangi Previous Member

    Nanny state rules may be a pain but what do you think would happen if family/friends report yacht X missing and govt. marine agency said 'that's a shame' we'll give you the phone number to call to organize & finance your own search because the skipper didn't submit to a C1 inspection or have a reg. EPIRB or required liferaft/saving gear.

    I agree blue water cruising should come with a regional mandatory rescue insurance before departure clearance is permitted, maybe the Harbour master should hold passports against the insurance cert being submitted to stop uncleared departures or greater enforcement of transit log rules.

    I don't like govt. regs myself, had a gut full of bureaucratic ****** all over when I cruised, but if we don't have maritime enforced survey for all private yachts intending offshore cruising who protects the crew, charter guests children from irresponsible owners then organizes searches when it goes pear shaped.

    Maybe this loss and the resulting cost of a search may have been prevented by a simple mandatory inspection with enforced attention to yacht repair issues if required.
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'm against the whole idea of these types of regulations. On the surface they sound good, but curtailing freedom, even if it allows boneheads to no brain themselves into an expensive hole, is a not worthwhile cost to tolerate.

    As a difficulty for the cruiser or casual boater, it's not an occurrence that happens often enough to warrant legislation. I mean what's next - if you travel down this road, are rock climbers required to have parachute over a certain height, snowboarders only being able to come down certain, well paroled hills, kayak users only allowed in certain rapids and only with certified designs, etc., etc., etc. The moment your diminish anyone's rights, you've diminished us all to some degree and this is functionally wrong, in a free society. Yeah, it means boneheads will cost us some, but it also means we're not unnecessarily burdened, just to potentially save us from ourselves.

    In short, these types of knee jerk reactions are just a Pandora's box of problems. Sometimes, in spite of doing everything right, you still lose the game. Sometimes (the more usual case) you don't do everything right and in hindsight it's easy to see where you screwed up.

    In this case any reasonable cruiser would have a few, some automatic EPIRB's aboard. It's only a prudent, deep water mind set. Why they weren't on this yacht is beyond me, but this isn't a time for more regulation, so much as personal reflection, on what you'll bring along, when you're next in deep water. This is the whole concept of freedom, defending the actions of boneheads, even when you'd never do as they would, but helping protect the right to choose, if you so desire.
     
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  12. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Agreed, There are enough intrusive regulations already without putting more into place. Maybe what should be accepted is going to sea has an element of risk even in a well found boat. This by the way has been a constant battle one that Blondie Hasler was fighting with prior to the first OSTAR so it's nothing new. I'd rather people keep the freedom to make their own decisions right or wrong.
     
  13. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Nobody. I truly fail to see why this is so hard to grasp, even by people like you who claim to have a gutful of idiotic rules. Am I making myself clear? NOBODY protects you against the easily foreseeable consequences of a decision nobody is forcing you to make.

    If you sail for pleasure and you're willing to take the risk of sinking/drowning, why should anyone else stop you? As PAR says, we don't do this for other potentially dangerous sports.

    What is wrong with a 'living will' type document that says in effect, as skipper, I know the risks I'm taking, I choose to take them and I don't want anyone to come and look for me if I'm overdue? All crew to sign saying they take the same risk, or don't sail on the vessel. Part of a standard clearance out. If relatives *****, send them a copy and tell them to organise any search themselves.

    As for charter boats, now you are changing the basis of discussion. A passenger on a charter boat is in a fundamentally different situation. It's a reasonable cost of doing business to insure against rescue and carry an EPIRB to facilitate such a rescue with minimal cost if required.

    PDW
     
  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    All this 'right wing' survival of the fittest talk. Like everything, there is a compromise.

    Sensible freedoms, and reasonable rules make a lot of sense.

    Why shouldn't a country take some reasonable steps to mitigate against foolhardy travellers costing them rescue dollars ? Sure, dedicated contrarians can escape the net, but we cant tie people to a wall.

    Likewise, whats this 'nanny state' moaning ? Most rules have been created as a result of public demand, and public good. Ask an 'nanny state whinger' what it is they actually are moaning about, and see how little a deal it really is.

    The other night on TV, this guy building a big Mcmansion was having a moan about restrictive government charges while rebuilding after the bushfire disaster locally. When questioned, it boiled down to about $2000 of apprentice levies and special studies to approve his build in a bushfire prone location. About .5% of his huge build, that will probably require some long suffering volunteer to spray with water in 30 years.

    Likewise, EPIRBS are an efficient way to locate the unfortunate few who get nailed by unforeseen weather or circumstance.

    Long live the 'reasonable man' !
     

  15. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    We should all be able to consent to risk as a fundamental human right. At least for the individual. It gets much greyer for people you might have aboard though. They are unlikely to have your insight into just what level of risk they might be facing.

    Regulations people find onerous are often protecting potential victims that may not apply to the situation at all. It's a tough call for regulators really but boaters here usually are organised enough to curb regulators with good submissions and effective lobbying so the regs are reasonably sensible.

    For example drownings have decreased significantly in all Oz states with compulsory life jacket requirements for smaller boats. A lot of people resent it still but the generation that's grow up with it is very comfortable with the regulation. Compulsory Epirbs would decrease it further but they are not required.
     
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