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Missing yacht

Old 18th May 2014, 17:18
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Missing yacht

BBC News - UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki missing in mid-Atlantic

Hopefully the Coastguard will be requesting that we immediately scramble one of our long range SAR assets ........

........ Oh hang on a minute

I sincerely hope that the crew survive this ordeal.
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:08
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Sadly the news was just saying the search has been called off. Have to say that seems rather premature.
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:17
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Reported that they were taking on water, could not find the leak and were diverting to the Azores. They were in contact at some point with home base. Several hours between problem reported and contact lost.
That being the case, they would have had ample time to prepare their survival gear.

Only questions are; were they properly equipped and how well did the evac. go ?
The company is well established and conducts offshore training, and competes in the Fastnet, so the kit will have been up to spec.
Weather reported as F9 strong gale, which should not be a problem for a boat that size, but evac. could be tricky. One report said the hull was seen, capsized. Worse case scenario is a rapid capsize, but the liferaft should have been set up for deployment even if this happened.
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:26
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Question -Do these boats carry distress beacons on their life rafts ?
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:35
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After the 1979 Fastnet race, it was clear that sailors who stayed with their yachts stood a better chance of suvival than those who took to their liferafts. The advice from then on was 'only ever step up into a liferaft'.

Given that Tony Bullimore was able to survive for several days in the upturned hull of his yacht in the Southern/Antarctic Ocean, it certainly does seem premature to write these sailors off if the hull has been located.

Last edited by Mechta; 22nd May 2014 at 00:31. Reason: Spelling
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:41
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As a flyer and a sailor I wish them well
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:41
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Matelo - Apparently, it is not a standard requirement. I have a personal one*; I imagine the professional skipper at least had one also. Though maybe not....


*Fits in a pocket of the lifejacket, therefore usable if you go overboard, liferaft or not.
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:44
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Sadly the news was just saying the search has been called off. Have to say that seems rather premature.
Good datum, capsized vessel found, US Coastguard will have ascertained that the coverage factor is >100% in the appropriate areas of probability. Then, and only then, they will have considered the likelihood of survival in a liferaft in the prevailing conditions and with great reluctance have concluded that the chances of survival are not realistic.

So if you feel that the decision to terminate the operation was premature, perhaps you could suggest the search tactics that should now be employed? How would a secure search be achieved in the new expanded area, and what assured coverage factor would you be prepared to accept?

YS
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Old 18th May 2014, 21:17
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capsized vessel found,
The identity of the hull has not been ascertained. The weather conditions are described as poor. At that range I doubt that they had continuous cover & the datum would be several hours old by the time the 1st aircraft arrived on task.

Therefore I also consider the cancellation of the search to be rather premature. I am also frustrated that there is absolutely nothing that the UK government can do to offer assistance because that proponent of gay marriage, Cameron, killed the Nimrod.
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Old 18th May 2014, 21:19
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Could a rescue operation have been carried out by RAF anyway?

Sad story this. Realistically, could the RAF carried out a location of these poor people, even with all their pre cut assets, say circa 1995 or some such time?
This is bound to be an on-going story in the future in the UK I would guess, if these poor people aren't found.
The search area indicated in the newspapers seems massive, could they not have got a better fix than this (see link to story).
4 British sailors missing at sea after yacht believed to have capsized in mid-Atlantic | Mail Online


Doe anyone think the RAF will ever regain very long range aircraft to carry out searches for people around the world?
Could a future drone type aircraft ever be developed.
Anyway, my thoughts with the men involved and their families.


Edited to add that like many in the UK really deep down I know zero about the capability of the Nimrod in a search role.
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Old 18th May 2014, 21:30
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Maybe I missed it but could someone explain why the boats EPIRB or the sailors EPIRB are not showing the exact location of where they are ?



I think the Tony Bullimore example is a very good one.
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Old 18th May 2014, 21:43
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The 406MHz EPIRB can either give a location within 2-3 miles by satellite triangulation, or 100m with an integrated GPS (significantly more expensive).

Most of those I met going transatlantic had, as I did, a manually activated, non-gps unit.
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Old 19th May 2014, 02:03
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Only questions are; were they properly equipped and how well did the evac. go ?
The company is well established and conducts offshore training, and competes in the Fastnet, so the kit will have been up to spec.
Weather reported as F9 strong gale, which should not be a problem for a boat that size, but evac. could be tricky. One report said the hull was seen, capsized. Worse case scenario is a rapid capsize, but the liferaft should have been set up for deployment even if this happened.
After the 1979 Fastnet rece, it was clear that sailors who stayed with their yachts stood a better chance of suvival than those who took to their liferafts. THe advice from then on was 'only ever step up into a liferaft'.
This is so true. As a sailor who has been at sea in F9 (and greater) the last place you want to be is in one off those life rafts unless you absolutely have to. The things are bad enough when you do your training in smooth water let alone big seas.

Not sure about fastnet, but in Aus any ocean racing under the umbrella of yachting australia requires you to carry a personal epirb. For the sake of $500 or so they are cheap insurance.
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Old 19th May 2014, 02:10
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Doe anyone think the RAF will ever regain very long range aircraft to carry out searches for people around the world?
No, and we never did "carry out searches for people around the world". We carried out SAR within our area of responsibility. If we deployed for SAR it was either to support a fast jet deployment or to cover the overseas flights of Her Majesty.

It has become fashionable to lament the passing of our MPA by ex kipper mates suggesting/implying that we would have got involved with every high profile SAR effort, all over the globe.

We never did this and we would not be doing it now even if we still had an MPA. If we got involved with some random search for some random yacht/ship/aircraft outwith our area it was because we happened to be carrying out ops in that neck of the woods already. Not because we were sent there to do it. As I've posted before, despite the PR value, SAR is not a significant factor when it comes to deciding military priorities.

And for the homophobic ex Nimrod nav...long before the time we lost the fleet, continuous SAR cover was being compromised every which way. It was 2 hours standby, not one and it was being covered from home not the messes, usually by aircraft with more limitations than your social awareness. I think you'll find DC had f**k all to do with any of that.
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Old 19th May 2014, 04:29
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I haven't read all the details, and while I wish the sailors well and hope they are rescued the changes are probably slim.

My only concern is that this tale gets propelled to the forefront of the media with headlines demanding to know why more was not done. Unfortunately, and I think the entertainment side of the media has something to answer for here, there is a swathe of the general public that believe anyone can be rescued from anything!

The truth of the matter is that there are risks in everything you do, and at some point you may find yourself in a position where there will be no-one who can help you.
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Old 19th May 2014, 06:05
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Why can't an RAF C-130 carry out a search? USCG and others use them! Forward deploy to the Azores perhaps!
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Old 19th May 2014, 06:08
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Looking at the latest Map of the last known position, it was only 600NM off the coast of the US.

In any case, why is it the UK's responsibility, it's miles from your SAR area ?
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Old 19th May 2014, 06:25
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TOFO:
No, and we never did "carry out searches for people around the world".
We never did this and we would not be doing it now even if we still had an MPA. If we got involved with some random search for some random yacht/ship/aircraft outwith our area it was because we happened to be carrying out ops in that neck of the woods already. Not because we were sent there to do it.
That's not true. A Nimrod was deployed to ASI specifically to search for an aircraft that had gone missing somewhere in the S Atlantic between ASI and Africa. Don't remember the details, because I wasn't there, but I believe that an account was published in Air Clues.
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Old 19th May 2014, 06:46
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More about it here.

Questions raised about hunt for missing British yachtsmen - Telegraph
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Old 19th May 2014, 07:00
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It does seem to be an incredibly short duration of searching.
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