Tragic youth sailing accident

NaptimeAgain

Super Anarchist
1,707
393
Annapolis MD
Do USN, USCG and DNR small boats use prop guards? They do a fair amount of rescue work so would seem to have a predictable general exposure to swimmers in the water.

 

Squalamax

Super Anarchist
2,569
94
Do USN, USCG and DNR small boats use prop guards? They do a fair amount of rescue work so would seem to have a predictable general exposure to swimmers in the water.
Its doubtful. Whole different ball of wax though.  Those are all experts in their field, not some kid who was given the keys and told to go drive a boat.

This shit happens more often than we think.(just not with as devastating results fortunately) My nephew was a sailing instructor and one day he and a few other instructors were screwing off in the 13.5 whaler. They turned too hard and ALL were thrown from the boat. No dead man tether was worn and the boat continued to circle the instructors, luckily at a pretty low speed. One of the instructors was able to swim for the boat and climbed up into it and shut it down.

 

RKoch

Super Anarchist
14,865
347
da 'burg
Besides human safety, prop guards make sense when assisting a capsized sailboat,  that has lines and sails in the water drifting about. 

 

WGWarburton

Anarchist
993
745
Scotland
If prop-guards were a magic bullet, we'd all have them:

http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/training/Training Notices and Guidance/Training Guidance/TG01-13 Prop Guards.pdf

 I don't think anyone's mentioned entrapment risk. I would be wary of compromising the performance of a "safety boat" that would potentially need to be able to get to a turtled boat, and manoeuvre efficiently beside it to help a trapped sailor.

 No easy fix: attitude, training, experience... and there's no evidence that any of these were missing in this tragedy.

Cheers,

                   W.

 

Rasputin22

Rasputin22
14,088
3,625
There is no reason that a well designed and properly mounted prop-guard can greatly add to the safety of a rescue and/or training motorvessel. The plastic Prop-Guards mentioned earlier have a cast aluminum version called the MPT that we will be using on a Waikiki Beach daycharter catamaran. The Hawaiian DNR are now insist the use of such prop guards due to accidents involving snorkelers. 

mpt.jpg


Here is a look at the motor and sled configuration we are using with the shroud from MPT. Bollard pull is greatly improved and the thrust is better directed and the foil section of the rings don't seem to detract very much on top end speed. The advantages seem to far outweigh the cons.

nWiFCGh.png


BbJlCDB.png


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Reduction of Fuel consumption at cruising speeds due to lower required RPM.

On small craft at a 3500 Cruising RPM, preliminary Thrustor® testing resulted in speed increase of 5% or a reduction of up to 300 RPM to maintain the same speed, which will result in additional fuel savings of 5%.

Since the 1930’s the Kort Nozzle at low speeds up to 9 knots, has a proven track record of delivering a 30% increase in Bollard pulling power, or a 30% fuel savings for displacement hull vessels under 10 knots.

The Schultz Nozzle™ speed threshold will exceed the hull speed of all commercial vessels; it is the only nozzle system that will work on vessels above 10 knots. We anticipate a minimum 5% fuel savings for all higher speed commercial vessels.

Reduces Hydro Carbon emissions by decreasing fuel consumption.

A reduction in cavitation vibration reduces potentially dangerous sound frequencies to sea life. These negative effects on sea life are currently under serious study.

Narrows the normally disruptive 360 degree propeller wash into a tight, directional thrust towards the rear which: 
Protects fish/egg habitat

Protects shallow-water plant habitat

Reduces beach erosion caused by normal prop wash

Safety Benefits

Reduces propeller strike injury to mammals, especially manatees.

Reduces chances of a propeller strike to persons engaged in diving or water sports activities.

Increases planing hull control, thus reducing over-the-side and capsizing incidents.

 

ZeroTheHero

Super Anarchist
Have to choose word wisely here as I am a USSailing level 2 instructor.

This is a very sad tragedy, for the parents, instructor, club, and all of us. 

I am 42 years old.  Father of 2.  I have a 12 and 13 year old.  I think I look at the job of teaching sailing a little differently than an 18 year old.  

This is a tragic accident.  Spoke to a fellow instructor at a regatta today who knows the instructor involved.  I don't know him/her.  From the description it sounds like he/she was a good, knowledgeable instructor and sailor.  Other than that I have nothing, so I won't add further.

Prop guards would help but aren't a perfect solution.  However most club programs don't have them.  My guess is cost.  

Teaching sailing is a young persons pursuit for the most part.  Why?  Money.  Cheap labor.

So if programs are watching costs and paying low this breeds an environment that exposes this sort of possible accident.

Solution?  No idea.  The current state of sailing instruction in this country has worked for a long time with generally good results.  Sailing is dangerous.  No more or less than other youth activities, but it has unique challenges.

 

shanghaisailor

Super Anarchist
3,140
1,282
Shanghai, China
A tragic accident and very easy to throw stones at the young instructor and/or level of his powerboat training as a SAILING instructor.

Under the RYA Powerboat Level 2 training which stresses the use of a kill chord (I think Americans call it a leash) meaning any movement away from the helm kills the engine. Additionally divers are trained to NOT move off until they are sure everyone is secure on the boat.

Having said that, if the youngster who fell off was sitting behind the driver or moved to a different position after the driver started to move, the driver would not initially or necessarily be aware that he fallen off until he heard the splash.

Thing about tragic accidents is they are just that - accidents.

It is extremely sad that a young person lost their life, it is also almost as sad that society will most likely consider it necessarily to string someone up to carry the blame and I am sure that young instructor is already suffering either from personal angst or sadly perhaps from (already) fingers pointed in his direction.

Sometimes huge mistakes are made and we get away with it with little more consequence than a fright or an unwelcome adrenalin rush, sometimes a small lapse of procedure can have tragic circumstances as is likely the case in this incident.

Let's hope it is remembered that he is not a mugger who robbed an old lady at knifepoint in a darkened street with no remorse or morals but a young sailing instructor who (perhaps) made an error of judgement while teaching others his passion.

We should also remember before making any disparaging comments that we were not there, the reports so far appear very sketchy and none of us really know all the circumstances.

Doesn't make it any easier to read but the fact it made the news kind of shows how rare such incidents are.

Sad news all the same.

SS

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,660
5,511
Kent Island!
I'll be having a word about this with my son before he takes the RIB out again. This does seem a bit odd, most ways of falling off a RIB leave one outside the path of the engine. The closest I ever came to chopping someone up was when a passenger fell out of a whaler I was running and HUNG ON, trailing their feet back towards the engine.

 

frostbit

Anarchist
A tragic accident and very easy to throw stones at the young instructor and/or level of his powerboat training as a SAILING instructor.

Under the RYA Powerboat Level 2 training which stresses the use of a kill chord (I think Americans call it a leash) meaning any movement away from the helm kills the engine. Additionally divers are trained to NOT move off until they are sure everyone is secure on the boat.

Having said that, if the youngster who fell off was sitting behind the driver or moved to a different position after the driver started to move, the driver would not initially or necessarily be aware that he fallen off until he heard the splash.

Thing about tragic accidents is they are just that - accidents.

It is extremely sad that a young person lost their life, it is also almost as sad that society will most likely consider it necessarily to string someone up to carry the blame and I am sure that young instructor is already suffering either from personal angst or sadly perhaps from (already) fingers pointed in his direction.

Sometimes huge mistakes are made and we get away with it with little more consequence than a fright or an unwelcome adrenalin rush, sometimes a small lapse of procedure can have tragic circumstances as is likely the case in this incident.

Let's hope it is remembered that he is not a mugger who robbed an old lady at knifepoint in a darkened street with no remorse or morals but a young sailing instructor who (perhaps) made an error of judgement while teaching others his passion.

We should also remember before making any disparaging comments that we were not there, the reports so far appear very sketchy and none of us really know all the circumstances.

Doesn't make it any easier to read but the fact it made the news kind of shows how rare such incidents are.

Sad news all the same.

SS
+1

 

HookEm

Anarchist
810
0
Houston
I've taught a lot of kids to sail.  Even though some organizations ban the use of jet skis when working with youth, I have preferred the use of jet skis for several reasons, the most significant is that there is no prop, so no one is going to get injured or killed by a prop.  Jet skis are extremely maneuverable it is easy to get close to a dingy.  It is also easy to get swimmers out of the water. Jet skis have their own risks, so I don't allow youth to use them for that reason, but I really think more instructors should consider using them. 

 

Hobie Dog

Super Anarchist
2,862
14
Chesapeake Bay
A tragic accident and very easy to throw stones at the young instructor and/or level of his powerboat training as a SAILING instructor.

Under the RYA Powerboat Level 2 training which stresses the use of a kill chord (I think Americans call it a leash) meaning any movement away from the helm kills the engine. Additionally divers are trained to NOT move off until they are sure everyone is secure on the boat.

Having said that, if the youngster who fell off was sitting behind the driver or moved to a different position after the driver started to move, the driver would not initially or necessarily be aware that he fallen off until he heard the splash.

Thing about tragic accidents is they are just that - accidents.

It is extremely sad that a young person lost their life, it is also almost as sad that society will most likely consider it necessarily to string someone up to carry the blame and I am sure that young instructor is already suffering either from personal angst or sadly perhaps from (already) fingers pointed in his direction.

Sometimes huge mistakes are made and we get away with it with little more consequence than a fright or an unwelcome adrenalin rush, sometimes a small lapse of procedure can have tragic circumstances as is likely the case in this incident.

Let's hope it is remembered that he is not a mugger who robbed an old lady at knifepoint in a darkened street with no remorse or morals but a young sailing instructor who (perhaps) made an error of judgement while teaching others his passion.

We should also remember before making any disparaging comments that we were not there, the reports so far appear very sketchy and none of us really know all the circumstances.

Doesn't make it any easier to read but the fact it made the news kind of shows how rare such incidents are.

Sad news all the same.

SS
Spot on! Excellent post, thank you!

Thoughts and prayers out to all those involved, tough situation does not even begin to describe it.

I passed the article on to our VC to pass on to our camp instructors. Like has been said very few details and nothing specifically to learn at this point other than remember your situational awareness and respect the boat, they can be dangerous.

One of the many great lessons my Dad taught me growing up was when he first started teaching me to drive he would say, "Respect the car, things can get away from you in a hurry, it is not a toy." I still think of that today when I push my sports car on some curvy roads. Thanks Dad!

 

KC375

Super Anarchist
3,302
1,755
Northern Hemisphere
Our club's junior-program chase boats have prop guards,  and when I was tasked with buying anew outboard for the camp I worked at ( in 1984 ! ) I bought one with a water Jet-drive so as to NOT have a propeller.  Yeah,   THAT one was a lot of fun - learning that "Neutral" wasn't really neutral...but we have had several bad prop strikes over the years out here - to the point that they have discussed requiring cages on ALL props !   ( so far this hasn't passed )
I sometimes run outboards in areas where I worry about swimmers / kids doing dumb things - not to mention the many unmarked shallow rocks; striking the former would be a life changing nightmare and tragedy, the latter an inconvenience but much more likely.

Shark sounds like you have experience with outboard jet drives - would they be viable retrofit to RIBs?

JET_GAL02_0.jpg


Also looks like bottom units can be sourced after market.  http://outboardjets.com/

Any views on how these compare to jet skis or cages from a safety and practicality point of view?

 

Hobie Dog

Super Anarchist
2,862
14
Chesapeake Bay
Is that a Yamaha jet drive unit or after market? Never seen one before.

Thread drift but...

Any idea on fuel burn rate and top end speed compared to a prop?

Looking at the lower unit it does look like you would loose some directional steerage in neutral versus a conventional prop setup as the skeg is deeper and also functions as a rudder.

 

KC375

Super Anarchist
3,302
1,755
Northern Hemisphere
Is that a Yamaha jet drive unit or after market? Never seen one before.

Thread drift but...

Any idea on fuel burn rate and top end speed compared to a prop?

Looking at the lower unit it does look like you would loose some directional steerage in neutral versus a conventional prop setup as the skeg is deeper and also functions as a rudder.
Agree a bit of drift from the tragedy at hand, but related as I have nightmares about being involved in a similar tragedy. I tend to be safety conscious but sometimes kids do the darndest things. I worry even more what if one of my kids was at the helm…

It seems all the brands offer jet drive outboards but their websites aren’t very informative about hardnosed efficiency comparisons etc. I’d happily pay a bit more in acquisition and ongoing cost, especially for unit used by my kids around kids, but I don’t know if they are a practical swap in for a RIB.

 

OL_Dirty_Bowsprit

New member
13
1
I'm sorry but no offense you all are talking about complete bullshit. Who cares what should have been done or what you would have done. The fact is a little kid was out there having fun and their life was tragically cut short. Yes we can all be Captain highndsight and talk about what we would have done better but that doesn't help anything. I grew up in the JSA and taught in the JSA. Who ever grew up in that sailing community can agree that it has only gotten safer over the years. When I was a kid I'm surprised no one got taken out by a prop or broke their neck jumping off the worry wort. When I was a sailing instructor I happened to have saved a kid's life and still wake up at night thinking about what if I didn't. Anyone over 30 that grew up in the JSA can probably think of times that were absolute stupidly. And that's just the JSA. What about those same kids that happened to get a ride on a big boat. Sailing is an extreme sport. Skateboarding you might break an ankle or an arm but sailing is not only physically tough but mentally as well. What happened was absolutely terrible and no one deserves that. The worst thing we can do as a dwindling sailing community is sit here and point fingers and blame. Doing this will only hurt the sport more. We need to offer our support, anyway we can, and keep figuring out a way to make one of the most extreme sports in the world also the safest. 

I apologize if this is a rant but this is coming from a past JSA sailor and a past JSA instructor as well as a father that plans on passing this amazing sport to my kids. 

 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
17,175
1,769
South Coast, UK
Use jet skis for swimmer assistance like surfing events.
Can you help right a dinghy from a jet-ski? I don't know. I'm a safety boat RIB driver, I've never even been on a jet ski. In practice, the main role of a safety boat isn't "swimmer assistance", it is to help tired crew right their boat. Abandoning a boat to bring sailors ashore is possible but very unusual.

 
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ModernViking

Anarchist
816
105
North Pole
 The worst thing we can do as a dwindling sailing community is sit here and point fingers and blame. Doing this will only hurt the sport more. We need to offer our support, anyway we can, and keep figuring out a way to make one of the most extreme sports in the world also the safest. 

I apologize if this is a rant but this is coming from a past JSA sailor and a past JSA instructor as well as a father that plans on passing this amazing sport to my kids. 
+1.000.000

 

ChiGuy

Super Anarchist
2,156
11
I'm sorry but no offense you all are talking about complete bullshit. Who cares what should have been done or what you would have done. The fact is a little kid was out there having fun and their life was tragically cut short. Yes we can all be Captain highndsight and talk about what we would have done better but that doesn't help anything. I grew up in the JSA and taught in the JSA. Who ever grew up in that sailing community can agree that it has only gotten safer over the years. When I was a kid I'm surprised no one got taken out by a prop or broke their neck jumping off the worry wort. When I was a sailing instructor I happened to have saved a kid's life and still wake up at night thinking about what if I didn't. Anyone over 30 that grew up in the JSA can probably think of times that were absolute stupidly. And that's just the JSA. What about those same kids that happened to get a ride on a big boat. Sailing is an extreme sport. Skateboarding you might break an ankle or an arm but sailing is not only physically tough but mentally as well. What happened was absolutely terrible and no one deserves that. The worst thing we can do as a dwindling sailing community is sit here and point fingers and blame. Doing this will only hurt the sport more. We need to offer our support, anyway we can, and keep figuring out a way to make one of the most extreme sports in the world also the safest. 

I apologize if this is a rant but this is coming from a past JSA sailor and a past JSA instructor as well as a father that plans on passing this amazing sport to my kids. 
No finger pointing. There's always lessons to be learned from incidents. 

 

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