Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

US Sailing Independent Report on the sailing accident at Annapolis

by John Rousmaniere on 30 Oct 2011
.
An Independent Study Report reviewing the youth sailing 420 tragedy on Severn River at Annapolis has been released:

Following a fatal sailing accident at Annapolis on June 23, 2011, the Severn Sailing Association invited the United States Sailing Association to send representatives to Annapolis to discuss the incident with its officers and staff. The meeting was held at Eastport Yacht Club on July 6 with the following in attendance: SSA Commodore Hal Whitacre, US Sailing President Gary Jobson, Henry Filter (chair, SSA Junior Co), Joel Labuzetta (Junior Program Director, SSA), Nan Walker (Office Manager, SSA), Jack Gierhart (Executive Director, US Sailing), Janine Ahmed Connelly (Training Director, US Sailing), and myself (Safety at Sea Committee, US Sailing).

After an extremely informative and at times emotionally wrenching discussion, Hal Whitacre asked US Sailing to appoint an independent review of the incident. I was asked to conduct this review, and my aims are these: provide a factual narrative of the accident and the response, make findings, and offer recommendations that could be helpful to SSA and all sailors.




1. Summary
A chain of small events quickly evolved into something very rare in sailing – a tragedy. The wind and waves were not excessive, the sailors were competent, and the boat was a standard model of a long-popular class. Yet a routine capsize rapidly developed into the drowning death of a much beloved young woman, Olivia Constants.

She wore an appropriate Coast Guard-approved life jacket that, as the brave efforts of her young skipper showed, would have carried her up and into the air pocket of the capsized boat had Olivia not become tangled in the rigging.

The nearby coaches and instructors acted promptly and came to her assistance to administer CPR. Trained to observe the rule, 'If you think you need to call 911, call 911!', a young instructor made a mobile phone call that brought a fire department ambulance to a nearby point of land at the U.S. Naval Academy, where the boat landed and transferred Olivia.

The response of the Severn Sailing Association off the water was also quick. The Commodore, the Junior Program Director, and others improvised a crisis plan while immediately addressing the emotional needs of the young sailors, their families, and the instructors.

Less than three hours after the accident, a psychiatrist met with the instructional staff in the first of several counseling sessions. The club conducted a careful review of its sailing program and its risks, making changes at Annapolis, while perhaps hundreds of other sailing programs across North America also reviewed their equipment and procedures. 'It really struck home with a lot of sailors,' said one parent of the accident.

That this is the case suggests a number of areas that deserve attention and research.

The full report can be read online here

http://home.ussailing.org/Home.htm" target="_blank">US Sailing website
Wildwind 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Oman Air quick to master light airs on Day 1 of Extreme Sailing Series
Last year’s wild and gusty winds gave way to light simmering airs but the Oman Sail was quick to master the conditions. The compact River Elbe race course, bordered on all sides by cargo containers and all the handling equipment associated with one of the busiest ports in the world, was expected to be tricky for the GC32 fleet even though the race area had been expanded.
Posted today at 5:16 pm
Finale of Clipper Race global series starts in The Netherlands
The 198nm race to London is going to be one of the most nail-biting yet with just six points separating the top teams After a Departure Ceremony from Willemsoord Marina and a Parade of Sail in the presence of Dutch Royal Navy ship ZrMs Luymes, the fleet started the final short sprint to London off the Dutch coast.
Posted today at 3:22 pm
Thousands of spectators expected to welcome home Clipper Race fleet
Hurricane winds, giant waves, freezing conditions, battered boats and tragedy fail to quell fighting spirit of the crew. The tenth edition of the famous biennial race for novice sailors led by professional skippers is regarded as the most challenging on record after the event endured the most extreme conditions it has ever faced in its 20-year history.
Posted today at 1:58 pm
Trans-Atlantic record- Comanche sets new monohull record
Comanche has crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, England in her attempt to set two new world sailing records Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark's supermaxi Comanche has crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, England in her attempt to set two new world sailing records. She finished at 11:45 UTC on Thursday July 28,2016, having left New York on Saturday July 23, 2016.
Posted today at 11:09 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - France Blue blasts back
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup race course took on a different complexion today. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup race course took on a different complexion today. A front passed through early morning leaving behind it a lumpy sea, further kicked up by a strong eastbound tide.
Posted today at 6:09 am
52 Super Series - Double bullet Quantum jump clear
Two hard earned wins for Quantum Racing elevates the team which is steered by owner Doug DeVos Two hard earned wins for Quantum Racing elevates the team which is steered by owner Doug DeVos to a lead of four points ahead of Azzurra at the 52 Super Series’ Puerto Portals Sailing Week on the Bay of Palma.
Posted today at 5:19 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Sailing into the big leagues
The long nautical journey from La Belle Province proved to be one long show of bravery from start to finish “It’s the finest event of the offshore racing calendar.” That’s what all the skippers are saying—albeit a little subjectively—following this ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo. The long nautical journey from La Belle Province proved to be one long show of bravery from start to finish, with the Multi50s grappling alongside one another all the way
Posted today at 3:51 am
Three tips for any boater facing a powerful summer thunderstorm
Recreational boaters and paddlers understand that late afternoon thunderstorms are common during summer boating season Recreational boaters and paddlers understand that late afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer boating season. A recent incident involving two TowBoatUS Fort Lauderdale captains and their rescue of four kayakers pre-fishing a local tournament offers some lessons learned on how to survive an afternoon storm.
Posted today at 3:27 am
Jim Hunt and Jørgen Svendsen pull ahead at OK Dinghy Worlds
Jim Hunt (GBR) has maintained his lead after a very tricky day at the OK Dinghy World Championships in Quiberon Jim Hunt (GBR) has maintained his lead after a very tricky day at the OK Dinghy World Championships in Quiberon, France, with the shifty, offshore winds mixing up the fleet on more than one occasion and leaving Hunt and Jørgen Svendsen (DEN) with a clear lead over the rest of the 105 boat fleet. Charlie Cumbley (GBR) drops one to third overall, with just four races left to sail.
Posted today at 2:53 am
Supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, returns to racing in Sydney-Gold Coast Race
Supermaxi Wild Oats XI, will make her return to ocean racing this weekend after a six month break. The Oatley family’s Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race record holder, the 30-metre long Supermaxi Wild Oats XI, will make her return to ocean racing this weekend after a six month break.
Posted today at 2:38 am