sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Floating yachts abandoned - the scene in 2011

Floating yachts abandoned - the scene in 2011

'Abandoned yacht, found, still floating, four months after being abandoned'    .

This is the classic way of abandoning a yacht - this photo was taken from the lifeboat as the yacht went down -  .. .  
Every year there are tragedies at sea, yachts missing and never found, crew washed overboard and lost, or yachts sunk and their crew rescued. Sometimes these incident are caused by the overpowering force of nature, sometimes by crew carelessness, sometimes by the failure of gear or equipment.

There is yet another category, where the crew is rescued but the yacht abandoned. What makes a boat owner/skipper abandon a yacht to the sea? The old adage is that you should 'step upwards when abandoning your yacht,' meaning that while the yacht is sound and not sinking, there is no reason to abandon it. There may be heavy weather and high seas, but they will pass and you will still have the opportunity to take your boat home.

Sail-World took a look at the stories in 2011 about the cases of yacht abandoning. We ignored all the rescues which involved Crew Overboard, where crew were lost, yachts were missing and never found, or yachts were towed into port.

We found that that there were 21 such incidents reported during the year (almost two a month) where the crew was rescued but the yacht abandoned, and in only ten of these was the yacht taking on water which could not be controlled. In one more case a catamaran had been capsized unexpectedly in the Southern Ocean, and the crew were found and rescued clinging to the yacht.

Some yachts ended up onshore through faulty navigation -  .. .  
In those where the yacht was sinking, three of them had been dismasted resulting in damage to the hull, and the ingress of water could not be satisfactorily controlled by the yachts pumps. Two had hit a 'submerged hard object' and been holed. On another the ingress of water was caused by the failure of a skin fitting which was not noticed by the crew until too late, sheer carelessness the unkind might say.

In four rescues, the yachts had gone aground, either through faulty navigation or through the loss of way while passing too close to rocks or a shoreline. In none of these cases were the yachts able to be refloated, and the crew needed rescue as they could not reach safety on their own.

But what of the other ten? And what of the broader question? When is it the right thing to do to abandon a yacht that is still floating? Is it ever the right thing? Are we even right to analyse these incidents to try to come to any kind of judgement? After all, who knows how one will respond when faced with what appears to be a life-threatening situation?

Plunging on and looking at these fourteen cases in spite of some ethical uncertainty, this is what we at Sail-World found:

Engine: three cases
In one case, a sailor sailing in the South Indian Ocean found that, owing to bad weather his engine had broken free of the mounting blocks, and he was worried that it would penetrate the hull. He set off his out-of-date EPIRB, and was rescued, abandoning his yacht.

In two other cases, where the yachts were within ten miles of shore in each case, but experiencing bad weather, an engine break-down caused the skipper to send a distress signal. Both yachts were abandoned and the crews rescued by the local Coast Guard.

Rescue of the crew of Sara -  .. .  
Electrical: two cases
In one case the yacht had lost all power on the yacht, and fearing that they would be unable to call for help once their batteries wore out, summoned help on their satphone. The yacht was in good order when they abandoned it in the Atlantic Ocean

In the other case, a yacht was sailing in the Indian Ocean and had an electrical breakdown. They continued on their way, hoping to reach port under their own steam but then were becalmed for two days. Finally they called for assistance by satphone and were taken on board by a merchant ship. The yacht, naturally, was left behind.

Weather: five cases
In three cases, the crew reported that they had been experiencing extremely heavy weather for several days, had multiple minor problems and could not make way. None of the yachts was dismasted, but two had blown sails. Seasickness was mentioned on one yacht.

In another case, the yacht was disabled with a broken boom by high seas and stormy weather in inland waters, and was airlifted from the yacht by helicopter, the yacht abandoned. As in the other cases, the yacht was still floating when abandoned.

Finally the last case is difficult to categorise, but we have chosen to classify it as a weather incident. This yacht suffered a steering failure while caught in a storm and the crew reported that there was water ingress, but it was under control. The yacht was still floating and still sailing until the crew were rescued by a merchant ship and the yacht abandoned.

So that was 2011.

Sometimes just scared and far from home... -  .. .  
I once knew a sailor and his four crew who lost total steering in the middle of the Atlantic. They sailed 1400 nautical miles without steerage, first trying all the sailing school methods, none of which worked for them, then steering by the sails alone to reach their destination in less than two weeks.

I knew another cruising couple who had keel and rudder damage in an incident in an anchorage in the Galapagos Islands. After jury-rigging a rudder of sorts, they sailed 1000 nautical miles back to Ecuador for repairs. Intrepid adventure sailor Donna Lange made a navigational mistake and beached her boat accidentally. Most sailors would have walked away, sobbing at the loss of their boat. Not Donna. She rallied local youths into a frenzy of activity, and they rescued that boat from the beach with some good muscle and her ingenuity.

Yes, sailing lore is littered with these inspiring stories of survival from tricky situations.

After sailing oceans for many years, and hearing these tales of the many brave cruising sailors who suffer all sorts of privations and still take their boats home, one can't help wondering whether some of the sailors in these incidents weren't calling distress because they were merely frightened and far from home.

What do you think?




by Nancy Knudsen

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92395

4:35 AM Fri 30 Dec 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
EPIRB's and rescues

Related News Stories:

20 Jun 2014  Australian rescuers get bravery medal for rescuing Russian sailor
17 Nov 2013  Saildrone completes Pacific crossing
08 Nov 2013  AMVER and the Liberians rescue solo sailor 700nm offshore
22 Oct 2013  No radio, no EPIRB, coastguard rescues worrying crew
21 Sep 2013  Called to the rescue - a gripping account by a solo sailor
08 Sep 2013  Never-say-die searchers for Nina find a new satellite image
19 Aug 2013  Could this image be the missing schooner Nina's life raft?
18 Aug 2013  Vital life raft stowage lessons after inquiry into fatal sinking
07 Aug 2013  Yacht bought July, abandoned in August, Austrians' Pacific rescue
02 Aug 2013  Teen tells of rescue as tall ship sank off Ireland
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

























International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


















International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top
PWA Pozo World Cup - Fantastic finale determines winners
Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1   
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1   
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals   
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature   
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.   
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   


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 US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT