Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

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
Southern Spars - 100Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing top of the pops
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the season after sailing to their fourth win today. The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec– favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling
Posted on 28 Jul
Debriefing the 2015-16 Clipper Round The World Race with Huw Fernie
Sail-World talked with Huw Fernie of Visit Seattle to learn more about a Clipper Round The World Race skipper’s life. Skipper Huw Fernie and his Visit Seattle crew took top honors in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, marking their second podium finish during the 2015/16 Clipper Round The World Race. I recently caught up with Fernie to learn more about Visit Seattle’s success in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, and to learn more about the life of a Clipper Round The World Race skipper.
Posted on 28 Jul
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 on 28 Jul
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 on 28 Jul
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 on 28 Jul