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US Sailing preliminary report on fatal yacht incident

by Sail-World Cruising on 27 May 2012
Low Speed Chase lies marooned on rocks at Farallon Islands after five crew lost their lives .. .
It's not for nothing that the ocean, the world of the cruising sailor, has been so often called 'the last freedom'. Alone in the sea there are no rules except survival and the satisfaction of a voyage successfully completed. But this freedom brings the responsibility of good seamanship, and anything that enhances one's seamanship is like gold.

So we look at the results below of the US Sailing review of the tragic sea incident which took the lives of five sailors in a race to the Farallon Islands from San Francisco.

The report highlights the necessity for keeping a safe distance off a lee shore:


The US Sailing Independent Review Panel has this week released a set of preliminary findings and recommendations from the research conducted on the 2012 Crewed Farallones Race that resulted in the deaths of the five sailors from sailboat, Low Speed Chase, on April 14, 2012.

The US Sailing preliminary recommendations are as follows:

1 - Enhanced training of sailors in seamanship and piloting, including understanding of wave development in shoaling waters and safe distance off a lee shore.
2 – Once-a-season training seminars in appropriate safety gear and mandatory skippers’ meeting for offshore races.
3 – Assurance of compliance with existing Minimum Equipment Requirements, including post-race inspections.
4 – Improved race management, including accountability for boats on the course, crew members’ information, compliance with Coast Guard Marine Event Permit conditions, and improved communication with sailors and Coast Guard.
5 – Consistency of protocol and requirements for all Bay Area offshore races.


A detailed report will be issued later in the year.

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