Bad Times in Mobile

Rasputin22

Rasputin22
13,914
3,470
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!

 

StumbleNola

Anarchist
620
1
New Orleans
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.

 

vibroman

Super Anarchist
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austin1972

Super Anarchist
12,472
314
1,
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...

 
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Snore

Super Anarchist
3,103
329
DTSP and on OPB
Thoughts and prayers to the missing.

9 seconds into the last video the camera shows what is clearly an [email protected]@ 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

 

PuffyJman

Super Anarchist
3,659
7
panhandle fla
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.

 

DryArmour

Super Anarchist
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


 
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PuffyJman

Super Anarchist
3,659
7
panhandle fla
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.

 

cfarrah

Anarchist
703
0
FL
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...

 

Remodel

Super Anarchist
10,243
888
None
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.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,253
5,167
Kent Island!
+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.
 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,253
5,167
Kent Island!
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 :eek: :(

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
 

dcbsheb

Super Anarchist
1,067
14
Sheboygan, WI
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.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DryArmour

Super Anarchist
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!

 




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