News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int

 

Sail-World.com : Chicago Mackinac Race – The first report

Chicago Mackinac Race – The first report

'WingNuts'    Event Media    Click Here to view large photo

The Charlevoix County Michigan U.S. sheriff Don Schneider’s s investigation looking the double fatality in the 2011 Chicago to Mackinac Race was released last Friday.

During the second night of the race, at the height of a very severe storm which crossed the northern part of Lake Michigan, Mark Morley, the 51-year-old skipper of the 35-foot sailboat WingNuts, and 40-year-old Makowski-Bickel died.

The death of two sailors was primarily the result of blunt force trauma sustained when their boat capsized, according to the autopsy report, the Charlevoix County sheriff said in his final report released Friday.

Sheriff Don Schneider's investigation reports that both victims sustained 'tremendous trauma' to their faces and heads when Morley's 35-foot WingNuts capsized on July 18 in 70- to 80-knot winds. The secondary cause of death was drowning, the report said.

'Whether they were unconscious or dazed to the point where they couldn't help themselves, I'm sure there are a number of factors that contributed to their deaths,' Schneider said.

According to the report Morley was found vertical in the water with his head up, under the boat and the diver was able to unclip his tether. Makowski-Bickel was so entangled in the boat's lines and rigging that the diver had to cut her loose, according to the report.

The Charlevoix County Sheriff in the 150-page report raised concerns about both PFDs and tethers.

While the sheriff says PFDs and tethers are necessary safety wear for sailors he asks if some modifications need to be made based on what happened to the crew of the WingNuts.

'We're certainly presenting them, here's the problem, the experts can come up with the solutions,' said Schneider.

‘If you've got a self-inflating PFD, and you find yourself upside down in the boat, under the boat, that self-inflating PFD could cause your death, because it could keep you under the boat’, said Schneider.

When the boat capsized, its reported that the surviving crew had a hard time freeing themselves.

'That tether, particularly in a sailboat where you've got all the sails, obviously, from our investigation, were all getting entangled from all the obstruction under there,' said the Sheriff.

There will be more on this subject in the weeks ahead, but from the Sail-World editorial team’s perspective, one of the factors which complicate the development of quick release harnesses and tethers can be the need to release under high drag load.

It has been suggested that during the Chicago Mackinac storm, capsized boats including possibly WingNuts were being pushed along at speeds of up to nine knots, even after being knocked down and releasing a tether if being dragged at that speed would be very difficult.

It seems that a straight-bladed knife, the kind kept at the top of the companion way on most ocean racing yachts but not often worn by racing sailors is the only thing that can release sailors in such circumstances.

However such knives are required personal equipment for the Chicago to Mackinac race and the Bells Beer Bayview Mackinac Race from Port Huron.



Here are some extracts from Sheriff Schneider’s report:

‘The capsizing was the result of a severe storm front moving across Lake Michigan with wind speeds approaching hurricane force. The storm was well radio broadcasted by the National Weather Service.

‘The crew of the WingNuts was aware of the approaching storm. Armed with that knowledge, the crew lowered the main sail and relied on the #3 head sail to maintain steerage. The crew continued to prepare for the storm by dressing in foul weather gear, PFDs, and attaching their tethers to the boat.

‘At the peak of the storm, the vessel rolled ninety degrees. The crew was not concerned at that point due to prior history of the vessel always returning to normal trim. However, the vessel continued to roll and capsized.

’It is at that point when tragedy struck. It is reported by several crewmembers of struggling to free themselves of the vessel due to their tethers. The tethers became entangled in the rigging causing them to be held down under the water line as the vessel tossed and rolled by the wave action. The tethers had to be released or cut by a fellow crew member to free them of the vessel. This problem was acerbated by the pitch darkness of the night.

‘On the matter of tethers and the questions around them. Answers should come from competent experts in the field of personal flotation devices (PFD) and tethers.

The question was raised in regards to the vessel design and did this design contribute to the vessel capsizing? Again, that question would be best answered by experienced naval engineers with a specialty in sailing vessels.

Under the column of what went right, the crew had prepared themselves for the storm as described above.

This was followed by a team effort, after capsizing, to ensure each of the other crewmen was aided in freeing themselves from the vessel. With the exception of one crewmember, all of the crewmembers had donned their PFD.

The exception was one crewmember who had gone below deck to rest. Given the circumstance that he was below deck at the time of the capsizing, placed him in more serious peril.

By not being encumbered by his PFD, and focusing on the vessel instrument lights, it allowed him to find his way out from under the hull.

Had he worn and inflated his PFD, there is a strong indication that he could have been trapped inside with fatal results.

Five of the six survivors were able to climb on top of the hull to await rescue. The sixth survivor was too exhausted to pull himself up on the hull so he held on to the rudder.

The crewmembers using their emergency strobe lights and whistles were able to draw the attention of the sailing vessel, Sociable. The Sociable, using a life sling, was able to retrieve the six survivors from the WingNuts and later transported them to shore for medical evaluation.

The crew of the Sociable is commended for their valiant efforts in rescuing the survivors of the WingNuts.

Looking at what went wrong, we only need to look at two main areas of concern. First, no one would argue that the PFD is an excellent safety device under the majority of circumstances. It should also be pointed out there are many types of PFDs.

Each type of PFD has unique purposes and the correct one to use is dependent upon the person and the situation.

To make this point, look at a self-inflating or type 1 PFD. If given the scenario of being trapped under an overturned boat, the ability to escape is of serious concern.

The opposite would happen if someone was injured or incapacitated and fell overboard, where the self-inflating or type 1 PFD would be of significant advantage.

There is no correct answer for this situation. Armed with the knowledge of the PFD being used, the recommendation would be practice the ability to deflate the vest, if found to be trapped.

Second, the issue of the tethers brings about additional concerns. Again, there is no correct answer. In review of the survivors' statements, it is of concern when the tether becomes entangled in rigging or any other equipment.

Another concern is the ability to be able to unhook the tether from the harness or PFD once the PFD is inflated.
To be clear, the tether is an excellent piece of equipment. The user needs to know the dangers that may cause them concern under certain conditions.

Those concerns could be easily erased by a simple knife, conveniently secured to one's self, for rapid deployment.’

Commodore Joseph Haas of the Chicago Yacht Club, the race’s organizer, asked US SAILING to conduct an independent study of what happened. On July 28 Gary Jobson, the President of US SAILING, appointed the Independent Review Panel for the 2011 Mackinac Race, and directed it to consider what lessons might be learned and also to make recommendations.

The members of the Independent Review Panel are (Chairman) Chuck Hawley, Santa Cruz, Cal.; Sheila McCurdy, Middletown, R.I.; Ralph Naranjo, Annapolis, Md.; and John Rousmaniere, New York, N.Y. Each is an experienced offshore sailor, a long-time member of US SAILING’s Safety-at-Sea Committee, and a moderator of US SAILING-certified Safety at Sea Seminars. The Chicago Yacht Club appointed one if its members, Leif Sigmond Jr., to serve as the club’s liaison to the panel.

The Independent Review Panel will present its report to the Chicago Yacht Club and US SAILING’s in late October.




by Sail-World.com

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=89486

1:19 AM Tue 11 Oct 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


Related News Stories:

11 Nov 2011  Trophies and honors bestowed at CYC Race to Mackinac Awards Dinner
11 Nov 2011  Mackinac boat Sociable honored with Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal
30 Oct 2011  US Sailing releases independent study concerning CYC Race to Mackinac
02 Sep 2011  Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac scoring - Final results posted
30 Jul 2011  Chicago Yacht Club asks US SAILING to review Mackinac 2011
29 Jul 2011  Chicago Mackinac 20111 - Jugband - the race of a lifetime
27 Jul 2011  First Goat wins 2011 Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division
20 Jul 2011  Chicago-Mackinac Race—100 Knots and Off the Clock
20 Jul 2011  Press Conference with Chicago Yacht Club's Greg Freeman
19 Jul 2011  Chicago-Mackinac Race—State of the Race
MORE STORIES ...

Cruising USA

The Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race have announced the opening of registration for its 20th anniversary, which will commence on June 19, 2015. Supported by the Beverly YC of Marion, Mass., the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club of Paget, Bermuda, and the Blue Water SC of Boston, Mass., the race is open to seaworthy yachts appropriate for an offshore ocean race as defined in the USSER. ... [more]  

Just the thought of falling overboard scares most sailors into a 'stay-aboard-at-all-costs' mindset. And yet this most serious of sailing emergencies does happen now and then. Recovery will be tough no matter what the marine weather conditions. ... [more]  

If a car or truck's vanity license plate can tell you a lot about the person behind the wheel, what can a boat name tell you about the person behind the helm? ... [more]  

The Cauden Basin in Port Louis has come alive with rally atmosphere over the last week. Transformed to a vibrant marina with yachts dressed overall, boat parties and welcoming new arrivals has made for a great spectacle and an exciting place to be. ... [more]  

Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - to rid the planet's oceans of floating plastic. He has dedicated his teenage years to finding a way of collecting it. But can the system really work - and is there any point when so much new plastic waste is still flowing into the sea every day? ... [more]  

Tell me what self-respecting Galley Guy could possibly (while on the beautiful island of Barbados) turn down an opportunity to tour the famous Mount Gay Rum Distillery? For sure, not this Galley Guy! Sadly, the other Galley Guys did not get the call. ... [more]  

Nv charts announces the release of their newly updated chart set for Region 9.1, Bahamas Northwest, including Bimini and Berry Islands, Nassau to Abaco, and Grand Bahama, for 2015-2016 in paper and digital format. ... [more]  

We are northwest of the southern peninsula of Haiti lying within radar range south of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and drifting in the current in the direction of Port-au-Prince at less than a knot. ... [more]  

The 60ft Makayabella was stormed by elite members of the Irish Navy some 200 nautical miles off Mizen Head - Ireland's most southerly point - in the early hours of Tuesday, September 23rd. Five men, including the three onboard the yacht and another two in England, have been arrested and police are hunting for a sixth man in connection with the seizure. ... [more]  

A pearl among Gulf Islands parks, this sandy haven is ideal for hiking, beachcombing, birding, fishing…or just hanging. Sidney Spit is a park of superlatives. With the best sandy shores, the best sunsets, the best crabbing and some of the best hiking in the Gulf Islands, it’s no wonder it’s a hit with just about all who visit – for a few hours, a day or a week. ... [more]  

Vast, magnificent and remote, Prince William Sound offers the ultimate adventure for cruisers on North America’s West Coast. Few cruising boats visit beautiful and remote Prince William Sound. Some 2,800 square miles in area and situated at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Alaska, this inland sea has a coastline equal to that of Oregon and California combined. ... [more]  

Cast off on a cruise on someone else's boat and you'll want to remember to pack those basic essentials that form the foundation of your personal 'sailing ditty bag'. Each sailor will have their own ideas of the best gear to bring aboard. But here are some pieces of gear I've found to come in handy time and again, day after day. ... [more]  

This was our eleventh Malacca Straits passage, and it turned out to be just like some of the others - a pain in the neck. Keeping in mind that the boat hadn't been actively used for fifteen months, we started cautiously with a 40 mile passage from Singapore to Pulau Pisang. ... [more]  

The Marion Bermuda Race and Harraseeket Yacht Club are thrilled to announce a cruising yacht rally from Maine to Marion in advance of the 2015 Marion to Bermuda race. Called the M2M2B, the rally will be an enjoyable and convenient way for Maine-based yacht skippers to sail from Maine to Marion, MA as they stage their boats for the 2015 Marion-Bermuda race. ... [more]  

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) revealed in a peer-reviewed journal, PLoS One on October 9th that inshore reefs are particularly vulnerable to Ocean Acidification (OA)* on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). 'We found that inshore reefs were particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA) during the wet season. ... [more]  

Estimating the diversity of life by Australian Institute of Marine Science
How many species are on Earth? Answering this simple question is not easy, but essential if we are to understand impacts of global change and manage environmental resources successfully. Without baseline knowledge of how many we have or what we have in different places, how do we know what we have lost, or might lose and how do we manage these natural resources to minimise extinctions? ... [more]  

NOAA, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, will manage the historic wreck of Diamond Shoal Lightship No. 71, the only American lightship to be sunk by enemy action during World War I. The two agencies signed a formal agreement between NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Coast Guard’s Historian's Office last month. ... [more]  

A British couple was rescued off Spain's Almeria coast after their 21.6m yacht caught fire. The Coastguard and the 112 Emergency Coordination Service received several reports of a flare going up 12 nautical miles east of Carboneras at 11:30pm on Saturday. ... [more]  

We sail with just two crew most times, so it was amazing to visit a vessel with a ship's crew of 3000, plus another 3000 'passengers' being the various air wing teams deployed aboard. That's 6000 people on a ship that is 1000' long, and displaces 192,900 tons. ... [more]  

Nature’s Own founder Vaughan Bullivant had previously hoped to get around $65 million for the Daydream Island resort he paid $25 million for in 2000. But with his health deteriorating and the island failing to sell in two years, agents have convinced Mr Bullivant to lower his expectations — and the price — to about $30 million. ... [more]  

After sailing approximately 2350 nautical miles, the first of the World ARC fleet has arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius. Nexus, the 17.90 meter Semi Custom Catamaran skippered by Russell Owen, arrived today in the late afternoon. Completing the passage in 13 days, a warm welcome ashore greeted them with offerings of fruit and rum! ... [more]  

A new research project being run by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) with the support of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is exploring attitudes towards risk and safety, and the various ways yacht sailors participate in their sport. ... [more]  

Will your lifelines pass this sailing test? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
Most production sailboats have lifelines these days, but just how safe are they. Would they keep your sailing crew or partner, spouse or family members safe in all sailing weather-fair or foul? Put your lifelines to the test today with these five easy sailing tips. ... [more]  

After her gruelling and eventful maiden voyage of over 8000 miles, Aventura was left in the care of the New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, R.I., to give her a thorough service before being exhibited at the Annapolis boat show. With everything done on time, my crew joined me last Saturday ready for the passage to Annapolis. ... [more]  

Super Typhoon Vongfong reached sustained winds of 155 mph (250 km/h) this morning (Oct. 7), with gusts of up to 190 mph (306 km/h), according to the U.S Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. ... [more]  

The Commander in charge of the warship that helped rescue a stricken sailor says she is proud of her company. Conditions during the drama, which began with a May Day distress call on Monday afternoon, were intense, with heavy rain, wind, little light and an incoming electrical storm. ... [more]  

Earth Wind Map - with typhoons by Sail-World Cruising
The Earth Wind Map is an amazing project to visualize global weather conditions carried out by Tokyo based software engineer Cameron Beccario, resulting in a beautifully mesmerising depiction of the earth's winds. Weather data is produced by the Global Forecast System (GFS), operated by the US National Weather Service. Forecasts are produced four times daily and made available for download from NO ... [more]  

For the first time, scientists have used an unmanned aerial vehicle to study killer whales from above. The device they're using is a remote-controlled hexacopter with a high-resolution camera mounted in its belly, and the photos it produces are beautiful and full of detail. The images offer an entirely new view of this species. ... [more]  

Having taken Operation Command of the EU Naval Force at the end of August, a priority for Major General Martin Smith MBE was to visit the Horn of Africa and the east African region to strengthen ties with the EU’s partners and highlight EU Naval Force’s commitment in the fight against Somali piracy. ... [more]  

Since leaving the paradise of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands exactly one week ago, the World ARC fleet have made good progress towards their next destination of Port Louis, located on the western coast of Mauritius. Awaiting the fleet is a beautiful island with its blend of diverse cultures and religions including Hindus, Creole, Chinese, Muslims and Europeans. ... [more]  

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers are part of a collaborative effort to understand and monitor changes in marine biodiversity within U.S. coastal waters. Marine biodiversity is a key indicator of ocean health and critical to sustaining natural resources such as fisheries. ... [more]  

In preparation for his forthcoming circumnavigation with the Blue Planet Odyssey round the world rally, Jimmy Cornell completed this summer a grueling test of his new 45 foot Aventura, an Exploration 45 aluminum centreboard yacht built by Garcia Yachting in France. ... [more]  

Join Andy Schell and Mia Karlsson, event managers at our World Cruising Club USA base, for the 45th edition of the Annapolis Sailboat Show. For the first time, WCC USA will be featuring a boat in the show (in lieu of a booth this year), to demonstrate what it takes to make a classic cruiser into a proven bluewater voyager. ... [more]  

Canadian shipwreck discovery solves 170-year-old mystery
British couple help stranded Syrian refugees to safety
Blue Planet Odyssey yacht completes Northwest Passage transit
World ARC fleet embarks on leg 11, across the Indian Ocean
Pantaenius and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas become strategic partners
How to make a distance scale for faster navigation
New maps of the polar regions reveal unseen world beneath the ice
Naval Commanders talk on-going piracy threat at sea
Erie, Pennsylvania - Small place, big boating
EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra aids yacht in the Gulf of Aden
Insurance, towing and safety 'provisions' reminder for snowbirds
A guide to steering without a rudder + Video - a must read and watch!!
You scratched my seagrass!
Cocos Keeling Islands - Yet another paradise for the World ARC fleet
Hurricane Odile: Two Brits missing in Mexico after yacht overturns
Sailor texts girlfriend for help after yacht sinks in Bristol Channel
Gas safety: don’t let it go off the boil
Arctic sea ice summer minimum 2014: A scientific perspective
British Virgin Islands, a taste of Caribbean cruising
The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show
Are you ready to enter that marina?   
Cruising the Bay of Quinte and Thousand Islands   
Ten safe and clean refueling tips for boaters   
World ARC fleet moored at Christmas Island   
Blue Planet Odyssey welcomed to Bora Bora   
Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall in the US   
World ARC fleet bids farewell to Bali   
Antarctic Team discovers mechanism for massive ice shelf collapse   
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   
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   
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings   
The Boat Cookbook   


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  

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 USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT