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Old 22 August 2012, 04:10   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Tisted Hampshire
Boat name: Hot Lemon
Make: Scorpion
Length: 8m +
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Well we got it wrong last night and I am sharing this *in case it help others from making the same mistakes.
The boat is an 8.5 m Humber with Volvo inboard and outdrive leg.
After a long day doing rescue boat duties at Chichester harbour Federation week we accepted a last minute invitation to a BBQ at Hayling . We should have returned to Portsmouth after racing in daylight .
We set off from HISC club at about 2130 in darkness and with a rising tide and a ssw wind about f3 . As we passed the lifeboat station *as they were recovering the D class after a launch .
*We left the harbour and crossed the bar before turning soutwest towards the cardinal marking the bottom end of the Winner bank off the Langstone entrance. The sea was quite bumpy and we make between 12 and 15 kn . I was conscious all the time about the scattering of lobster pots *in the area but it was difficult to see in all the wave clutter. Making good progress and about 600 metres from the cardinal we came to a sudden stop the engine stalled and the boat swung stern to the waves . I assumed we had snagged a pot and went astern and then forwards the boat seemed to move a bit and then stopped again . I trimmed the leg up and attempted to find the line and cut it only to get a handful of sand! We had clearly run aground on the tail end of the Winner . After a minute or two of deliberation my wife and I *decided that we needed help . *I made a Pan Pan to Solent CG who responded at once and we discussed our situation with them.The waves seemed to have grown a bit by now and were breaking over the side and transom. Although *the bilge pumps were doing the job it was not very nice feeling getting big dollops of sea water into the boat.I had had a few mouthfulls too whilst trying to find the line which did not help.Solent CG advised us that Hayling lifeboat had responded to our Pan Pan and was already launched and on its way.*
Whilst *we waited for the lifeboat to arrive Solent kept in touch with us and took more details such as boat size and whether we had nav lights on and were we wearing lifejackets , they also asked us for gps position which presented us with a small problem , we both wear reading glasses and had too root around to find a pair in the dark . Glasses *located we passed our *and that *was copied by Hayling LB. We could see the LB but they were having trouble seeing us against the lights of Portsmouth and Ryde. Eventually they spotted us and approached us ,one of the crew got into the water and waded over to us ,by this time the tide had risen sufficiently for the boat to start moving but we were being pushed further onto the bank rather than into deeper water . The LB crew walked us towards the deeper water and we got the leg down and engine started and followed the LB away from the bank . They continued with us until we were happy there was no damage to the leg and prop and then *left us to continue on to Camber .

Lessons learnt
However well you think you know a route preplan and do a passage plan or input a route in GPS . We have done the trip so many times in daylight and darkness. Believe your GPS not your instinct or gut feeling.
Have *a really good powerful torch or better a strobe to indicate your position if needed. An LED does not carry a beam like a proper torch.
If you need glasses have pair to hand and make your lat . Lon readout big enough to read without glasses.
A hand bearing compass would have let us give a bearing to the LB .*
Make your pan pan call at once , we did this and felt it was the right thing we were not alone and this helped.You can always downgrade or cancel.
Have your all round white light high or forward of your instruments so it does not reflect on the GPS screen . In our case get rid of the tinted windscreen which makes it harder to see at night ,we may have picked up the breaking water sooner and avoided it.
Give all banks *much wider room *than is shown on charts they are moving all the time .The D class LB had earlier hit one that was not charted .
Do contact CG on 67 after the safe return to advise arrival and of course thank them.
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Old 22 August 2012, 04:21   #2
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Country: France
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Hi Lurcher

As they say, "he who has never made a f*ck-up has never made anything". :-)

Glad it ended safely for you guys.


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Old 22 August 2012, 04:28   #3
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I think you did a excellent job at a stressful time and just shows how we all must keep our wits about us when making a journey and well done for sharing this with us. Have you got a depth finder? I only ask because I had a close call a couple of weeks ago off Hill Head an area which I'm familiar with but my depth finder's playing up and didn't see the shallows coming.

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Old 22 August 2012, 04:36   #4
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Top man for sharing that with us.

Salutary lesson for us all - especially making the "call"

A token of appreciation to the Lifeboat crew will make their day
Maximum Preparation - Maximum Fun
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Old 22 August 2012, 04:54   #5
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Glad it ended safely for you.

Shows the benefit of having a VHF on board, not relying on mobile phones like many do these days.
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Old 22 August 2012, 05:50   #6
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Well done for airing your experiences, and making that difficult call early on whilst difficult was for sure correct.

Glad your all safe and hope the BBQ was good, at least you had something to talk about!

"By skill not force."
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Old 22 August 2012, 06:35   #7
Country: Belgium
Town: hallaar
Boat name: Bliksem
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thanks for all the info and the lessons to remember.

In Belgium waters it is obligatory to have an torch aboard!!! about LED, i have a led one and it is unbelievable small yet very powerful. Name Led Lenser T7 model (sorry for the publicity)

and I did listen very well to the advice Paul Lemmer gave me once: NO tinted screen so i have a clear one and it is good in all circumstances and glad to have it after reading this story.

And yes I always carry a fixed and a handheld VHF. I even consider to switch to the new Icom handheld that offers lat and lon coordinates.

nevertheless i do hope never to get into that situation!!!!!!
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Old 22 August 2012, 07:15   #8
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Nice one John, thanks for sharing and glad you and SWMBO are ok!

Sounds like you took the right decisions in a timely manner when it became clear you needed help! No shame there at all!
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Old 22 August 2012, 07:42   #9
Country: UK - England
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Thanks for sharing. Glad it all ended safely for you both.

Not so sure about the "always believe your GPS" comment. Unfortunately there will always be times when the technology lets us down right when we need it the most (been there, done that, got the t-shirt).

At the end of the day there is no replacement for having paper charts and a hand bearing compass onboard, and arming yourself with a sound understanding of navigation.
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Old 22 August 2012, 07:42   #10
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Itís good to share John.

Glad youíre both OK, it could have been a lot worse.

You say the lifeboat crew Ďwalked you outí, which must have been fun for them with your great big boat bumping around in a chop

Iíve only ever done a couple of night passages, and itís not something Iím confident doing, so would appreciate the experience as crew if anyone is planning a trip.


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