Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

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
upffront 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Newport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Close fight around Wight on Day 6 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
20-25 knot winds and glorious sunshine made for one of the most memorable races around the Isle of Wight on record With a win for Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine (despite destroying a kite), and a second for Daniel Andrieu's Sun Fast 3200, Cifraline 4, France Blue have leapt ahead in the overall results, now holding a 35.5 lead margin over the second placed Flanders North Sea Team.
Posted today at 8:11 pm
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Azzurra concludes with a win
Azzurra closes PPSW, the third event in the series with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come Azzurra closes the PPSW in Mallorca, the third event in the series, with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come. Quantum is the Series’ current leader, followed by Azzurra.
Posted today at 7:30 pm
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing takes the prize
Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma, winning 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec completed a notable comeback after a disappointing ninth at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted today at 7:16 pm
Oman Air faces some infamous challenges at Extreme Sailing Series
All teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty All seven teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty in achieving any sort of consistency in a very shifty and unstable breeze that topped out at a bracing 14 knots when all the GC32s catamarans took off on their foils and flew around the race course.
Posted today at 6:40 pm
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted today at 4:28 pm
Vendée Globe – Sébastien Destremau – Simplicity as a credo + Video
A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet. His credo is to keep it simple, inexpensive and effective. Interview with the skipper of faceOcean, winner of the Calero Solo Transat back in the spring.
Posted today at 4:05 pm
The Vendée Globe – 100 days and counting
With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst ‘just’ twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we’re set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
Posted today at 3:46 pm
Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
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