Monday, August 01, 2011

THE SQUALL RULES!: Anatomy of a sinking.

Recently I was listening to reports on VHF radio from the Coast Guard of a sunken vessel north of Ellis Island in New York Harbor. I was wondering how that vessel got there. A post at Learning To Sail  I think has the answer to my question:

"Yesterday evening a squall rolled through the harbor with terrific force. The anemometer aboard Willy Wall, our floating clubhouse, registered a peak of Force 9--that's a "Fresh Gale" on the Beaufort Scale, meaning up to 54 mph of wind.  The Manhattan Sailing Club's Wednesday round of racing was caught squarely in the middle of it, as well as some other sailboats in the middle of what was otherwise supposed to be a splendid sunset sail."

What could go wrong here? Julian at Learning to Sail has the photos and story of the sinking along with some really good advice that all sailors should think about before and after heading out on the water like:

"Whether you are planning a long car trip, an aircraft flight, or a sailing trip, risk assessment and risk mitigation are important parts of the go/no-go decision. Weather is one of those risks that applies to all souls on the road, in the air, and on the mane. Apps abound to watch it from afar, but looking up and around is free, and there's always Hal on WX-1."

"It's better to be on the dock wishing you were out sailing, than out sailing wishing you were on the dock."

"We lost one boat last evening, and it would have been more if some frisky, on-the-ball sailors hadn't been able to STRIKE SAIL, NOW! Can't do that if your halliards are thrown down the hatch in a ball instead of figure-eight coiled on your winch. Can't do that if you hung 'em backwards."

The sinking of the Grand Republic also dramatically makes the case of why you and your crew should always  be wearing a PFD  when getting on the boat. 

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