FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

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Allezcat
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FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby Allezcat » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:40 pm

A PDQ32 capsized off California coast Jul 4th with 3 aboard.

Alameda-bound sailors rescued after boat capsizes

Story posted 2010.07.04 at 03:14 PM PDT

Three sailors destined for Alameda were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard Saturday after their sailboat overturned 20 miles off the Mendocino County coast near Fort Bragg, according to the Coast Guard.

Their 32-foot catamaran, the Calypso, was roughly half way to Alameda from Crescent City in Del Norte County, near the Oregon border, when it suddenly capsized in steep waves, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

At about 12:45 p.m., the Coast Guard received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, signal from the Calypso. The signal was the only distress signal received by the Coast Guard from the catamaran.

"If you ever wanted to hear a story about how important it is to have a registered EPIRB on your vessel and a float plan ashore, look no further than this case," Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Todd Vorenkamp said.

The Calypso's crew reported high winds in the early morning hours, with speeds pushing 45 knots, or about 50 mph. Believing their lives were in peril, the crew manually switched on the radio beacon.

Almost immediately after activating the signal, the catamaran capsized, pinning the crew beneath its overturned hull.

Although the crew managed to resurface and cling to the vessel's hull, the three sailors spent more than an hour in the frigid Pacific Ocean waters, according to the Coast Guard.

What saved the Calypso crew was sound emergency planning -- the crew had left a float plan, which is a description of the boat, the passengers and safety equipment aboard, destination and estimated time of arrival.

Using registration information from the beacon to contact the family of the vessel's crew, the Coast Guard learned of the float plan and dispatched a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Fort Bragg and a helicopter from McKinleyville in Humboldt County, which is about 150 miles north of Fort Bragg.

"The float plan allowed us to confirm information about the vessel, create a better plan and expedite our search," said Lt. George Suchanek, a helicopter pilot who responded to the call.

Following the catamaran's radio signal, the helicopter, which arrived eight minutes before the lifeboat, was able to locate the overturned boat, whose hull blended in with the white-capped waves caused by high winds.

As the helicopter hovered over the vessel, rescuers spotted the sailors, lowered a rescue swimmer and hoisted them to safety in the aircraft.

The sailors were transported to a hospital and rescuers noted they were showing signs of hypothermia, according to the Coast Guard.

Mariners are recommended to file float plans with family, friends or a trusted person onshore to keep the Coast Guard informed during emergencies. A good float plan would include a description of the vessel, names of people on board and the intended destination and estimated time of arrival.

The beacon, mounted on the sailboat, can be turned on in an emergency to transmit the GPS position, identity of the vessel and other information to a satellite network.

"Without that piece of electronic gear aboard the Calypso, this would be the story of a maritime disaster, not a story with a happy ending," Vorenkamp said.
Story posted 2010.07.04 at 03:14 PM PDT
ABC News

jak430
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby jak430 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:52 pm

Any word on what caused a capsize in 45 knot winds?
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby Allezcat » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:59 pm

I spoke with the father of one of the crewmembers. He relayed that they were in huge confused seas when a 15' broke over the boat from the right followed immediately by a huge wave from the left which flipped the boat. They had worried about pitchpoling when surfing down the waves with following seas. See the rescue at www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WeVGdTpi2s

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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby jak430 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:48 pm

Thanks for the update. It was good that they had the prescence to activate the EPIRB before going over. My wife insisted we buy an EPIRB before we left California. I hope we never have the occasion to use it.
Captian and crew are very fortunate that the boat was all they lost.

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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby thinwater » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:51 am

Aparently it was a delivery crew. They left harbor in the face of gale warnings, confusing local sailors. I will always repeat, for coastal sailors, that a fixed schedule is a dangerous thing.

A bad day for a crew not familiar with the boat, and not so much of a surprise. You can see for the video (other posts) that the waves are coming from 2 directions, no doubt causing ocasional breakers.

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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby SecondWind » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:21 pm

Unfortunately it was not a delivery crew. It was a new owner on a schedule.
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby thinwater » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:20 am

SecondWind wrote:Unfortunately it was not a delivery crew. It was a new owner on a schedule.


Actually, I should have been vauge on that. I did not mean a professional crew.

It is interesting that they very acurately estimated how much trouble they were in, turning the EPIRB on just in time. They had some feel for their situation.

We deliveded our new PDQ 32 home 80 miles in December on the Chesapeake Bay with gale warnings (saw 40 knots sustained for a few hours), but it is a completely different kettle of fish. The Bay is well protected with pleanty of places to hide, it is my home waters, and I have sailed tender cats for 25 years. In their case, I would have ditched the schedule. It would be like rounding the Outer Banks of NC in a gale--not a common choise.

I can't imagine the feeling of loosing the new boat, the thinging I've been dreaming about, on the first sail. Even with insurance, it would be complicated.
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby jak430 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:15 am

I read that the captain lost her dog in the capsize so it was more than just the boat they lost.
It was good they had registered the EPIRB on the new vessel but why did they not have PFD's on?
When we were dismasted on our prior boat, putting on the PFD's was the first thing we did.
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby maxicrom » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:01 am

No comparison here,

Just a remark about trying to meet a schedule, we closed on II the Max the 1st week of December, and got one of those crazy 60+ degree weather windows. We decided to bring her from Worton Creek to DC over a long weekend. We left Worton Crk. at 11:00am (that's another story, boat was in the slings when we arrived the night before) weather perfect, by the time we cleared the Bay bridge there were small craft warnings and 25+ Kts of wind on a boat we had 4 hours of experience with. Called it a no-go about an hour later as the wind increased and ducked into Galesville. Next day we made it to Herrington Harbour before it got too rough, same scenario. Day 3 looked like our best window so we went for it and rounded Pt. Lookout at night, after pounding into a 4 ft. chop with wind on our nose for 12 hours. Cold, wet, tired, and stressed as one can be on a new boat we beat into the Tangier Island ferry dock thinking it was the entry for the Pt. Lookout marina (ready for quiet slip and a hot meal, we had provisioned for the proverbial "3 hour tour"). Tied up at the ferry dock (which was closed for the season) I considered making a run for the marina, Linda objected saying it was too much at this late hour. Lucky for us she is a voice of reason, the next morning we saw an unmarked fish trap directly across the course I would have taken for the marina channel.

Long story short is that it can happen to anyone - trying to meet a schedule and the decision process gets short circuited. Our hearts go out to those folks, that trip was our 17 year old Westie Max's last voyage, he passed away a few months later on his own terms (living aboard for most of his days we figured he was a good namesake for our new PDQ). The good news is that day of pounding really gave us confidence in II the Max. Nothing like launching off one wave, through the next, and bottoming out on the 3rd with the mast shuddering for 10 hours. People familiar with the entry to the Potomac, once committed and rounding the PT in weather there is no place to hide - we were lucky that night and that was in a bay. Having sailed the coast between San Francisco and Monterey Bay, it can be pretty unforgiving the further north you go.
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby Page 83 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:25 pm

What is truly amazing is how many times we can get away with foolish decisions without getting zapped. To see someone else getting caught at something I've pulled makes me, ah, thoughtful....

p.s. I sending this from my half of Siesta, a big, new-to-me Atlantic 42. But she looks awfully small in the yard at Lyman Morse; there's a 70-something foot Swan be hind us, and a larger boat on jackstands with a mast that looks twice as tall as out 63' mast.
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby eepstein » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:13 pm

For an update on the PDQ 32, see http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lec ... &dayid=451 . The boat drifted to shore and salvage efforts are underway - hurriedly, before the next storm hits. Its a pretty photo, albeit the cat is upside down.
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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby amytom » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:02 pm

While watching the video of the rescue, I felt sick at the loss sustained. But I was also happy to see how high she floated upside down. It appears the engines were latched down and provided the crew with something to hold on to. It was nice to see the dinghy floating intact nearby but the crew made the wise decision to stay with the boat.

Now seeing where the boat has washed ashore it reminds me of the history of my own boat and the hurricane it endured.

Tom

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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby maxicrom » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:41 am

We can only hope the salvage operation is successful - nice to have a good response and helping hands on location. Eric - good catch on the Lat 38 article.

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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby Allezcat » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:54 am

I think the important thing here is not to pass judgment on anyone but to learn from this incident. I spent years as a professional pilot and there was always something to be learned from any accident/incident to make my own operation safer.

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Re: FLASH! PDQ 32 CAPSIZE

Postby James Power » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:00 pm

Hey Chet,
If you are in contact with the crew / owners of Catalyst, let them know I have some experience with the righting and salvaging of multihulls and will help out any way I can. James 1-772-678-2268


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