Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rowing the Atlantic and Roz Savage

I lead into todays blog with the following articles......

U.S. Coast Guard rescues charity rowers

Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:47pm BST

(Reuters) - Four Britons attempting to row across the Atlantic for charity have been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after their boat capsized, British officials said.

The 29-foot boat of rowers Chris Jenkins, Tim Garrent, Wayne Davey and Joby Newton capsized 420 nautical miles east of Cape Cod early on Saturday, while the men were in the boat's two cabins.

"The crew have been taken aboard the Gulf Grace at 8 a.m. -- we understand all are relatively safe and well, but suffering slight hypothermia," British coastguards said in a statement.

The Britons had been attempting to row from New York to the Isles of Scilly to try to break the record of 55 days set in 1896 by George Harboe and Frank Samuelson on a route that has only been successfully completed six times.

The four men, who had been expected to each burn around 10,000 calories a day rowing two hours on, two hours off, day and night, had so raised nearly 75,000 pounds for four different charities after leaving New York on June. (END)

Trans-Atlantic Rowboat Trip Becomes Coast Guard Rescue

 BOSTON - The 26-year-old who set out alone to row his custom-made boat across nearly 4000 miles of open ocean Wednesday was rescued by the Coast Guard Thursday night 50 miles east of Provincetown, Mass.

Charlie Girard was in distress and caught in 5-8 foot seas and 15-knot winds in his 23-foot boat. He expressed his desire to be taken off the boat to an acquaintance of his, Richard Williams of Orleans, Mass. via a satellite phone.

Williams contacted Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England about 7:20 p.m. and said Girard, “had taken seven or eight rolls and was ready to come off.”

A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched at 8:15, and hoisted Girard to safety about 9 p.m.

Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class John Hughes, the onboard medical corpsman said, “he was thrown around quite a bit and said he slammed into the side of the boat and that his lower back was bothering him.”

He was taken to Air Station Cape Cod and was transferred to an awaiting ambulance.

The Coast Guard issued a safety marine information broadcast to notify other mariners of the adrift rowboat. (END)

Success is about Team Work and Prepardness!

While some causes for charities and ocean plights are noble and very worth while. Poor pre-planning and crisis management can lead not just to disaster but death. No one can stop anyone from risking their own lives, but we all have to remember that not only do we risk ourselves but we risk those who are sent to rescue us. Pre-planning and having a expert team in place to stay on top of all the details during an ocean crossing is to say the least... critical. I am talking about a real operational team. Those dedicated to the journey, the person and the events on a day to day basis..

This team needs to be comprised of experts in various fields., such as medical, communications, rowing, meteorology, oceanography, marine engineering and crisis management. Many who attempt these crossing do not even have a solid SOS plan or even a chase boat within range or at a jump off point for relief or redundant plans for a SOS in case they get into trouble.

The British rowers were lucky they were in range for a US Coast Guard rescue. There is a point of no return, where people are actually on their own and challenge mother nature in all her glory....and mother nature can be a witch at any moment...

Many of the people who undertake these extraordinary adventures either do not have the proper teams assembled or just listen to what they want. Worse yet when they run into problems they sometimes risk all including their lives for the cause or venture. In some of these cases some of these people do not even want to share float plans or contact data with rescue agencies prior to departure because of past track records or fear of being stopped.

In one case not cutting a tangled para sea anchor in heavy weather (which is not designed for a row boat) because it is not politically "Green" to those trying to save the earths oceans from pollution and the thought of cutting the tangled sea anchor in heavy weather is in their opinion equivalent to polluting the ocean, is like playing russian roulette with a machine gun. Or those who believe that having a chase boat come to ones assistance is also not green politically correct because it leaves a "carbon footprint" might as well play russian roulette with a hand grenade.

Imagine having a para-sea anchor like this one (Note: this is not the brand being deployed) tangled with your broken trip line in heavy seas and not wanting to cut it lose because you consider it polluting the ocean. How about imagining that tangled sea anchor being pulled either to your port or starboard and pulling your row boat broadside to a 20 foot wave or draging you down? Know the danger you would be in? Think sinking that row boat and potentially drowning is not a form of pollution?

Both adventurers and team members who act in these types of manner are doing no one any good and actually are a danger not just to themselves but to anyone they consult to.

Roz Savage

What good is your cause if while trying to draw attention to it you die because of stupidity? What signal does that send to everyone? What is the benefit to the cause, the sponsors, yourself, your family and those around you if you do not survive?

While I support some of these folk and their causes, like I once did for Ms. Savage. What I do not support is poor planning, stubbornness, lack of coordination with rescue agencies and very poor team work with all the ego's that go with that. That in my book is a recipe for disaster and death on the high seas. To update this posting as of 17 June 2008. I have many concerns and problems with the way Ms. Savage and some of those around her are handling this so-called cause and adventure. Not to have a proper plan in place with a expert team for guidance and if necessary rescue is plainly stupid. One can always try again if one remains alive. Not to coordinate or purposely withhold critical life safety information from the United States Coast Guard such as your EPIRB identification and/or any contact information on a transatlantic or pacific crossing such as Ms. Savage and part of her team did is plainly mind boggling.

cradle or attached to a life raft where it needs to be in case her boat capsizes again. To think that one might be able to grab a I wish all those attempting these extraordinary acts fair winds. But I sure wish they would take their heads out of their butts and do it the right way... Roz Savage is now off the coast of California still having her problems. We note that on her 15 June 2008 posting that her EPIRB is not properly deployed and to activate a EPIRB that is not properly deployed during a crisis is very difficult and just plainly bone-headed..... As of the 15 Savage was out of communications for just about 24 hours. There seems to be some around her that push the rescue goal post further out than need be.

Late on the 16th Savage regained communications and states all is fine with exception of being sea sick. There is in my opinion a lot missing on her blog since the blackout and some of the problems she indicated she was having. There is no explanation for the blackout in communications. While the rescue button was moved from the so-called four hour blackout window which started at around 1300 hrs PSTon the 16th to a 2100 hrs PST her normal contact time. Which would have been a night time search and rescue operation. This places rescuers in a very difficult and dangerous position.

I remind all that the last time Ms. Savage was rescued, it was someone else requesting the rescue because Ms. Savage refused to declare an emergency when she was confronted with disaster.

As i have told Ms. Savage. What good is fighting for your cause if your dead.

Roz we all hope the best for you. But with the problems your having you need to smarten up and get a grip.

Mission: Find the Brocade



(Here are a couple more chowder-heads! Of which is common in the Chicago area. Another story here. I attended a Emergency Management meeting the other day to talk about severe weather preparedness. One of the participants was with the USCG. He relayed that a few days earlier one of his boats crossing Lake Michigan came across a guy who was floating on a inflatable mattress with a six pack drunk as a skunk... It makes you wonder?)

Two rescued from Lake Michigan during downpo

Two men were rescued while paddling in canoes on Lake Michigan Sunday morning during a torrential downpour.

Marine Unit officers spotted two men paddling on Lake Michigan near Navy Pier about 7:30 a.m., just as dark clouds filled the skies and a downpour hit, Chicago Police Marine Unit Sgt. Ray Mazzola said.

“When they were even with us, we got a call that their canoe had overturned,” Mazzola said.

The men were rescued and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Mazzola said.

One of the men was hospitalized with beginning stages of hypothermia, and the other man was taken in for a general checkup, Mazzola said.

The men were rescued about 8:10 a.m., according to police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak.



Last bow for Riverdance ferry

Up close with the demolition work
Up close with the demolition work

Published Date:
06 June 2008
COULD this be the last dance?
Work to cut up the stricken ferry Riverdance is progressing fast – with huge chunks from the stern of the ship being removed in the last few days.

Contractors have taken advantage of favourable tide conditions to make good progress on the removal of the Riverdance – with work expected to continue at a steady pace over the next few days.



PS: We have been having some automatic uploading problems with the blog that deletes some words making incomplete sentences. We hope to have this corrected soon....