Hurricane Sandy

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Leo Lazauskas, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Bounty was near fully crewed with 16. She would have been better off with 18, but 16 isn't really under crewed, of course assuming some levels of ability in the 16.

    The original HMS Bounty sailed with a lot of "dressings", once stripped away, a crew of nearly 1/3rd her complement could handle her. The replica didn't need a surgeon, a carpenter and his crew, a clerk, a few midshipmen, nor a gunner and his mate, not to mention a botanist and a 3 shift rotation of able seamen. Once the dressings are discarded, the original complement of 42 - 45 is reduced to well under 20, depending on how cross trained the current crop of sailors are. So, she wasn't under crewed. The original Bounty was to leave a complement and sail home with the other half of the crew - around the horn no less. After the mutiny, Bounty was sailed with less then 16 quite well and without electrically powered equipment.

    Bounty's lose is sad, but inevitable once you look at the "incident spiral" common with all tragedies like these. It's quite easy to look back and suggest "this was the cause", when in fact, it was a combination of several issues, as it almost always is, not any single decision or fateful event, such as the generator failure or taking the inside route. Had they taken the northern route, the generator would have still failed and she would still have had difficulty, keeping up with boarding water, possably with the same outcome.

    A skipper's responsibility is to the ship first, not the crew Michael. The reason is quite simple, because without the ship you're swimming. I don't think he underestimated the storm, but he just got caught with an unfortunate set of circumstances. He didn't make the time he hoped, was slowed with mechanical issues, which eventually caused the ship of founder. All incidents like these, have a cascading set of conditions that accumulate to a point, where no recovery is possible. Eventually, the surviving crew will release details of the trip and the death spiral will be revealed.
     
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Classic heavy weather sailing tactics for the US east coast...Carolina coast ....is to get east of the gulf stream and its eddies as fast as possible.

    The area of the stream and the area between the gulf steam and the coast..GRAVEYARD of the Atlantic ....is a trap. You cant alter course and sail west or you go ashore, you cant alter coarse and sail east or the gulf stream will crush you.

    This is the reason very many skippers choose to sail East Coast..new englend..to the Caribbean via Bermuda and approach the caribbean on longitude 65 degrees .
     
  3. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    Yeah- why in the world would he have tucked into the coast between that monster system and the beach?

    Reckless, foolish or ?

    I don't get it.
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Again...on these classic ships ....their mission is to pass on seamanship that has been forgotten in modern times.. Storm tactics or Things like running east west across logitude or north south down latidude to eliminate the navigation errors and DR complexity when crossing at sharp angles.

    What lessons was he trying to pass on?
     
  5. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    I agree it may have been or was a combination of factors, the very same reason a Capt must carefully consider his vessel, its current readiness and his crew's readiness to sail knowing that 'hope for the best, expect he worse' senario of going out with a life threatening waether condition directly in your intended path.
    Regardless of his set course at some point he was going to be dealing with extreme seas and wind states.

    I believe as I said he probably evaluated then decided incorrectly the situation taking possible a calculated risk and the rest is now history.

    As you said more details should come to light with I assume a USCG investigation.

    My biggest concern when I got caught in the F9 in Aegean was springing planks. My hull is 8''sq oak frames with 2.5'' chestnut planks fastened with two plugged 4'' bronze coach bolts but I still worried/scared shitless.
    I know the Bounty had undergone a refit recently with new owners, looking at the photos online the planking and construction looks extremely solid & sound but New Zealand and Australia's coasts are full of well built sailing ships from 16th centuary Portuguese to 1900 four mast Barques to English built wool & wheat clippers that broke up in storms or were grounded.
     
  6. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    I will pass on complete hearsay.

    I heard somewhere that the course was dictated by trying to keep within the range of rescue helicopters..
    Odd way to run a passage- take the most dangerous route but at least there is a safety net.
    If this was dictated by cooperate- there will be a accounting I suppose as this all comes to light.
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Hmm...that sounds a bit fishy.

    Concerning helicopter rescue and seamanship. Some years ago we were sea trialing a big sailing yacht out of Den Helder in the Netherlands. Sea trails on a new construction takes days and days. Den Helder is the Search and rescue center. Since we were going out each day the authorities asked if we would permit their Helicopter Pilots to practice search and rescue maneuvers with a live sailing yacht. For the next week every time we would return to Den Helder from the North Sea Id radio in..a chopper would appear and the would practice shadowing at close range a sailing yacht. No rescue personel were lowered they simply shadowed the boat at close range. The lesson that I Learned was that communication between chopper and yacht is very difficult due to the intense noise. Handheld vhf on deck didn't work. You couldt undestand anything. Had to speak from the radio station inside the yacht to understand instructions from the chopper.
     
  8. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    A little cross pollination for the "arm chair experts" like myself..:

    http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=141131

    I did make the same passage years back on my Rhodes into a forecast low working up the coast- we got pounded for my foolishness.


    BRIDGEWATER — The captain of the Picton Castle says he can’t understand why the Bounty was at sea Monday when a massive hurricane was forecast to hit.

    Indeed, Dan Moreland postponed leaving Lunenburg more than a week ago precisely because of hurricane Sandy.

    It was an easy decision to make,” he said. “It’s black and white, there are no nuances with this. It’s a huge system and that made the decision very simple.”

    Moreland said he has known Robin Walbridge, the longtime captain of the Bounty, for years and he is an experienced seaman, but Moreland said he was shocked that Walbridge decided to sail, given the forecast.

    “Yes, I have to say yes, I can’t say anything else. When I first heard the Bounty was out there, I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ ”

    Moreland said there was very good information on the storm well in advance.

    I don’t understand this one at all,” he said. “This is a huge system, there is no way of avoiding this, there’s no dodging and weaving around it.” Moreland had planned to set sail in the Picton Castle over a week ago but delayed the voyage because of the impending hurricane.

    “I had no interest in going because of this storm,” clearly a large system that would have extensive impact, he said.

    He postponed the departure until last Wednesday, and then, given the latest weather information, decided to stay put until the storm passed.
    Moreland has captained the Picton Castle on five circumnavigations, and the tall ship has sailed more than 400,000 kilometres under his command without incident.

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/novasc...in-questions-bounty-being-at-sea-during-storm

    I agree with this skipper-
    This accident was caused by inexplicable poor judgement.
     
  9. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Michael,

    Communication is indeed a huge challenge under circumstances like these. When I was tasked to a rescue in foul weather I would use my handheld radio with an ear plug inside my dry suit which had a latex hood making the whole thing water tight. This was only to receive. Transmitting could be done from any radio on board. It usually worked very well providing traffic was limited to the select channels I had programmed the handheld to scan.
     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Whats interesting is that many times my crew will have to be certified STCW and attend the safety at sea class. They never mention to the students that communication...a very important aspect of the rescue ...will be difficult in the confusion and intense noise..

    I assume that the highly trained chopper pilots instinctively know this and develop ways to work without proper chopper to casualty communication.
     
  11. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    That is odd Michael. I would say the weakest link in most rescues I went out on was communication.
     
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Yes indeed.


    For anyone interested in USCG rescue helicopter operation there is a good..three part ? video. Ive lost the link. You can probably find it on Youtube. SAFETY AT SEA

    The video takes you true the helicopter, its equipment,its personnel. They tell you of the challenges the pilots face, for instance his visabilty when flying the chopper, winchman, the rescue swimmer, as well as how a casualty should behave when things go wrong like rescue swimmer lost overboard or rescue cable tangled in yachts rigging, chopper down in the sea.

    Well worth watching. Those guys manning search and rescue have a dangerous job.
     
  13. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    I just created a separate Hurricane Sandy related thread at http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/al...undraiser-hurricane-sandy-recovery-45365.html. If you have any interest or have a related suggestion please have a look and consider.

    Jeff (admin): I meant for the referenced thread to be inside of "Open Discussion: All Things Boats & Boating", but there's something odd about where it ended up. Please feel free to move it or address this issue as required (and to add an "r" to "you" making it "your" in the thread title).
     

  14. Boat Design Net Moderator
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    Boat Design Net Moderator Moderator

    It should be all set now.
     
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