sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Photo Gallery FishingBoating Video Gallery Newsletters

 

Sail-World.com : Floating yachts abandoned - the scene in 2011

Floating yachts abandoned - the scene in 2011

'Abandoned yacht, found, still floating, four months after being abandoned'    .

This is the classic way of abandoning a yacht - this photo was taken from the lifeboat as the yacht went down -  .. .  
Every year there are tragedies at sea, yachts missing and never found, crew washed overboard and lost, or yachts sunk and their crew rescued. Sometimes these incident are caused by the overpowering force of nature, sometimes by crew carelessness, sometimes by the failure of gear or equipment.

There is yet another category, where the crew is rescued but the yacht abandoned. What makes a boat owner/skipper abandon a yacht to the sea? The old adage is that you should 'step upwards when abandoning your yacht,' meaning that while the yacht is sound and not sinking, there is no reason to abandon it. There may be heavy weather and high seas, but they will pass and you will still have the opportunity to take your boat home.

Sail-World took a look at the stories in 2011 about the cases of yacht abandoning. We ignored all the rescues which involved Crew Overboard, where crew were lost, yachts were missing and never found, or yachts were towed into port.

We found that that there were 21 such incidents reported during the year (almost two a month) where the crew was rescued but the yacht abandoned, and in only ten of these was the yacht taking on water which could not be controlled. In one more case a catamaran had been capsized unexpectedly in the Southern Ocean, and the crew were found and rescued clinging to the yacht.

Some yachts ended up onshore through faulty navigation -  .. .  
In those where the yacht was sinking, three of them had been dismasted resulting in damage to the hull, and the ingress of water could not be satisfactorily controlled by the yachts pumps. Two had hit a 'submerged hard object' and been holed. On another the ingress of water was caused by the failure of a skin fitting which was not noticed by the crew until too late, sheer carelessness the unkind might say.

In four rescues, the yachts had gone aground, either through faulty navigation or through the loss of way while passing too close to rocks or a shoreline. In none of these cases were the yachts able to be refloated, and the crew needed rescue as they could not reach safety on their own.

But what of the other ten? And what of the broader question? When is it the right thing to do to abandon a yacht that is still floating? Is it ever the right thing? Are we even right to analyse these incidents to try to come to any kind of judgement? After all, who knows how one will respond when faced with what appears to be a life-threatening situation?

Plunging on and looking at these fourteen cases in spite of some ethical uncertainty, this is what we at Sail-World found:

Engine: three cases
In one case, a sailor sailing in the South Indian Ocean found that, owing to bad weather his engine had broken free of the mounting blocks, and he was worried that it would penetrate the hull. He set off his out-of-date EPIRB, and was rescued, abandoning his yacht.

In two other cases, where the yachts were within ten miles of shore in each case, but experiencing bad weather, an engine break-down caused the skipper to send a distress signal. Both yachts were abandoned and the crews rescued by the local Coast Guard.

Rescue of the crew of Sara -  .. .  
Electrical: two cases
In one case the yacht had lost all power on the yacht, and fearing that they would be unable to call for help once their batteries wore out, summoned help on their satphone. The yacht was in good order when they abandoned it in the Atlantic Ocean

In the other case, a yacht was sailing in the Indian Ocean and had an electrical breakdown. They continued on their way, hoping to reach port under their own steam but then were becalmed for two days. Finally they called for assistance by satphone and were taken on board by a merchant ship. The yacht, naturally, was left behind.

Weather: five cases
In three cases, the crew reported that they had been experiencing extremely heavy weather for several days, had multiple minor problems and could not make way. None of the yachts was dismasted, but two had blown sails. Seasickness was mentioned on one yacht.

In another case, the yacht was disabled with a broken boom by high seas and stormy weather in inland waters, and was airlifted from the yacht by helicopter, the yacht abandoned. As in the other cases, the yacht was still floating when abandoned.

Finally the last case is difficult to categorise, but we have chosen to classify it as a weather incident. This yacht suffered a steering failure while caught in a storm and the crew reported that there was water ingress, but it was under control. The yacht was still floating and still sailing until the crew were rescued by a merchant ship and the yacht abandoned.

So that was 2011.

Sometimes just scared and far from home... -  .. .  
I once knew a sailor and his four crew who lost total steering in the middle of the Atlantic. They sailed 1400 nautical miles without steerage, first trying all the sailing school methods, none of which worked for them, then steering by the sails alone to reach their destination in less than two weeks.

I knew another cruising couple who had keel and rudder damage in an incident in an anchorage in the Galapagos Islands. After jury-rigging a rudder of sorts, they sailed 1000 nautical miles back to Ecuador for repairs. Intrepid adventure sailor Donna Lange made a navigational mistake and beached her boat accidentally. Most sailors would have walked away, sobbing at the loss of their boat. Not Donna. She rallied local youths into a frenzy of activity, and they rescued that boat from the beach with some good muscle and her ingenuity.

Yes, sailing lore is littered with these inspiring stories of survival from tricky situations.

After sailing oceans for many years, and hearing these tales of the many brave cruising sailors who suffer all sorts of privations and still take their boats home, one can't help wondering whether some of the sailors in these incidents weren't calling distress because they were merely frightened and far from home.

What do you think?




by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92395

4:35 AM Fri 30 Dec 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
EPIRB's and rescues

Related News Stories:

20 Jun 2014  Australian rescuers get bravery medal for rescuing Russian sailor
17 Nov 2013  Saildrone completes Pacific crossing
08 Nov 2013  AMVER and the Liberians rescue solo sailor 700nm offshore
22 Oct 2013  No radio, no EPIRB, coastguard rescues worrying crew
21 Sep 2013  Called to the rescue - a gripping account by a solo sailor
08 Sep 2013  Never-say-die searchers for Nina find a new satellite image
19 Aug 2013  Could this image be the missing schooner Nina's life raft?
18 Aug 2013  Vital life raft stowage lessons after inquiry into fatal sinking
07 Aug 2013  Yacht bought July, abandoned in August, Austrians' Pacific rescue
02 Aug 2013  Teen tells of rescue as tall ship sank off Ireland
MORE STORIES ...

Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World













Death by Dinghy by Allan Riches Brunei Bay Radio,












A case of crossed wires? A shocking situation! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,










Canal Boating in the Alsace with the Galley Guys by Greg Nicoll with John Armstrong,


World ARC fleet arrives in Darwin by World Cruising Club,


Dangers of the Dinghy trip back to your boat by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team,


European Odyssey visits Porto by Cornell Sailing,






Where in the world are our strongest corals? by Hanny Rivera - Cohen's Lab,














Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,




A cruising guide to the ABC Islands - Spanish Edition
Missing German tourists in the hands of Abu Sayyaf Group
NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel
Positive news for cruising boats in Greece
Bivalves' ability to clean chemicals from waterways
Are You Sailing with 'Weak Links' in your sailing rigging?
Week-long cruise turns into 16-year round-the-world voyage
World ARC fleet cruising the Coral Coast
Four rescued after narrow boat collides with houseboat
Yacht penalized for calling unannounced into Port Resolution
Galley Guys on the Malty Seas
Blue Planet Odyssey - Beset in Arctic Bay ice + Video
European Odyssey - La Coruña a big hit for the boats participating
Garcia Yachts Exploration 45 - Jimmy Cornell's newest adventure
Sustainable Seafood - How to purchase with confidence
Risks to penguin populations continues
ARC Baltic fleet head from Helsinki to Stockholm
Follow these tips when anchoring
Swedish couple rescued off Cook Islands
Refurbished Protector project 'better than buying new'
Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady   
North American Rally to the Caribbean - Get prepared to head south   
If all else fails read the instructions!!   
ARC Baltic fleet cruising and anchoring in the Finnish archipelago   
Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature   
Sea and Summit leg seven - Rain fails to dampen Tash's spirits   
RYA meets with Government over latest red diesel development   
Endangered species are like Movie Stars - Charlie Sheens and Tom Hanks   
Halong becomes a Super Typhoon; Japan in harm's way   
Vanuatu Customs making life easier for visiting cruising yachts   
Baltic 4 Nations rally is now in full swing   
Tropical Storm Bertha expected to become a typhoon   
Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott   
Cruising lessons from ocean racers   
Procedures set out for waterborne visitors to Vanuatu   
17-year-old RNLI volunteer saves child in first rescue mission + Video   
Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video   
RYA Sea Survival Handbook – 2nd edition now available   
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch   
Lobster Thermidor - Making Julia proud   


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 VIR CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT