• Announcements

    • Zapata

      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
GHarbor1

Bad Times in Mobile

263 posts in this topic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done that race a couple of times and now live not 20 miles from the start line. I watched that squall line blow through from the west this afternoon and was pretty impressed and can see how it would create havoc among the race fleet. I witnessed williwaws come roaring down the bayou from the west at what must have been 45-50 knots. Enough to whip spray up off the water with very short fetch. Mobile must have been pretty rough for anyone still out on the course. Hope everyone is safe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone there post a roster of those who finished safely? Anyone see the multis finish?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be clear i have no first hand knowledge. But there are reports that five people were missing (confirmed by newspapers), and I have heard rumors that one of the five was found alive. In addition to the one person found dead.

 

This was probably the worst of all worlds, a huge number of small beach cats and dinghys and an unexpected 75kn thunderstorm. I have a lot of friends that were likely there, I haven't heard from anyone yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did not sail it this year

FYC has pulled the scratch sheet

Typically 10-15 beach cats not sure this year.

 

Video Info here

and Here

 

Here is a video shot at the florabama probably 30 miles east.

at 009s good idea of what it probably looked like coming in.

I live 20 mi NE of the start and although pretty breezey was more of a rain event for us.

 

 

more details here http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2015/04/several_boaters_missing_after.html#incart_std

 

Thoughts and prayers to all involved

 

VM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh. Been there on a Laser 2. The squall line hit so fast there was nothing I could do to get out of the way.

 

Thoughts to everyone involved...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thoughts and prayers to the missing.

 

9 seconds into the last video the camera shows what is clearly an a@@ kicker of a cell. From there it is open to "shoulda", "woulda" and "coulda"- none of which are useful at this point.

 

Hope it ends well for the rest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn't panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.

When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sailed the Dauphin Island Race from Fairhope in 1965-had a blast. So sorry to hear of the tragedy yesterday!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all condolences to the families and friends of anyone who remains missing and to the those who have lost a loved one. Terrible news indeed from Mobile Bay, AL. It strikes me that the sailors interviewed noted that it "Came out of nowhere" and that "We didn't even have time to put a life jacket on". Having sailed that area a fair bit it is important to note that the topography is pretty flat and once you are out on Mobile Bay there are few visual obstructions that would limit your ability to see weather coming. Especially severe weather where the cumulonimbus towers often reach 50,000 feet or more.

 

I have not looked back to see what warnings or severe weather statements were in place but a quick glance at today's watches/warning notes severe thunderstorms with hail, strong winds, cloud to ground lightning and tornadoes are possible. I lived in the south for many years and thunderstorms are just a part of the daily routine. In the spring however, everyone should understand that that the propensity for more severe storms, particularly tornadic ones is more likely when a cold front is involved. In the case of the Mobile Bay storms yesterday the winds are most likely to be associated with straight line winds that drop out of the thunderstorms and reach the surface with speeds that can easily fall into the 50-70mph range. That is a ton of wind when you go from 15-50 in 15 seconds or less. These winds can catch people unprepared when the downward flow either happens right on top of them or when the wind whipped froth on the water is something they have not seen before and fail to recognize just how severe things are about to get.

 

With today's way more comfortable PFD technology I really can't understand why anyone would sail without wearing one, particularly when there is clearly weather in the area. I hope that the death of the sailor on the Bay yesterday serves as a permanent reminder to all of us that weather is to be taken seriously and that each and every time you dock off for a day on the water one must use an abundance of preparation and caution. I do not know if the sailor that died was wearing a PFD or not. I do not know if he/she was well prepared and aware of the weather situation. Even the best prepared sailors and meteorologists can get caught off guard (Sydney/Hobart 1998). I freely admit that I got caught by a dry front on February 3, 1986 and almost died in Santa Monica Bay. Luckily I was wearing my PFD, a Drysuit, set off my EPIRB and called Mayday. None of the Baywatch boats nor the Coast Guard Cutter could make the turn at the mouth of the harbor due to waves breaking 100 yards outside the entrance to Marina del Rey. Conditions beyond our control can and do happen. At that point we must depend on our seamanship, strength and making good choices when things go bad to save ourselves. I was LUCKY*.

 

As a community let's try and make CERTAIN that we all learn what happened yesterday on Mobile Bay and spend the rest of our boating life making safer decisions as a result of the events of April 25, 2015. His/her death should not be in vein.

 

RECOGNIZING SEVERE WEATHER

 

650x366_04101810_465505219.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sailors we rescued yesterday were all wearing PFDs, they stated that the two victims were also wearing PFDs. The chop on the bay was so incredibly steep that it may have contributed to them drowning as the water was constantly breaking over their heads. Ironically one overboard sailor survived a three hour ordeal without a PFD. I'm not advocating against wearing life jackets I'm just telling you what I know that happened yesterday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just spoke with one of the Cats to make it safely back to the club after finishing the race - said they had 3 great sailors on cats get caught 350 yards short of the club, flip, separated from boat and watched in dismay as their boats were crushed on a seawall. Luckily all got to shore safely. One father daughter team had their Hobie 16 destroyed and floated together for 2 hours before being rescued. Puffyjman, great job saving lives...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn't panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.

When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

Well done to you and your crew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1

Well Done Sir!

 

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn't panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.
When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.
My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

Well done to you and your crew.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been in a storm like this and it killed the people on the boat next to us. It DID move so fast getting PFDs on in time was a near thing if you weren't constantly watching the horizon. Being in the water = death. The 90 + knot winds (in our case) whipped the wave tops off into a foam you couldn't float in and couldn't breath either :o:(

 

I swear back when racing safety rules = old PFDs someplace in the cabin last seen a month ago we didn't lose people like this racing as often. Maybe my bad memory but fuck this sucks :(

 

First of all condolences to the families and friends of anyone who remains missing and to the those who have lost a loved one. Terrible news indeed from Mobile Bay, AL. It strikes me that the sailors interviewed noted that it "Came out of nowhere" and that "We didn't even have time to put a life jacket on". Having sailed that area a fair bit it is important to note that the topography is pretty flat and once you are out on Mobile Bay there are few visual obstructions that would limit your ability to see weather coming. Especially severe weather where the cumulonimbus towers often reach 50,000 feet or more.

 

I have not looked back to see what warnings or severe weather statements were in place but a quick glance at today's watches/warning notes severe thunderstorms with hail, strong winds, cloud to ground lightning and tornadoes are possible. I lived in the south for many years and thunderstorms are just a part of the daily routine. In the spring however, everyone should understand that that the propensity for more severe storms, particularly tornadic ones is more likely when a cold front is involved. In the case of the Mobile Bay storms yesterday the winds are most likely to be associated with straight line winds that drop out of the thunderstorms and reach the surface with speeds that can easily fall into the 50-70mph range. That is a ton of wind when you go from 15-50 in 15 seconds or less. These winds can catch people unprepared when the downward flow either happens right on top of them or when the wind whipped froth on the water is something they have not seen before and fail to recognize just how severe things are about to get.

 

With today's way more comfortable PFD technology I really can't understand why anyone would sail without wearing one, particularly when there is clearly weather in the area. I hope that the death of the sailor on the Bay yesterday serves as a permanent reminder to all of us that weather is to be taken seriously and that each and every time you dock off for a day on the water one must use an abundance of preparation and caution. I do not know if the sailor that died was wearing a PFD or not. I do not know if he/she was well prepared and aware of the weather situation. Even the best prepared sailors and meteorologists can get caught off guard (Sydney/Hobart 1998). I freely admit that I got caught by a dry front on February 3, 1986 and almost died in Santa Monica Bay. Luckily I was wearing my PFD, a Drysuit, set off my EPIRB and called Mayday. None of the Baywatch boats nor the Coast Guard Cutter could make the turn at the mouth of the harbor due to waves breaking 100 yards outside the entrance to Marina del Rey. Conditions beyond our control can and do happen. At that point we must depend on our seamanship, strength and making good choices when things go bad to save ourselves. I was LUCKY*.

 

As a community let's try and make CERTAIN that we all learn what happened yesterday on Mobile Bay and spend the rest of our boating life making safer decisions as a result of the events of April 25, 2015. His/her death should not be in vein.

 

RECOGNIZING SEVERE WEATHER

 

650x366_04101810_465505219.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn't panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.

When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

Condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives. My hat's off to you and your crew for rescuing the survivors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sailors we rescued yesterday were all wearing PFDs, they stated that the two victims were also wearing PFDs. The chop on the bay was so incredibly steep that it may have contributed to them drowning as the water was constantly breaking over their heads. Ironically one overboard sailor survived a three hour ordeal without a PFD. I'm not advocating against wearing life jackets I'm just telling you what I know that happened yesterday.

 

Props to you Puffy and your team yesterday for making a difference when you could have chosen to head to safe harbor. It sucks getting caught out there but it sucks more when fellow sailors go right by someone in the water and either don't hear their calls for help or ignore them. Great job being willing to risk your own safety for that of another in peril. We need more of you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prayers out for victims and families, and for those missing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Condolences to family and friends. WFD Puffy. Shit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nbcnews is reporting now that a second body has been found. 2 confirmed dead with 5 believed to still be missing.

 

excellent job by puffy and the rest of his crew to get through the storm in good condition and then rescuing fellow sailors from the water.

 

a nightmare situation to get so many small boats get caught by a big quick moving storm in open water. i hope we gwt some good news concerning the missing sailors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The sailors we rescued yesterday were all wearing PFDs, they stated that the two victims were also wearing PFDs. The chop on the bay was so incredibly steep that it may have contributed to them drowning as the water was constantly breaking over their heads. Ironically one overboard sailor survived a three hour ordeal without a PFD. I'm not advocating against wearing life jackets I'm just telling you what I know that happened yesterday.

Props to you Puffy and your team yesterday for making a difference when you could have chosen to head to safe harbor. It sucks getting caught out there but it sucks more when fellow sailors go right by someone in the water and either don't hear their calls for help or ignore them. Great job being willing to risk your own safety for that of another in peril. We need more of you!

I learned this morning that the two gentlemen that drown on the Cal were down in the cabin putting on their PFDS when the boat went down. They did surface and huddled in with the other crew members but succumbed to either hypothermia or drowning but they haven't recovered the bodies yet that I'm aware of so it's just hearsay at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(reposted from the wrong comment thread after getting my head out of my ass...)

My first experience with what I learned to call a "Green Sky Monster" like this was on Pensacola Bay in May 1972. On a Hobie 14. Alone. Turtled. Always have felt kinda lucky to be alive since.

Paraphrasing an old aviation mantra..."I Learned To Respect The Weather From That"

That stretch of the Gulf Coast is notorious for quickly enhancing bowing segments that can turn into a no joke derecho this time of the year. The storm yesterday could well qualify:

yesterday.gif

SPC had the area outlooked in "SLIGHT" (yes, Dry, I know about the new SPC categories). By 0930 local SPC had issued a Mesoscale Discussion for the potential of rapidly strengthening storms getting into the Mobile area:

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0452
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0935 AM CDT SAT APR 25 2015

AREAS AFFECTED...SERN TX INTO LA AND SRN MS

CONCERNING...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 109...

VALID 251435Z - 251630Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 109
CONTINUES.

SUMMARY...THE SEVERE THREAT IS MOVING MOSTLY OFFSHORE THE UPPER TX
COAST THIS MORNING...WITH A DEVELOPING THREAT ACROSS MUCH OF SRN LA
INTO SRN MS LATER TODAY. THE PRIMARY SEVERE THREATS ARE DAMAGING
WIND AND LARGE HAIL...AND ANOTHER WATCH IS LIKELY DOWNSTREAM ACROSS
LA AND MS.

DISCUSSION...CLUSTERS OF STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS CONTINUE TO MOVE
RAPIDLY EWD ACROSS SERN TX INTO SWRN LA WITH LEADING OUTFLOW
BOUNDARY. WHILE SOME CELLS MAY BE CAPABLE OF HAIL OVER SERN TX
BEHIND THIS BOUNDARY...OVERALL THE SEVERE THREAT IS DECREASING.

THE MAIN SEVERE THREAT IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP AHEAD OF THE OUTFLOW
BOUNDARY FROM SRN LA INTO SRN MS/AL WHERE HEATING WILL LEAD TO
ADDITIONAL DESTABILIZATION WITH AMPLE MOISTURE AND DEEP-LAYER
SHEAR/FLOW IN PLACE. THE STRONG MEAN-LAYER FLOW AND RELATIVELY STEEP
LAPSE RATES ALOFT GIVEN THE MOIST AIR MASS WILL FAVOR BOTH DAMAGING
WINDS AND LARGE/DAMAGING HAIL. THIS ACTIVITY WILL LIKELY EVOLVE OUT
OF THE ACTIVITY OVER SWRN LA AND JUST OFFSHORE.

..JEWELL.. 04/25/2015


ATTN...WFO...MOB...JAN...LIX...LCH...

LAT...LON 29679360 31069231 31679046 31848845 31458780 30958764
30488751 30208761 29718767 29118797 28888915 28989085
29449246 29419339 29679360

The Area Forecast Discussion from the Mobile NWS Forecast Office had already been pondering the prospects of two lines of sweeping through their County Waring Area as well. But, as is the case in many NWSFO's the Marine segment is generic and lame. The problem is that in most offices one forecaster is charged with both the Aviation and Marine responsibility.

In subsequent AFD's, you can see that Aviation was given continued focus while the Marine statement was never updated from its original generic context. That is unfortunate. Perhaps its time that in areas of heavy boating interests, organizations such as yacht clubs, Boat US, etc put more attention to outreach with the boating public and the NWS. The hardworking souls of the NWS will tell you they are eager to hear about the needs of their customers. Also, sadly, many folks don't know what they produce to help make for a safe day on the water.

We have become too enamored with "GRIBS" "TWA's" "XM Radar", and other supposed tech-no miracle weather products. Sailfow shouldn't be your only wx source. We have lost sight with a sharp "Weather Eye" cast towards the fundamentals of weather that sailors of yore possessed (same thing has happened with Navigation too -Vestas- but thats grist for another day)... :

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=MOB&issuedby=MOB&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

FXUS64 KMOB 251001
AFDMOB

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
501 AM CDT SAT APR 25 2015

.SHORT TERM...(TODAY THROUGH MONDAY)...FOR TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT...
WITH RAIN ONGOING...HAVE TO BE BRIEF. A PASSING UPPER SYSTEM WILL
BRING RAIN TODAY. WITH UPPER SUPPORT AND PRETTY GOOD WIND
SHEAR...SOME MAY BECOME SEVERE...ESPECIALLY OVER AREAS ALONG AND
NORTH OF HIGHWAY 84 THIS MORN. AS THE DAY PROGRESSES...AND THIS ROUND
OF RAIN ENDS...HEATING IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR...UPPING THE INSTABILITY
AVAILABLE AND CREATING A SECOND CHANCE OF RAIN TODAY. WITH BACKING OF
THE LOW LEVELS WINDS TO SOUTHWEST...WIND SHEAR WILL DECREASE...BUT
THE RISK OF STRONG TO SEVERE REMAINS FOR THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE
EVENING HOURS.

FOR SUNDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT...A LOBE OF ENERGY SWINGS SOUTH
AROUND THE WEST SIDE OF AN UPPER SYSTEM MEANDERING AROUND OFF THE NEW
ENGLAND COAST...DRIVING A SURFACE FRONT TOWARDS THE FA SUNDAY...AND
TO THE COAST BY MONDAY MORN. WITH UPPER RIDGING OVER THE MISS RIVER
VALLEY AS AN UPPER LOW MOVES EAST OVER THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES...PUSHING
AGAINST THE AFOREMENTIONED UPPER SYSTEM OFF THE NEW ENGLAND COAST.
THE RESULT FOR SUNDAY IS TEMPS WELL ABOVE SEASONAL...WITH SOME AREAS
SEEING THE FIRST 90S OF THE YEAR. SUNDAY NIGHT...A WEAK FRONT MOVES
ACROSS THE FA TO NEAR THE COAST...MEETING A TRAILING FRONT LEFT BY
TODAY`S SYSTEM. THIS WEAK FRONT DOES HELP TO COOL THE NORTHERN HALF
OF THE FA....BUT OVERNIGHT TEMPS REMAIN ABOVE SEASONAL.

MONDAY...THE SOUTHWESTERN SYSTEM MOVES OVER THE SOUTHERN PLAINS...AND
WITH A SURFACE LOW TRYING TO ORGANIZE OFF THE TX COAST...
SOUTHEASTERLY FLOW OVER THE GULF BEGINS TO STRENGHTEN THE SURFACE
BOUNDARY ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. AFTER A SHORT DRY SPELL...AN
INCREASE IN CLOUD COVER WILL HELP TO LIMIT HEATING AND KEEP DAYTIME
HIGHS CLOSER TO SEASONAL...ESPECIALLY OVER WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE
FA...ALONG WITH BRINGING THE NEXT CHANCE OF RAIN BACK TO THE AREA.

.LONG TERM...(MONDAY NIGHT ON)...MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY...THE
UPPER SYSTEM OVER THE PLAINS MOVES EAST...OPENING AS MORE ENERGY
DIVES SOUTH OVER THE NORTHEASTERN CONUS. A SURFACE LOW ORGANIZES
MONDAY NIGHT OFF THE TX COAST AND MOVES EAST...SOUTH OF THE NORTHERN
GULF COAST WITH THIS SET OF GUIDANCE. WITH THE SLOW EASTWARD MOVEMENT
OF THE UPPER DYNAMICS...AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF RAIN IS EXPECTED.
RUNNING FROM LATE MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY...THIS WILL HELP TO LIMIT
THE DIURNAL TEMP RANGE AND KEEP DAYTIME HIGHS WELL BELOW SEASONAL AND
OVERNIGHT LOWS AROUND SEASONAL FOR THIS SECTIONS OF THE FORECAST.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT...THE MEDIUM RANGE GUIDANCE
DIVERGES. THE ECMWF TAKES THE FORMER SOUTHWESTERN CONUS ENERGY AND
THE ENERGY DIVING SOUTH OVER THE EASTERN CONUS...MERGES THEM AND
ORGANIZES ANOTHER UPPER LOW OVER THE CAROLINAS AND TAKES IT EAST
OVER THE OPEN ATLANTIC. THE RESULT FOR THE FA IS STRONGER...COOLER
NORTHERLY AIR MOVE OVER THE FA. THE GFS IS ADVERTISING A PIECE OF
THE UPPER ENERGY BREAKING OFF AND FORMING AN UPPER LOW OVER THE
SOUTHERN PLAINS...WEAKENING THE NORTHERLY PUSH. BOTH ARE ADVERTISING
TEMPS DROPPING BELOW SEASONAL LEVELS. THE GFS ENSEMBLE MEAN IS ON THE
HIGHER SIDE OF GROUP...SO WENT IN THE MIDDLE...WITH NUMBERS CLOSE TO
THE OPERATIONAL GFS. 50S RETURN TO THE OVERNIGHT TEMPS AND DAYTIME
HIGHS IN THE 70S EXPECTED.

FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY...THE DIFFERENCES CONTINUE...WITH THE ECMWF
ADVERTISING A COOL...POST SYSTEM SURFACE HIGH MOVING EAST OVER THE
SOUTHEASTERN CONUS AND THE GFS ADVERTISING THE UPPER LOW THAT
ORGANIZED OVER THE PLAINS MOVES OVER THE FA. FORTUNATELY...BOTH ARE
ADVERTISING TEMPS AROUND OR A BIT BELOW SEASONAL...WITH RAIN NOT
EXPECTED.

&&

.MARINE...A MODERATE SOUTHEASTERLY FLOW WILL TURN SOUTHWESTERLY
TODAY AS A WARM FRONT MOVES NORTHWARD ACROSS THE COASTAL WATERS. A
MODERATE SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW WILL THEN PERSIST THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT
BEFORE BECOMING LIGHT SUNDAY. WINDS TURN SOUTHEASTERLY MONDAY AS
ANOTHER FRONTAL SYSTEM APPROACHES THE AREA. A MODERATE NORTHWESTERLY
FLOW THEN DEVELOPS TUESDAY NIGHT IN THE WAKE OF A COLD FRONT.

&&

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn't panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.

When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

Respect. Job well done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That video is scary. NOT because of the storm but the total lack of diligence. 1st scene- crew remarks it is going to be a bad one. No one has a PFD on. No lifesling on the rail. Some crew go below. Everyone should have had a PFD on, not the crappy ones they put on later in the video. The boat should have had a life sling and a heaving line at minimum.

 

Later in the video the storm hits and you see a 24-25 footer with main up in obvious distress. Not much they could do since they were not prepared. Hope the smaller boat is o'k.

 

It appears that is was an 18 mile race and then return trip to Fairhope. Mobile Bay is only 10 mile wide but I would guess that the 4-6 foot short wavelength steep waves brought on by a storm like this are impossible to navigate in a small boat like the dinghys and beach cats entered in the race.

 

I am sure some locals from the area will weigh in and correct any errors in my post. I have only sailed Mobile Bay twice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, deeply sorry to hear about this, but not surprised after living, working outside and sailing in the US South for 25 years. Huge shoutout to puffyjman for their rescue.

 

Second; +1000 to DryArmour and sidmon's posts. Frontal severe weather is a big deal and you can usually see it coming from far away, either through reading the sky or the forecasts. I have never personally run a regatta but if I did I would probably be overly cautious about sending people out when severe weather is forecast. When I am making decisions at work we just don't go to remote parts of the Everglades when severe weather is forecast. I worry more about pop-up stuff that can be pretty gnarly with short warning.

 

The NWS weather discussion is a great tool if you know how to read it. I can't imagine going out anywhere significant just looking at a site with a pretty little icon with a sun for 1000 or whatever. I like knowing the entire synopsis; what is the weather pattern going to be for the next 24-48 hours. The NWS forecast discussion gets this stuff right almost always, but the timing is often off. Timing can make a huge difference: weather experience in the area, radar, etc is invaluable for gauging what is happening right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is alot of good info to be had from the local NWS offices and the Storm Prediction Center long before an actual Warning is issued. But only God Himself was privy to exactly how those storms would evolve across Mobile Bay in the space of three hours.

 

(full disclosure, I use such info for work...and in fact was yesterday) ... What knowledge was available hours before, was the threat of a very rapidly modifying squall line rushing through the area with high surface winds as the particular threat.. Could the NWS have done a better job of conveying that threat? It appears so. Hence my suggestion that more efforts to connect the boating public to the local NWS offices like the one at the airport in Mobile need to be made. The NWS folks could follow the example of Amy Seeley of the Romeoville NWS Office who has been been doing just that in the Chicago area for years.

 

As for the "Weather Eye" aspects of those storms yesterday... Fast moving "forward propagating MCS's" to use the technical term are particularly difficult to actually "see" coming. I am betting that most would say they really didn't notice much except for a thickening of the haze to the west and northwest, then the usual alerts on the VHF, followed by Armageddon "out of nowhere!" Note for next time. If you see that term used on the Gulf Coast on a pretty Spring Saturday...Beware.

 

Also, the tragedy highlights the limitations of using radar as a forecasting tool even in the short term. Due to the very rapid advance and evolution of such storms the last image you get through that Garmin isn't likely to give you a heads up of whats coming up due to the highly complex forces causing the growth and decay of such storms.

 

Looking at the first 2 images below, you get no sense of the bow echo that formed and swept across the bay. Not engaging couldah wouldah shouldahs here...well ok, the first two...It was entirely possible to know that as those storms approached, to know that they were in effect as dangerous as a coiled snake hours ahead...But you won't get that knowledge from what we have come to accept as today's usual weather sources.

 

16661788343_faa102ab15_z.jpg

 

 

17256048636_e756c42daf_z.jpg

 

 

16659566394_7563322024_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just watching Mobile news and they had the max wind at Middle Bay Lighthouse (start of race) at 72 MPH. Fort Morgan (near finish) was 64 MPH.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work on the rescue and getting all safely back to port.

 

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn't panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.
When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.
My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^sidmon I see what you are saying about the 'weather eye' aspect of this storm after watching the video of the boat riding it out that DryArmour posted. It at first looked no worse than crap I've been caught out in in my Laser where lightning and low visibility are the biggest concerns. Then the heavy stuff hits, embedded within the storm.

 

Agree with your suggestion that better communication between the boating public and the local NWS offices in areas known for volatile weather is a good lesson to learn from this tragedy. I'm kind of an amateur weather geek and am used to digging deeper for info and I am surprised about how many people don't do this that are outdoors where this extra information could be crucial for decision making.

 

That radar would've scared me even without the bow echo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sailors we rescued yesterday were all wearing PFDs, they stated that the two victims were also wearing PFDs. The chop on the bay was so incredibly steep that it may have contributed to them drowning as the water was constantly breaking over their heads. Ironically one overboard sailor survived a three hour ordeal without a PFD. I'm not advocating against wearing life jackets I'm just telling you what I know that happened yesterday.

I think thats a statistical anomaly. Anyone not wearing pfds and harnesses in 50+ knots is a fool, or on a boat with a bad skipper.

The bubbas in Dry Armours vid at least have sail down. But sitting on the cockpit coaming in blue jeans and no pfd, well, nough said. Very sad situation but if that s indicative of how much of the fleet prepares in a squall, not wholly surprising. Hopefully some education will come out of this.

Nice job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had noticed the local TV station making weather alerts in the scroll at the bottom of the screen for at least 45 mins before the shit hit the fan at the Flora-Bama line. They were also cutting into regular programming and describing the approaching line as moving east at 60 mph. My girlfriend called from work to tell me to take a rolled up rug inside that had been delivered the day before and was still sitting out on the porch. I asked her how she knew of the impending storm and she said that she had seen the weather radar on her Iphone app that I had gotten for her called 'MyRadar'. She is pretty clueless about weather and I had gotten weary of her asking me for personal forecasts and she just loves MyRadar. She will wake me up in the middle of a stormy night to show me the screen and it is pretty much the same data that the local TV weather people get. If you have a smartphone and go boating, then you should have this great tool.

 

http://myradar.acmeaom.com/

 

No excuse for saying 'It was on us before we knew it'. I watched it approach for maybe 20 minutes. There was mention in one of the interviews that have made it onto YouTube that the race had been cancelled earlier but then was 'un-cancelled'. New Orleans got its but kicked the night before and there was no mystery that a major system was moving this way. FYC RC may end up taking some flack on this one, but the ultimate responsibilty is up to each skipper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I am doing micro-climate forecasting for clients and things are going south, I use a myriad of tools on multiple screens to get a sense of what is on the way. Upstream real time Wx Observations, Visible weather satellite loops, IR loops, NEXRAD composite and base reflexivity as well as velocity radar loops, live streaming cameras where available and real time lightning sensor data and finally PW values. I crunch that into growth/decay trends and then try and make as educated an analysis as possible. I am not perfect but get it right a lot more than missing the mark. Simply looking at base/ composite reflectivity radars if that is all you have helps but there is a lot more data out there that is of value and of course NWS watches/warnings are a great resource as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey!

 

I don't mind her waking me up in the night all anxious about impending weather, I just tell it is time to 'Hunker Down' and all that suggests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, but do you check with Rasputin's girlfriend ?

 

I don't think he would take kindly to that in the middle of "Hunkering her down". ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is a very sad tragedy for those involved. Condolences to all involved.

 

Rasputin, I have that app, used it for the 2 Everglades Challenges I did. Not fancy but it gives pretty good data if you are used to looking at storm maps and picturing what is going to happen in the next few minutes/hours

 

It's easy for all of us to say what people should have done, but after my initial reaction of, "Well they should have seen that coming!". I started trying to put myself in their shoes. I am sure a lot of people weren't that aware of the threat. They knew there was likely to be a storm that afternoon but that was probably it. As they saw it coming they probably rationalized it like many of us have done. Won't be that bad, might not hit, been there done that. At a certain point though, you know you are getting a beating, and soon.

 

I nearly got caught out in a storm like that once. Knew it was coming but figured I had time. I did, but just barely. I hopped in my little L.L.Bean kayak and headed out to an island 2 miles out at the river mouth. I got out there just fine and was playing in the waves about 15 minutes when I noticed the shadow in the haze to the West/ North West. It was hot, hazy and windy, a real weather breeder. I made it back in to the dock minutes before the first gusts hit. Lightning was intense, and very close. As I was headed in, many people were still headed out. I remember 3 guys in a 13 foot whaler passing me joking and drinking beer. When I got to the ramp there was a guy there hosing his boat off. The lightning was very close. I mentioned he might want to stop and he asked me if I thought the storm was going to hit. Within 5 minutes we were fully in the storms wrath. There were several fatalities that days as well. I was shocked at how disconnected people were to the situation building around them.

 

If the interviews I saw on several news sites were any indication it seemed there were people with very little experience out there on Saturday. Makes me sad. Sad for those that were lost, sad for those that lost someone, and sad for what effect it will have on the local and possibly national sailing community.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't 'Hunker Down' an accepted meteorological term thanks to Jim Cantore?

 

Please do not use "acceptable meteorological term" and "Jim Cantore" in the same sentence. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Isn't 'Hunker Down' an accepted meteorological term thanks to Jim Cantore?

 

Please do not use "acceptable meteorological term" and "Jim Cantore" in the same sentence. Thank you.

 

Right! Sorry...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is a very sad tragedy for those involved. Condolences to all involved.

 

Rasputin, I have that app, used it for the 2 Everglades Challenges I did. Not fancy but it gives pretty good data if you are used to looking at storm maps and picturing what is going to happen in the next few minutes/hours

 

It's easy for all of us to say what people should have done, but after my initial reaction of, "Well they should have seen that coming!". I started trying to put myself in their shoes. I am sure a lot of people weren't that aware of the threat. They knew there was likely to be a storm that afternoon but that was probably it. As they saw it coming they probably rationalized it like many of us have done. Won't be that bad, might not hit, been there done that. At a certain point though, you know you are getting a beating, and soon.

 

I nearly got caught out in a storm like that once. Knew it was coming but figured I had time. I did, but just barely. I hopped in my little L.L.Bean kayak and headed out to an island 2 miles out at the river mouth. I got out there just fine and was playing in the waves about 15 minutes when I noticed the shadow in the haze to the West/ North West. It was hot, hazy and windy, a real weather breeder. I made it back in to the dock minutes before the first gusts hit. Lightning was intense, and very close. As I was headed in, many people were still headed out. I remember 3 guys in a 13 foot whaler passing me joking and drinking beer. When I got to the ramp there was a guy there hosing his boat off. The lightning was very close. I mentioned he might want to stop and he asked me if I thought the storm was going to hit. Within 5 minutes we were fully in the storms wrath. There were several fatalities that days as well. I was shocked at how disconnected people were to the situation building around them.

 

If the interviews I saw on several news sites were any indication it seemed there were people with very little experience out there on Saturday. Makes me sad. Sad for those that were lost, sad for those that lost someone, and sad for what effect it will have on the local and possibly national sailing community.

 

Weather is a major piece of getting one's pilot's license here in the states. It should be an important part of any skipper's float plan as well.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the kind of tragic story that keeps me having nightmares all summer. I've only had two truly major weather "events" during my decades of race management. The good news is that while both had seriously dangerous potential, they both ended with all sailors safe on shore. Eventually.

 

The first event in July 2007 (massive, sudden T-storm, with winds over 70 knots, and the most incredible lightning storm I've ever seen) ended OK with everyone safe, despite two boats sinking. Nothing was visible in the almost clear sky, but fortunately I spotted it blowing up thanks to a very early mobile WAP radar site, just a week after the first iPhone came out.

 

The second (last June) was a massive, sudden wind front, labeled by a MN meteorologist as a suspected "gravity wave," with winds that went from the forecasted 15knots to 65knots in less that 3 minutes, and stayed there for 45 minutes. One boat was destroyed on the rocks on shore after being abandoned. Half a dozen masts were broken. Again... all sailors returned to shore safely.

 

My sincere condolences to the sailors and families in Saturday's tragedy in AL. It reminds me just how much Mother Nature is always the one in charge. All we can do is learn from the sad episodes, and put those lessons into practice. A bit more common sense would help a lot. The use of something as simple as wearing life jackets is a start, unlike the sailors in that otherwise stunning video from Saturday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Away from the dock without a PFD on, un-fucking believable.

 

This is not going to have a happy ending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one is FO* REAL. Video from yesterday on the water. Gets ugly at about 2:30.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJF7i5z9lQ4

 

It took these guys 6 min before deciding it might be a good idea to get PFDs on? WTF???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

This one is FO* REAL. Video from yesterday on the water. Gets ugly at about 2:30.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJF7i5z9lQ4

It took these guys 6 min before deciding it might be a good idea to get PFDs on? WTF???

In fairness, they seem to do most else right, and risk of mob given sea state and wind doesn't seem to be that elevated as all are in the cockpit, although recoverability would be reduced. I'd wear a pfd if I were there, but ragging on them too hard seems unfair.

 

I'd guess that heaving line wouldn't be much use as casualty would immediately be to windward, and throwing it into 60kn of wind it won't go far.

 

What it does highlight though is that if you're going to use a pfd, it needs to be the right one. Those foam jackets I see on north american charter boats aren't acceptable, it needs to be inflatable, and very importantly have a sprayhood, they work amazingly well, and solve any issues relating to wind driven foam and spray.

 

Good work by those that recovered casualties from the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Isn't 'Hunker Down' an accepted meteorological term thanks to Jim Cantore?

Please do not use "acceptable meteorological term" and "Jim Cantore" in the same sentence. Thank you.

So I'm guessing you're not a fan of naming winter storms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stick-

 

You're referring to "offshore use" PFD's. Mobile Bay is a comparatively small, almost completely enclosed body of water, i.e.- "in-shore".

I doubt anyone who commonly sails there, carries offshore foulies and PFD's. It seems unfair to berate people who sail in a little bay, for not being "blue water" equipped.

 

I will agree that there are better, in-shore rated PFD's than those orange bricks, and I will also agree that their lack of familiarity with those PFD's, and the fact that they never were able to get one on the helmsperson was not good. They waited too long to don them, fumbled around with them for way too long, and someone should have relieved the helm long enough for her to put her own PFD on.

 

Clipping on would have also been wise but again, in an enclosed, in-shore area, I'm not surprised that they don't use them or have them. Most people on the Chesapeake don't use them or have them and we're a much larger bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The race began, after an hour postponement, in 18-20 with overcast. My wife, the skipper, asked my crew to put on their jackets, as is her MO, jackets at 15 or better winds. We began the race with reef in, and I was surprised to see how many people didn't reef.

 

The day progressed with continued overcast and the humidity was such that haze obscured visibility more than, I'd say, three miles. The gusts grew to 25, the ambient to closer to 20. As we approached the finish, however, the wind laid to 10-15. We finished at something like 1520h.

 

The VHF had been constantly beeping with weather warnings, but all for north of the area. The general trend for weather appeared to be more of the same we'd been getting all day along the southern range of the area, with the tornadoes and violence north/inland. After so much of that, we figured the trend would continue. I'm sure quite a few of the racers felt the same way.

 

Thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones. As far as I know, there yet are people unaccounted for. Thanks to the DI Race Committee for doing a fine job in the circumstances, and the Coast Guard and Alabama Marine Patrols for their hard work and dedication.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ajax - I certainly didn't mean my post to be taken as critical of the crew in the video - in fact I was suggesting other posters were being a bit harsh - they made their boat a safe and fairly stable place to be, making pfds less of a priority.

 

On the pfd point, my thought was that conditions for a mob didn't look too different to if I went over the side in the western approaches - breaking crests (albeit smaller waves), wind driven spray and foam, potential forfor rescue times in the order of hour + (survival times not much more in spring where I sail, so longer wait not relevant). As such, it might make sense to carry pfds designed for those parameters, which prob means something more than a typical "inshore" design. But as you surmise I don't know the area...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries, it's still a good discussion.

 

On my boat, I actually carry inshore PFD's and a couple of orange, foam Type I offshore PFDs for really bad weather or for someone working in a critical area, such as the foredeck. I also have jacklines and tethers. I don't have any PFD's with spray hoods though, and you have prompted me to look into that. I'm currently working on upgrading all of my PFD's with crotch or thigh straps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On another note regarding that video. While I hate to bag on people about PFD's, I'll concede they weren't too terribly worried about having them on. However....I was impressed that the gal had both the confidence to continue driving and that no one felt the 'need' to take over for her. Additionally, they had their sails down and secured, unlike so many others apparently. Overall, I give them an A-.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pilots still die in widely reported adverse weather, so the training we get is no cure-all. The human factor of wanting to be somewhere or not wanting to get stuck somewhere is very strong :(

That said, here in the Annapolis area a storm front like that would have had the NOAA weather radio channels sending alarm tones and the CG on 16 warning of severe weather.

 

this is a very sad tragedy for those involved. Condolences to all involved.

 

Rasputin, I have that app, used it for the 2 Everglades Challenges I did. Not fancy but it gives pretty good data if you are used to looking at storm maps and picturing what is going to happen in the next few minutes/hours

 

It's easy for all of us to say what people should have done, but after my initial reaction of, "Well they should have seen that coming!". I started trying to put myself in their shoes. I am sure a lot of people weren't that aware of the threat. They knew there was likely to be a storm that afternoon but that was probably it. As they saw it coming they probably rationalized it like many of us have done. Won't be that bad, might not hit, been there done that. At a certain point though, you know you are getting a beating, and soon.

 

I nearly got caught out in a storm like that once. Knew it was coming but figured I had time. I did, but just barely. I hopped in my little L.L.Bean kayak and headed out to an island 2 miles out at the river mouth. I got out there just fine and was playing in the waves about 15 minutes when I noticed the shadow in the haze to the West/ North West. It was hot, hazy and windy, a real weather breeder. I made it back in to the dock minutes before the first gusts hit. Lightning was intense, and very close. As I was headed in, many people were still headed out. I remember 3 guys in a 13 foot whaler passing me joking and drinking beer. When I got to the ramp there was a guy there hosing his boat off. The lightning was very close. I mentioned he might want to stop and he asked me if I thought the storm was going to hit. Within 5 minutes we were fully in the storms wrath. There were several fatalities that days as well. I was shocked at how disconnected people were to the situation building around them.

 

If the interviews I saw on several news sites were any indication it seemed there were people with very little experience out there on Saturday. Makes me sad. Sad for those that were lost, sad for those that lost someone, and sad for what effect it will have on the local and possibly national sailing community.

 

Weather is a major piece of getting one's pilot's license here in the states. It should be an important part of any skipper's float plan as well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got caught out in a similar storm once. It wasn't quite as severe however with winds topping out at 55 mph (report courtesy of a nearby weather station at a marina). Once we realized we were going to get plastered, we only had maybe two minutes to get the sails down and lashed. We were late reading the signs and had to struggle a bit in the building winds to get everything down. Once the sails were down, it was rough but no real drama other than worrying about lightning. Probably helped that we were in a Cape Dory Typhoon. Scared the shit out of me at the time. Had we not been able to get the sails off, it would have been bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

....

That said, here in the Annapolis area a storm front like that would have had the NOAA weather radio channels sending alarm tones and the CG on 16 warning of severe weather.

 

.....

 

.....

 

 

 

 

 

and if you don't have your radio on, you wont hear the warning...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so, is it the case that a severe weather warning was never broadcast over VHF for the location of the regatta?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an email from another good friend who was on an E33 in the same area as the 37 footer in the video.

 

They managed to turn around and get 3 people who were in the water off a Catalina 22

 

>>

Please watch at least the first half of this video to see how the visibility decreased and the wind/waves increased. A two dimensional presentation does not really show the total reality of the situation, but is pretty revealing.

 

I and my skipper, Rick Skinner, were on his 33 foot sloop. The boat in the video is, I believe, 37 feet. Both of us had our sails secured and running with the waves with our inboard engines running. We were very lucky. Just imagine being in a much smaller boat, possibly with sails totally or partially up, and having to rely on a small outboard motor, or worse, no motor at all!

 

It was very “exciting”, to say the least. We passed through the shipping channel at the height of the storm and heard a ship give us 5-blasts, finally vaguely seeing his bow as we crossed. As the storm subsided (steady 20-25 knot winds), but the seas did not, we spotted three men in the water clinging to boat cushions, waving and yelling. Their boat (22 ft. Catalina) had sunk and they had been in the water more than an hour. We were able, with some difficulty, to get them aboard and take them back to FYC.

 

Many of you receiving this email were in the same conditions.

 

Respectfully,

 

Chappie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is a very sad tragedy for those involved. Condolences to all involved.

 

... ...

 

I nearly got caught out in a storm like that once. Knew it was coming but figured I had time. I did, but just barely. ... ... ... As I was headed in, many people were still headed out. I remember 3 guys in a 13 foot whaler passing me joking and drinking beer. When I got to the ramp there was a guy there hosing his boat off. The lightning was very close. I mentioned he might want to stop and he asked me if I thought the storm was going to hit. Within 5 minutes we were fully in the storms wrath. There were several fatalities that days as well. I was shocked at how disconnected people were to the situation building around them.

 

If the interviews I saw on several news sites were any indication it seemed there were people with very little experience out there on Saturday. Makes me sad. Sad for those that were lost, sad for those that lost someone, and sad for what effect it will have on the local and possibly national sailing community.

 

My sympathy to the families of those lost, this is really a tragedy.

 

It's an even bigger tragedy in that it could have been avoided. I dunno where you all have been sailing, but I've been in more fronts and squalls and really-sudden-bad-weather than I can remember. Sometimes it's not all that bad, sometimes, it's been a major trial. I am not very expert in weather but I seriously believe in paying close attention to what is going on around you. When there are warning signs, a skipper needs 1- see them and 2- to shift his priorities. It's not even SEEING, much of the time. It's the slight chill ahead of an oncoming t-storm, the tang of salt ahead of a vigorous thermal. But when you -do- see a squall line or an ominous cloud formation, to just keep on sailing like nothing can go wrong is plain stupid.

 

Most people stumble thru life with little or no clue what is going on around them, and most sailors nowadays seem to carry that behavior out onto the water. It isn't helped by the fact that so many modern boats are not designed or built handle properly in hard weather.

 

PJM a big big plus to you and your fellow sailors for the rescue. Seriously, thank you for being there!

 

FB- Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Away from the dock without a PFD on, un-fucking believable.

 

This is not going to have a happy ending.

 

 

 

This one is FO* REAL. Video from yesterday on the water. Gets ugly at about 2:30.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJF7i5z9lQ4

 

It took these guys 6 min before deciding it might be a good idea to get PFDs on? WTF???

 

Damn sad to see the loss of life. I don't think PFDs should be madatory, but I haven't left the dock without one on in MANY years. Just like a seat belt in the car, my PFD has become automatic for me. PFD's save lives. I invested in a good, comfortable inflatable with a harness. I hope like hell I never need it.

 

We lost a club member a few years back. Husband and wife were out sailing when a front came through. The husband went over in a knock down without a life jacket. The wife was unable to turn the boat around even with the engine running.She was repeatedly knocked down, mainsail broke every sail slug from tack to head. I can't imagine the horror she faced not being able to get back to her husband.

 

My condolences to everyone involved in the Mobile tragedy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Severe weather has different meanings depending where you are. To some areas who rarely see much more than 20, a storm of 35 is of note. Meanwhile somewhere what regularly sees 30-35 and all the boats are set for that won't make much fuss for a sub-40 knot prediction. Never mind that fronts and conditions like were seen can sweep in surprisingly fast.

 

While I've never seen conditions to the extreme of what was documented here, I have had occasions where the weather got serious fast. Both times hot and light wind days, one was an evening race where the venue had minimal visibility to windward (shore with buildings in the way) and as soon as we saw ominous weather we started telling people to head in, only 1 made it in, everyone else had to ride it out (probably only gusting around 25-30, but it had been 5-7 and sunshine all day with no severe weather indications beforehand) in an enclosed shallow venue. The other time was mid-regatta, high performance event (bunch of skiffs and cats) where storm cells had been running along shore to our left and right all day, as the fleets rounded the windward the last time one swept down the course. In the words of the RO "I looked down to set the finish line, when I looked back upwind there were no boats upright". With the exception of one or two boats, everyone capsized that day, many broke equipment, at least one ended up involved with rocks and a cat went over and stuck it's mast in the mud and had to be left overnight.

 

The weather will mess you up when you least expect it, and when it hits not everyone is always prepared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Condolences to the family and friends of the lost sailors.

 

The front page reporting is unfortunate in that it shows an image of a turtled catamaran when the tragic deaths were actually due to a monohull capsize and sinking. This seems to reinforce Ian Farrier's comments in one of the G4 threads that multihull incidents are often more widely reported than monohull sinkings because when a monohull sinks there are no images available. Farrier claims that this reinforces misconceptions that multihulls are not as safe as keelboats. In this tragedy the sailors that were lost apparently drowned when their small monohull capsized and sank beneath them. However, all of the multihull sailors survived despite capsizes and lost boats. I speculate this is because the multihull sailors were already dressed for exposure when they went out. There is no front page image of a sunken monohull for the obvious reason that no such image is available.

 

The image of a turtled catamaran followed by a tragic story of sailors drowned is powerful and hard to not make an association between the two even when the catamaran sailors were fortunately all recovered.

 

This is a small observation relative to the tragedy, but it struck me after reading Farrier's comments just a few days ago.

 

My heart goes out to all involved. I hope there are lessons learned that can prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This one is FO* REAL. Video from yesterday on the water. Gets ugly at about 2:30.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJF7i5z9lQ4

 

It took these guys 6 min before deciding it might be a good idea to get PFDs on? WTF???

 

Got to admit, if I'd seen that coming towards me, even after one minute in I would have had people getting into PFDs and gear asap. If I'd had sails up, they would have been straight down and secured as well.

 

Seen it happen to many times to take the risk anymore. Its a harsh way for people to learn a lesson and just tragic that people were lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That video is scary. NOT because of the storm but the total lack of diligence. 1st scene- crew remarks it is going to be a bad one. No one has a PFD on. No lifesling on the rail. Some crew go below. Everyone should have had a PFD on, not the crappy ones they put on later in the video. The boat should have had a life sling and a heaving line at minimum.

 

Later in the video the storm hits and you see a 24-25 footer with main up in obvious distress. Not much they could do since they were not prepared. Hope the smaller boat is o'k.

 

It appears that is was an 18 mile race and then return trip to Fairhope. Mobile Bay is only 10 mile wide but I would guess that the 4-6 foot short wavelength steep waves brought on by a storm like this are impossible to navigate in a small boat like the dinghys and beach cats entered in the race.

 

I am sure some locals from the area will weigh in and correct any errors in my post. I have only sailed Mobile Bay twice.

Totally agree about how this crew managed their personal safety. They are lucky they were not knocked down. The PFD's they finally put on were a joke. I hope they will reflect on this.

 

I grew up on Mobile Bay and have done the race a number of times. The last two times were singlehanded on my A-Class. Makes me cringe to think about getting caught out in a monster like that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on the lady driving the piss out of it downwind, -1 on the OMG LJ's broke out too late, I take my own LJ on every boat I go on, don't hand me the orange one unless I lose mine.

There seemed to be conversation on the boat of steering into the wind "and riding it out" but the camera operator disagreed and they continued downwind. On that big boat I guess it is safer to go downwind but on a smaller vessel(Cat 22) wouldn't it better to face the storm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However....I was impressed that the gal had both the confidence to continue driving and that no one felt the 'need' to take over for her.

 

Well done jpuffyman and crew, and fair winds to those lost.

 

Veeger, I realize you THINK this is a compliment, but perhaps you should go back to the cave and shave your knuckles and try to figure out why what you think is a compliment is really a dig at women sailors, and frankly, women in general. The rest of us would like to continue reading and learning from a relevant discussion of the events.

 

Ajax, if you get any good intel on PFDs with spray hoods, share the wealth. I've wanted to upgrade mine for a while and this tragedy is a strong and sad reminder to do as sailing starts to gear up.

 

It is a shame that it takes an event like this for people to take safety more seriously. I'll often hear comments like "oh, its just the Bay" when talking about sailing on the Chesapeake. We've had crazy weather come through that would challenge some of the best offshore sailors, and a few summers ago, we went through a spate of weather-related accidents (especially on the Magothy River) that resulted in loss of life. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that those events are what it took for me to invest in a proper PFD and tether. Shit comes up fast on the Bay -- we were on a night race a few summers back and a storm came up -- 3 knots to 28 knots with gusts into the 30s in about 3-5 minutes. After about 20 minutes, everything settled back down and the rest of the night was an absolute perfect 10-15 downwind run home. That's Chesapeake Bay sailing.

 

The relatively calm "normal" conditions of any sailing location should never be taken as an excuse not to be as prepared as possible (jack lines, proper pfds, throw lines, etc.)

 

TCOTB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TCOTB,

love my spinlock deckvest. It has a sprayhood, and I find it very comfortable to wear, even with the leg straps. Wore mine for the Greenport Ocean Race last year, 85 miles straight, and was never uncomfortable in the vest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found out that we lost a U20 (crew are safe) and the E33 mentioned above that pulled 3 from the bay was doublehanded!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll not indulge in any armchair "what if" quarterbacking regarding this incident and the films shared. It's a waste of time dealing in hypothetical arguments mixed with reality and people's opinions, informed or otherwise.

 

This serves as a reminder to me and reinforces our operational safety practices for Brigadoon.

 

1) PFDs worn when underway and above decks -- no exceptions.

2) Any crew going forward of the pilothouse when underway in anything but the calmest of conditions (15-20 knots is not calm conditions even if it is fun sailing) is tethered in to the center mounted jacklines.

3) PFDs worn when working over the side of the boat at anchor or the dock.

4) Lifesling always ready to deploy.

5) Heaving line always ready to deploy.

 

The plan is:

 

1) Stay on the boat. Stay on the damn boat. It's hard to drown while aboard.

2) Use the jacklines and tether. Yes they slow you down a bit but, in tough conditions maybe one needs to slow down and rush less.

3) Wear your PFD or stay below, sit in the pilot house and work navigation or make something to eat.

 

The arguments for an against PFDs always come up and they are too full of uninformed opinion, heresay and hypothetical guessing to be worth anything.

 

Whatever they are, make you own guidelines and follow them.

 

Survive your adventures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

However....I was impressed that the gal had both the confidence to continue driving and that no one felt the 'need' to take over for her.

 

Well done jpuffyman and crew, and fair winds to those lost.

 

Veeger, I realize you THINK this is a compliment, but perhaps you should go back to the cave and shave your knuckles and try to figure out why what you think is a compliment is really a dig at women sailors, and frankly, women in general. The rest of us would like to continue reading and learning from a relevant discussion of the events.

 

Ajax, if you get any good intel on PFDs with spray hoods, share the wealth. I've wanted to upgrade mine for a while and this tragedy is a strong and sad reminder to do as sailing starts to gear up.

 

It is a shame that it takes an event like this for people to take safety more seriously. I'll often hear comments like "oh, its just the Bay" when talking about sailing on the Chesapeake. We've had crazy weather come through that would challenge some of the best offshore sailors, and a few summers ago, we went through a spate of weather-related accidents (especially on the Magothy River) that resulted in loss of life. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that those events are what it took for me to invest in a proper PFD and tether. Shit comes up fast on the Bay -- we were on a night race a few summers back and a storm came up -- 3 knots to 28 knots with gusts into the 30s in about 3-5 minutes. After about 20 minutes, everything settled back down and the rest of the night was an absolute perfect 10-15 downwind run home. That's Chesapeake Bay sailing.

 

The relatively calm "normal" conditions of any sailing location should never be taken as an excuse not to be as prepared as possible (jack lines, proper pfds, throw lines, etc.)

 

TCOTB

 

 

This: http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|135|2290066|2290067&id=2698025

And this: http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|135|2290066|2290067&id=2698050

 

Now get in the kitchen and get me a beer and a sammich. ;) (kidding)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To TCOTB;

 

The vest to get is KRU Sport Pro - been wearing mine for 4 years now and love it.

 

Google search "Revere Survival Kru" There are two models one with harness only and another with harness and spray hood. Both have a crotch strap and come in either black or blue.

 

For some reason this site does not allow me to cut/paste a URL link or photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stick-

 

You're referring to "offshore use" PFD's. Mobile Bay is a comparatively small, almost completely enclosed body of water, i.e.- "in-shore".

I doubt anyone who commonly sails there, carries offshore foulies and PFD's. It seems unfair to berate people who sail in a little bay, for not being "blue water" equipped.

 

 

I sail on a 1200 acre lake and wear a pfd... even yesterday when it was sunny out...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on the lady driving the piss out of it downwind, -1 on the OMG LJ's broke out too late, I take my own LJ on every boat I go on, don't hand me the orange one unless I lose mine.

There seemed to be conversation on the boat of steering into the wind "and riding it out" but the camera operator disagreed and they continued downwind. On that big boat I guess it is safer to go downwind but on a smaller vessel(Cat 22) wouldn't it better to face the storm?

Even a boat that size with IB isn't going to make headway into the wind in that wind and chop. No headway = no steerage. No chance of a Cat22 with an outboard doing so. Anchor not likely to hold, unless it's a really big one. Riding it out downwind the correct call, if there's enough searoom. Even a large dinghy (Scot, Lightning, etc) can go downwind under jib alone or bare poles in a short-lived storm, under control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noon news in Mobile reports that one of the five missing has been located safe at home. Still four unaccounted for. More that 40 people rescued but not all participating in the regatta. Still searching but another nasty day and the CG is asking the boaters that were helping in the search yesterday to stay off of the water due to the present weather conditions.

 

The other big sporting event Saturday here on the Redneck Riviera was the Flora-Bama Mullet toss. Could have been all time record setting conditions for a long throw with that wind at your back!

 

Wait! They would have been throwing into the wind...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A truly nasty storm. Sadly there were casualties. In my experience racing cats (& monohulls) all over the South, the occasional racers in once-a-year races like the DI race are most problematic. My good bad example is the image of the turtled Hobie 16. Back in the day, we had huge Hobie Fleets for this new concept in sailboats, these speedy cats. Two weeks before ( my wife/crew 1976-1996 just reminded me) every ocean race, our Hobie Fleet 153 had a formal boat inspection with a formal "Inspector", for ALL sailors & ALL parts, including trapeze harnesses, good PFDs and mast seal check. Original aluminum mast s.s. pop rivets each had a sealed liner, so no water could get into a factory mast. It was sealed and your cat would not turtle. Replacement s.s. pop rivets put in by owners or shop employees who did NOT HAVE or use these liners, that mast is guaranteed to leak unless each rivet is sealed with a dab of silicone. .

A Hobie 16 or 18 or 20 footcat with a sealed mast can be easily righted by 2 crew, or maybe one if the wind is blowing.

 

But unsealed? This is a dangerous situation, as you have maybe a minute, then down she goes, and 2 people cannot right a turtled boat. Old cats on the beach, bought cheap, or a neighbor's cat borrowed for the day by kids....invariably have never been sealed, or nobody knows about, or never heard of sealing cat masts. Please look or ask when you see one. And I thank you, Hobie Alter, for a lifetime of safe catsailing and teaching through your Hobie Fleets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To TCOTB;

 

The vest to get is KRU Sport Pro - been wearing mine for 4 years now and love it.

 

Google search "Revere Survival Kru" There are two models one with harness only and another with harness and spray hood. Both have a crotch strap and come in either black or blue.

 

For some reason this site does not allow me to cut/paste a URL link or photos.

 

This site certainly DOES.allow you to copy/paste a URL link or photos:

 

http://www.reveresurvival.com/index.php/revere-products/pfds/british-pfd/kru-sport-pro-inflatable-pfd-auto-w-harness-navy

 

http://www.oceansafety.com/product-range/lifejackets/product/kru-sport-pro-iso

 

krusportpro_l_websize.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave, I have ridden out a squall on my old G-Cat 5.0 purposely turtled, survival conditions. Not the best way to survive but sometimes the only way if you can "hunker down" in between the hulls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ajax, she better be asking you what you want on your sammich .... just saying.

 

 

btw, what is this "spray hood" y'all keep yammerin about. anybody have a pic of one?

 

edit: nevermind.. google etc ...

interesting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ajax, she you better be asking you her what you she wants on your her sammich .... just saying.

 

 

 

Fixed it for 'ya.

 

Thanks for the tips on the PFDs. Will definitely look into these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noon news in Mobile reports that one of the five missing has been located safe at home. Still four unaccounted for. More that 40 people rescued but not all participating in the regatta. Still searching but another nasty day and the CG is asking the boaters that were helping in the search yesterday to stay off of the water due to the present weather conditions.

 

The other big sporting event Saturday here on the Redneck Riviera was the Flora-Bama Mullet toss. Could have been all time record setting conditions for a long throw with that wind at your back!

 

Wait! They would have been throwing into the wind...

 

 

Yeah another nasty day indeed, what happened here two hours ago:

 

http://www.nola.com/#/0 (freight cars blown off the Huey Long bridge, tornado watch over whole area)

 

is over Mobile about now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TCOTB,

love my spinlock deckvest. It has a sprayhood, and I find it very comfortable to wear, even with the leg straps. Wore mine for the Greenport Ocean Race last year, 85 miles straight, and was never uncomfortable in the vest.

Suggested reading: The story of the UU tragedy....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats for the heads up Tom, I'll keeps my eyes open here in Orange Beach. When I really want to see what is in store weatherwise, I go to Wunderground. Here is what just went through NOLA according to their severe weather page.

 

Max Top VIL Severe Hail Hail Max Hail Size Speed Direction (from) P0 57 dBZ 35,000 ft. 42 kg/m² NA% chance NA% chance NA in. 47 knots WNW (282) Q4 56 dBZ 36,000 ft. 47 kg/m² NA% chance NA% chance NA in. 35 knots WSW (258) S8 56 dBZ 51,000 ft. 36 kg/m² NA% chance NA% chance NA in. 74 knots WSW (252) Z3 55 dBZ 26,000 ft. 33 kg/m² 0% chance 70% chance 0.50 in. 39 knots WSW (258) J3 54 dBZ 22,000 ft. 17 kg/m² 0% chance 0% chance 0.00 in. 43 knots W (278) W6 53 dBZ 42,000 ft. 31 kg/m² 10% chance 80% chance 0.50 in. 39 knots W (272) I0 52 dBZ 30,000 ft. 28 kg/m² NA% chance NA% chance NA in. 33 knots SW (224) L2 52 dBZ 23,000 ft. 15 kg/m² 0% chance 0% chance 0.00 in. 41 knots W (270)

 

 

That cell S8 is a doozy, 74 knots and 50,000 ft to top of the anvil! Turned on the tracks and that S8 is way out in the Gulf but plenty of potential destruction roaming around in our neighborhood.

 

http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radblast.asp?ID=LIX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah another nasty day indeed, what happened here two hours ago:

 

 

http://www.nola.com/#/0 (freight cars blown off the Huey Long bridge, tornado watch over whole area)

 

is over Mobile about now.

 

 

Yup That stuff Rolled through Beaumont around 5 this morning.

Pretty good light show

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

However....I was impressed that the gal had both the confidence to continue driving and that no one felt the 'need' to take over for her.

 

Well done jpuffyman and crew, and fair winds to those lost.

 

Veeger, I realize you THINK this is a compliment, but perhaps you should go back to the cave and shave your knuckles and try to figure out why what you think is a compliment is really a dig at women sailors, and frankly, women in general. The rest of us would like to continue reading and learning from a relevant discussion of the events.

 

Ajax, if you get any good intel on PFDs with spray hoods, share the wealth. I've wanted to upgrade mine for a while and this tragedy is a strong and sad reminder to do as sailing starts to gear up.

 

It is a shame that it takes an event like this for people to take safety more seriously. I'll often hear comments like "oh, its just the Bay" when talking about sailing on the Chesapeake. We've had crazy weather come through that would challenge some of the best offshore sailors, and a few summers ago, we went through a spate of weather-related accidents (especially on the Magothy River) that resulted in loss of life. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that those events are what it took for me to invest in a proper PFD and tether. Shit comes up fast on the Bay -- we were on a night race a few summers back and a storm came up -- 3 knots to 28 knots with gusts into the 30s in about 3-5 minutes. After about 20 minutes, everything settled back down and the rest of the night was an absolute perfect 10-15 downwind run home. That's Chesapeake Bay sailing.

 

The relatively calm "normal" conditions of any sailing location should never be taken as an excuse not to be as prepared as possible (jack lines, proper pfds, throw lines, etc.)

 

TCOTB

 

The gulf coast is a lot like the Chesapeake most sailing is done between 5-15 knots of wind speed and lots of time waiting on the sea breeze to fill in. I am not sure that the idea trying to be conveyed was 'normal' conditions are an excuse. More like normal conditions (in mobile) for your average weekend sailor and occasional racer don't provide a ton of opportunities to gain the experience to deal with a storm such as the one this weekend. I grew up on the gulf coast went to school in Mobile and I know casual racers there just don't go out when the wind gets up over 20. This limits the ability they have to quickly id and deal with something like this. It sucks hard because people get hurt when something like this happens. There are definitely experienced sailors like the folks on Tripp that handled this just and were able help others. (good work btw) The dauphin island race is a fun straight line shot down the bay that is kind of the kick off of the summer in Mobile and a good portion of the fleet were club level racers that this type of thing is just outside their experience.

 

You said it yourself until something like this makes an impact on you it is kind of out of sight out of mind.

 

Thoughts and prayers for everyone affected by this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found out that we lost a U20 (crew are safe) and the E33 mentioned above that pulled 3 from the bay was doublehanded!

Which U20?? Is there any poss of re-floating her? Curious as that one that sunk in green bay a couple yrs ago is still racing... What you been up to lately vibro?? Were you out there?? You get back this way give me a ring....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

+1 on the lady driving the piss out of it downwind, -1 on the OMG LJ's broke out too late, I take my own LJ on every boat I go on, don't hand me the orange one unless I lose mine.

There seemed to be conversation on the boat of steering into the wind "and riding it out" but the camera operator disagreed and they continued downwind. On that big boat I guess it is safer to go downwind but on a smaller vessel(Cat 22) wouldn't it better to face the storm?

Even a boat that size with IB isn't going to make headway into the wind in that wind and chop. No headway = no steerage. No chance of a Cat22 with an outboard doing so. Anchor not likely to hold, unless it's a really big one. Riding it out downwind the correct call, if there's enough searoom. Even a large dinghy (Scot, Lightning, etc) can go downwind under jib alone or bare poles in a short-lived storm, under control.

On the Tripp sat we quatered the waves under bare poles. The object was to keep flow across the rudder for steerage. It was a lot of work too jeep her there but that worked for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love my Spinlock. It is the most comfortable vest I have even worn and it has leg straps to keep it in place.

 

 

Ajax, she you better be asking you her what you she wants on your her sammich .... just saying.

 

 

 

Fixed it for 'ya.

 

Thanks for the tips on the PFDs. Will definitely look into these.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had some experience of this ... been caught in downdrafts and microbursts (High Mountain lakes) several times before. On each of those occasions there were visual indications that gave us some warning. Cumulonimbus, anvil clouds pollen coming off the trees etc.

Although I was not on the bay on Sat I was working in the yard fairly close by. I have to say that the usual signs that something was brewing were not there. It was hot and humid but there was a grey hazy overcast and the only indication (Aside from looking at the Radar on my phone) was a gradual darkening to the west. hence There was a little rumbling to the west but nothing terribly different than another afternoon in LA at this time of year. I think the speed of advance on this one was unusually high compare to norms for the area and that may have contributed to the "apparent complacency" and some folks being slow to respond.

I heard that 40 or so had to be rescued from the bay but only 5 or 6 of those were involved in the race.

I think the flipped hobie on the FP is somewhat disingenuous as that might be a pretty good survival strategy in the situation.

Saw a similar situation a few years back 0-55knts-0 in about 15 mins. High mountain lake ...A group of jnrs. got caught on the start line in lasers and a few other small dinghies. Their "chaperone" told em all to turtle and hang on. All came through fine and afterwards were back up and sailing before we were. I was out in an S20 and saw it coming down lake with about 4-5 mins notice. Great crew...PfD's on hatches closed and all canvas off and secured about 10 sec before it hit. Spreaders in water under bare poles.

All good in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+100

 

+1

Well Done Sir!

 

 

 

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn't panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.

When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

Well done to you and your crew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Just found out that we lost a U20 (crew are safe) and the E33 mentioned above that pulled 3 from the bay was doublehanded!

Which U20?? Is there any poss of re-floating her? Curious as that one that sunk in green bay a couple yrs ago is still racing... What you been up to lately vibro?? Were you out there?? You get back this way give me a ring....

 

Hull 99 Eric's boat not sure on status yet as I an in Tx this week

sent ya a pm re visit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave, I have ridden out a squall on my old G-Cat 5.0 purposely turtled, survival conditions. Not the best way to survive but sometimes the only way if you can "hunker down" in between the hulls.

I've ridden out severe squalls in Lasers and Sunfish doing similar. Intentionally capsize in the blasts. Hold on to the CB, keeping enough pressure to keep from turtling, but not so much as to right the boat. If need be, right the boat in a lull and sail for more searoom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Condolences to all. If you sail enough, eventually you will encounter something like this, if not quite as powerful. You only have to experience it once to be the first boat next time to take sails down and secure them and to put on life jackets and harnesses. If your are racing In a fleet, every boat will watch the others to see what they think and what they are doing. Your decision to err on the side of caution will likely mean other boats follow your lead. Particularly if you are respected. It's a literal statement that lives may be saved b/c of your actions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to the safety at sea seminar at Maritime last year, was impressed with the spray hoods and the elevated lights...Was in the Whitebread race too - Tony Dill and the RC made a good call for life preservers to be worn...good hindsight with the Alerion that sunk in that race...btw, i worked for the dad who almost lost his son on the Columbia 32 in california..and i am on the east coast and have sailed in the chesapeake for over 20 years, and did the down the bay race in the 34 to 40 knt gusts...

 

We know know the difference between 20kt gusts and 40 kt gusts..aint looking to upgrade to higher..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

TCOTB,

love my spinlock deckvest. It has a sprayhood, and I find it very comfortable to wear, even with the leg straps. Wore mine for the Greenport Ocean Race last year, 85 miles straight, and was never uncomfortable in the vest.

Suggested reading: The story of the UU tragedy....

 

Dash,

I read it thoroughly. As I'm sure you are aware, the spinlocks have gone through a rev since then, not to mention that there was some contention that they weren't fitted properly. I've tested mine in Boston Harbor and I did not experience any of the issues that were cited in the report. However, I do appreciate your concern :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was just posted on another forum by the guy who posted that video:

 

 

 

"Sounds about right. No warning from race committee. We were on a 39' monohull in the second division fighting for what we believe was a large lead over the rest of our division with just one other similar boat. Nearing our last tac towards the finish line, another crew member was checking radar on his phone down below while the two of us were making sandwiches, and he suddenly goes "uh oh.. that doesn't look good." I went above deck to see the boat owner and my father (who was skippering) looking at a nasty black mass of clouds on the horizon and saying "TheCrapIPutUpWith, you might look that way" pointing to the southwestern sky. We started to discuss putting down the sails and that's as far as we got when it was on us... It was maybe 3 minutes from the time we realized what was on the horizon. Suddenly 40-50 knot sustained winds were blowing us sideways. We were on a close haul, so the best we could do was to let out the sails and keep the boat pointed towards open water. The owner had the main sheet and jib sheets in each hand working them like a boss, while my father was wrestling the helm with all his might to keep us angled into the surf. The rest of us were keeping our heads low and looking for life preservers. Visibility was pretty much nill... although one crew member got a brief video from his phone and we realized when viewing it later that there was actually a vessel nearby that we never saw.

My father at the helm yelled "what's the in the water?!" (I was only 5 feet from him and barely heard him.) This was during the last part of the storm when hell really broke loose. Winds accelerated to what we guessed was 60-70mph. We looked up and realized it was three guys in the drink with no life jackets sharing only one horseshoe life ring. At that point we jumped up and tried to throw them our horseshoe and other life jackets, but they were upwind of us and the effort was futile. At that point we yelled for my father to come about and start the motor, but maneuvering with the motor would be impossible with the sails up in those insane winds. At that point lightning was flashing, but not going back for those guys was not an option. Another crew member and I sprang up to lower the sales while another started the engine. This is when my fear turned to courage, as I was at that point clinging to a giant lightning rod trying to release the halyards and pull down the main while the other crewman wrangled down the Jib on the bow (we don't use the self-furler as our sail goes down to the deck and gives better lift). We wrestled the sails down and got the jib pulled through the bow porthole and below. I finally got the main doused and another crewman helped pull it on-board and tied to the boom. My father got the boat turned. At this point things started letting up a little. After a few passes we spotted the three still in rough water. It took a bit to get them in the boat as they were pretty weak from fighting.

When the storm started clearing we realized a startling reality. We had been pushed sideways basically a good mile or more to only about half a mile from the DI Bridge.

We tried motoring back up to Dog River, but even after the storm passed, the current remained too strong. We gave up after 20 mins of basically treading water and motored with the current under the bridge to the DI marina After a couple of hours of sharing stories and recovering from our adrenaline rush, we left the boat there overnight, fetching a lift to our cars.

I'm very thankful that even though we did a lot wrong (when we saw those clouds, we should have immediately all put on life vest... also we should have had the main rigged for reefing...), the experience of our crew, a team that has sailed together now for over 20 years on this boat in this race, held us upright and safe. However, I would prefer to never to be on the water during a storm like that again. God be with the families who are missing loved ones right now. I can't imagine the losses they are suffering."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0