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Old 22 March 2007, 17:40   #1
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Tragic accident findings

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources/Pamela%20S.pdf

I always find these reports to be essential reading - try to learn from OTHER people's mistakes could save your life.

This one was very close to home for me - took part in some of the search but to no avail.

It is a long report but some of the findings from the MAIB I strongly disagree with - I expected a reputable body such as this to be totally impartial and not try to "sex up" the report but they have done in certain areas.

Almost at the start you will see they say that "if the men had been wearing lifejackets they would have BOTH survived". This is nonsense as you will see from the report. They were in the water for about 10 hours - a lot longer than anyone should survive in cold water - even though it was June the temp was only 12.7C. One man eventually made it ashore after his mate had died.

There WAS a lifejacket in the cabin but the boat went down so fast nobody had time to get it. The conditions were very good at the time. Not many people in normal boats were a lifejacket at all times!!!

The report also attacks the kind of bilge pumps they had fitted. They were 3x Rule 500gph automatics but wired to operate in manual mode only. Obviously these were totally inadequate for a commercial fishing boat but the MAIB report says "These were of a type used on a PWC ie a jetski. This is nonsense - I have one on my own RIB and they are fitted to many pleasure craft.

I think the biggest lesson to learn is that the conditions were good and they sank about 1/2 a mile from shore in a busy area but nobody saw them. They had flares in the cabin but the boat just sank to fast. With the tides in the area they just couldn't get themselves to safety despite being very fit men. They had NO means of summoning help.

I know mobile phones are no subsitute for a VHF but most crew and passengers will have them in their pockets at ALL times. Obviously they are useless in salt water which is why I issue my passengers with small Tesco ziplock freezer bags. If you judge it right you can get enough air into them to make the phone float without it being too bulky. It is scary to think that a trick like this that costs pennies will save someone's life!!!
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Old 22 March 2007, 18:56   #2
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Almost at the start you will see they say that "if the men had been wearing lifejackets they would have BOTH survived". This is nonsense as you will see from the report.
It actually says "If the men had been wearing lifejackets it is probable that they would have both survived."

Doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. It's not a certainty, but given that the skipper survived without a lifejacket there's got to be a good chance they both could have survived with lifejackets.

John
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Old 22 March 2007, 18:59   #3
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It actually says "If the men had been wearing lifejackets it is probable that they would have both survived."

Doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. It's not a certainty, but given that the skipper survived without a lifejacket there's got to be a good chance they both could have survived with lifejackets.

John
With lifejackets on they would have found it even harder to swim. The bloke who survived eventually made it ashore. He was very close to the end - a lesser person would have been long gone which the report does mention.

The only way I think a lifejacket would have helped would have been if they had lights and whistles - but that is merely to attract attention of course.
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Old 22 March 2007, 19:11   #4
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The report also attacks the kind of bilge pumps they had fitted. They were 3x Rule 500gph automatics but wired to operate in manual mode only. Obviously these were totally inadequate for a commercial fishing boat but the MAIB report says "These were of a type used on a PWC ie a jetski. This is nonsense - I have one on my own RIB and they are fitted to many pleasure craft.
The report says "Rule is a specialist company supplying a range of marine equipment, and they recommend that the 500 gph pumps are used on leisure vessels, specifically Personal Water Craft (Jet Skis)." It doesn't say they're only used on PWCs. They're fine for shifting the bit of water that gets left in the drain well on a RIB, but not much use for much else -- but you know that, so what's your argument?

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Old 22 March 2007, 19:15   #5
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With lifejackets on they would have found it even harder to swim.
You reckon? I haven't tested it, but I'd put money on someone wearing a lifejacket covering more ground over 10 hours than someone without.

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Old 22 March 2007, 19:23   #6
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The report says "Rule is a specialist company supplying a range of marine equipment, and they recommend that the 500 gph pumps are used on leisure vessels, specifically Personal Water Craft (Jet Skis)." It doesn't say they're only used on PWCs. They're fine for shifting the bit of water that gets left in the drain well on a RIB, but not much use for much else -- but you know that, so what's your argument?

John
Specifically is the key word - implying it is SPECIFIC to jetskis - despite Rule saying "Many small craft". I feel this is a deliberate attempt to make things sound worse.

The cause of the accident was a very low freeboard which caused water to get in through some holes in the deck as bolts were missing. I know these pumps weren't really suitable but if they had been wired in correctly the boat wouldn't have sunk.
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Old 22 March 2007, 19:24   #7
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You reckon? I haven't tested it, but I'd put money on someone wearing a lifejacket covering more ground over 10 hours than someone without.

John
Funnily enough they don't wear them in the Olympics - in fact they even shave of hair etc to be more hydrodynamic - a bulky lifejacket is very difficult to swim in!!!
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Old 22 March 2007, 19:26   #8
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Instead of picking fault with all my comments how about something constructive we can ALL learn by? What do you feel about the very simple idea of putting a phone in a plastic bag?
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Old 23 March 2007, 02:57   #9
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me thinks thats a superb and cost free idea, and also think oyu could use it whilst its in the bag! im going to use that idea Thanks Mr Codprawn!! keep em coming!!
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Old 23 March 2007, 05:22   #10
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Funnily enough they don't wear them in the Olympics - in fact they even shave of hair etc to be more hydrodynamic - a bulky lifejacket is very difficult to swim in!!!
Now you're just being daft. What possible parallel is there between an extended open-water survival situation and top athletes doing a few lengths of a swimming pool?
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Instead of picking fault with all my comments how about something constructive we can ALL learn by? What do you feel about the very simple idea of putting a phone in a plastic bag?
I think it's a good idea. It's a pity you decided to tack it on at the end of a load of old cobblers!

You strongly disagree with parts of the report and imply that the MAIB report is neither reputable nor impartial. I disagree with you. Why shouldn't I pick fault with your comments when I think they are wrong?
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The cause of the accident was a very low freeboard which caused water to get in through some holes in the deck as bolts were missing. I know these pumps weren't really suitable but if they had been wired in correctly the boat wouldn't have sunk.
Might not have. The pumps were tested and found to be capable of removing 3300 litres per hour. The estimated water intake was up to 4000 litres per hour. I wouldn't want to be on board that boat while it was shipping 700Kg of water each hour!

John
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