sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Photo Gallery FishingBoating Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : When is the right time to 'abandon ship'?
When is the right time to 'abandon ship'?

'Abandoning ship - picking the right time is critical'    .

Mario Vittone, with many years of experience in the US Coastguard in being involved in incidents where skippers and their crews have made the decision to abandon ship, says it's not as simple as saying 'you never step off until you have to step up' and has these few words of wisdom:

No one takes the decision to abandon ship lightly, but I have seen it made too soon, and too late, both with tragic results. Most experienced Coastguard crew will agree that there are few absolutes when handling at-sea emergencies; you must consider all the variables. Loss of an engine 30 miles from shore is not the same problem as losing it 300 miles from shore, with a line of storms approaching. You may be able to keep up with flooding in calm seas, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to when water starts shipping over the bow.

Launching the raft and jumping over the side is the only call to make if faced with out-of-control fire or progressive flooding. But that doesn’t mean those are the only times to leave the boat. My colleague Dan reminded me of case after case where, 'We’re going to wait until the morning,' was the last call a captain ever made.

But what about the old adage, 'You never step off until you have to step up?' This oversimplified phrase implies that you never leave your vessel until it is definitely on its way down and nothing can be done. 'It’s the worst advice I’ve ever heard,' says colleague Molthen. He’s seen boaters abandon boats when they probably shouldn’t have. 'But I’ve spent more time searching for boaters who should have jumped and didn’t,' he says. His point is that human limits can be reached long before the vessel is in any real danger.

Ira Hubbard, the owner of Marine Flower II, abandoned a perfectly good watertight vessel in the middle of the Atlantic. It is exactly what he should have done. His boat wasn’t sinking, but after a day fighting seasickness and fatigue, his wife and daughter could only lay below with his infant son. In a matter of hours, he would have to single-hand his 64 foot ketch through a hurricane after days without sleep. If he hadn’t called for rescue when he did, the search and rescue would have likely been just a search. Stepping down into the ocean was a very good idea. If you’re thinking you would have done differently given Hubbard’s circumstances then you are exactly the kind of boater the Coast Guard often looks for, but never finds.

When It’s Time to Go, Go
Half-leaving the boat – staging the raft or dinghy 'just in case' – can be dangerous. If seas are rough, the rocking hull could ruin the thin-walled inflatable before you have a chance to board. If high winds take your raft after inflation, it’s going to be difficult - if not impossible - to get it back. In all but the calmest weather, you’ll want to go in with it. Don your life jackets (and immersion suits if you have them), send the final distress signals, grab the EPIRB, and leave, taking all possible emergency gear with you. Everything that floats goes over the side, too; the life rings, seat cushions, and even the fenders will all help you to be more visible, and being visible is everything.

* * * * *
The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and associated healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers.

Essential steps include:
* Wearing a life jacket at all times and requiring passengers to do the same
* Never boating under the influence (BUI)
* Successfully completing a boating safety course
* Getting a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons(r), or your state boating agency's Vessel Examiners.

The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters to 'Boat Responsibly!' For more tips on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.


by Mario Vittone, US Coast Guard


  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=122090

12:50 AM Tue 13 May 2014GMT


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













World ARC crews in Bali by World Cruising Club,




Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida










The Boat Cookbook by BoatBooks,










World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali by World Cruising Club,
















Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting by Captain John Jamieson, Florida














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
Coast Guard searching for two boaters near St. Petersburg
20 coral species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act
Shanghai to San Francisco in under 2 hours via supersonic sub
PSP Southampton Boat Show 2014 - 2 for £24 ticket offer ends soon
A case of crossed wires? A shocking situation!
How amazingly awe-inspiring the Arctic really is
New atlas provides thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean
European Odyssey boats arrive in Lanzarote + Video
Multiagency rescue at Dunraven Bay + Video
Canal Boating in the Alsace with the Galley Guys
World ARC fleet arrives in Darwin
Dangers of the Dinghy trip back to your boat
European Odyssey visits Porto
Timeless Tonga - Charter sailing in a Polynesian paradise *Feature   
A fine conclusion to the ARC Baltic 2014   
Where in the world are our strongest corals?   
Baltic 4 Nations fleet arrive into Stralsund City Marina   
Huff of Arklow nearing completion, expected on the water next month   
Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea   
ARC Baltic fleet visit six countries and six capitals in six weeks   
Helen Island, Palau -a beautiful and unique place   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Barnacle Busting   
From Penguins to Polar Bears   
Cornell turns back from the North West Passage   
A cruising guide to the ABC Islands - Spanish Edition   
Missing German tourists in the hands of Abu Sayyaf Group   
NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel   
Positive news for cruising boats in Greece   
Bivalves' ability to clean chemicals from waterways   
Are You Sailing with 'Weak Links' in your sailing rigging?   
Week-long cruise turns into 16-year round-the-world voyage   
World ARC fleet cruising the Coral Coast   


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 NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT