sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Melbourne to Port Fairy Race 2012 - Rescue at Sea Part 2
Melbourne to Port Fairy Race 2012 - Rescue at Sea Part 2

'TryBooking.com with all survivors aboard arriving in Port Fairy to the cheers from the crowd - 2012 ORCV Melbourne to Port Fairy Race'    Grant Dunoon

The rescue at sea of the crew of Inception by TryBooking.com, another competitor in the Melbourne to Port Fairy Race 2012, is a gripping story with a great outcome.

What follows part 2 of the account of the events by Grant Dunoon, skipper of TryBooking.com, as told to Dr Peter Ball.


By now, the men in the water had separated into two groups. This made it easier to bring the stern of the boat into position to meet the first group. Having the line of the boat parallel to the waves whilst throttling forward against the wind provided the stable platform they needed to get the men aboard. Kim threw a rope to the first group as they drew near. Once they had gripped the line, he was able to bring them alongside and thence to the stern. The first man unclipped and Peter called for him to place his feet on the lowest rung of the ladder. This provided the purchase they needed to haul the sailor onto the landing and up into the cockpit.

The crew were delighted with their achievement. Despite their early doubts, they had worked out a technique for getting the sailors safely out of the water. Buoyed by their success, they made another orbit and once again manoeuvred into position.

It was a huge physical effort for everyone involved, especially the crew of Inception who had been in the water for about 90 minutes. As well as the cold sapping their energy, they were struggling the entire time against the wind. It pushed against the collars of their lifejackets in such a way that their faces were exposed to a constant barrage of spray. In order to breathe without taking in salt water, they had to fight against the wind to keep their faces in the lee. Although rescue was now at hand, they were tapping their last reserves of strength, and the effort to get on board was almost too much for one of them.

The third man aboard was still daisy-chained to the second. The crew dragged him over the landing but he was unable to move any further. It took nearly 15 minutes to pull him clear of the landing, with his two shipmates imploring him, and TryBooking.com’s crew using all their strength to help him in the confined space of the cockpit.

By now they had their technique down pat with each crew member understanding the role they were playing. The remaining three sailors were brought on-board swiftly as they circled to a position slightly upwind and manoeuvred with throttle adjustments to pick them up in quick succession. Instead of dragging the last three men across the landing, the rescuers brought them up onto their knees so they could catch their breath in an upright position. They were then able to crawl forward and get clear of the stern more quickly.

The last one on board was the Inception skipper, Jeff. He had experienced a terrible shock when Inception went down, but he had shepherded his crew throughout their ordeal, keeping up their morale in dire circumstances. In the final stages of the rescue, he had unclipped himself from his companions and swum to one of the sailors who had drifted apart from the others. Only when his shipmates were safe did he come forward.

However, as Jeff gripped the landing, the bow of TryBooking.com fell into a trough. Ross watched on in horror as the stern lifted, carrying Jeff out of the water as he clung on tenaciously. Peter had taken hold of Jeff, but as the rising stern tipped him off balance, he was flung forward into the sea. Fortunately, he was able to hold onto Jeff as he went over, so he could grip the ladder and climb aboard only slightly wetter than he had been moments before.

The rescue helicopter arrived overhead as the third sailor was brought aboard. Grant feared they might illuminate them with their spotlight and ruin their night vision, but they held off and swept the surrounding area looking for survivors. Once the Inception skipper was aboard and Grant had ascertained that everyone had been picked up, he flashed a light and waved from the boat to let the helicopter know 'all OK'.

Grant cross-checked with the rescued sailors to be sure that no-one was missing. The Inception skipper, Jeff, and his father, Ken, remained in the cockpit but the other four made their way below with the crew of TryBooking.com breaking out blankets for all. The third man aboard, Doug, was placed on the floor so he could not fall, then Grant did a quick check on the condition of the other five sailors. He didn’t want to focus on the sick man and miss a problem with one of the others. Although Doug was not moving, he was verbally responding to questions.

Grant then contacted the helicopter on marine channel 16 (VHF) and reported on the condition of the six rescued sailors. Although all had vomited sea water as they came aboard and several times afterwards, five were now in good spirits with one who appeared to be suffering from hypothermia. The helicopter replied that a ship with 'medical facilities' was being diverted to their position. At this news, Grant went up to the cockpit and advised Ross and Kim to hold TryBooking.com in its current position, motoring as slowly as possible, while they waited for the ship to arrive.

Grant then radioed Peter at ORCV:
'We have all six crew from Inception'. He added that there were now 10 persons on board TryBooking.com, but, 'for information only, our life raft is rated for eight people'.

Grant also advised the ORCV that they were holding for a ship. Peter (ORCV) asked for details of Doug’s condition and advised on suitable treatment, which the TryBooking.com crew had already initiated. Five minutes later, Grant questioned Doug again and reported to Peter (ORCV) that he was showing signs of improving.

Grant them spoke with the helicopter again. They wanted the latitude and longitude of TryBooking.com so they could relay a position fix to the ship. However, the chart plotter display by the radio had been damaged. It had split in two and was hanging from the cabinet by a few wires. Clearly, it would be of no further use. Grant tried to get a fix from the HF radio display, but before he could complete the button sequence, another station reported 'We have you on the AIS position', and they relayed the numbers to the helicopter. He was referring to the Automatic Identification System on board TryBooking.com.

(Until that moment, Grant thought there was only a helicopter in the area. He was unable to identify the second voice and believed it was coming from another vessel in the area. It was subsequently learned that the Dornier aircraft was overhead. It is now unclear whether Grant was speaking with the helicopter or the fixed wing aircraft or both).

Shortly afterwards, the helicopter advised that the ship was about 45 minutes away. However, after some deliberation, a message was relayed from the ship. They were very concerned about attempting a ship-to-ship transfer in the prevailing weather. This was enough for Grant. He asked Kim to power up to 1,800rpm and take up a heading of 300 degrees. This would give them a safe track to the closest port – Warrnambool.

It was now about 0300hrs on Saturday 7th April and Warrnambool was about six hours away. Peter (ORCV) radioed to request position reports every 30 minutes. Grant was now feeling extremely tired and, given that there was a tracking device onTryBooking.com, he agreed to contact ORCV at least once an hour, but he could not commit to a 30 minute schedule.

On route to Warrnambool, Grant spoke further with members of the Inception crew. What he heard caused him to think Doug might have been suffering more from severe shock than hypothermia. However, as they monitored his condition, it seemed that whatever the cause, he was continuing to improve.

During a radio sched at about 0400hrs, Warrnambool Coast Guard reported that the swell was very dangerous in their vicinity. So much so that the Coast Guard was not prepared to leave port. At this news, Grant concluded that it would not be safe for TryBooking.com to enter. Accordingly, they changed course for Port Fairy, with an ETA of 1000hrs.

Epilogue
As things settled down, Grant and Peter put out some sail. The jib was a mess from earlier events and could not be deployed, but putting out a little of the main sheet helped stabilise the boat to some extent.

As dawn broke, the wind eased to about 30kts which allowed them to extend a bit more of the mainsail. This increased their speed from around 4.5kts to 6kts, and conferred more stability. The wind had backed to the southwest, which was ideal for TryBooking.com’s heading. By 0800hrs, the men below began to stir. They grew more conversational as they munched on muesli bars and drank Gatorade. Doug was able to stand and move a little, albeit gingerly.

They spied the Norfolk Pines of Port Fairy just before 1000hrs and were met at the Turning Buoy by a PFYC boat that guided them past the breakwater and into the Moyne River. When they saw the Channel Seven chopper circling overhead, they had some idea of the attention they were about to receive. A crowd of more than 150 people had assembled in front of the yacht club and along the path across the river to welcome them with cheers and applause. Amongst them were friends from Port Fairy, sailors from the other yachts that had arrived earlier and were rafted up on the wharf, and many PFYC members. It was a great feeling to hear the cry go up: 'Three cheers for TryBooking!'

Once tied up, all on board were able to leave the boat without assistance to be met by the ambulance, the police and several news media outlets. As a precautionary measure, the Inception crew were ferried to the hospital for checks, but the crew of TryBooking.com made their way to the PFYC for a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, followed by the awards ceremony. Although only one boat in the fleet, Dry White, had completed the race, all participants received commendations for seamanship in the horrendous conditions. TryBooking.com was presented with a haul of beer and wine in appreciation of their actions the night before.

The crew of TryBooking.com spent the rest of the day drying their gear and resting. Everything had been drenched as a result of the storm, but they did what they could to dry out clothes and blankets. At 1730hrs, after organising fuel, they slipped off the wharf, motored to the mouth of the river and set sail for Melbourne.

Tribute
A lot of things went wrong for participants in the 2012 Melbourne to Port Fairy Ocean Race. Of the 14 starters, only one boat, Dry White, officially finished. The storm that hit the fleet at dusk on Good Friday pounded all the boats mercilessly throughout the night, but Inception was singled out for the worst possible treatment. After having their life raft torn away in the screaming gale, the crew were forced into the heaving seas in darkness when their yacht sank suddenly, giving them barely time to scramble free.

Even with modern safety aids, their prospects for survival that night were slim. Only those who have experienced such trauma themselves will truly understand and appreciate the horror of their ordeal. However, the skipper and crew of TryBooking.com intervened to prevent an awful situation developing into an unimaginable tragedy. Through the skill, resourcefulness, courage and perseverance of Grant, Peter, Ross and Kim, six men, who could so easily have perished that night, are alive today.

L. to R. TryBooking.com crew, Peter, Ross, Grant and Kim - 2012 ORCV Melbourne to Port Fairy Race - photographer Neville Rose  ORCV  

Bravo, gentlemen! Bravo!


by Grant Dunoon as told to Dr Peter Ball

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=97216

5:47 AM Tue 15 May 2012GMT


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







News - USA and the World

Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th - 30th) 2015. Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen. ... [more]  

2014 Chicago Match Cup - At the end of Chicago Match Race Center's sixth season, the numbers show how well CMRC reached both into and beyond the Great Lakes sailing community. CMRC hosted a total of 12 graded events from May to October. Of these, the five Grade Three regattas were the best attended featuring 23 skippers from nine countries. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote bound for Grenada, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the competing yachts are now safely moored in Puerto Calero Marina and last night an informal welcome drinks reception was well received with crew ... [more]  

2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Tom Slingsby, Australian Olympic Laser Gold medalist, and member of Oracle Team USA, has signed up as skipper of Oman Air, one of two Oman Sail Extreme Sailing teams, for the final act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney, Australia (11-14 December). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big spread in fleet as Abu Dhabi leads *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race. She is the most westerly of the fleet as they approach the coast of Madagascar. In a video, Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker explains the weather hazards of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and competitors, the ISAF President welcomed the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be battling it out on Abu Dhabi's waters. 'It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,' explained Croce. ... [more]  

Sir Keith Mills GBE announced that America’s Cup Racing is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) takes place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016. The second European location is expected to be Cagliari in Italy, where Luna Rossa Challenge have their base. ... [more]  

Chairman and founder of the Clipper Race, Sir Robin Knox Johnston said: 'The Clipper Race is very pleased to welcome Hyde Sails back on board as Official Sails Supplier for our fourth consecutive race partnership. Hyde Sails evolved with us when we introduced the new Clipper 70 fleet in the last race and we were very pleased with how well the new sail wardrobes stood up to almost a year' ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Brian's Gime *Feature by Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind, At sea
The irrepressible Brian Carlin, the On Board Reporter for Team Vestas Wind is on fitness program on board, under the watchful eye of race veteran Tony Rae. Today as my personal trainer, friend and fellow shipmate we accomplished a goal, 70 press-ups. I’m sure to some it maybe easy but I ask anyone of you right now sitting at your desk, hit the floor and give me 70 on the spot. ... [more]  

Two of the crew from Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing look at leg 2 and the race overall. Here are the latest blogs (unedited) from On Board Reporter Matt Knighton, along with an onboard video with Simon Fisher (navigator) musing on what is required to win the race, and skipper Ian Walker on how Leg 2 has panned out for them so far. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - A new deal for corinthians by Bruce Montgomery – Rolex Sydney Hobart media
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Since 1945 starters in the Sydney-Hobart have raced the equivalent of two circumnavigations of the world, almost 45,000 nautical miles. They have been drawn from the seven seas; they come from all corners of the world; they board boats that range from 100-feet supermaxis to boats littler larger than the Owl and the Pussycat’s. ... [more]  

2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships - The International Hansa Class Association has announced that the 2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships will be held in the Netherlands. ... [more]  

Most of the nearly 300 sailors on 216 boats in 21 classes in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 67th Turkey Day Regatta came to enjoy sunny sailing in mild conditions, which the weekend delivered beautifully. By tradition, the winners received turkeys, not trophies, but for a few others it was another important stopover en route to Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Olympics. They hope. ... [more]  

Everyone was expecting a battle between Besson and Cammas. In the end, Morgan Lagravière took the Champion’s title of the seventh edition of the St-Barth Cata Cup with a near-perfect journey. The Marché U day ended with a friendly race to Public. ... [more]  

Robert Scheidt talks to us just a few days before the Nassau start of the Star Sailors League Final. How do you feel inside? I feel very calm. Myself and Bruno have tons of experience with the Star. We’ve been competing together for 10 years now. ... [more]  

The US Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) has selected Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) to host their 2015 National Championships. This championship will be a week-long sailing spectacular on Pensacola Bay sailed by International Optimist Dinghy sailors from eight to 15 years old. ... [more]  

More than forty five years since his historical circumnavigation, legendary Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, continues to prove inspirational to adventurers around the globe. Sir Robin, the oldest entrant in the 3,542 mile Route du Rhum, finished third in his Rhum class into La Pointe À Pitre, Guadeloupe. ... [more]  

With Olympic heroes and World Champions in their numbers at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, UAE, local children are being inspired to take up the sport. By utilising the star names on show at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, hosts of the regatta, are using the event to promote the sport in the Emirati capital. ... [more]  

The last day of the Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup saw a grandstand finale to the 2014 PWA World Tour as the morning showers finally cleared to allow the wind to fill in and the respective titles to be decided. With the racing beginning later than scheduled the title race came down to one final race, which would ultimately decide the title. ... [more]  

Sometime during last night’s moonless gloom in the Volvo Ocean Race, the masthead lights of Dongfeng and Mapfre appeared to the west, maybe right where they would have been if we had jibed with the fleet the previous day. To say that was a relief is an understatement-that we are back in touch, back in the fray near the front, it keeps everyone motivated and pushing a little bit harder. ... [more]  

Olympic medal-winning skipper Ian Walker, from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) – the emirate’s Volvo Ocean Race contesting squad – recently took time out of his hectic schedule while he was in Cape Town, as the team prepared for Leg 2 of the race to catch-up with students at The British School Al Khubairat via a video call. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – Corinna Halloran reports on day five of leg 2 for Team SCA. Team SCA has a super fan. She’s seven and, at home, she has posters of Team SCA on her wall. As a member of the team, and as a woman in 2014, this is extremely cool. ... [more]  

The Sailing Instructions for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final that will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 26-30 November have been published. All ten Olympic events and an Open Kiteboarding event will be contested in the Emirati capital off of the stunning Corniche. ... [more]  

Italy's Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich have been one of the leading teams in the Women's Skiff, the 49erFX, and head to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ready for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. ... [more]  

St Barth Cata Cup day 3 by Dominique Ladouceur
Day three’s race was a lot more difficult than yesterday’s at the St-Barth Cata Cup due to b winds. After pushing back the morning race to 2p.m. due to 30 knots winds at the tip of Colombier, the race committee decided to stick to only one race in the afternoon. ... [more]  

Team Alivimedica skipper Charlie Enright and navigator Will Oxley sat with Andy Rice to assess Leg 2 before the start in Cape Town. Here is the second part of the Leg Two analysis. ... [more]  

Position report for the Volvo Ocean Race boats as of 24th November 0700 UTC. It's been a fairly quiet night out there - and the biggest change is that the boats are beginning to close up, and become more compact. ADOR, who gybed north first, around six hours before the rest of the fleet on Saturday night, have moved south a little, whereas the rest of the boats have remained in the same line. ... [more]  

The 10 competing teams at the RC44 Oman Cup enjoyed a great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman for the penultimate day of the 2014 Championship Tour. Terry Hutchinson continued to guide Vladimir Prosihkin’s Team Nika the right way around the course, extending their lead in the overall standings, adding another race win to their scoreline, Team Aqua stay second with Charisma hanging onto third. ... [more]  

Position report for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet as of 23 November, 1900 UTC. Four days into the Leg 2, and the fleet is finally making progress towards Abu Dhabi. The seven boats are now south of Madagascar, and they’ve been heading north since last night. ... [more]  

Position report for the Volvo Ocean Race boats as of 0748 UTC, November 23rd. So what happened overnight? Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were the first to head north and then progressively the other boats in the fleet decided to follow their lead. The fleet is really close together. ... [more]  

Gladwell's Line: The America's Cup is now Bermuda's Cup? *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The America's Cup roared into life on Friday with the publication of a story out of San Diego, saying that the Californian venue had missed getting the nod as the venue for the next America's Cup. And that being the case, then the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda seems to have got the nod. ... [more]  

VX ONE Winter Series 2014: It was a family affair at the top of the leaderboard for the opening weekend of the VX One Winter Series. Michael, Christina, Robert and Phillip Norris bested 21 other teams at Sarasota Sailing Squadron to take the advantage in the three-weekend series, which continues through March 2015. ... [more]  

With no team able to discard the last event of the season, the podium positions were by no means secure as last day of racing got underway at the RC44 Oman Cup, in a sedate seven-knot breeze. Going into the final day Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika, with tactician Terry Hutchinson calling the shots, sat at the top of the leader board having shown an unmatched level of consistency in Muscat. ... [more]  

18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy - Race three
Volvo Ocean Race: On board with Abu Dhabi - torn sail and where to go? *Feature
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Bermuda shines
2014 Turkey Day Regatta – Day 1
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Delphine Cousin officially world champ
Volvo Ocean Race: A man's got to do what a man's got to do
RC44 Championship Tour - A great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Open Formula Kiteboarding event preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet heads into the Southern Ocean + Videos *Feature
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Set to be an 'experience of a lifetime'
America's Cup: Source named in Bermuda venue leak *Feature
2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Challenging day + Videos
Volvo Ocean Race: A bumpy, hard driving ride in the Southern Ocean
EPA punts on renewable fuel standard
Yates Cup: US supermaxi Rio100 wins first offshore race + Video *Feature
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Men’s title race takes a twist
RC44 Oman Cup - Consistency hard to come by
Volvo Ocean Race - Discomfort takes over for Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race - Rapid change for Team SCA
Viper 640 event at Lake Garda - 22-26th June 2015   
British Cycling grows by over 500%, can sailing do the same?   
GC32 Racing Tour 2015 - Dates and venues   
Class 40-footers to be featured in 2015 Annapolis-to-Newport Race   
Spectacular performance by Bakewell-White maxi early in first race *Feature   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Big strides for Cousin and Moussilmani   
America's Cup: Team New Zealand responds to Venue rumours *Feature   
ORC reveals rule improvements for 2015   
Volvo Ocean Race - Hammer down for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA heads for unknown territory   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final set to be 'an experience of a lifetime'   
RC44 Oman Cup - Team Nika gets a taste for the podium + Video   
St Barth Cata Cup 2014 - Game on!   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Wild Oats XI reveals new livery   
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 - Wild Oats XI and Audi ready: photos   
Volvo Ocean Race: Meek's tips pay dividend in Leg 2 squalls and calms *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in search of hometown glory   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Waiting game continues on day 2   
Barcelona World Race skippers named as scientific agents   
Volvo Ocean Race: Stop-start battle to the Cape of Good Hope   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT