sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : One sailing incident and the lessons learned
One sailing incident and the lessons learned

'Sailing double-handed has its own challenges - whether racing or cruising, whether for a day or a month'    .

One of the most heart-warming aspects of all sailing is the incredible cooperation and transfer of knowledge between sailors. Last year there was a serious incident during the Newport Bermuda Race, from which many lessons could be learned, by both cruising and racing sailors alike, and racing organisations take them very seriously.

However, some of these lessons are even more pertinent for the cruising sailor who may be many days away from help and without the support structure of race organisers and participants who in this case made a desperate - and successful - attempt come to the rescue of one stricken sailor.


The incident, as told by John Rousmaniere:
The Newport Bermuda Race is closely followed by an onshore team of race officials alternating four-hour watches as they monitor emails, satphone and radiotelephone calls, and the online tracker that identifies entries and their positions. At a little after 2000 EDT on the 2012 races third night, June 17, watch-stander Nicholas Weare, based in Bermuda, received an email from the races consulting physician in Massachusetts. He promptly reported it to race officials:

Message received from Dr. Barbara Masser advising that she lost satphone contact 7:49 EDT while in communication with Seabiscuit regarding a 38-year-old insulin dependent male who has not eaten or drunk for 24 hours, with elevated blood sugar and appears confused. (He was sailing double-handed.)

These were the first two of more than two dozen emails (not to mention many satphone and radio calls) sent over the next seven hours concerning the serious problem on board Seabiscuit, a J-46 in the races Double-Handed Division. The effort to assist and, eventually, evacuate the seasick sailor, Nathan C. Owen, included more than two dozen people, including race officials, rescue personnel in the U.S. and Bermuda, and the crews of two other racing boats and a cruise ship.

As Dr. Masser (Associate Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Needham, Mass.) tracked Owens condition, she advised that he needed saline IV hydration and might have to be taken off Seabiscuit. Steven Thing, Chair of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committees Communications Committee and Emergency Management Team, got to work considering means of providing medical assistance and, if needed, evacuation.

Conditions were far from optimum. The wind was blowing hard, the sea was rough, night had fallen, and Seabiscuit had no seasickness medication or IV hydration equipment. Owens crew, Jonathan Green, was sailing the boat alone, handling communications, and caring for his shipmate. If Owen were evacuated, Green would be obliged to get the boat to Bermuda, nearly 200 miles ahead, very likely without assistance.

In addition, communications were spotty. Many satellite phone calls were either dropped in mid-conversation or not picked up, although emails were getting through as were voice messages on the satphones that had voicemail capability.

Green made a call on VHF Channel 16 asking nearby boats for IV bags. Very soon Flying Lady, a Swan 46 sailing in the race, was heading toward Seabiscuit with a full complement of medications and a well-qualified crew that included an EMT, a dentist, and three doctors. The owner, Dr. Philip Dickey (a neurosurgeon), spoke with Dr. Masser by satellite phone and also with the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre /RCC Bermuda (BRCC), one of whose officials told him, We want someone on the boat who can give him fluids. We want you to get on board Seabiscuit.

Concerned that Flying Lady might not get Owen to Bermuda quickly enough, the BRCC tasked the 86-foot Spirit of Bermuda, a replica of a trading schooner that was in the race about 80 miles ahead of Seabiscuit, to join the effort. Spirits captain, Scott Jackson, turned around and headed back. The three boats powered toward each other on courses set with the assistance of the onboard mandatory boat-trackers required by the race and their Automatic Identification System devices (Once I got AIS I'd never do without it again, Dickey would say).

Flying Lady reached Seabiscuit first, but the rough sea prohibited her crew from jumping on board. After briefly considering inflating a life raft (which would have left one boat without a raft), Dr. Dickey tossed across tape, IVs, and saline. Owens condition briefly improved, but then declined. Dr. Masser recommended that he be evacuated by one of the two cruise ships in the area that Jackson had spotted on AIS. Owen stepped off Seabiscuit at 0300. Green continued racing at 9 knots speed and arrived Bermuda without incident.

After the race, at the race prize ceremony at Government House, special seamanship awards were presented to Jonathan Green of Seabiscuit, Philip Dickey of Flying Lady, and Scott Jackson of Sprit of Bermuda.

Lessons learned:
Following the incident there were frank discussions of lessons learned in a debriefing at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, in replies to a questionnaire circulated to 21 people involved in the incident, and in John Rousmanieres detailed incident report to the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee. Below is a summary of findings.

Seasickness and dehydration:
Seasickness puts lives at risk. Seasickness medication must be trialed by each member of the crew prior to going offshore, checking for side effects, and be used prophylactically wherever the boat is sailing. All vessels must be equipped with proper seasickness and anti-nausea medication, including suppositories (for times when oral medication cannot be held down) and IV saline to provide emergency hydration. At least one crew member should be trained and assigned to monitor crew health and medications. 2012 Bermuda Race Chair John Osmond (a medical doctor) has recommended that sailors take a first- aid course/safety seminar addressing seasickness and dehydration.

Communications:
Crews must be thoroughly familiar with and practice on their satellite phones and radiotelephones. Satphone calls were lost and dropped because the phone or volume was turned off, or because service providers could handle only a limited number of voice calls at time. Voicemail and email are extremely valuable options for offshore satphonesbut they work only if the crews frequently check for messages.

Emergency/crisis management:
The question Who was in charge? in the questionnaire elicited a large variety of answers. Because some confusion is probably inevitable in such situations, a crisis management plan that looks sound on paper may not be suitable in action. Every plan should be tested in trial runs by its team and rescue officials.

Another crucial issue is having necessary data readily available. Telephone numbers and other contacts for boats, rescue services, and homes must be known and carefully recorded and stored where they are instantly accessible.

Nobody should underestimate the importance or demands of these incidents and the efforts to deal with them. As Royal Bermuda Yacht Cub Commodore Jonathan Brewin observed, 'We were dealing with just one boat and one casualty. If four or five boats were involved, we wouldn't be able to handle all of it. We need to have a team ready to work.'

This means that the cruising sailor, with no guaranteed 'team', needs to be sure not to be in this situation in the first place!


by Newport Bermuda Race/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=106538

6:11 AM Wed 13 Feb 2013GMT


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


Related News Stories:

13 Feb 2013  Lessons all boat owners can learn from Hurricane Sandy
05 Feb 2013  Calling UK Sailing Clubs: Attend RYA Club Clinics 2-3 March
01 Feb 2013  Look for These Hidden Monsters of the Seven Seas!
13 Jan 2013  Three thieves of boat engine's reliability - vital info for sailors
09 Jan 2013  Women Californian sailors meet for convention
07 Jan 2013  MOB - Learn the 'Elevator' Recovery Technique!
04 Jan 2013  Yacht restoration school - Open House in January
15 Dec 2012  Preparing for heavy sailing weather before it arrives!
14 Dec 2012  Ocean Cruising preparation - the London Boat Show
19 Nov 2012  What's the minimum your sailing partner should know?
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

The Australian supermaxi Perpetual Loyal has been forced to retire from the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, with hull damage. The news came in a regular radio sked with race organisers, little detail was available, however it is understood that she has some hull delamination, probably arising from pounding though big seas and 25-30kt winds for the first day and night of the race. ... [more]  

For the last 18 hours, there has been never more than three nautical miles between the new kids on the block, Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's Comanche with Ken Read skippering the boat with distinction and the Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI. Mark Richard's who was blown away by Comanche's reaching speed inside the harbour has been hunting the race leader relentlessly as the two boats beat south. ... [more]  

Clouds outlines what he is expecting to see in the race, and says that while the big boats will take all the attention in the early stages of the race, the weather is against them as the race progresses. The smaller boats will come surfing in a fresh northerly, while the front-runners cope with light winds on their final approach to the finish on the Derwent. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The US supermaxi Comanche (Jim & Kirsty Clark) continues to enjoy a small lead at the head of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet. As the race enters its second day, organisers told Sail-World at 6.00am local time that the fleet was experiencing SW winds of 12-13kts and that these would ease further during the day. ... [more]  

The start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race saw the five 100 foot super maxis up against each other for the first time. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Replay of the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race. The fleet is expected to experience fresh to strong headwinds for the start and first 24 hours, although winds will moderate towards the end of this period. ... [more]  

Will Comanche take a scalp? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
After blasting off the startline earlier today, Jim Clark's Comanche continues to hold the lead in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart race eight hours into the race. ... [more]  

A stiff southerly is testing the boats and sailors on the first afternoon of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart and by late afternoon, four yachts had retired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual race. The first casualties of the race were Tina of Melbourne, forced out because of hull damage and Bear Necessity with a damaged rudder, just two hours into the race. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: The 117 competing yachts, including five 100-foot Maxis, represents the race’s largest number of starters since 1994. Of the five Maxis, Jim Clark’s Comanche (USA) made the early gains in the race’s 70th edition, reaching the first mark in record time and setting a blistering pace. Seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI was in close pursuit. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: A memorable edition of the 628-nm race appears certain, with the contest between the fleet’s five Maxi yachts living up to the pre-race hype. At 8:00pm local time, Comanche leads seven-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI by one nautical mile, with Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal and Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 just a few miles behind the leading duo. ... [more]  

Top international photographers, Carlo Borlenghi and Daniel Forster were on the water, and in the air, for the start of the 70th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Here is a selection of their images of the day. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Start photos by Andrea Francolini. ... [more]  

Comanche skipper Ken Read was in fine form in this video interview. He says On the first night, will there will be too much upwind to be able to send it? It absolutey plays on my mind as the skipper this boat is untested. We’re completely cutting edge, and when it's cutting edge it’s a Formula 1 race car that blows up its engine on the first lap. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Brad Kellett, Brindabella’s sailing master, reported that while he was doing his regular checks this evening he discovered larger than normal quantities of water in the bottom of the boat, found to be coming from damaged rudder bearings. 'We were just coming into our own after a risky tactical decision to go offshore paid off,' a disappointed Kellett said. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by photographer Carlo Borlenghi ... [more]  

One of the largest fleets in many years started the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race today in a building southerly and in bright sunshine. There seemed to be some mind games going on amongst the super maxis during the pre race dry runs as each in turn put in a single reef in the 30 minutes before the start. Possibly there was some tossing of the coin as to whether it was ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Tony Cable just keeps going on. Last year he finished his 48th Sydney Hobart, setting a record for the number of races by an individual - this year it is number 49 - 49 not out, just one off the half ton! ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Designed for fast broad reaching, the 15 knot plus south-easterly breeze on the harbour was made to order for the big red and black hulled yacht owned by American Jim Clark and his Australian wife, Kristy. After a brilliant start slightly ahead and to leeward of Wild Oats XI, Comanche swiftly unfurled her giant spinnaker and took off, quickly ‘rolling the Oats’. ... [more]  

America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill could well be the most overqualified grinder you’ll see in action in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart start line today. 'He’s been a wonderful team player and literally in the pre-start you’re going to see him grinding, he said he’d do whatever it takes, and he’s lived up to that,' Comanche skipper Ken Read said. ... [more]  

Expect a spectacular and very fast start down Sydney Harbour in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this year. At the final briefing for crews at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this morning, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Andrew Treloar told the sailors that a southerly front is expected to move through Sydney about an hour before race start. ... [more]  

Chicken pies, the gooseneck and the voodoo stick were the last items to be ticked off today in Wild Oats XI’s preparation for a record-breaking bid in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, which starts on Sydney Harbour at 1pm tomorrow. ... [more]  

The 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart coverage will go live at 0800 AEST with interviews, but will play the promo until then. ... [more]  

In the media scrum for interviews with the skippers and owners of the five super maxis that followed a short press conference at the CYCA on Christmas Eve, anyone from outside the yachting scene might not have noticed one of the world’s finest sailors and circumnavigators standing quietly to one side chatting with Iain Murray and Steve Jarvin ... [more]  

America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill could well be the most overqualified grinder you’ll see in action in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart start line today. 'He’s been a wonderful team player and literally in the pre-start you’re going to see him grinding, he said he’d do whatever it takes, and he’s lived up to that,' Comanche skipper Ken Read said. ... [more]  

When most would have been sitting down for Christmas lunch the Wild Oats XI team were to be seen out on Sydney Harbour testing their new - and appropriately named - gooseneck, that replaces the one that failed when out training earlier in the week. In a puffy nor'easter Wild Oats XI headed to Manly on the wind, swung around close to the Manly East mark and headed back down the harbour for home. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature by John Curnow and Rob Kothe, Sydney
In order to win this iconic ocean race,on handicap, there are three things you absolutely need to have accomplished. Two you can do something about, whereas the third is entirely out of your control. ... [more]  

For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature by Brendan Maxwell
Santa’s elves started on January 7th 2014 building a set of shiny new Sail-World.com websites and just minutes before Christmas morning in one of Santa’s first touch downs Auckland New Zealand , TetraMedia General Manager Jedda Murphy flicked the switch on the dedicated TetraMeda servers in Frankfurt Germany to take almost all our world-wide audience to the new Sail-World sites. ... [more]  

Professor Pat Pending had the most amazing Convert-a-Car in the 60s cartoon series, the Wacky Races. It could do just about anything. Come Boxing Day and the start of the 70th Sydney-Hobart, some may well wish they had a Convert-a-Boat. Being a hundred feet at the start would be cool. You get away off your own line and in clear breeze. You’re also well inside the rulebook. ... [more]  

Few Americans have won more sailboat races than Ken Read, 53, the President of North Sails . Read is skipper of Comanche, Jim and Kristy Clark’s new 100-fooer, one of five that will be lining up on the startline of the Sydney to Hobart. I caught up with Read some 48 hours before the start to get his pulse on the race, Comanche, and the adventure that lies ahead, en route to Hobart. ... [more]  

The skippers of the five 100 foot super maxis battling for Line Honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race speak about the boats, the weather and their expectations. ... [more]  

For sure Christmas is upon the 16 skippers of the Barcelona World Race, but the way they enjoy it or deal with it will be different from team to team, and skipper to skipper. But for everyone the thoughts of the 31st December start, and what lies ahead for the coming three months, are impossible to suppress. Even on Christmas Day. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Three and a half minute video of the Team Vestas Wind recovery operation from the reef at St Brandon. The Volvo Ocean Racer struck the reef on November 29, just after nightfall breaking off both rudders, she also ;ost a considerable part of her stern section. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Another great journey south
Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin's David Witt explains deck failure + Video
Wild Oats XI - Damage drama in lead-up to Sydney Hobart Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi
Five faces behind the 100ft super maxis by Andrea Francolini
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Everyone's in with a chance
Comanche Designers talk before Sydney Hobart
Olympic Sailing Waters - Rio de Janeiro
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - To Hobart in Style
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: Ken Read's notes on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Rio 100 - A supermaxi is reborn + Video *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Video of Team Vestas Wind being removed from reef
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!
Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Levelling the playing field
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race video preview
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - It's a Woman’s world too
Moth Worlds – Looping the loop *Feature
Miami Winter Series - M32 racing gets underway
Rio 2016 - Super-bugs found in Rio sailing waters   
Building the bridge from Optimist to Laser and beyond – with Byte C1 *Feature   
Kieler Woche - Notices of Race published – entry systems are now open   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from December 22 show   
RORC Transatlantic 2014 Race Lanzarote-Grenada - Overall report   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind images from the reef recovery   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovered from reef   
RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Prizegiving   
Qingdao to continue as Asian ISAF Sailing World Cup venue   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Will it be Bash and Crash?   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: USA's RIO 100 trains off Sydney Heads   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Weather early Xmas gift for small yachts   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hollywood focused on victory   
Soldiering on in the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Count down to Caribbean opener   
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 - The mental game + Videos   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Jim Clark's thoughts on Comanche's maiden race *Feature   
St Thomas International Regatta announce sponsors   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Salt water therapy   
Soto 40 South American Tour - Coming soon   


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