Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My View of the AEGEAN boat crash

I have to assume you have read The Daily Pilots reports regarding the sinking of the yacht AEGEAN.
I first noticed the boat and crew on April 26th the night of the send off party at BCYC. I had volunteered as a gangway attendant that allowed boat owners and crews access to their boats while keeping the general public off the docks.
The crew of the AEGEAN was easily spotted with their blue shirts that read “I am on a boat” and their blue hats. The crew walked past me many times throughout the night and showed no signs of over serving themselves. Because the boat was slipped next to the gangway I was able to watch the crew step on and off their vessel many times throughout the night. With 25 years of being a yacht broker I can tell from just watching people approach a boat and how they board them if they are very experienced or not.
My observations of this crew, this was not their first rodeo, they where having fun as a team and staying under control. In fact I recall they all had returned to their boat by 9:30 PM the night of the send off party.

I am not sure what happened to this crew but if I was to guess; they had their dinner at 8:00 Pm and where just west of the boarder. The wind had died down to under 5 knots at about 11:00 and the crew of the AEGEAN probably started their engine and reduced the watch to one person while the engine and autopilot did their work.

What happened next we will never know, but if I was to continue with my conclusion the one crew member left on deck grabbed his blanket and placed his back to the forward bulkhead of the cockpit and was facing aft. He then would fall asleep, wake up take a look around and then fall asleep again. I know from experience if you allow yourself to fall into that routine you will fall into a deeper sleep each time. When I catch myself doing this, on the delivery trip home the other day, I stand up and turn on my Ipod on.
For what’s its worth, that’s what I think what happened. The crew member on watch fell asleep at the wheel and the boat ran into the North Coronado island.
Tragic yes but this happens in cars every year. Nothing can be said to the family’s for their loses other than, “from my family to yours we wish you the best and am sorry for your loss.

Sea ya


Anonymous said...

Len - I have no evidence to dispute your view of the tragic events onboard the Aegean but wonder why you suggest just one person (of four) was left on deck alone? Two (or more) people on deck is much more fun, and safer, so why suggest fewer on deck is 'the norm' on a fully-crewed boat? I don't think it is, nor should be.

Len Bose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Len Bose said...

When I cruise, under power I prefer to get more sleep, with four crew one crew member would take a two hour trick and then 6 hours sleep. Or in this case, should the wind pick up call the next three people up and start sailing again.

I cruised about a 1,000 miles this year alone using this system and would call it the norm. One places a lot of trust in their crew members this way.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

My boat is a heavy cruiser which I have raced four King Harbor races. Although severely challenged in drifting conditions, I would never race it in a 'cruiser class' where running the motor in gear for X amount of time was permitted. I do not know, cannot figure out, what that has to do with Corinthian yacht racing. Can any one explain?