Wide-open discussion of the loss of Low Speed Chase

U20guy2

Super Anarchist
12,330
3
I've been out there many times with tether and without. I find that my more recent trips the past few years I often am the only one with my tether on and in use in most cases. Couple of reasons for that. A few years ago we had a Olson 40 washed over flushed the double handed crew right out of the boat, a very good friend and very experienced sailor has had his cockpit filled by a wave that crushed and smashed out the faces of various gauges mounted in the bulkhead, more recent years he had a wave sweep the entire length of the boat from the side ripping the jib out of the foil and tearing the bottom of his main and damaging the boom that was on a Olson 34 which isn't a light weight or heavy boat its a pretty decent rig for foul conditions.

Last of all on a very mellow sunny day I was actually nailed by two stupid waves that came together right where I was sitting on the rail. It was like having someone set off a fire hydrant right under my ass it blew me right off the rail and skidding across the foredeck. Not a single other person was even slightly affected by it just me! My harness gets used now when I do that race.

Everyone has a choice as to what they want to do regarding safety gear and clipping in etc. The way I see it we have seen far far plenty evidence that even just a mile outside the Gate on a fairly decent day you can be faced with lots of green water washing over the boat and trying to rip you free of it.

Rounding the rock pile is a funny thing my first few times after beating for hours to get out and around the thing - its amazing how quickly you can think whew we just started the turn every one can relax and start thinking of the easy ride home. Later after having more than a few trips out there I realize that making the turn was really the worst time to be letting up your guard and getting lax on thinking through what needs to be happening and your safety gear given how mixed up and unpredictable the wave action gets out there around the rock pile.

This whole event really makes me sad - I have done foredeck in a number of events over the years where we were head to head swapping tacks and doing everything we could sort out to find an edge on those guys and beat them to the finish. What happened to them could have easily been us caught in a bad way by a wave that just has every intention to mess you up. I feel horrible for the owner and family left with missing loved ones and its a very good idea for the SF sailing community to discuss our safety efforts and boat practices so we all feel that we are doing the best we can to have fun, sail fast and not leave loved one's with missing family. My tether will be used even more so than it already is and the thread about Personal EPIRB is interesting I really Really like the idea of the AIS personal locator integration seems like that would give the fastest and largest number of boats in a given area the quickest location for folks who have gone swimming vs waiting for a service to pin point the signal and route that to CG etc. The cold water factor is a major issue for us we all know that so time counts. I'll be getting one when I start doing ocean racing again.

 

Raked Aft\\

Super Anarchist
1,860
77
The North Coast
This was mentioned in the other thread, but I'll repeat here.

I'm a kiter and the modern "tether" system currently used for kiting bars is a two stage system. In cases of trouble you trip a quick release, which opens a chicken loop attaching the kite to your harness. It is designed to totally depower the kite and drop it to the water. You are still attached to the kite by a leash, which after sorted out you can haul back in and re-engage your chicken loop and kite away.

If for what ever reason you are still in trouble, the leash has a quick release to basically detach yourself completely from the kite and it go bye bye.

If I were to design a multi purpose off shore tether system it would have those features. They are basic, inexpensive, and reliable.

 
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beauvrolyk

Super Anarchist
U20,

Well said. Without a doubt personal AIS is great addition, especially for other races in nearby waters that keep us out in those bumps overnight. The obvious product is a combo waterproof AIS and VHF handheld radio, but I haven't found one yet. There are small personal AIS devices (talked about HERE) but merging it with a handheld VHF would obviously be a big improvement as a lot of us carry VHF in our lifejackets so we can vector the boat back to us while we're swimming. I'd hate to give that away for a small personal AIS. Also, the two devices share a tremendous amount of technology so that from a cost point of view 1+1 doesn't equal 2, it equals about 1.4 of cost. While we're at it, we might as well mount a nice strobe flasher on top of the whip antenna.

I am a long way from getting over the loss of the LSC and her crew. Mark and Alan were friends after many CYC Friday night sails aboard LSC. They helped me out during a tough period and it is simply unimaginable that they're gone. I'm not looking forward to the next CYC Friday night race. Not at all.

Beau

 

U20guy2

Super Anarchist
12,330
3
This was mentioned in the other thread, but I'll repeat here.

I'm a kiter and the modern "tether" system currently used for kiting bars is a two stage system. In cases of trouble you trip a quick release, which opens a chicken loop attaching the kite to your harness. It is designed to totally depower the kite and drop it to the water. You are still attached to the kite by a leash, which after sorted out you can haul back in and re-engage your chicken loop and kite away.

If for what ever reason you are still in trouble, the leash has a quick release to basically detach yourself completely from the kite and it go bye bye.

If I were to design a multi purpose off shore tether system it would have those features. They are basic, inexpensive, and reliable.

The tethers I like have two hooks on the boat end. One hook is farther away than the other and are gated hooks. This allows you to work and move about while being 100% clipped at all times you can unclip on hook pass it around a line rigging etc hook back up then unclip the second etc. Gated obviously keeps your hooks from hooking things you do not want to be hooked to like say a spin sheet that dropped to the deck then rockets back when the kite fills. The bail out quick release being at your harness ie chest etc.

The shorter length vs longer length tether hooks also enable you to select which range of movement you prefer or need to keep your self on deck vs dangling over the side etc.

 

us7070

Super Anarchist
10,264
284
U20,

Well said. Without a doubt personal AIS is great addition, especially for other races in nearby waters that keep us out in those bumps overnight. The obvious product is a combo waterproof AIS and VHF handheld radio, but I haven't found one yet. There are small personal AIS devices (talked about HERE) but merging it with a handheld VHF would obviously be a big improvement as a lot of us carry VHF in our lifejackets so we can vector the boat back to us while we're swimming. I'd hate to give that away for a small personal AIS. Also, the two devices share a tremendous amount of technology so that from a cost point of view 1+1 doesn't equal 2, it equals about 1.4 of cost. While we're at it, we might as well mount a nice strobe flasher on top of the whip antenna.

I am a long way from getting over the loss of the LSC and her crew. Mark and Alan were friends after many CYC Friday night sails aboard LSC. They helped me out during a tough period and it is simply unimaginable that they're gone. I'm not looking forward to the next CYC Friday night race. Not at all.

Beau

I'll try to find the link - I posted it a few weeks ago.

There is a device designed for divers - it's a small VHF, with a GPS and DSC capability.

As you probably know, when activated, the DSC makes an audible alarm on the VHF of boats equipped with DSC VHF receivers, and the GPS location is displayed on the receiver display.

 
1334692978[/url]' post='3676627']Tethers are made with a quick release. Bottom line is that the boat is still there, but bodies are not. Wear your tether.
If you want to be tied on then tie on..if that makes YOU feel safe...number one when out in the ocean SHIT HAPPENS..so you are tied on and a rouge wave knocks your boat on it ear...you fall in and can't release your line...you think quick release? Hop in a pool with a weight on the other end of your line..and see how fast you can release that quick release..And when are you going to be to safe? Just like the OSHA cowboy? If you want to be safe...don't go near any body of water..not even that bathtub...

 
1334698033[/url]' post='3676752']
1334697660[/url]' post='3676745']U20,

Well said. Without a doubt personal AIS is great addition, especially for other races in nearby waters that keep us out in those bumps overnight. The obvious product is a combo waterproof AIS and VHF handheld radio, but I haven't found one yet. There are small personal AIS devices (talked about HERE) but merging it with a handheld VHF would obviously be a big improvement as a lot of us carry VHF in our lifejackets so we can vector the boat back to us while we're swimming. I'd hate to give that away for a small personal AIS. Also, the two devices share a tremendous amount of technology so that from a cost point of view 1+1 doesn't equal 2, it equals about 1.4 of cost. While we're at it, we might as well mount a nice strobe flasher on top of the whip antenna.

I am a long way from getting over the loss of the LSC and her crew. Mark and Alan were friends after many CYC Friday night sails aboard LSC. They helped me out during a tough period and it is simply unimaginable that they're gone. I'm not looking forward to the next CYC Friday night race. Not at all.

Beau

I'll try to find the link - I posted it a few weeks ago.

There is a device designed for divers - it's a small VHF, with a GPS and DSC capability.

As you probably know, when activated, the DSC makes an audible alarm on the VHF of boats equipped with DSC VHF receivers, and the GPS location is displayed on the receiver display.
They have a pocket size EPIRB with a gps in it for about 300 bucks..afterthought..possibly if those lost could have activated the Epirbs..they. Just might have been found...there are many things in the water around this rock to where you are never found.

 
Why did nobody make as much Monday morning quarterbacking when that rabbit flat out disappeared a few years ago...and ALL were lost?.It is called yacht racing..SHIT HAPPENS...things break...and unfortunately people get hurt or die...I don't see you bitching about NASCAR...or football or what about that kid hat was hit by that baseball in Marin county...but you can sure throw in that we need to be tied in or we aren't safe...or they should have done this or that...It is all risk factor...Do you get up in the morning? Do you breath? Do you eat? Or cross the street? You can die from any of these actions...ever drive your car at 100 mph? Speed kills..but you did it...you want that neat picture while standing on those cliffs along the ocean...you don't bitch about any of those..but while you sit at home in your easy chair, smoking that bud or drinking that beer..all of you think they have to put their 2 cents in...and that is all it is worth...but you have to tell others ...and pass rules and try to controll everybody else...for safety...For those that do anything should know their limits and go home when your limit is reached..it is called common since...it is the Owner,Thecaptain...THE MASTER of that vessel that is in charge of that vessel..not some arm chair quarter back...His word is the LAW on that vessel..not yours...He knows what that vessel will do or won't do..he knows the skills of his crew...and knows when to go home...some boats did go home...some successfully finished that race...It is all about the risk factor that YOU want to have...This was a terrible accident and others will learn from it all by themselves..they don't need your 2 cents into the mess...

 

johnnysaint

Super Anarchist
8,514
0
There are only 3 people who know what happened in this tragedy, and it probably happened so fast they won't all be sure what happened.

I know it is not the SA way, but how about canning the guesswork until they tell their story?

 
1334694791[/url]' post='3676669']
1334689893[/url]' post='3676553']I'll start off: Navas, your plug for the sfgate story that you happened to opine in was totally self-serving and also gives a distorted view of offshore racing to a generally uninformed public via a almost criminally wreckless media.
It sucks ass that 95% of news media coverage of sailing is the result of a death. I don't think the general public at large has a negative view of sailing but unfortunately there's a cadre of shitty people who sit around all day cramming cheezy poofs into their face and thinking that everything even remotely dangerous ought to be outlawed - and a few of them certainly showed up in the comment section of the article. These are the same people who think it's mean to play tag at recess. Their paranoia is fed by the media, and worst of all, they have just as much of a vote as the rest of us.

I've never sailed on the west coast let alone seen the Farallones or know those waters, so I have absolutely no comment on whether Low Speed Chase was too close to the rocks in the first place. I have to assume they were doing nothing more dangerous than any other skipper would, although I have seen some suggesting they should never have been in as close as they were. IMO anyone who blames the wreck on "pilot error" without having seen it firsthand is the same as the above uninformed troglodytes.

I think it's tragically ironic that last summer's Wingnuts incident "raised questions" about the use of tethers and whether people were being too heavy-handed on mandating their use etc etc (witness the semi-yellow journalism at the beginning of this article) and this year's season kicks off with a tragic incident tailor-made for tethers of any kind, and the yellow journalism is going the other way and "suggesting" that the CG and race organizers are delinquent in not requiring them. When I got a tether and harness as a birthday present in preparation for my first PH-Mac I wondered what the hell, and I don't think that tether and harness left my bag the whole race. (In my defense, it was a really flat race, plus I was younger and dumber.) These days, at night, or in seas, or if seas look like they're on the way, or whether I'm riding the rail or working on the low side, TETHER IN. Tether first, THEN whatever I went down there to do. I didn't need this tragedy to tell me that, but it's certainly a helpful reminder. I don't know which race boats Navas means when he says everyone's being lax about tethers, but he certainly doesn't mean the boat I sailed on in Long Island Sound and he DEFINITELY isn't referring to my Michigan ride.
Exactly..ever race there is that risk...just like the Wingnuts accident, or those that have been lost in the Atlantic...Anybody that did that Ano Nuevo race back in the mid 80s...will all tell you and remember that race...Monterey Ca to the Ano Nuevo bouy and back to Monterey...started off a real slacker..the wind started coming out of he southwest..and was trying to surf against the waves...rounded the bouy and all shit broke loose...waves ove 15 ft wind constant 50 and gusts reported of 65... Nobody was lost in hat race. And weren't "tethered"... Nobody quit the race because they couldn't..no place was a safe haven as the wind and then the waves were out of the south...either Monterey or moss landing was it...and ALL skippers were safe and diligent about their boat and crew...

 

robmo

New member
35
0
Oregon, TX
You've got it, there's an old adage that you should only abandon a sinking vessel when you have to step up to get into the life raft. I understand that these sailors were swept from the vessel, but I see your point, wear a tether.

In Water: 7 Survivors 2

In Boat: 1 Survivors 1

your call.
 

Icedtea

Super Anarchist
Is there a chance that for now on the race could be just out to the islands instead of around? Eg rounding a mark set close?

I have no knowledge of the race or area so it's pure speculation

 
1334692978[/url]' post='3676627']Tethers are made with a quick release. Bottom line is that the boat is still there, but bodies are not. Wear your tether.
If you want to be tied on then tie on..if that makes YOU feel safe...number one when out in the ocean SHIT HAPPENS..so you are tied on and a rouge wave knocks your boat on it ear...you fall in and can't release your line...you think quick release? Hop in a pool with a weight on the other end of your line..and see how fast you can release that quick release..And when are you going to be to safe? Just like the OSHA cowboy? If you want to be safe...don't go near any body of water..not even that bathtub...
yeah any quick release under load usually is not much of a quick release. Seen many a kiter thrown around with no time to quick release, hard to try and find the lanyard when you head down draggoing in the drink , or getting thrown like a ragdoll.

 

GABA

Member
372
20
There are only 3 people who know what happened in this tragedy, and it probably happened so fast they won't all be sure what happened.

I know it is not the SA way, but how about canning the guesswork until they tell their story?
And if they choose not to talk (for their own very understandable reasons)? Then what?

Are we not allowed to look at the situation and the decisions and choices made and evaluate our own personal choices?

The necessary discussion has already been moved from the original thread.

WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.

We needed it after the Wingnuts loss in the Chicago Mac Race.

We need to have an open conversation now, too.

I know it ain't pretty, but we need to learn from the actions and decisions of our fellow sailors.

Right or Wrong, they made the call in the heat of the moment.

We need to look their choices square in the eye and hoefully learn from them.

 

johnnysaint

Super Anarchist
8,514
0
There are only 3 people who know what happened in this tragedy, and it probably happened so fast they won't all be sure what happened.

I know it is not the SA way, but how about canning the guesswork until they tell their story?
And if they choose not to talk (for their own very understandable reasons)? Then what?

Are we not allowed to look at the situation and the decisions and choices made and evaluate our own personal choices?

The necessary discussion has already been moved from the original thread.

WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.

We needed it after the Wingnuts loss in the Chicago Mac Race.

We need to have an open conversation now, too.

I know it ain't pretty, but we need to learn from the actions and decisions of our fellow sailors.

Right or Wrong, they made the call in the heat of the moment.

We need to look their choices square in the eye and hoefully learn from them.
You are right. We all need to "look at the situation and the decisions and choices made and evaluate our own personal choices"

Problem is, nobody here knows what those "decisions and choices made" were. Any discussion is just guesswork that will probably cloud the real issues.

What you are proposing is just a knee jerk reaction.

 
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GABA

Member
372
20
There are only 3 people who know what happened in this tragedy, and it probably happened so fast they won't all be sure what happened.

I know it is not the SA way, but how about canning the guesswork until they tell their story?
And if they choose not to talk (for their own very understandable reasons)? Then what?

Are we not allowed to look at the situation and the decisions and choices made and evaluate our own personal choices?

The necessary discussion has already been moved from the original thread.

WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.

We needed it after the Wingnuts loss in the Chicago Mac Race.

We need to have an open conversation now, too.

I know it ain't pretty, but we need to learn from the actions and decisions of our fellow sailors.

Right or Wrong, they made the call in the heat of the moment.

We need to look their choices square in the eye and hoefully learn from them.
You are right. We all need to "look at the situation and the decisions and choices made and evaluate our own personal choices"

Problem is, nobody here knows what those "decisions and choices made" were. Any discussion is just guesswork that will probably cloud the real issues.

What you are proposing is just a knee jerk reaction.
No, I don't think I'm knee jerking.

I understand that they will - for entirely understandable reasons (including the god-forsaken lawyers, of which I am one) properly choose to keep their mouths closed and their thoughts to themselves for the forseeable future.

That can not and should not close off analysis of the conditions and the decisions made by the broader sailing community (us).

Many of us will be heading out into harm's way in the next few weeks or months.

We can not wait months for the results of the official inquest (like after the CYC inquest after the Chicago Mac loss of life) to talk about what went right and what went wrong and how that may or may not affect our personal preparations and actions on the water.

We need to have this conversation - based on the best information available, as flawed as it may be.

 

johnnysaint

Super Anarchist
8,514
0
There are only 3 people who know what happened in this tragedy, and it probably happened so fast they won't all be sure what happened.

I know it is not the SA way, but how about canning the guesswork until they tell their story?
And if they choose not to talk (for their own very understandable reasons)? Then what?

Are we not allowed to look at the situation and the decisions and choices made and evaluate our own personal choices?

The necessary discussion has already been moved from the original thread.

WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.

We needed it after the Wingnuts loss in the Chicago Mac Race.

We need to have an open conversation now, too.

I know it ain't pretty, but we need to learn from the actions and decisions of our fellow sailors.

Right or Wrong, they made the call in the heat of the moment.

We need to look their choices square in the eye and hoefully learn from them.
You are right. We all need to "look at the situation and the decisions and choices made and evaluate our own personal choices"

Problem is, nobody here knows what those "decisions and choices made" were. Any discussion is just guesswork that will probably cloud the real issues.

What you are proposing is just a knee jerk reaction.
No, I don't think I'm knee jerking.

I understand that they will - for entirely understandable reasons (including the god-forsaken lawyers, of which I am one) properly choose to keep their mouths closed and their thoughts to themselves for the forseeable future.

That can not and should not close off analysis of the conditions and the decisions made by the broader sailing community (us).

Many of us will be heading out into harm's way in the next few weeks or months.

We can not wait months for the results of the official inquest (like after the CYC inquest after the Chicago Mac loss of life) to talk about what went right and what went wrong and how that may or may not affect our personal preparations and actions on the water.

We need to have this conversation - based on the best information available, as flawed as it may be.
So now you are changing it from what was the "situation and the decisions and choices made" by the survivors, to "the conditions and the decisions made by the broader sailing community (us).". Lawyerspeak.

Of course the best information, and the ONLY information, available, is what is in the media. Trial by media - again?

 
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U20guy2

Super Anarchist
12,330
3
Back on track boys.

Till I had a water cannon up my ass blast me off the rail I would be right with you about the whole being tied on thing. But trust me till you have big green cold water with some speed hit you - it is really hard to grasp how much force water can have on a fairly chill and normal day out there making the trip around the rock pile.

When I was ripped off the rail the blast of waster tore off all the loose gear I had - hat - glasses etc all leashed, lifted me right off the rail and sent me skidding across the deck. The owner in the back took one look at me and said damn are you OK all we could see was a column of green water and the next thing we see is you skidding across the deck like a rag doll. That was an eye opener hell yes tie me to the fucking boat no possible way I could have held my self to the rail and pretty lucky I didn't strain something in the process.

The thought of the crew on SLC being ripped off the rail by a big green sweeper I can fully imagine their surprise finding them selves totally clear of the boat by the time they got their bearings as to what just happened.

 

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