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

 

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 ...

News - USA and the World

Damian Foxall (IRL), one of the biggest names in offshore sailing, is joining Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for the forthcoming Leg 5. Caudrelier and Foxall were on the Groupama boat that won the 2011-12 edition. The Irishman was the natural choice when Dongfeng’s skipper looked for an experienced sailor to bolster his line-up for the 6,776-nautical mile (nm) stage from Auckland ... [more]  

Marine industry experts from around the world will convene next week in the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin for the fifth High Performance Yacht Design conference. This three-day technical conference, ninth to 11th March, is the latest for those who make it their business to push the performance boundaries of yachts both power and sail. ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 1 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

2015 RYC Midwinters overall by Luis Kitchen, San Francisco Bay
For the third year in a row Jonathan Weston aka Hot Donutz wins the RYC Midwinters in a competitive four day series. ... [more]  

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Photographer Tim Wright captured some of these stunning shots at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 and along the course at St Barths, Barbuda and Redonda. ... [more]  

Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The Gill Commodore's Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

The countdown to the 46th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar has begun in the bay of Palma from 28th March to 4th April. With less than a month to go until the start of the event, the regatta has already around 700 teams (667) from 59 nations representing the five continents. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself ... [more]  

Top international photographer, Chris Cameron is working out of the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland. ... [more]  

The first WWA Pro Card Qualifier presented by Malibu boats is set for March 22, 2015, hosted once again by Freedom Wake Park in Orlando, Florida. The WWA Pro Card events have been created to separate the top riders in the world and recognize them as elite. ... [more]  

NZ Rigging Supplied the Mast and Rigging package for Adrian Walters new Shaw 11 mtr 'Little Nico'. The mast is a High Modulus mast with internal locks on all halyards, internal mast jack, one piece Nomex cored box section boom, and composite rigging.cored box section boom, and composite rigging. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - As Cheminées Poujoulat climbed north out of the latitudes of the Roaring 40s and into a regime change on the east side of the South Atlantic high pressure system, leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are into relatively stable, quick downwind conditions which will allow them to make good miles north, ultimately to connect with the trade winds. ... [more]  

2015 Hobie 16 North American Championships September 20 to 25 at Pensacola Yacht Club. ... [more]  

Hobie Mid-Winter East - Ocean Springs Yacht Club April 10-12 2015. The regatta is open to all Hobie Cat classes ... [more]  

Choosing the northern route turned out to be a brilliant tactical decision. But not all decisions went so well. Because of one wrong gybe and changed weather patterns, Team Brunel lost its lead in less than a day. With only the Volvo Ocean Race tracker as a guide, it’s difficult for fans to understand how the Dutch team lost more than 80 nautical miles. Skipper Bouwe Bekking looks explains ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Arguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the seventh edition of the event. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Cl ... [more]  

This summer’s ‘must have’ tickets for The America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth (ACWSUK) are officially available from Monday 2nd March. Fans and spectators are encouraged to book their place now to avoid disappointment with event organisers already receiving a large number of ticket and hospitality enquires. ... [more]  

SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta 2015 – They had never sailed together until six months earlier when they stepped onto a boat that neither had ever sailed, but skipper Joseph Hou, 15, and crew Skylar Jacobsen, 14, squeezed out a remarkable victory Sunday in the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association's Shadden Series ... [more]  

Shawn Bennett of Tiburon, Calif. won the Long Beach Stop of the 2015 California Dreamin’ Series Sunday in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade three match racing regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s. ... [more]  

Sitting here in Antigua airport waiting for my flight back to London, life is good having just blasted across the Atlantic in just under nine and a half days on board the new Phaedo3 MOD 70, one of the fastest sailing boats 'in the world'... ... [more]  

In November of 1994 Yachting Magazine consultant Gary Jobson asked Peter Craig, 'how hard can it be? Just raise some flags and blow off some guns.' And so began Craig's involvement in what was then a 112 boat - single division regatta that would soon evolve into an iconic annual international keelboat event. Yachting Magazine founded Key West Race Week in 1987. ... [more]  

Serious Fun! That's what participants, sponsors and onlookers are expected to have during the 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta which will be held in St. Maarten during March 05 - 08, 2015. The Regatta is considered to be the biggest in the Caribbean and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic gatherings under the banner of 'Serious Fun'! ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - Media Conference and more
Volvo Ocean Race: Iker Martinez returns to Mapfre as skipper
Miami Sailing Week – Bacardi Cup preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature
Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort
Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night   
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled   
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club   
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony   
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open   
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!   
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams   
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014   
Barcelona World Race - Pedestrian Pacific, Atlantic highway to home   
America's Cup: Artemis Racing lines up against Oracle Team USA - Video   
High Performance Yacht Design conference during Volvo OR stopover   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – No sleep until Auckland   
Etchells NA Midwinter East Series - Schoonmaker Cup preview   
RORC Caribbean 600 day 4 – Close competition – 43 yachts still racing   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature   
AC45 Turbo Training - Oracle Team USA images by pressure-drop + Video   
America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race – The race tightens as New Zealand looms   


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