Collision during Newport-Ensenada Race

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Doug Lord, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    -from SA & MSNBC and other sources:

    Wreckage of the Aegean (a Hunter 376) and three of the four crewmen's bodies have been found. Search initiated after they disappeared from the race tracking system. Suspect a "collision with a much larger vessel". Winds and swells were reported to have been light.

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2...ent-during-newport-ensenada-sailing-race?lite
    http://www.sfgate.co...51D25.DTL&tsp=1
    http://www.latimes.c...0,7059481.story
    http://www.foxnews.c...nia-yacht-race/

    Rich Roberts:
    http://www.thedailys...t-ensenada-race
     
  2. Earl Boebert
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    Earl Boebert Senior Member

    Best estimate now is that it wasn't a collision, but a grounding on North Coronado island. Tracking system on board (SPOT) shows them going straight into it. Estimated point of impact is a rock cliff. Looong thread on Sailing Anarchy, plus article on front page.

    Earl
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    More from Scuttlebutt, including the plots:

    SPOT TRACKING

    Tracking devices has gained acceptance in the sport, providing online
    updates of competing boats in a race. These trackers are provided by the
    race organizer, but the option of tracking exists for personal use too.
    From backpackers to offroad enthusiasts, pilots to snowmobilers, the safety
    of carrying a tracking device is available for purchase from most
    electronic retailers.

    Sorting through the tragic incident involving a 37-foot Hunter 376 Aegean
    during the Newport to Ensenada Race, it was learned they were caring a
    personal SPOT tracker. The final moments of their race clearly show on
    Google Maps their path sent them directly into North Coronado Island, one
    of four islands 8 miles off the northwest coast of the Mexican state of
    Baja California.

    Aegean was entered in the cruising division which allowed motoring. Their
    progress, presumably under sail, had slowed by Friday evening. Just before
    10pm, their progress increased, presumably now under power, and remained
    steady until the tracker stopped at the Coronados at 1:36am on Saturday.

    "From their SPOT position reports," explained San Diego navigator Artie
    Means, "I was able to plot their coordinates and determine their speed.
    Looking at this track, it appears they drove right into North Coronado.
    Pretty consistent course and velocity (+/- 7 knots), and definitely in one
    piece under motor until it stopped."

    While that would seemingly end the mystery, and dispute the theory that
    Aegean collided with a large ship, questions remain about the condition of
    the boat and bodies. Eric Lamb, Master Captain for Vessel Assist, was the
    first to find the wreckage Saturday morning, describing how it looked as if
    the boat had "gone through a blender" - too small to suggest a collision
    with rocks.

    The San Diego County medical examiner said Monday night that Kevin Eric
    Rudolph, 53, of Manhattan Beach, died of blunt force injuries to his head
    and neck; William Reed Johnson Jr., 57, of Torrance, Calif., died of
    multiple blunt force injuries; and Joseph Lester Stewart, 64, of Bradenton,
    Fla., drowned. The boat's skipper was missing.

    So the question remains...with winds under five knots, could a collision
    with the island cause such a significant result?

    Artie's plots:
    http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=13678#13678

    Race Tracker from SA front page-
    click on image:
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Earl Boebert
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Albuquerque NM USA

    Earl Boebert Senior Member

    Heavy swell (estimates 4-8 feet), vertical rock face, lightly constructed boat. Debris field sighted after boat pounded to pieces. Very sad.

    Earl
     
  5. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    -------------------
    Sure is. I read somewhere that they were in the cruiser division that allowed the motor to run and that there was evidence on the tracking that they had started the thing and were doing 7 knots when they hit the rock....
     
  6. Earl Boebert
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    Location: Albuquerque NM USA

    Earl Boebert Senior Member

    Last body finally recovered by fishermen. Most plausible explanation is that the skipper (the one just recovered) was standing solo watch while others slept below and fell overboard. The boat was running under power and on autopilot and went straight for the rock. Since it is unlikely (although possible) that the skipper would have set a waypoint on the rock, an alternate explanation is that the waypoint was set for the destination at Ensenada while the electronic chart was zoomed out to a degree that made the rocks invisible. Thus no one noticed the track went through them.

    Earl
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Thanks-what a shame.....
     

  8. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Follow up on "SPOT" from Scuttlebut tonight:

    AEGEAN SPOT DISTRESS SIGNAL DETAILS EMERGE

    By Darrell Nicholson, Practical Sailor
    If you recently bought a SPOT Connect for its distress calling capability,
    or are looking at similar satellite messaging devices such as the SPOT
    Messenger, DeLorme InReach, or Briartek Cerberus, you'll want to read our
    upcoming report on the tragic April 28 accident involving the Hunter 376
    Aegean during the Newport to Ensenada Race.

    When we first reviewed the SPOT Messenger (Sept. 2008), we raised concerns
    about introducing a private distress monitoring service into the
    search-and-rescue equation. Unlike a 406 EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon
    (PLB), the SPOT "SOS" distress signal is not part of the Global Maritime
    Distress Safety System (GMDSS) that relays distress signals directly to
    search-and-rescue agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard. The SPOT signal
    goes to GEOS Alliance, a monitoring service based in Houston, Texas, which
    follows its own response protocol.

    According to the SPOT website, if a distress call is made using the SOS
    function on a SPOT device, GEOS Alliance's Emergency Response Center
    "notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location
    and personal information." In case the SPOT cannot acquire its location
    from the GPS network, "it will still attempt to send a distress signal -
    without exact location - to GEOS, which will still notify your contacts of
    the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages."

    While reading about the Aegean accident, in which four sailors died when
    their boat reportedly sailed into rocky Coronado Island sometime around
    1:30 a.m. on April 28, I began to wonder: What would happen if a SPOT
    distress alert had no position, but the SPOT's approximate location was
    known through tracking data? And what would happen if the SPOT's track
    clearly indicated danger - say, a sailboat plowing into rocky island off
    the coast of Mexico?

    Would that then merit a call to the Coast Guard?

    Apparently not.

    Sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, the SPOT device owned by Theo
    Mavromatis, the registered skipper of the Aegean, sent out a distress
    signal that was received by GEOS Alliance. According to one person I spoke
    with who is familiar with the incident, "there is no question that this was
    a distress signal sent by a person."

    Although the distress signal had no position data, Mavromatis had
    programmed the device to report his position every 10 minutes so that
    family could track the boat. Shortly after the distress signal went out,
    Mavromatis' wife, Loren, received a phone call from GEOS Alliance. She was
    asleep, so the report of the distress signal from her husband's SPOT went
    to voicemail. For several hours after that, it appears that there was no
    effort made by the monitoring agency to contact the U.S. Coast Guard or to
    confirm the distress alert, even though boat's track clearly indicated
    trouble.
    -- Read on: http://www.practical-sailor.com/blog/-10824-1.html
     
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