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Old 15 March 2005, 15:48   #11
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
Have just tried looking at this from the other persons point of view - an unfortunate accident??? I think not!!!

There is a difference between being unlucky and stupid!!! Driving a RIB at night at speed without knowing what is in the way definitely deserves blame!!!

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Old 16 March 2005, 03:02   #12
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Falkirk
Boat name: a boat
Make: Narwhal
Length: 4m +
Engine: Force 40hp o/b
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 112
From what I read, there was no capsize - the two unfortunates were apparently standing at the stern when they were thrown out by a wave.

The wash of another boat would not be needed on Loch Lomond - they do not call it the 'Big Loch' for nothing. Large waves are not uncommon when the wind has been blowing. Large inland waters like this should be treated with the same respect you would give the open sea. It only requires a slight lapse of concentration to turn it into tragedy. Water is not mans natural environment and always has some risk attached to it - we have to minimise the risk at all times. Lifejackets should always be a must!

My sympathies to the family.....


"Remember the Plug!"
Bill S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16 March 2005, 10:33   #13
Country: Canada
Town: British Columbia
Make: Gemini
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp 2 str
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,151
Originally Posted by Bill S
Large inland waters like this should be treated with the same respect you would give the open sea. It only requires a slight lapse of concentration to turn it into tragedy.
Firstoff, my condolences to the family, this is very sad news.

As for Bill's comments, he is absolutely correct. A large inland lake can be extremely violent and have its own particular hazards that might not be encoutered elsewhere. All of the Great Lakes in North America (particularly Superior) have had there share of tragedies, sometimes involving very large freighter ships.

I live about 30 miles from the south shore of Lake Winnipeg which has claimed many, many lives and is widely acknowledged as one of the most dangerous lakes in the world. Part of the problem is that despite the surface area (8,550 square miles) it is no more than 30 feet deep throughout (with the exception of a couple of very small pits). This lake straddles the edge of the Canadian shield and the prairies where the weather can go from a hot calm summer day to a raging thunder or hail storm within a matter of minutes.

During a violent storm, this combination of surface area and shallowness can create wave forms unlike anywhere else, in that they are tall, steep, narrow and spaced very closely apart that will come over the bow/sides relentlessy. If the boat isn't swamped/capsized it still has an excellent chance of having it's hull smashed by hitting a sandbar while in the wave trough (this can happen while miles from shore). These sandbars shift around and are difficult to chart reliably.

Inflatables haven't really caught on here like they have in Europe, and sometimes people think I'm nuts to take an 11 ft SIB onto this lake, but I'd much rather be in it than hard boat. The consequences of slamming a SIB onto and sandbar (or lodging it into a sandbar) or swamping a SIB are no where near as severe as they would be with a hardboat. Nonetheless I'll make every reasonable precaution in terms of lifejackets, being equipped with emergency/rescue gear, and notifying others about trip plans.
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Old 17 March 2005, 19:54   #14
Country: Canada
Town: British Columbia
Make: Gemini
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp 2 str
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,151
I apologise if this is too much of a tangent from the original purpose of this thread, but it ties in with my previous comments about inland lakes. Hopefully this can give some food for thought about the hazards of any substantial body of water. I happened across this information about naval disasters in the Great Lakes of North America (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie & Ontario):

Since 1905, there have been over 6000 shipwrecks on these 5 lakes. Less than half of them have been located.

November is the most dangerous month of the shipping season. In November 1910, 18 ships were lost in a single storm. In November 1940, 3 Freighters were lost in a single storm.

The single most famous shipwreck was the November 1975 sinking of the 729 foot Freighter named 'The Edmund Fitzgerald' (pictured below). An account of this event can be found here

Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot wrote of this event in his ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". The lyrics to this song are absolutely stirring so I am pasting them here. Once again, my heart goes out to all those who have been affected by boating or shipping disasters.

The Wreck Of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Summertime Dream)

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'.
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya.
At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!
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