Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crew Training - Critical Decisions 2012

Last evening the crews from Madeline, Welcome, Champion, Manitou and Inland Seas gathered at the Center Point building in Traverse City to discuss and analyze several boating accidents that occurred to three different vessels (WingNuts, Rambler100 and Concordia).  There were 26 people in attendance including representatives from the U. S. Coast Guard and the National Weather Service.
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

Thanks to the presenters Justin Arnott (NWS), Andy Sullivan (NWS) and Steve Wetherbee, and to Center Point for providing the conference room. 

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

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