Skip to comments.Countries paying teen's rescue cost defend sea law
Posted on 06/17/2010 5:27:33 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was first adopted in 1914 in response to the Titanic disaster. Along with mandating the number of lifeboats and the notification of a ship's routes, it also dictates that any ship in the area of a distress call will divert to assist that ship.
(Excerpt) Read more at apnews.myway.com ...
There is a reason even professionally crewed, fully sponsored raceboats don't do the Southern Ocean in winter, it's the known frequency of gales, storms, and fatally dangerous waves. It's the same reason even professional mountain climbers don't do Everest or K2 in winter.
But Abbey's media-whore parents knew their grab for glory would expire when Abbey aged-out of her “youngest ever” record attempt. That's why the website splashed across her mainsail was “Abbey16.com”
Shameless media whores, who threw their gung-ho but foolish and unprepared daughter's life onto the craps table, do or die, in a grab for fame and money at any cost.
Yes, I believe it was the California which sat off of the Titanic and refused to acknowledge radio signals or respond to the distress flares fired by the Titanic. I have never read any where that the ship’s master had a plausible excuse for not going to the Titanic’s aid.
They dont understand that Ive sailed my whole life and I do know what Im doing out there.
She is full of it. Ill give her plenty of leeway because shes 16, but shes still full of it.
First: the winter crossing of the Southern Ocean was INSANE. Professionally crewed, multi-million dollar fully-sponsored raceboats dont do it in winter, for the same reason mountain climbers dont try Everest in January. So right there, I know what Im doing rings the BS bell. She was out there in winter for one reason only: her age. Her website is Abby16.com for a reason. Next summer, she wont win the prize for youngest. So her father decided to throw her life onto the craps table to exploit her for an age-record try.
Second: She didnt have a wind vane. Two electrical autopilots only mean that if your power goes out (and it will!) you will only have two dead autopilots. A 40 ocean sailor should, must also have a Monitor or Sailomat or similar quality wind vane self steerer. My Sailomat has steered my much bigger and heavier 48 steel boat across oceans week after week, with no need for electricity. In the event Abby loses power, she loses auto-steering, and NO solo sailor can hand-steer a 40er in the Southern Ocean for more than a half day. After that, fatigue takes you down, and you broach and roll and dismast. Which may have been the sequence of events.
Third: She didnt cut away her rig, which is Voyaging 101, to prevent the rig from holing and sinking the yacht. After ditching the rig, the standard EXPECTED procedure of REAL SAILORS EVERYWHERE is to erect a jury rig and sail downwind to a safe port. In her case, Western Australia. Not to just push the EPIRB and scream to the world, Mommy! I cant hack it! Im not a real sailor! Come and save me, because I cant do it!
Well, I couldn’t do that as she’s just a kid. Which has been my objection all along. A kid, doing something dangerous and not just foolhardy.
I think you’re right. I think that I read the radio operator was asleep. Which never answered why they didn’t respond to flares.
I put all of the blame on her money-grubbing publicity-whore parents, who threw her life on the craps table only because she was still young enough to win “youngest ever.”
It wasn’t about the sailing, it was about her age. Her parents are greedy whores. Abbey was just a poker chip to them.
Evidently ‘humanitarian’ is a dirty word to far too many folks.
And Amelia Earhart and Fossett, just teens when they were lost in the air. How dare they cause all this alarm and expense for the searches.
Teens ought to be home playing their video games.
I agree that she didn’t belong out there. I also read on a sailing forum that she only piloted Wild Eyes for a few hours in good weather before leaving. The sailors said that’s not enough time to become familiar with the yacht.
The Carpathia saw the lights of the Titanic and her flares, but did not take that as distress sign. The Carpathia had stopped her engines and remained a drift for the night, out of fear of the reports of icebergs. They assumed the distant still lights were the lights of another ship that had made the same decision. They did not have a wireless watch during the night while still. Their decision was neither callous nor necessarily reprehensible.
In the case of Ms. Sunderland, she seems to have taken truly irresponsible risks and had neither the maturity nor experience to weigh risks and costs she was assuming, and not incidently exposing others to, including potential rescuers.
There's been just amazing and amazingly hostile posts made online towards people who are disgusted with Mr. and Mrs. Sunderland.
Abby is a little girl, all of 16 years old who was raised by weirdos, so isn't really accountable for strange blog entries, ya know?
She couldn’t even make it past Cabo before her autopilot burned out, and she had to make port and her dad installed two more.
See above about the criminal negligence of not also installing a quality windvane (Monitor or Sailomat) on a 40’er heading for the Southern Ocean.
I remember hearing about the Carpathia too. And wasn’t there an unidentified ship that never came to help?
Exactly. I don’t blame Abbey or bear ill-will toward her. It was her fame-crazed parents.
What they did was put her on roller skates and send her over the lip of the Grand Canyon to set a “record.”
If she lives, Great! If she dies, well, what a spirit of adventure!
Either way, it’ll make a great TV movie, where do we cash the check?
I read that. I don't sail but have read a sailing forum and freepers posts that sail. Most say it was very foolish.
Gee, with all the Abbey naysayers you’d think she’d have been only able to sail a mile or two before stupidity and cupidity overtook her.
Reality differs! Abbey sailed competently and solo for six months, and at least halfway around the world. In other words she was a very good sailor in a very good boat.
TOO MANY NAYSAYERS!
If you put two electric autopilots on a sailboat, and one burns out due to being overworked in big waves/wind, then when you replace it number two will burn out just as fast. Plus, if you lose electrical power (they eat a LOT of juice!) then you have no steering, even if you have ten spare electrical autopilots.
A good windvane will work for weeks and weeks with no draw of electrical current. And the more wind, the better they work. My Sailomat works from gales to drifters, on flat water and in big waves. And my 48’ steel boat weighs triple what Wild Eyes weighs.
True. But a lot has changed since 1914.
Back then Travel by ship was the only means of crossing any large body of water (Sea or Ocean). And in 1914 the 'wireless' was just invented. Another reason that the Titanic didn't get more help sooner.
But back to 'today'. On an episode of NCIS a US Aircraft Carrier was diverted to aide some person whose sailboat was in danger of sinking. Now that was made up for the story line, but if the case arose for real, that would happen.
However, a US Carrier doesn't travel alone. It has a whole fleet (Battle Group) of support vessels wherever it goes, that's hundreds of millions to save some dolt who was trying to stroke his ego.
To paraphrase Dorothy, 'Toto, we aren't in 1914 anymore.'
(Just look back at the money 'we spent' searching for JFK Jr)
ps: This goes for all the egotistic fools: Mountain Climbers, Yuppies who get lost in the Forest while hiking, etc, etc, etc.
“distress flares fired by the Titanic”
didnt the Captain of that other ship claim that the flares were only fireworks while the First Officer wanted to investigate? thought i read that
Yeah, it was just that little matter of the Southern Ocean in wintertime? I mean, who could have seen that coming? Who knew? (sarcasm, if you didn’t pick it up.)
Swedish saying: “In calm waters, all boats have great captains.”
I got so tired of being flamed as a “socialist” because I raised these issues...It seems that to be a conservative here you must also tolerate ANY IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR if the person is homeschooled, a Christian and “wants to be free”. Yeesh.
Until conservatives get it straight that to be “free” means to cancel the entire entitlement society FIRST or put up a multi million dollar escrow account so I dont’ have to pay for someone’s stupid “freedom “ stunt.
Thank you for the explanation! :-)
For their next act, Abbey’s parents are going to put her into a home-made rocket and fire her across the English Channel.
She had sailed through in difficult water before. She’s not the first captain to lose a boat to a storm.
So many great quarterbacks to be found on a Monday morning that I am surprised that the NFL doesn’t automatically schedule a draft every Monday at 11 AM during the season.
This article says that they had no insurance. The comments at the end are telling too.
"These rescues are not at all an efficient use of our military and civilian resources," James said. "But the problem is, what happens if you don't do it? There's some real moral dilemmas involved in this. You can't just say, 'Well, you're a stupid idiot,' and let them drown. It would be pretty hard to justify that."
DUH..........I was being sarcastic.
On these threads one needs to use /sarc tags. :-)
REGULATION! That’s the answer. Force solo sailors to take ten years of high education and THEN put up a multimillion dollar bond, and they only may sail in government approved equipment, and then we’ll redefine solo circumnavigation as pushing a rubber ducky around a government approved bath tub with government approved Viagra assisted body parts. Yeah, that’s the ticket! LESS FREEDOM. SAVE US FROM ALL POSSIBLE MISFORTUNE, BIG MAMMY GOVERNMENT!
You left off Alexander the Great.
Look, there is a REASON why Everest has a “climbing season” and even professional mountain climbers and sherpas will NOT take people up in December. There is a REASON.
There is a REASON why even professional crews on corporate sponsored multi-million dollar ocean racers don’t do the Southern Ocean in winter. There is a REASON.
The only REASON “Abbey16.com” was sent by her parents in a big rush to get out the gate, without such critical basics as a non-electric windvane self steerer was TIME. She was going to “age out” of being “Abbey16.”
So her parents threw her life onto the craps table in a grab at fame and $TV$ deal$.
If it was about the sailing, they would have waited for the correct season for the Southern Ocean, and at LEAST she would have also had a quality non-electric windvane for steering.
(But you can’t just walk into West Marine and walk out with a windvane and slap it on your boat and go. It takes a few weeks to adapt it to your yacht, since all transoms/wheels differ, and tweak it until it’s “right.”
Abbey’s media-whore parents didn’t have time for that! So they sent her out in a rush (Abbey16 is aging fast!) with only one electric autopilot, which burned out before Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. So they put on two more. But if one burns out, so with the replacements. Especially when you get into gales and big waves, when the force loads on the struggling autopilot motor increas exponentially.
And a solo sailor in the Southern Ocean, with no self steering (wind vane or electrical autopilot) will tire in less than one day in storm conditions. Even a pro sailor in his prime.
And once fatigues past the point of being able to steer to EVERY wave, the boat WILL broach, flip, and dismast.
And that’s what happened. That’s what every sailor could tell you would happen. And that’s why even pros in million dollar racers DON’T DO THE SOUTHERN OCEAN IN WINTER.
Ditto EVEREST IN WINTER.
Abbey’s parents sent her out, unprepared, for a winter rendesvous with the Southern Ocean, for one reason only: her age meant value to them.
More than her life.
What is so hard to understand about "This was a foolish venture"? And why the ridiculous, emotional, over the top response to a factual statement?
Before the advent of sat epirbs, if a sailor wanted to try this, it was all on him (or her.)
If they dismasted, they fixed a jury rig and sailed downwind to a safe port. (In Abbey’s case, Australia.) That was the expectation. Cut away the rig, erect a jury rig, and sail on.
In the EPIRB era, you don’t even cut away the rig, you just push the button, knowing that the Aussies will pay a million or two to rescue you.
I read some of that on Sailing Anarchy forum too.
There’s a REASON why guns should be banned too.
And people make awful bad decisions in the thrall of bad motives, like greed, lust, fame. So let’s REGULATE more. We need statists standing over our shoulder in EVERY aspect of life, protecting us!
So NO seasoned sailor ever sails the southern seas in winter, is that your claim?
Sail all you want. I’m for it! I’ve done it! I’ve sailed Panama-Hawaii-Guam solo, and Guam-Cali nonstop. I can speak to this! I was still a teen when I was third crew on a 33 foot wood sloop from Bermuda-Azores-Ireland. I know whereof I speak!
And I’m all for it! If you want to sail to Antarctica on a windsurfer, I’m all for it! Go for it!
But NOT if your sole “emergency plan” is to push the button on an EPIRB, and have the world rush to rescue your foolish and unprepared self.
Not needed. Public disapproval should be enough to stop people from foolishly risking young lives for personal benefit.
If you mean rounding the southern capes on multi-thousand mile voyages across the Southern Ocean, that’s exactly right. They don’t do it.
For the same reason they don’t climb Everest in winter either.
They only do it, it seems, if you are going to “age out” of a “youngest ever” record if you don’t leave RIGHT NOW, and damn the consequences!
(After all, you have two EPIRBs, so if it doesn’t work out, the world will mobilize to rescue your sorry ass.)
Travis McGee sails and you're beating on him for his knowledge. Do you sail? Have you read any sailing forums?
In order to save them time, I’ll go ahead and summarize the expected homeschoolers responses to your incidental reference to homeschooling...
How dare you mock homeschoolers! Government screwels are of the devil, and are indoctrination camps!
Socialization?!?! Argh! If I want my kid to get public school “socialization”, I’ll just steal his lunch money myself and then push him in the trash can!
Yes, so you want limits on “freedoms”. Just reasonable ones, for sure.
Face it, it worked. The family’s plan, Abbey’s plan worked.
She’s just as alive now if she had sailed in the regulator approved season and using regulator approved sailing equipment and had oodles of insurance. Amazing!
If Abby had been lost at sea, many of the sailors now complaining would be happy. Their thesis based on experience would have proved at the cost of her life.
What is their motive? Well, I’m guessing for many it is envy.
Envy of the outcome: envy that she took the chance and didn’t end up dead.
It's not being a "rugged individual" if your only emergency plan is to carry EPIRBs and call for outside help. That's being a leech, not a rugged individualist.
Here's my home-made steel cutter, mid Pacific, thousands of miles from land. Photo by me, up the mast.
But I'm sure you know more about it.
I posted this on another Abbbey16 thread, time to repost it.
“Skimming through these replies, I just have to shake my head and laugh. As one of maybe the only ones on this forum to make long solo ocean voyages, the level of knowledge in this discourse is about on par with life-long cloistered nuns discussing the nitty-gritty details of the lives and careers of prostitutes, jockeys or NFL linebackers. There’s no point in even commenting. The cloistered nuns wouldn’t understand a word I said, no matter what I said. But they’d still be just positive they knew all about prostitutes, jockeys, NFL linebackers and ocean sailors. All I can do is chuckle at the inanity.”
Do you disapprove of liberals because of envy?Or because they are foolish?
Your comments are driven by emotion and not logic. The sailing community is angry because her parents behaved irresponsibly.
Since you've done all this sailing, I assume you've known about Abby's trip for months now, and probably been following her blog. So I'm wondering what sort of comments you made before she got into trouble.
I hear ya! This has become very emotional for a few posters. They aren’t using or hearing logic and leap to utterly ridiculous emotional conclusions.