Learning by other sailors' mistakes

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 27 Sep 2012

Learning by other sailors' mistakes

While we report that Britain's Royal National Lifesaving Institution (RNLI) rescued 39 people a day last year, there are no world-wide statistics for the number of rescues from sailing boats that take place annually.

However it seems intuitively obvious that, as more and more sailors take to the world's oceans, more and more rescues are inevitable.

It has often been expressed by cranky old salts, but can never be proved, that this is exacerbated by the explosion of technical aids to sailing: electronic charts, GPS-enabled EPIRB, PLB, AIS etc.; that these may be lulling inexperienced would-be sailing adventurers into a false sense of complacency.

One thing is sure. It is a rare rescue that is not caused by crew mistake. This week a yacht crossing the Indian Ocean hit something solid (Whale? Container?) and sank. Apart from that incident, the others all had causes in crew mistakes:

One didn't get his sails down in time and blew them out in high wind, then couldn't start his engine (and panicked?); another forgot to tether before he left the cabin; another either left port without reading a weather report or sailed too close to the shore or both; one had an EPIRB, but it was not GPS-enabled and not registered.

I love reading stories of sea incidents and analyzing them, in the hope that I will continue to learn by others' mistakes - instead of my own.

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Wear lifejackets for boating safety
Kevin McManus,
As thousands of boaters take to the water for the traditional start of the summer boating season this weekend, Marine Rescue New South Wales Commissioner Stacey Tannos has urged skippers to always ensure everyone on board wears a lifejacket. Commissioner Tannos said this was the simplest safety measure to help protect lives in the unfortunate event of a boating emergency.... [more]
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Operation Alpine targets boating safety
Penny Robins,
Operation Alpine would target boating safety on southern alpine waterways this October long weekend announced Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Acting General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams today. 'The main aim of the RMS campaign will be to ensure boaters are aware of their responsibilities when out on alpine waters,' Mr Williams said.... [more]
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Backstay saves sailor from certain death
RNLI/Sail-World Cruising,
They breed sailors tough in Scotland. As lone sailor Gerry Beard this week clung for dear life to the rigging wire he had managed to grab when swept overboard by heavy seas, a phrase his grandmother used when the weather was bad sprang to mind: 'Heaven help a sailor on a night like this'.... [more]
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Commercial yacht captains- how different are they? A tech survey
Nancy Knudsen,
Recently The Triton, publication aimed at the crews of superyachts, conducted a survey on the software that captains and crews used while they were at sea. From a navigation perspective, some of the results will be intriguing to the cruising sailor.... [more]
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World ARC Rally - Crew of yacht Ciao safely evacuated
Jeremy Wyatt,
World Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) 27th edition is currently underway. Early this morning, Tuesday 25th September, the crew of yacht Ciao, Slovenian cruisers Srecko and Olga Pust, were safely evacuated to another yacht, following a collision with a submerged object in the Indian Ocean.... [more]
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Whoops! Catamaran beached in Force 7 winds
County Press Online/Sail-World Cruising,
Whoops! Three crew on board could not stop their catamaran Dazzla from beaching in a very embarrassing way in Force 7 (32-38kts) conditions last weekend. The story has a good end though, as catamarans, practised at beaching for picnics, are easier to 'de-beach' than a conventional yacht.... [more]
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Perth-built Smeralda shines at Monaco Yacht Show
Nancy Knudsen,
While there may not be too many Australians who sail superyachts, it was good to see that the Australian presence in the doyenne of yacht shows, the Monaco Yacht Show, was strong this year, perhaps heralding more visiting superyachts to Downunder in the future. Prime Australian star of the Show was Smeralda, a 77m motoryacht, manufactured by Hanseatic Marine in Perth.... [more]
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Port Stephens survivor tells: The RIGHT EPIRB might save your life
Connexion PR,
This is a story about fishing boats, not sailing boats, but the lessons that Port Stephens-based Tony Egeberg says he's learnt are relevant for all who go to the sea in boats - wear a life jacket, carry a GPS enabled EPIRB and REGISTER IT! Tony is a very lucky man. As are the four people who were aboard his fishing boat when it overturned 50 km out from Port Stephens in March this year.... [more]
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China and Turkey pick up slack in marina building
Des Ryan,
The world is getting bigger, not smaller, for the adventurous cruising sailor. While the traditional sailing world is still recovering from the global financial crisis, China has announced the building of yet another sizable marina and Turkey has announced that two long-planned marinas are to be built in the heart of Istanbul, encouraging cruising sailors to visit the ancient city.... [more]
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Fatal sailing dinghy capsize report suggests safety measures
Jake Fish/Sail-World Cruising,
As a response to a 2011 fatal sailing accident in Annapolis, Maryland, members of US Sailing recently conducted three days of intensive on-water tests of dinghy safety methods and equipment. Sailor entrapment and the causes were also addressed. The tests were carried out in New York and California, but the resultant conclusions are of interest wherever you sail.... [more]
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Say Goodbye to Wet Shorts thanks to Musto and their BR1 Race Shorts!
Jade Mackay,
The launch of Musto's new BR1 Race Short heralds the launch of Musto's latest BR1 Race range in Australasia. Musto has always been known as the offshore brand of choice, what many may not know is that Musto also offer a performance range designed with the day sailor/fleet racer in mind. The BR1 range is an affordable performance range.... [more]
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Dangerous rescue brings more awards for three
Nancy Knudsen,
As cruising sailors it is all too easy to take for granted that the rescue authorities will be there when we need them but the harrowing stories of dangerous rescues are just what we need to be humbled by their contribution. A civilian medal has been awarded to three men at the core of a daring and dangerous rescue in New Zealand. Read their story:... [more]
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The 22nd Monaco Yacht Show round-up
Nancy Knudsen,
They say that all sailors - from serious to dreaming - tend to be boat show junkies, mostly dreaming of possibilities but also researching the practical. If this is the case, then the Monaco Yacht Show must be the epitome of boat shows for the dreamers, but you'd need very deep pockets to be researching the practical. The 22nd Monaco Yacht Show has just ended and here's a bird's eye view.... [more]
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ARC News - entrants rescue boater, entries open for 2013
Rachel Hibberd/Sail-World Cruising,
Never a dull moment when you enter the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC). While journalist Elaine Bunting was reporting that an ARC entrant had rescued a man who had earlier leapt from his burning boat off the coast of Gibraltar, the ARC organisers were announcing that they had already opened registrations for ARC 2013.... [more]
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Lost at sea for 15 weeks before rescued - by a shark
Sail-World Cruising Round-up,
One of a sailor's worst nightmares is losing the boat, taking to the liferaft only to drift and drift and drift. A man from Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean has lived that nightmare and survived. He was at sea for fifteen weeks before, he claims, a shark led him to rescue and safety.... [more]
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British lifesavers - 39 times a day, at your service
Joanna Quinn/Sail-World Cruising,
The numbers are impressive, but they only tell one aspect of the story. This summer, Britain's Royal National Lifesaving Institution (RNLI) lifeboats launched 3575 times - nearly 39 times a day - to rescue those in trouble on the water.... [more]
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Arctic ice gone by 2016, says polar expert
Media Services,
If you've always had a dream of sailing the Northwest Passage, by 2016, if a leading expert is correct, you'll be able to do it easily. One of the world's leading experts has predicted the Arctic sea ice will totally collapse in the summer months as early as 2016, comparable to adding 20 years of carbon emissions.... [more]
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The Burke Lifebuoy Stow Bag Has Been Redeployed
William Burke,
It's back! The LIF222B - Lifebuoy Stow Bag from Burke Marine has been redesigned and redeployed on to the market.... [more]
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NSW Govt announces interim site for Sydney International Boat Show
Boating Industry Association of NSW Ltd,
The NSW Government this week announced that Glebe Island will be the home of the interim venue for exhibitions whilst Darling Harbour is redeveloped, from 2014 to 2016.... [more]
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Noiseless, highly efficient hydro-generator from Watt & Sea
Tristan Campbell,
Kiwi Yachting Consultants brings the latest development in European designed power generation to sailors down-under. Watt & Sea offer high peak power output without the noise, fumes, and unreliability of traditional power plants. The range of cruising and racing options offer a yacht complete energy autonomy with as little as 5 knots of boat speed... [more]
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Seven annual sailing season inspections to save you money!
John Jamieson,
Did you know that you can save hundreds of dollars on your cruising sailboat by doing seven things once a year? Would you like to have more money for the cruising kitty or for the repair coffers? If you choose cruising, these once-a-year tips are for you.... [more]
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