sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : 'We're rescuing Santa Claus!' - the rescue of a long distance sailor
'We're rescuing Santa Claus!' - the rescue of a long distance sailor


'Gulf Stream - Easy Go normally crossed it in a day’s sailing, but not this time'    .

On November 05 this year, the coal ship Athina L had been called by AMVER to a yacht in trouble in their piece of the ocean. But when the Philippino crew arrived at the rescue scene, they had one reaction: 'We're rescuing Santa Claus!'

Easy Go’s Bob Groves - they thought they were rescuing Santa Claus -  .. .  
Admittedly Bob Groves, Ocean Cruising Club member and long time long distance cruiser, must have looked a bit like Santa Claus with his silver hair and beard, but this time he was on the receiving, not giving end.

The decision to put out a distress signal had not been an easy call for Bob Groves, allthough he now knows he made the right decision and is grateful for his safe return.

Groves was no novice sailor when he made the call, having made the trip to the Caribbean on several occasions in the past.

'I’ve got tens of thousands of miles' he told the Reporter recently, 'I’ve crossed the Atlantic twice, I’ve sailed in Africa and Europe and all through the Caribbean, down towards South America so, you know, I’m pretty familiar with where I need to go.'

But, he says, this time was different and the story he tells is gripping.

Groves left Nova Scotia on October 28 sailing solo on his boat, Easy Go, which he built in 2004, and a good weather forecast.

'The weather changed and I got caught in the Gulf Stream, which in itself isn’t too bad if the winds are right but when they switch to wrong, it’s a really bad place to be.'

He describes his ordeal: 'We (meaning Easy Go and he) found ourselves in very strong storm conditions in an area of the Gulf Stream with strong current some 700 miles off of Cape Cod. We were unable to work our way out of the complex conditions presented by wind over current after 5 days while steadily being driven east.

'We normally try to get across the Gulf Stream in less than one day. Early winter brings on changeable conditions that make this particular passage challenging, even for those of us who have done it a number of times.

'Easy Go performed well in beating to windward in 45 knots of wind for four days with the wind aligning with the current favorably. While rough Easy Go persisted. I was unable to cook or rest adequately in these conditions. When the wind shifted to NE and increased the situation became overwhelming with wind over current. The current in this area was running in excess of 3 knots.

Easy Go - Junk-rigged schooner, lost last month in the Gulf Stream -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo


'A series of small equipment failures (sails, electronics and water ingress), that in lesser conditions could have been rectified relatively simply, could not be addressed. My own fatigue and deteriorating condition was a major contributing factor. Making the decision to call for assistance while still afloat and with the energy to save myself was not easy but was necessary. I felt conditions would deteriorate further and this proved to be the case over the next few days with continuous gale to storm force winds followed quickly by Tropical Storm Melissa.

'I was just reaching such a state of exhaustion that I just said, ‘well, okay it’s time to get out of here.’'

Groves put out a mayday call via SPOT technology, which provides the position of the boat through GPS signals. AMVERS (Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue), which is operated via the US Coast Guard, dispatched two ships to attempt a rescue. The first ship was called Bishu Highway.

'Apparently, I was somewhere around 700 miles off Cape Cod, about 1,000 miles off Halifax so it’s a long way out to do a rescue and Bishu Highway came but it was too rough to do anything. So they stayed close by me all night in case I got into serious trouble.'

The second ship, a Greek coal carrier called Athina L, was travelling from New Orleans to Scotland and came 19 hours out of their way to attempt a rescue.

'So at about 5:00 in the morning in the dark I had this huge coal boat, 715 feet long, pull up beside me, in six-metre waves, 40 knots of wind and it took me a while to figure out where I could get up close to them.'

Eventually Groves was able to tie up Easy Go to Athina L. The crew of the coal carrier tossed out a cargo net that Groves began to climb but he slipped and fell in between the two boats.

'One of the seamen threw a heaving line to me, which I was able to tie to my body, and another one got a life ring to me which I put over my body and the crew just pulled me right up, about eight metres up the side of the ship and over the hand rail. At that point, when they got me on deck I lost consciousness, I guess the adrenalin ran out finally,' he said.

Finally safely on board the ship, Groves says he was taken to the ship’s hospital, where he was warmed and his vitals monitored.
'They took care of me for eight days, until we got to Hunterston, Scotland.'

As he recovered aboard the vessel, the crew not only took care of his physical state, the company that owns the vessel also contacted the Canadian Consulate to ensure he would not have trouble entering Scotland.

Although Groves had to abandon his boat, Easy Go, as an experienced sailor he still had his 'ditch bag' with his passport, credit cards, some cash and other forms of identification.

Ocean Cruising Club also to the rescue:
A fellow member of the Ocean Cruising Club who lived near Hunterston offered her home until he was well enough to fly home. Groves sustained internal injuries, 'a lot of bruising and a little internal bleeding,' from which he will recover with time, he noted.

In the meantime he is taking it easy and counting his blessings.

'This group of men, 17 of them, and they’re all from the Phillipines, is the best Christmas present I could have ever got,' he said, noting the men were incredibly kind even as they worried about their own families in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

'I have since returned home to River Bourgeois, Cape Breton where I continue to recover. I mourn the loss of Easy Go. She took great care of me for a lot of ocean miles as did her predecessor the first Easy Go. There was no insurance so the next Easy Go will take some time to come to be. Lost everything but my life; the adventure continues.

Groves says he is grateful to all the people who helped him following his rescue and for the friends and neighbours who offered assistance to his wife Kathy, who was awaiting news of his condition at their home in River Bourgeois.

Bob and Kathy Groves chronicle their sailing adventures on their blog, www.sveasygo.blogspot.ca.


by Des Ryan/The Reporter

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117611

4:46 AM Sat 14 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Michael Thurston, the owner of the Australian yacht Drina, sent us a message from Nome, Alaska, to inform us that he and his crew had reached the Pacific Ocean thus successfully completing a transit of the Northwest Passage. A late opening of the Bellot Strait allowed Drina to reach the central part of the Northwest Passage only by mid-September. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet departed the Cocos (Keeling) Islands this morning, embarking on the second longest sail of their circumnavigation; a 2350 nautical miles journey to Mauritius. Their stay in the tropical atoll has certainly been one to remember. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

World-wide the development of marine wind farms will grow. Britain's RYA is taking a proactive stance that can serve as an example for other yachting bodies. If wind farms could be an issue in your waters, its important to follow just what is happening in GBR. Speaking today Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager said 'The RYA will now be responding to those of the Panel’s questions that have bee ... [more]  

How to make a distance scale for faster navigation by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
If you are anything like me, sailing navigation can be a challenge when short- or single-handed sailing. But you still need to be able to plot fast and accurate positions for sailing safety. Here one little-known sailing tip used by the pros that will help you do just that! ... [more]  

The 14th edition of the Atlas also includes a new double page map of the Arctic Ocean, which highlights the dramatic long-term decline of Arctic sea ice cover. The sub-ice maps draw on bedrock data, provided by the British Antarctic Survey, to show physical features which are obscured by ice cover. ... [more]  

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteer crews from Flamborough and Bridlington launched the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 September, after a helicopter crashed close to Flamborough Head. Flamborough RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 1.45pm, followed soon after by Bridlington RNLI all-weather lifeboat. ... [more]  

On Monday 22 September the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea Doria, met the Chinese Navy ship, CNS Changbaishan, in the Gulf of Aden. ... [more]  

The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie creating a large, sheltered boating paradise of a harbour. With a string of well equipped marinas, a wealth of facilities and a very impressive yacht club, it has attractions for boaters that place it at the top of a cruising destination list. ... [more]  

Iridium have recently released the Iridium GO!, their latest product in the satellite communication market. It’s portable, battery powered, and creates a WiFi hotspot. www.predictwind.com!PredictWind!new have partnered with Iridium to put together a package catering specifically to the marine market. ... [more]  

In the early morning of Friday 19 September, EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra, came to the aid of a stricken yacht in the Gulf of Aden. The yacht had been detected on the warship’s radar in the early morning. ESPS Navarra’s Bridge team initially tried to hail the yacht via their VHF radio. ... [more]  

As their annual migration south approaches, sail and powerboat cruisers are stocking their boat’s lockers, checking systems and taking inventory of spare parts. But that’s not the only preparation these cruising 'snowbirds' will need to do, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). ... [more]  

Lost your rudder at sea? Michael Keyworth perfected a way to steer using drogues. To engineer this solution, he removed the rudder from his own boat(!), and experimented with different method, and has summarized his technique in this terrific article. ... [more]  

You scratched my seagrass! by Steven Katona, Newport, RI
Sailors for the Sea publishes monthly articles that translate the language of marine science into fascinating articles about ocean health. ... [more]  

Following a relatively short stopover in Christmas Island, eleven of the World ARC fleet have now arrived in their next paradise, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. From first settlement in 1826 by English merchant Alexander Hare, through decades of administration by the Clunies-Ross dynasty, most island inhabitants had little freedom or contact with the outside world. ... [more]  

Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood, from Wolverhampton and London, were in La Paz in Baja California when Hurricane Odile hit the Baja California peninsula last Sunday. It is thought their yacht overturned, and the couple have not been seen since. The couple is thought to have been living in La Paz for around a year. Mr Whitehouse is believed to be a scuba diving instructor in the city. ... [more]  

This might be the Texting and Facebook generation but boaters need to use VHF radio says volunteer rescuers from Weston-super-Mare's lifeboat station who rescued a yachtsman whose boat sank in the middle of the Bristol Channel and who then texted his girlfriend. ... [more]  

Earlier this year two men died in their bunks of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the highly toxic fumes given off from a poorly maintained butane gas cooker. The cooker which was located in the wheelhouse had been lit to heat the wheelhouse and sleeping area. A carbon monoxide alarm was not fitted. ... [more]  

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land and Arctic sea ice is the thin layer of frozen ocean water that forms and grows during the winter, and melts in the summer. Dr Jeremy Wilkinson from the British Antarctic Survey provides a scientist’s perspective on the trend for decreasing Arctic sea ice. ... [more]  

The Virgin Islands are an archipelago. That part, which is a British overseas territory, is commonly referred to as the BVI. About 30,000 people live in the BVI, most of which live on the island of Tortola. The BVI are comprised of about 50 islands the majority of which are not inhabited by humans. ... [more]  

Visitors to this year’s his year's Genoa International Boat Show will find the event 'renewed and more dynamic', adapting to the needs of an industry that is just beginning to see Spring at the end of a long hard Winter. Exhibitor numbers are up on last year, with sailing boats and small-to-medium sized motor boats leading the charge. The show will have a new layout ... [more]  

The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends
The Galley Guys hit the Vancouver International Boat Show running. All day long, we were checking out new boats, looking into ice lockers, peeking into storage compartments, seeing what’s new for gourmet cooking onboard and being forced to live on 'show food' by day. ... [more]  

Are you ready to enter that marina? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
Are you ready to enter that narrow canal or passage ahead that leads into the marina? Have you prepared your boat and crew for the unexpected? No matter if it's a brand new marina or the one you use as 'home base', docking preps will be the same each and every time. ... [more]  

Each summer, in a Canadian cruising tradition, thousands of Western Lake Ontario sailors join the annual summer migration to the Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands. ... [more]  

The RYA is working to improve its understanding of the number and spread of leisure boaters either using or not using AIS on board their vessels, in order to quality assure our data as we update the RYA’s Coastal Atlas of Recreational Boating. ... [more]  

Unlike an automobile, recreational boats have special safety needs when it comes to refueling. Stern drive or inboard powered boats have closed engine compartments where volatile gasoline vapors don’t easily dissipate, and older gasoline powered boats are the riskiest to refuel as their brittle fuel hoses can crack, leaving gas in the bilge after a fill-up. ... [more]  

For the next 72 hours the majority of the World ARC fleet will be moored in Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island. The crews will have been planning their 48 hours stopover here before leaving Bali so they can make the most of it. Christmas Island is one of the jewels of the Indian Ocean and has a lot to offer. 63% of its land mass is made of National Park which is home to many endemic species. ... [more]  

Three-time President of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Sang, and current mayor of Bora Bora, has written a strong letter of support for the Blue Planet Odyssey, assuring the fleet a warm Polynesian welcome when they arrive there in 2015. ... [more]  

Do you want to win a trip of a life time to any port of call along the Round the World Race in 2015? Great, because it is simple! All you have to do is design, scribble, write or draw a T-Shirt design and submit it online at www.ecsix.com/contest. 'You don’t have to be a designer to win, we are after the best creative idea that fits our brand' says ECsix’s Scott Vogel. ... [more]  

Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority
You might not be 'down under but here is a cautionary tale!- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is urging people to ensure they dispose of their obsolete and unwanted distress beacons correctly after emergency services spent more than six hours homing a beacon eventually found dumped in bushland on Queensland's Sunshine Coast over the weekend of 6-7 September. ... [more]  

Blue Planet Odyssey - We made landfall the morning of Saturday, September 13th at 0900 local time as we passed Race Point at the entrance into Cape Cod Bay. Since leaving St John’s less than one week ago we had covered 1109 miles, at an average of just under seven knots. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet made a great sight on September 14th as they sailed across the start line at the entrance to Benoa Harbour, Bali. Before leaving Bali International Marina, Arsa, a tour guide who had looked after the fleet during their week-long stay, visited yachts to perform a traditional Hindu blessing. It was a beautiful way to send off the fleet and a very special moment for many. ... [more]  

An international team of scientists, including the British Antarctic Survey, studied the geologic history of the area of the Antarctic Peninsula where the Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated, the portion of Antarctica that extends northwards toward South America. The new findings support the idea that such a dramatic collapse can be caused by surface warming. ... [more]  

Baltic 4 Nations - Next edition sets sail July 2015
BoatUS offers 'Boater's Guide To Winterizing'
Yachts prepare for second Atlantic Odyssey, departing this November
Thai drama with Phuket yacht clampdown
Marine Rescue volunteers in two searches on NSW northern waters
Sailing Rallies launch two new events at PSP Southampton Boat Show
World ARC crews in Bali
Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up?
Images of marine sunsets by Tripadvisor
Citizen science model proposed to fill fundamental ocean data gap
Africa-Europe Challenge - Three short harbor races to be organized
European Odyssey - Sardinhada in Lisbon for the fleet
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings
The Boat Cookbook
La Grace - Flagship of Africa-Europe Challenge in 2014
Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise to test readiness
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall at St John’s
18 anti-piracy weapons for ships to fight pirates
World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali
Governor’s Cup Yacht race - Great for cruisers and racers alike
Cowes Breakwater causes new tidal flow   
EU Naval flagship- frigate assist yacht twice maydays in pirate zone   
An offer a Galley Guy cannot refuse   
Dinghy Safety - More to think about   
World ARC fleet to enter Indian Ocean for the first time   
What can you do to prevent electrocution and ESD?   
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting   
Salty Dawg Rally Seminar Series planned October 8 in Annapolis   
Europe tightens up on skippers competency certification   
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail   
NOAA expedition discovers ship’s timepiece silent for nearly 200 years   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens   
A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6.0 now available   
BNS Leopold I to commence counter-piracy operations   
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'   
Wanted youth circumnavigators on a 'Voyage of Imagination'   
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a popular cruising destination in Canada   
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising   
Death by Dinghy   
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT