Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 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 660x82InSunSport - NZAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug
Reading Australia’s Rio 2016 Sailing Report Card
Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. So Tom Burton's Gold in the Laser, and then Silver for the 470 Men’s sailors, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan, London 49er Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and then lastly Nacra 17 first time campaigners, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, was a good result.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 U.S. National Championship - Argo advance
The Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course 2016 U.S. National Championship - As the breeze remained in the ESE direction overnight and began bucking an outgoing tide in the morning hours, the Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course, rewarding those teams that started clean and minimized maneuvers.
Posted on 21 Aug