PNW Race Week Accident...

MPH

Super Anarchist
1,802
95
NW
From the unofficial noticeboard on Yachtscoring.com...

https://yachtscoring.com/notice_board_summary.cfm

"

22/Jun/2021 @ 10:55PM

MOB Today -

Dear competitors, I am sorry to share the news that we lost a teammate today. Greg Mueller on the crew of With Grace fell overboard. His feet were tangled in some lines which exacerbated the situation. Despite the efforts of many, Greg didn't recover. Please spend some extra time with your crews tomorrow refreshing your MOB protocols. My condolences to the With Grace skipler and crew, and to Greg's family.

Schelleen Rathkopf"

I have no further details, just came upon it on the yachtscoring webpage... either way it is a terrible tragedy. 

 
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Alex W

Super Anarchist
3,326
316
Seattle, WA
This is really tragic.  I sailed with Greg many times (both on my boat and others) and I'm still in shock.  He was a methodical and careful sailor and I'll miss seeing him on the water.

 
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rbarnea

New member
39
3
Seattle
I met Greg maybe 15 years ago. Sailed with him a few times. He crewed on a *lot* of boats and was a solid skipper and tactician in his own right. This is very tragic news and a sobering reminder that this shit can happen to anyone. Greg was cautious and seamanlike in everything he did. He was active in the Washington Yacht Club (the student club at UW) and was dedicated to educating new sailors and giving newbs the opportunity to race. He will be missed. 

 

view at the front

Super Anarchist
1,550
209
Anacortes, WA USA
We were the closest yacht to "With Grace" as their situation developed, as we were waiting for the start of our next race.  These are our observations and may not represent what actually happened, but it is what we witnessed.

We saw a crewman being launched from the boat and saw him hit the water while the yacht was under full spinnaker in 12-15 knots of wind.  He landed on his back and was being towed feet first through the water for many minutes while tangled in lines.  His life vest was over his head, as was his T-shirt.  We immediately headed towards them to offer help, watching them try to stop the boat.  He was eventually brought to the transom with 4-5 people trying to get him onboard, while trying to keep his head above water.  It took forever, but he was finally brought onboard, and they began CPR immediately.  We heard someone say that they felt a heartbeat, which gave us hope.

Our skipper called the race committee asking for a power boat with first aid assistance.  That also took forever.  Another Anacortes friend helped to direct the power boat to the North shore of Guemes Island where an emergency crew from the fire department was waiting.  He was placed in the boat and CPR continued.  We saw that his face was blue and his mouth was foaming.  We were truly traumatized with what we witnessed.  I cried. . . damn.

 

Somebody Else

a person of little consequence
7,642
807
PNW
He landed on his back and was being towed feet first through the water for many minutes while tangled in lines.  

His life vest was over his head, as was his T-shirt.  

We immediately headed towards them to offer help, watching them try to stop the boat. 
These are key statements.

The first thing taught in modern Crew Overboard education is the so-called Quick-Stop maneuver where the boat is stopped IMMEDIATELY regardless of which point of sail you might be on or which sails you might have up. The boat should be put immediately head-to-wind. This is where the boat failed, directly leading to the drowning.

 

White Lightning2

Anarchist
778
702
PNW
Damn. Very tragic. So very sorry to hear. Thoughts and prayers for those impacted. Perhaps we can save armchair critiques for a later date. 

WL

 

KMS12

New member
1
6
I came here to say that Greg was a friend and I always enjoyed sailing with him. He was a laidback, competent guy, always happy to share and pitch in. 
 

I also want to note, because a lot of people might read this thread and this info might help someone else in the future, that it is my understanding that when someone is being drug by a sailboat— whether in tangled lines or on a long tether— the first priority for the person’s crew mates should be to cut the lines holding the MOB to the boat. This should happen immediately, even before the boat stops. Carrying a sharp emergency knife for such a situation is a good safety practice— I’d bet that Greg had his knife but couldn’t free himself due to the force of the water. 

 

AJ Oliver

Super Anarchist
12,894
1,806
Sandusky Sailing Club
Condolences from the Sweetwater Seas . . 

And it got me thinking. I'm really too old for the foredeck - with peripheral neuropathy I can't even feel my feet. 

I best resign from that role.  

 

Hard On The Wind

Super Anarchist
7,541
372
GMT-8
We accept this risk when we step onto a boat. In a perfect world of preparation, skill, and good judgement this kind of thing wouldn't happen --- but that's not the world we sail in. Nevertheless tragic and sad. My condolences to those affected. 

 

AJ Oliver

Super Anarchist
12,894
1,806
Sandusky Sailing Club
Cristoforo said:
1. Nobody asked you 
I was merely trying to draw a lesson from the tragedy . . 

there must be others in a similar situation. 

They should be thinking about it too.  

Oh, almost forgot  . . . to flatulate in your general vicinity. 

 

Alex W

Super Anarchist
3,326
316
Seattle, WA
I'm sharing a couple of pictures of Greg.  

203310225_4613449452002672_8629261988608760396_n.jpg
 
taken by Krista S on Round the County 2016

RQ_DSC_0171-X2.jpg

I think this one is from STYC Fall Regatta 2016 or 2017

Greg is at the mast in that photo, a really common place to find him in events across the PNW.

It would be great to see more photos and positive memories.

 
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Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,909
2,531
Thank you View At The Front for not only responding to the situation, but sharing the story. 
 

I don’t get it though. If you’re dragging someone, just crash stop the boat. If you destroy the kite, so be it.  I’d happily trash every sail on the boat to save a life.  I wasn’t there though, so I won’t judge. Maybe something else was going on. 

 

Autonomous

Turgid Member
4,268
1,437
PNW
Condolences to friends and family.

When the time comes maybe we can learn something new about safety from this incident. All accounts recall his competence and the care he took. 

 




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