I truly enjoyed the article “Optimize practice drills for safe yacht, crew” [page B1, June issue]. This has been a pet project (peeve) of mine for several years.
One of the items that is often overlooked on onboard training exercises and drills is the medical component. Medical drills usually (if they are done at all) are a stand-alone exercise consisting of basic first aid and AED familiarization.
However, in the real world, in the event of an actual fire or other shipboard casualty, there will most likely be some sort of injury that would occur. As a shipboard fire fighting instructor and EMT, I would like to see more of the drills combined to ensure a little more realism in training.
Often when I initiate a fire/damage drill, I will incorporate at least one medical casualty as well. Fairly soon into the drill the captain/crew realize how stretched thin their resources (manpower) can get dealing with multiple fronts. The opportunity offered by this type of training is the chance to fail in the scenario. This is where you want to fail, in training.
A good captain can observe what works and what doesn’t work, and use that as a basis for a lessons-learned meeting. Safety, fire, security and medical plans are not static. They should be living documents that are tested and evaluated regularly with improvements made when the opportunity avails itself. The need for this kind of training cannot be overstated.
Capt. Pat Kelly
Resolve Marine Group
Drills paid off
We were 70nm out of Beaufort, N.C., when we lost our port rudder shaft seal recently. It was like a fire hose running into the bilge. We ran our emergency pump to keep us going till Jarrett Bay could haul us out. The seas where on the nose 4-5 feet. Unfortunately, access to the port rudder was not sufficient to gain access for me.
It is now. The practice and drills paid off. I never thought I would be in that position.
Capt. Worth Brown
M/Y Sea Safari
Trouble with powerlines old news
In my 23 years at our facility on the New River (now a towering apartment block) I can recall the following in reference to the overhead transmission wires.
The first yacht to hit them was an Ocean 71 from France called Assiduous. Mast height was 84 feet. I believe this was in 1984-86 time frame. Apart from mast and rigging damage, it blew out the screws on the through-holes on the hull and was sinking as it came around the corner. It literally sunk at my dock to the mud.
This prompted the raising of the wires.
That did not stop the game yachts and several other boats that hit the lines afterward as it became common knowledge that they were higher than the charts said they were. We were often called as a reference to its actual height, however we always said, “Try it at your own risk.” People came in at low tide, boats heeled over to sneak under. Just don’t be touching the rigging as you pass under.
Obviously, the raising of the wires was good for business, allowing larger boats up to our place. Walter Ivison
Former president, Norseman Marine
Now CEO, World Environmental Solutions
Thank you, Lucy, and The Triton, for digging into this important story “New River power lines cross about 100 feet up,” page A1, June issue]. Your paper provides valuable information to the marine industry.
Broker, Allied Marine