|Justin Arnott of the National Weather Service in Gaylord explains the July 17, 2011 storm that blasted the Mackinac Race.|
|Steve Wetherbee of Northport takes the mystery out of vessel stability calculations|
Follow-up recommended reading: Seamanship, The Forgotten Factor by C. A. Marchaj and Tall Ships Down by D. S. Parrot
Here are my Lessons Learned from the 2011 Capsizings:
1. Inventory all deck openings and means of closing
2. Develop checklist for post-lightning strike (click to see check list)
3. Add 3 HH VHF radios to ship: 1 in forward scuttle for bow crew, 1 for rescue boat (kept in boat),
1 for amidships- kept near 1st aid boxes
4. Add squall drill to crew training exercises (goal it to minimize time to lower sail in an emergency).
5. Review IS stability information with all captains and mates. Add stability section to IS Operations Manual.
6. Review weather information sources & interpretation with captains and mates.
7. Review location of all lifesaving gear for easy access in event of knockdown. Drill crew on gear locations (find blindfolded).
8. Add to Standing Orders: “In unsettled (squally) weather conditions, the first washboard will be fitted to each companionway to the weather deck”. Also “Keep ports closed and dogged”.
9. Add to Standing Orders: “Night operations: All deck crew shall have a handheld VHF radio, light, harness snapped into jackline, knife and whistle”.
10. Post Vessel Information Sheet by telephone in ship’s office ashore and at home. (Staple to Emergency Communications List)
11. Inspect all harnesses and replace any that do not have quick release snap shackles on one end.
Check back for additional info later. Leave comments in the box below. Thanks, Tom Kelly