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Old 29 March 2005, 00:57   #1
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boys in orange and blue. Thankyou

Well ive managed 4 years of boating without any real f**k ups until today!! all ended being in a three boat convoy at 23:00 in thick fog following calshot lifeboat.

had a lovely days boating today (for a while!) left home heading yarmouth with a quick stop off at bucklers hard around lunchtime b/h monday. Leaving beaulieu river a light mist was rolling in so whilst heading for yarmouth i land marked several points on the gps on route.

A rather large meal and a couple of shandys later approx 18:00 we returned for home @ calshot. My gps was mucking around and took over 4 hours to initialise in the morning however we were soon creaming home at almost 50mph... I didnt however start the route home on my gps (because i thought i new my way home very well!!! fool ) I lost my next buoy about ten mins out of yarmouth so throttled back just intime to hit a wall of fog, we dropped down to displacement speeds and soon found ourselves to be somewhere west of gull island (denoted by the land infront and under my prop) visibilty dropped to less than 30ft and everything became sodden and confused. I radiod solent coastguard, told em we had touched bottom but managed to get going again

My compass is the other side of my windscreen and everything, windscreen, gps, vhf and my glasses steamed up, i took a reading off gps and plotted my position to somewhere around beaulieu high street!!, took another reading again whilst still motoring against the tide, yep definately beaulieu high street, a certain panic started to set in, we hadnt seen a buoy land or any boats for about 40mins, we followed some instinct and headed east slowly for about thirty mins until we found east lepe buoy, now set a course on compass but the tide was just pushing us around and as east lepe left our site behind it wasnt behind us but almost beside us,

some long time later with looming fog horns and visibilty less than 20ft i radiod sc again and gave em our position, he confirmed we were on land and asked me to read again, i turned gps on and off then read again, but now the radio died!! 999 (and it worked even on t mobile!) sc took our position asked us to anchor and sit still, in 18ft of water and tide rising i knew we werent in the channel but those fog horns confused and scared the hell outa me! sc confirmed we were about 6c off calshot castle and that he had set the lads from calshot off (bugger i know most of em.. the shame of it!)

approx 21:30 the rnli turned up and went through the formalities and some not so formalities then announced someone else was lost and that theyd come back for us, the girls got off and an rnli guy got on and they poodled off, the fog lifted and we could see we were bout 200ft off the outfall, could even see the lights too now. The other vessel (a 36ft brand new cranchi) was shore side of outfall maybe only 500ft away but the lifeboat couldnt find him or get to him even though we could just see em both, he was heading towards the the land based search lights thinking they were the lifeboat(even though they were hailing this is land turn around!! ) and eventually beached it, about an hour later they managed to coax him into deeper water and get alongside (hed had a few and was very confused)

30 mins later we were back on the trailer 23:00 or so and sat in lifeboat station all warm and coasy, went through the procedure did you have an anchor, yes, a radio, well did have yes, flares, yes, lifejackets, yes, warm clothes, yes, gps, yes, compass, yes, drinks yes, food etc etc... but we still got bloody lost.

All the lifeboat crew and coastguard were brilliant and sympathetic and only one guy seemed p**ed off by our actions, we were congratulated on doin the right thing and it was suggested some spare batteries or a fixed radio would have been an advantage. The cranchi was set off to hamble. The guys said it wasnt a problem and basically they rescue people because they enjoy it and we shouldnt have hesitated to contact them.

I was amazed at the fogs ability to ruin everything including my charts and to take away my basic senses such as sight, i couldnt even read the chart (or gps maybe) as my glasses were steamed up let alone find bloody calshot, the whole boat was soaked and our only real comfort was the cuddy to keep the girls warm (glad i havent bought that rib yet!) Im angry but relieved at myself but feel somewaht wiser in a way. Now all i got to do is get my prop repaired oh and buy a radar maybe

thankyou all who helped
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Old 29 March 2005, 06:33   #2
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Food for thought there, eh. Well done for posting it.
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Old 29 March 2005, 07:24   #3
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I think a handheld vhf and a handheld gps as BACKUP are pretty much essential - wise after the event? Not really 2 of everything always a good idea!!!
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Old 29 March 2005, 09:26   #4
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Glad you were all safe!

The lifeboat crews tend to be a lot happier to help people that have everything that they should or could possibly be expected to have on a pleasure boat (i.e. VHF, Flares, Warm Clothes, Anchor, GPS, Charts etc etc).

However I was chatting to one of the Guernsey lifeboat lads the other week about this and said without getting ridiculous what sort of redundancy should be appllied to a pleasure boat.

His answer was that he would be happy to see everything that is needed but too be honest as a real basic just life jackets, a VHF that worked, some flares that were in date, a torch, a handheld gps and a mobile phone.

He also laughed at the mobile phone bit and said that they used to give people a real mouthful for using mobile phones in an emergency.......but as he said "you want redundancy, then you tell me out of 4 people on a boat how many mobile phones are gonna be on there?".......I shut up then.

I think generally we all do pretty well as a forum with our safety stuff (I've yet to see a piccy in the gallery where someone isn't wearing a life jacket or bouyancy aid of some description) compared with some boats I've been on in the past.......but what is enough and what is too much?
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Old 29 March 2005, 09:37   #5
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Just reminded me on boat safety!

I saw a rib the other day that was travelling on 3 filled tubes with the rest just slapping around in the water. The boat in question was travelling at night, at speed, fully laden with people.....none with life jackets on.

I asked the bloke whether he'd had an accident that day which is why he lost the tubes and he just said no and gave me a look like what the f*%^ % ~@:: $$$&%d!!

So I left him alone. But just goes to show how many people just jump on a boat with no regard for their own safety nevermind anyone elses. Just wait until summer as it be twice as bad!!! No wonder the poor old RNLI get the hump!!
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Old 30 March 2005, 03:14   #6
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Nice one

Maybe something to try in the future, i often do blind navigation on cruisers when i am teaching, basically you sit down stairs and use the log and depth gauge (taking tide into account). providing you have a chart then you can work out where you are, as example i went from Bembridge via the barrier to Portsmouth.

Whilst on a rib its not likely to be blind from the prospective of sitting in a cabin with the curtains closed, it does use the the same method. I have used it on a rib when we were looking for a marker in the dark, we actually shot past it about 3 times before we decide to use blind nav

I dont actually like doing it if its rough in a cruiser, i seem to get tossed all over the place.

As i say just might help, it has for me
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Old 30 March 2005, 11:07   #7
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interesting jim bob, probably should be something for consideration. I would like to emphasise that rational thinking wasnt 100% switched on after an hour or two of blind navigating, appart from one buoy oh and a boat wreck which we nearly hit at less than 10 knots i guess we hadnt seen a sausage.. and i think most people including me will underestimate this. ( i know the gps mucked things up, or maybe me)

for eg when i did my rya course my teacher gave us a blank vhf cheat sheet for pan pans and maydays, i used this to jog myself but on calling the coastguard for neither a pan pan or mayday i read out the old boat name as i hadnt updated the card, purely due to irrational thinking, i also forgot the majority of my radio etticate!!

I hope others take note and learn from my almost minor mistakes as at the end of the day when anchored i was only 6 tenths of a mile from my boat trailer but may aswell been in bermuda!
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Old 30 March 2005, 11:50   #8
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I understand, i learn everytime i go out
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Old 30 March 2005, 15:16   #9
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Very interesting thread!

I was out Friday and Saturday and both days came home in the dark (first times i have driven at night) Friday was fine as visability was good. Saturday however was very different.

Dropped some friends off at Bucklers Hard, had a problem with the other boat i was with and was delayed leaving. by the time we left bucklers it was very dark and very misty.

Pottered down the river not being able to see much at all and thinking, thank god i paid the extra money for a chart plotter. Once out of the river vis was no better and i dont mind admitting i was pretty concerned. Fortunatly i had someone very experienced on board with me and with their advise and use of the plotter to reassure, we got round Calshot where visablity improved.

i did learn a hell of a lot that night and was very surprised at how night and mist makes a stretch of water i thought i knew pretty well seem completly different. no perception of distance, speed and in some cases direction. also simple things like listing to CH 12 for info in ship movements in Southampton water. Although i couldnt see them, i knew there were 2 red jets on the way so could make sure i was well out of their way.

Always easy to think what you would do after the event and if i had been on my own there is no doubt in my mind, i would have left the boat at Bucklers and got a taxi home!

Glad the tale ends with everyone home safely. The weekends events have encouraged me to get some more training organised. i very quickly realised i am extreamly inexperienced and mother nature has a lot more infulance than me!
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Old 30 March 2005, 16:30   #10
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Glad you got back safely in the end.

Fog is the most frightening experience and as Zippy says a piece of water that you think you know well can look totally different.

Totally respect gtflash for posting this to remind many of us how much more we still have to learn.

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