Home' Afloat : September 2013 Contents Take monthly with water September 2013 13
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Child overboard -- the importance
of being able to use GPS correctly
A few months ago I was a passenger on a motor cruiser when
a child fell overboard after dark in rough open water. Fortunately
he was wearing a life vest. The man overboard call was made
and a degree of panic occurred. We had no searchlight aboard
only torches. No alcohol had been consumed.
The owner was in command and immediately began to turn
the boat. I was also on the bridge and earlier had made myself
conversant with the GPS as a matter of curiosity. I immediately
captured the position at the call on the GPS.
During the turn the skipper had increased speed and became
agitated and lost his orientation. I instructed him to reduce speed
and to pick up the position recorded on the GPS as this would
get him very close to the man overboard call position. By now
we were well away from the call position and had no idea of the
location of the child in the water and could not see or hear him.
Fortunately the skipper recognised the value of my action,
recovered his composure and by GPS tracking we were soon
abreast of the child who was afloat thanks to his vest. After the
hubbub died down I was commended on my action as we could
have been well away from the overboard position and the child in
towards the rocks by the current or becoming a target for the
numerous boats zipping in and out past the headland.
After a brief time we decided to call Marine Rescue and request
a tow. Sailing back to the mooring in light and fluky winds was
not a viable or safe option.
In short time Marine Rescue arrived, hitched up a tow and
back we went to McCarrs Creek. The team were very professional
throughout and frequently checked to ensure we were OK on
the way home.
Yet again these dedicated and unassuming folk commit their
free time to people like us who love to 'muck about in boats' and
sometimes get mucked around by the boat!
Thanks to those great people from Bayview Marine Rescue.
We have of course donated to their cause and hope to do so in
person with some liquid refreshment!
Kris and Marcia Ferguson,
from rude boats
Barry Jackson's experience of noise from other boats No refuge
from heavy metal (Afloat Mar'13) is sadly not unusual. In close to 40
years of cruising Broken Bay I have often been troubled by the
inconsiderate playing of music and drunken yahooing of others.
It seems that the motor vessel brigade and the hire fleet are
the most frequent offenders, but I was recently woken up by a
party on a 60-footer playing Bollywood music at 1am!
Barry asks what can we do. Over the years I have followed
some or all of the following steps:
Politely ask them to turn the music down. This rarely works,
but on one occasion in Refuge Bay the music was turned off, and
the person said he had no idea it was annoying (!). Definitely
worth a try.
Next, politely tell them that under the Protection of the
Environment Operations Act 1997 it is an offence to disturb others
with noise and that you will report them to the Water Police. Take
the boat name and registration. This sometimes works, but often
gives rise to drunken abuse, so you may want to skip it.
Call the Water Police. They are always helpful, and may send
a vessel if they have the capacity at the time. Email them the
details the next day, and if other boats are willing to join the
complaint get them to do the same.
Almost always I end up leaving the mooring or weighing
anchor. There are lots of small bays on Broken Bay that are good
anchorages by night, although untenable by day due to the wake
of power boats passing at high speed. I find it is better to enjoy
a quiet motor under the stars and find a quiet place to sleep,
rather than fight the noise makers.
The world is sadly full of inconsiderate people, and the joy of
a boat is that you can slip the mooring and get away from them.
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