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

 

Sail-World.com : Anatomy of a Rescue - and why EPIRB's are vital for sailing boats

Anatomy of a Rescue - and why EPIRB's are vital for sailing boats

'Am I glad to be home - Crewmembers from the sailing vessel Crosswave disembark from a MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter at Coast Guard Sector San Diego, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009. - photo US Coast Guard'    .

This description of an unavoidable incident at sea and its aftermath is a copybook account of how modern rescues should work - but the story could have been very different if there had not been an EPIRB on board.

They were a disciplined team of two sail instructors and three students from the J World Performance Sailing School participating on October 28th in the Baha Ha Ha rally from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. One of the instructors aboard the 40 foot sailing boat was Barry Demak.

The crew was sure they were well prepared for emergencies, Demak said, because they had pre-packed an ACR Electronics' RapidDitch Bag with safety and survival gear and the boat had an ACR SATELLITE2 406 EPIRB mounted in a bracket inside the cabin.

Fifty miles off the Baja Peninsula, the five crew happened upon a pod of humpback whales and were jolted by an impact with one of the giant mammals. The steering rudder became completely dislodged and tremendous amounts of water began pouring into the disabled vessel.

For 45 minutes everyone attempted to keep the boat afloat. Crew members furiously pumped the manual bilge pump, while the others tried to secure the rudder and slow the ingress of water. Although they were stunned by their urgent situation, the crew went about their tasks.


Traditional means of communicating their plight proved unsuccessful. They had placed Mayday calls on the VHF radio in Spanish and English but there were no answers. They were out of cell phone range.

Eventually they realized they couldn't stem the flow of seawater. Captain Eugenie Russell grabbed the EPIRB and brought it on deck and assigned a crew member the important task of protecting the EPIRB, eventually transferring
it to the life raft. Some minutes later when it was clear that abandonment was imminent, Captain Russell activated the satellite-detectable emergency distress signal.

Captain Russell went below to retrieve the RapidDitch bag and water already was above her knees. According to Demak, ³at that point things began to accelerate. Demak also went down below to secure additional food and water
and found seawater at waist level. Russell, Demak and crewman Ray Quinn went forward to deploy the life raft. Finally, with the deck going underwater, the crew went into the water and held onto the raft. They scurried into the
covered life raft, bailed out cold seawater for over an hour, took stock of their emergency stores, read the raft survival instructions and then floated in windy, high seas awaiting rescue.

'We were absolutely confident that once we were in the life raft, we would be located and would be rescued. We were confident because we had the EPIRB and because of our relative proximity to San Diego,' he said.


Successful ending - Crewmembers from the sailing vessel Crosswave and rescuers - photo by US Coast Guard -  .. .  
Around 2 p.m., they heard a USCG Jayhawk helicopter in the distance. The elated survivors used their VHF radio to make contact, and Captain Russell launched a flare. A USCG C-130 aircraft from Sacramento provided long-range
coverage. The helicopter crew hoisted all five sailors safely aboard for transport to San Diego, where Russell later received medical care for a minor hand injury.

USCG Petty Officer 3rd Class Henry Dunphy described the rescue as 'pretty incredible' because of how isolated the racers were and how flawlessly the technology worked. 'The first sign of trouble came to us from the EPIRB signal. As soon as we got the signal, we launched right away. The EPIRB brought us right to them. Then survivors set off flares and we went straight to the raft. Everyone who owns a boat should have an EPIRB,' Dunphy said.

Demak reiterated the importance of the EPIRB in his rescue. 'Without question, having the EPIRB and knowing how to use it saved our lives. Everybody needs to understand how to register the EPIRB with accurate and up-to-date information. Our actions and our level headedness helped, as well as being prepared with the right equipment,' he said.

About EPIRBs:
An EPIRB is a satellite-signaling device of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted and where the situation is deemed to be grave and imminent, and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance.

In most countries of the world beacons must be registered with the relevant authorities following purchase. This also aids in identification if the EPIRB is ever used.

The EPIRB used in this story was manufactured by ACR Electronics, Inc?nid=63784., who manufacture many safety and survival products including PLBs, AIS, SARTs, Strobe Lights, Life Jacket Lights, Search Lights and safety accessories, registered to the ISO 9001:2008 Series Standards.
.............................
Message from Reader:

Sender: Christine Short

Message: I couldnt agree more- The first sign of trouble on Andrew Short boat was the personal EPIRB activated by a crew member- no mayday was able to be sent as the mast had come down- we had contact by Search and resucue verifying details within 5 min- awesome technology

Related News Item: Anatomy of a Rescue - and why EPIRB's are vital for sailing boats
...........................




by John Bell/Sail-World Cruising

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=63784

10:19 AM Fri 27 Nov 2009 GMT






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

Click for further information on
Safety and the cruising sailor

Related News Stories:

02 Nov 2013  CYCA Trust improves search capabilities in Queensland
27 Oct 2013  Marlborough joins the NZ debate on compulsory life jackets
09 Oct 2013  Transmitter maintenance could affect BBC Marine Forecast
05 Oct 2013  World's most dangerous waters, by the WWF and Allianz
02 Sep 2013  Six basic rules for taking your pet sailing
21 Aug 2013  New Zealand's South Island better at wearing life jackets
28 Jun 2013  RNLI Sea Safety Guide - now interactive
24 Jun 2013  USA's Women Coast Guard - the effort for recognition since 1915
10 Jun 2013  WARNING against electronic flares
02 Jun 2013  Death report points to life raft stowage failure
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World











Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay












Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe fourth at mid-point of 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   


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 US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT