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Thread: Drama on the high seas

  1. #1
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    Default Drama on the high seas

    This evening we heard news that a scallop dragger fishing on George's Bank (south-east of the southern tip of Nova Scotia and due east from Portland, Maine) is on fire and dead in the water. Thirty-one crew on board, mostly from my home area (the vessel's home port is Riverport, a small village at the mouth of the Lahave River and about fifteen miles from my boyhood home). Conditions on George's are abysmal tonight; forty knot winds gusting to sixty-five, reduced visibility due to blowing snow, cold enough that icing is a risk, and nominal eight metre (twenty-five foot) waves, which means that some waves reach thirty-five feet or more. Even though there are several other ships in the area, it will be extremely difficult to mount a rescue effort. I have a friend aboard, and the skipper is the son of a high-school friend and a former student of my wife's. I hope the sea gods are merciful tonight.

    https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/harrowin...ater-1.5331330
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Sorry to hear this. Hoping they get help.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    I think that the best that they can hope for is a very long, cold, uncomfortable and really scary night. The alternate is really nasty.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    What would they have on board in the way of safety/ floatation gear Michael?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Life jackets, gumby suits, and liferafts, Jay, but all are of limited use in these weather conditions.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    I am thinking of your friends and their shipmates tonight...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    That's a lot of crew, is this typical for this type of fishing.

    Hope it plays out well.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Best wishes and positive thoughts to all...

    Please keep us posted.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Seems, as of today, there are 4 crew & 2 S&R folks aboard still - the others were airlifted.

    Hope those 6 are OK!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    News this morning is that all crew have been safely recovered by two helicopters, one Canadian Coast Guard, one American Coast Guard. Thanks, Yanks. Crew has been landed at Yarmouth in the wee hours of the morning. Last word on the ship was that it was dark, taking on water, and drifting. The rescue operation must have been harrowing in the wind, big seas, and dark. Not a lot of open deck space on these ships to effect a personnel lift-off. Pretty impressive flying by the helicopter crews.

    P.I. - this is a factory freezer-trawler, so there is the navigating crew, the fishing crew and the processing crew. Twenty-six to thirty-four crewmembers is the normal range.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Thanks for that, on both counts.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Glad they are all safe!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Helicopter rescue pilots, mountain and sea, are amazing.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    that is really impressive. Glad all anybody is out is a bit of money with the loss of the boat.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Helicopter rescue pilots, mountain and sea, are amazing.
    As are the maniacs that go slithering down a wire into the maelstrom. My friend was a rescue swimmer for the USCG. Some of the things he did made me nearly faint, and I’ve done some really stupid things, like jump rooftop to rooftop 8 floors up on a bike.

    No WAY would I volunteer to go into a storm in a chopper and slide down a wire. I mean, I’d do it, probably, but I sure wouldn’t ASK to go.

    Which, one of my arguments FOR universal wage is the notion that more people would be free to do truly meaningful work for society if they could pursue their goals without worry.
    There are actually people who LIKE running into fires, cleaning toilets, doing surgery, butchering meat, digging holes, picking fruit...

    I am happy to hear of a good end to this tale.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    god bless thee people that sign up for that rescue work. no way i could have ever been one of those guys. glad they were able to get those people home safe. what a great job considering the elements

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Update: the helicopter rescue in the night removed all but three people (presumably captain, chief engineer & 2nd engineer) who stayed aboard to try to save the ship. These three were lifted from the ship late this morning (presumably by helicopter) and are currently aboard a Coast Guard ship which has been standing by. The F/V Atlantic Destiny has sunk and is now on the sea bottom, fortunately with no loss of life. The entire operation was carried out in extreme conditions and must have been very difficult and frightening. Good job, Coasties...
    Last edited by mmd; 03-03-2021 at 12:16 PM.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Wow. Excellent job Coast Guard!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Bummer on losing the ship, but glad everyone was saved. Also great to hear about our countries working together. Hats off to everyone involved in the rescue!

    And yes, the swimmers are pretty amazing people.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Good news indeed.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Speaking as one who is addicted to RNLI vids on YouTube, I salute those crews.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    A sample of what they must have been struggling with last night: This morning I included a trip out to the Cape Forchu lighthouse in my town errands. On the way out to the lighthouse I passed through a small fishing community named Yarmouth Bar. These pictures show the ice that formed from sea spray from the waves hitting the rocks:


    Railing on an observation platform at the Cape Forchu lighthouse with ice at fifty feet above sea level:

    Cape Forchu light railing after storm 02 March 21.jpg


    Iced lobster traps and breakwater rocks on Yarmouth Bar. The bay called (aptly) The Churn is on the other side of the breakwater, about thirty feet down. These were iced by the splash from waves hitting the other side of the breakwater:

    Iced traps & breakwater, Yarmouth Bar, 03 March 2021 No. 1.jpg

    Iced traps & breakwater, Yarmouth Bar, 03 March 2021 No. 2.jpg


    Thanks to my wife Maureen for the photos.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Im not in the slightest bit religious but was brought up so,
    I think of the hymn lines,

    'so hear us when we cry to thee, for those in peril on the sea.... '

    and I'm so glad it was human cooperation and competence that saved the day....no 'divine intervention' here.

    sorry about the boat, but also Scallop dredgers aren't exactly in my favourites list of sustainable fishery practices.
    Bilious, choleric, sanguine and phlegmatic

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Cooperation caught on camera:

    Canadian Armed Forces patrol airplane and Coast Guard SAR helicopter at Yarmouth airport very early this morning:

    SAR airplane & helicopter in Yarmouth 03 March 2021.jpg


    USA & Canadian Coast Guard SAR helicopters in Yarmouth this morning (03 March 2021)

    USA & Canadian SAR helicopters in Yarmouth 03 December 2021.jpg
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Bravo Zulu to both Coast Guards.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    My little brother is a CG helicopter rescue swimmer. Stories like this kind of make me feel sick....

    I hope all the rescuers involved get a big medal and the option for full early retirement.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Nice job. Now the inquiry.That was not exactly an unforcasted storm. Do they run at such a tight margin that they have to be out, no matter what the weather.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Great News!
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Nice job. Now the inquiry.That was not exactly an unforcasted storm. Do they run at such a tight margin that they have to be out, no matter what the weather.
    Normally 40-50 kt winds and 8-metre seas are just another day at sea for ships of that type and size, Gareth. Fishing operations will shut down and they will ride out the storm when it blows over 40 - 45 kts and if the seas are breaking, but nothing much smaller than a violent storm or hurricane will make them tuck tail and run for home. They normally stay at sea for 21 to 28 days at a stretch, weather be damned.

    A full image of the ship:




    Where she sank:

    Last edited by mmd; 03-03-2021 at 02:46 PM.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Normally 40-50 kt winds and 8-metre seas are just another day at sea for ships of that type and size, Gareth. Fishing operations will shut down and they will ride out the storm when it blows over 40 - 45 kts and if the seas are breaking, but nothing much smaller than a violent storm or hurricane will make them tuck tail and run for home. They normally stay at sea for 21 to 28 days at a stretch, weather be damned.

    A full image of the ship:

    It was always thus. Back in the day before Iceland closed the cod grounds to foreign boats, our trawlers stayed on the Icelandic grounds for as long as they had food and fuel. Dodging huge seas, breaking glaze ice top hamper with hammers and axes and so on.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    As someone who, long ago, was brought out to a ship in mid-ocean by helicopter, I also salute the pilots and crew who do this job, not only in good weather, but also in some of the worst weather imaginable. . . . .

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Great News!
    +1.
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  35. #35
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    Default Re: Drama on the high seas

    great to hear that all were rescued.
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