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Hughman
10-22-2005, 03:15 PM
Father lost, son picked up six days later (http://www.courierpub.com/articles/2005/10/21/couriergazette/local_news/0news.txt)


Asher Woods told the Coast Guard that his father had fallen overboard without a life jacket on Saturday evening about 13 miles east of Boothbay Harbor.

Concordia..41
10-22-2005, 03:19 PM
Tragic, but it sounds like there are a lot of unanswered questions...

Ken Hutchins
10-22-2005, 05:20 PM
An interview on TV this morning, the wife of the fisherman who picked him up off the boat "he told my husband that he told his dad they should turn back because it was too rough, dad said no, we can make it OK"
Other fishermen interviewed said they returned to port or didn't go out because the conditions were way too bad.
When I first heard about them being missing I could not believe anyone could be stupid enough to be making that trip in those conditions, forcasted winds were 40 to 50 MPH. Trees, branches blowing down, numerous power failures, etc.

Hwyl
10-22-2005, 05:57 PM
A buoy marker was dropped by air where the sailboat was found, but the Coast Guard spokesman said there are no plans by the Coast Guard to return to the boat and bring it back to shore.



Hmmm

clancy
10-22-2005, 07:28 PM
Sailboat's life jackets were missing (http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showfast.html?article=62153)


Asher Woods and his father, Stephen Woods, lost at sea when he was swept off his 41-foot sailboat last Saturday, weren’t wearing lifejackets during the trip because the flotation devices were nowhere to be found when they went to get them.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
10-22-2005, 07:40 PM
I keep my PFD in the trunk of my car and have it on before I get in the boat. Dawn does too.
We have read the tragic tales like this one too many times. :(
I might freeze to death but I refuse to drown. tongue.gif

Hughman
10-22-2005, 08:27 PM
A common fisherman's reply to life jackets is that they only let you suffer longer. in those conditions, recovery is remote, at best.

Better a harness and lanyard.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
10-22-2005, 08:37 PM
A floating object is easier to recover than a sinking one. ;)

Gary E
10-22-2005, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by clancy:
Sailboat's life jackets were missing (http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showfast.html?article=62153)

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Asher Woods and his father, Stephen Woods, lost at sea when he was swept off his 41-foot sailboat last Saturday, weren’t wearing lifejackets during the trip because the flotation devices were nowhere to be found when they went to get them. </font>[/QUOTE]Damn fools for being out there in that weather this time of year and not wearing floatation jackets ..

If they MUST BE THERE...???

WHY MUST THEY BE THERE???

Certainly it's not their J O B...

Ken Hutchins
10-23-2005, 08:54 AM
On TV this morning, the Coast Guard has towed the boat into port to do some investigating.
Think about the weather, this happened at the end of a week of storms that caused severe flooding in New England. That storm had just slightly moved off land, the back side of any storm is always accompanied by strong winds. It is October the time of year when severe storms really crank up in the gulf of Maine, ya the Perfect Storm conditions.

[ 10-23-2005, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Ken Hutchins ]

ishmael
10-23-2005, 09:08 AM
I keep reading how experienced the elder Woods was, but the questions are stark. Why not wait out the weather, where were their harnesses, and where were their life jackets? The answers will be interesting, but they are hard questions. The weather could be haste and error, as could someone neglecting to stow the jackets and the harnesses I suppose. But taken together they don't add up to someone highly experienced. And why wasn't the radio used?

I don't know, but there's more to this story. Hinky.

Sad end. :(

[ 10-23-2005, 10:15 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Victor
10-23-2005, 10:03 AM
Why didn't he know the PFDs weren't there? Not experienced, just lucky, up to this point.

Gary E
10-23-2005, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Victor:
Why didn't he know the PFDs weren't there? Not experienced, just lucky, up to this point.You'd think the guy was smarter than average, careless maybe?


the boat's owner, 55-year-old Stephen Woods, a lawyer

Ian McColgin
10-23-2005, 11:20 AM
I do wonder at how a stack of PFD's could just go missing. Unfortunatly, all too many coastal weekend cruisers assume the PFDs are just there, where ever that is, and don't check. If they don't get back aboard one spring, they could go years missing. Or they mich have gradually eased down in a locker and be irretrievably buried beneath a pile of line and fenders and barbecue parts.

I've known otherwise "experienced" skippers - experienced in the sense of many years boat ownership though one look at their boat handling and line management reveals they've not learned jack since age 10 - who really don't know where their own gear is.

Others just stow the PFDs forever in the same place, where they mold and deteriorate to the point of uselessness.

If they are mostly weekend goof balls, they may not really listen to the weather for what should be a simple romp down the coast.

And as such, they might not even think that a proper man rope (one of the seven ropes on a cruising boat) can rather easily be made up out of most anything, as we always did before someone figured out how easily beaucoupbucks could be made off suckers wanting cooldude life harnesses.

NOT to denigrate good harnesses, by the way. I've both bought and made them. But really, about a 6' circumferance loop figure 8'ed across the back over sholder under arm pit makes a finestkind harness to which one might attach a manrope.

I don't like to second guess anyone's misfortune, especially on such slender information as we have in this case, but it really is hard to escape the conclusion that Mother Ocean dealt out her own justice in this case.

Hughman
10-23-2005, 08:38 PM
Stephen Woods, 55, "was a very skilled sailor and had plied that route many times," Gage told reporters at the law office in Exeter. Asher Woods, however, was not experienced and couldn't get the sailboat's communications equipment to work, he said.

"The batteries went low," Gage said. "He simply wasn't able to make effective use of it."

Coast Guard jet Thursday saw two flares and alerted a fishing boat captain, John Doran, who found the Niobi 130 miles east of Cape Cod.

When he approached the Niobi, Asher Woods jumped out and started swimming to the fishing vessel, according to the captain's wife, Joyce Doran.

"Asher Woods kept saying, 'I couldn't get him. I couldn't get him,'" Joyce Doran said, recounting her husband's tale in the Portsmouth Herald
remarkable

Ken Hutchins
10-24-2005, 05:10 PM
The story about no PFD's is BS, the statement about missing PFD's was by the victims law partner.
There was some on board in fact a video of the youngster being rescued shows him wearing one.

Victor
10-24-2005, 06:20 PM
People go for years without knowing where the PFDs are?! Why have them then? Maybe that's what happened here, they're around here SOMEWHERE! Like a motorcycle helmet, when you need one you don't have time to put it on.

AND the radio didn't work, AND the kid jumped overboard and swam to the rescue vessel? It was only a matter of time for this guy I guess.

What's a manrope?

[ 10-24-2005, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: Victor ]

Hughman
10-24-2005, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by Ken Hutchins:
The story about no PFD's is BS, the statement about missing PFD's was by the victims law partner.
There was some on board in fact a video of the youngster being rescued shows him wearing one.Ken, did the fishing vessel he was rescued from give him the PFD?

Hughman
10-24-2005, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by Victor:
AND the radio didn't work, [ and the engine didn't work ] AND the kid jumped overboard and swam to the rescue vessel? It was only a matter of time for this guy I guess.

What's a manrope?Steven Bauer speculated that the battery switch wasn't turned to "B", to access the other battery bank. Inexperienced people might not figure that one out.

Ken Buck
10-24-2005, 09:11 PM
My sympathies to the family of the lost boater...

I didn't understand the comment in the story about the son jumping in the water and swimming to the rescue vessel, but after seeing the video of the event on TV, it makes more sense. They tossed a life ring on a line over, then he jumped down to the ring, and they hauled him over. I'm not quite sure why they didn't launch a boat to get him, but the waves were pretty big, so maybe they decided that that was the safest and easiest method for all. They had him on board the boat in no time, so the method worked well.

As for PFDs ... yes, I think they're a good idea and wear mine on the water, but under the circumstances, maybe it wouldn't have mattered. If the son was unable to operate the boat properly or get the radios working, it doesn't sound like rescue was in the cards. The water up north is getting pretty cold these days, you wouldn't last long. Still, it can't hurt to be as prepared as possible...

The point about the whole story that I wonder most about is the decision to leave harbor in the first place. It wasn't quite as wild that weekend as it has been before and since, but it was still pretty lousy. If I recall, it was raining on Saturday, and according to the GoMOOS data, the inshore buoy off Owls Head (at the mouth of Rockland harbor) was recording winds say 16-26mph with 5' waves, and the buoy to the south off Monhegan was recording similar winds with 10-12' waves. I was in Rockland around noon and back down the St. George penninsula in the afternoon; the weather wasn't good, and things got a lot worse on Sunday with winds around 30-38mph. The NOAA forecasts seemed to be pretty well on the mark at the time. Now, it's clear that the boat itself was large enough and capable of surviving such conditions, because it actually did so. And I don't know anything about the experience of her captain; maybe he was familiar with rough weather sailing. The point is that the coast of Maine in October deserves a lot of respect and there's a difference between going out because you have to and going out for other reasons. When the lobster boats and the fishing boats stay in harbor, there's a reason for it. And there wasn't much other traffic out there.

BTW, for those that haven't seen it, the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System has a nice web site with frequently-updated buoy and weather station data (except for Cashes Ledge, which seems to always be ovestressed and taking a vacation).

GoMOOS Buoy Data (http://www.gomoos.org/buoy/buoy_data.shtml)

Ken Hutchins
10-25-2005, 08:44 AM
The coast guard has said there was life jackets an board, this statement came after inspecting the boat. The story about the missing PFD's was put out by the victins law partner, BEFORE the boat/boy were found , how in hell did the law partner know the pfd's were missing to be able to make such a statement, no one had any communication with the boat.
The boy was wearing the PDF when found he did not get it from the fishing boat.
Here is the TV story link.

Edited to add, check out the rescue video.
Boat Story (http://www.thewmurchannel.com/news/5163838/detail.html)

[ 10-25-2005, 09:52 AM: Message edited by: Ken Hutchins ]

Hughman
10-25-2005, 08:51 AM
Hmmmm. seems someone is desparate to blame this on someone else.... :rolleyes:

Ocean Spray
10-25-2005, 07:14 PM
Having been a little further North,near Frenchman's Bay on Saturday, the day they left Rockland, I'd have to think they were crazy to leave port that day. The wind was honking out of the Northeast, rain, and large seas. The only boat we saw out all day was a 42 ft Coast Guard cutter practicing driving through the large seas.
It's hard to believe that someone that experienced would go out on a day like that. I think there's more to this story than we'll ever know.

Alan D. Hyde
10-26-2005, 10:25 AM
I suspect that more may come out, in time.

Those of you in the vicinity, will you please pass it along here when it does?

Alan

Tom Hunter
10-27-2005, 05:36 PM
I bet they were trying to get the boat down to be hauled, and thier insurance does not cover them past October.

Not a good reason to go, but could have been the reason

Ken Hutchins
10-27-2005, 05:58 PM
They were on the way to Rye NH to get the boat hauled.
The Coast Guard has finished the investigation, the report is being sent to Washington.
The Coast Guard has turned the sailboat over to the fishing boat crew, they claimed salvage rights since they towed it into port, on the video of the rescue, someone on the fishing boat crew asked the boy if he wanted to be taken off the boat, he said yes and jumped overboard to the thrown life ring. The widow wants the boat returned to the family.