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Sea Rescue in the Azores Goes Very Wrong!


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An incident recorded in December 2015 off the island of São Miguel, motivated a change in marine salvage.

https://www.acorianooriental.pt/noticia/marinha-reforcou-procedimentos-de-seguranca-nos-salvamentos-video-294137

The problems recorded by the Portuguese Navy in the rescue of the only crew member of the French sailboat "SMA Solo Sailor," when he was 50 miles north of the island of São Miguel in December 2015, motivated a change in the safety procedures to hoist a Semi-rigid vessel aboard the ship.

The rescue footage was released by the SIC television station on Sunday night, showing how the crewman who was being rescued, along with three military personnel, crashed into the sea following an incident with the relief craft.

The Navy spokesman explained that a cable was damaged when it was preparing to raise the semi-rigid vessel to the patrol ship ' Viana do Castelo ', causing the fall in the sea of four people.

"A cable was broken and the vessel rolled over its axis, battling with the back along the side of the ship," explained the spokesman of the Portuguese Navy.

Note: You need to click the link to view the video

https://www.acorianooriental.pt/files/multimedia/audio_video/35_videos_ao_online/11232.mp4

Rescue.png.036cf8fe4526488171d70b94bd38b735.png

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It's all too easy to critique from a dry warm office keyboard, but..

wondering why the Navy ship was making so much headway?  That's what seemed to "trip" the RIB in the seas.  Could they have gone slower and made more of a lee?   Maybe not, since getting more abeam can roll the ship more. 

Our sailor got not just one distress situation, but two.   Glad everyone came out reasonably okay.

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2 hours ago, nolatom said:

It's all too easy to critique from a dry warm office keyboard, but..

wondering why the Navy ship was making so much headway?  That's what seemed to "trip" the RIB in the seas.  Could they have gone slower and made more of a lee?   Maybe not, since getting more abeam can roll the ship more. 

Our sailor got not just one distress situation, but two.   Glad everyone came out reasonably okay.

If you look closely at the video, you can see that the lifting cable attached to the bow of the RIB broke. That's why the RIB spun, and then turned over so quickly.

It is interesting that the Portuguese Navy didn't release this video for three years. The incident happened in December 2015, and the video was not release until November 6, 2018!
 

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Everyone is a likely expert, even me who has done hundreds of these launches and recoveries. And I’ve seen this video on professional maritime sites prior. ( not that SA isn’t professional)

The (my) main concerns are

The distance from the mother ship when they started to hoist. Frc should be right alongside . Something I use to teach frc coxswains was to try to push the mother vessel away with the frc. Keep parallel. This locks the frc against the hull. As once the hoist starts it’s retrieval the frc is going to be alongside mothership hull, best to start there instead of swing and crash in there.

Painter, had the coxswain slowed the frc and allowed some tension on the painter a lot of the snap and jerking of the boat would have been reduced. Once the painter is connected frc can actually shut off it engine and just be towed.  ( with frc on painter it should tow just under David hoist wire). Too many coxswain seem to think they need to drive once on painter and it gets them in trouble.

mothership speed, unless there is a reason to maintain speed ??? slow down, ideally vessel speeds should be 3-4 knots, or as low as possible but just enough to allow steerage. Frc’s are directionally challenged.

In the (in)famous words of the offshore coxswain instructor who taught me a few decades ago.

If you are going to fuck it up, fuck it up slow!

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I believe US Navy uses a 4 point lift for all of these size boats.

It's also standard to have a 6:1 safety factor on the lifting gear for exactly the reasons illustrated in this video. 

Good video.  I'm glad to learn a bit from their mistake.  Much cheeper this way.

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I've done dozens of small craft launch and recoveries from a ship underway.  Both as a civilian and in the Navy.  Just about everything you could possibly do wrong is exactly what you're seeing in this video.  If set up and performed correctly there isn't any reason why this maneuver can't be done safely.  Professional mariners have done far more in far worse conditions.

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I have done something similar (successfully) when I was on the big grey boats. 

First, it does with the ship going much slower. 

Next, the first line connected is the forward one.  That sort of helps tow the boat and stabilize it.

The aft line is then connected and the boat raised slightly bow up. 

It gets exciting if you catch a wave and suddenly there a whole bunch of lifting line under your feet (DON'T MOVE YOUR FEET!) then suddenly it is pulled tight as the wave drops away and the boat is suspended.  . 

I distinctly remember doing this once when things were a bit 'sporty'.  Lots of advice was being yelled from the ship to boat's crew.  Out of all that I heard someone yell COX'N!! (That was me at the time) DON'T LOOK SO SCARED!!. 

We all made it safely back on board.  

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Moonduster said:

Standard for lifting safety is 5:1.

Why would swinging cause shock loads?

 

The design factor (formerly known as safety factor) for lifting personnel is 10:1

This was moderately sketchy but far from dangerous and easily avoidable. 

As mentioned above, while making way, once the painter is made, the coxswain can take it out of gear, turn the wheel to starboard and the frc will be pinned to the side of the ship.  

Also agree the crane was slewed way too far outboard causing the swinging. Slewing well inboard will stop the swinging altogether.  

While swinging does not shock load, most cranes dedicated for these applications have a 'constant tension' feature for safe use in slop like that to avoid shock loading, but many don't use it.  Once it comes up hard, just hammer it till its clear the water, slew in to control the swing and proceed.  

Very sloppy.  I'd be embarrassed. 

 

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simple really - double the speed, half the thinking time.

Just what was the person who had the conn thinking? or was he thinking? 

What a clusterfuck. Guess that CO won't be commanding anything bigger for quite some time.

What, in the Grey Funnel Line would be called a 'sword & medals' moment.

And all that shouting - was there not radio between the deck & the bridge?

Agree with all that was said above, too fast, too far out, once painter was attached throttle on RIB should be killed, at that speed the RIB would be alongside and pinned in seconds - potential for drama over.

Back to school for all concerned

SS

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Hey, at least the ego-terrorists had a bridle, not just a single point.  Much good it did them.

Fun fact! That was the original plan for recovery of the Apollo astronauts, but the Hornet commander flatly refused to hoist the capsule with men inside.  Food for thought: the Powers That Be’d weighed that risk against the unlikely, but completely unknown risk of “Moon Germs” that might kill everyone on the planet. In the end, they decided that it was safer to dump a shovel-full of raw moon dust into the ocean, but set up a totally fake “quarantine” van just for the TV cameras.  Just in case.  

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On 11/22/2018 at 10:27 AM, shanghaisailor said:

simple really - double the speed, half the thinking time.

Just what was the person who had the conn thinking? or was he thinking? 

What a clusterfuck. Guess that CO won't be commanding anything bigger for quite some time.

What, in the Grey Funnel Line would be called a 'sword & medals' moment.

And all that shouting - was there not radio between the deck & the bridge?

Agree with all that was said above, too fast, too far out, once painter was attached throttle on RIB should be killed, at that speed the RIB would be alongside and pinned in seconds - potential for drama over.

Back to school for all concerned

SS

That covers all of it!! 

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All 

Those  who seem concerned about the single point it is a bit irrelevant, there are other options. A single point hook like a hendrison (sp?) from Norway, is a very common, well engineered option and used worldwide. A lot of experienced companies use them. The hook connection wasn’t the issue here.

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