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Coast rescue
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edscott



Joined: 27 Mar 1994
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Coast rescue Reply with quote

Sailor ended up downwind today near Santa Cruz and got picked up by USCG helo WAY on the outside. Not sure how he got there, but I think he lost his gear somehow. I watched them do a search pattern and locate the missing sailor, who apparently had a radio and called for help.

Thanks to the US Coast Guard and all the other agencies - State parks, CDF, USCG Auxilliary, for turning out.
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labdad



Joined: 16 May 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:29 am    Post subject: Coast Guard Rescue Reply with quote

This happened to me at Waddell a few years ago. Broke a mast way outside and self-rescued to the reef south of Big Trees. Took almost 2 hours to get in.
Granted, the winds weren't as strong and the seas not as rough.
Glad this guy had a radio.
http://coastguardnews.com/coast-guard-rescues-windsurfer-near-davenport/2012/06/07/
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clebeck



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't believe how far out he was when the helicopter arrived. I took a photo from the beach and you can't even see the chopper on the photo! I was really worried about him, but thankfully he is ok - thanks for posting the link. Pretty windy day for sure.
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cbknap



Joined: 03 Jun 1997
Posts: 294

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good advertisement for whatever kind of radio he had with him.
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edscott



Joined: 27 Mar 1994
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm wondering how he got so far out and what the failure was. I watched the rescue on the binocs, and though I could see the winch going up and down, didn't see him in the water.

It was strong onshore winds, a little paddling would have eventually gotten him in somewhere, but it would have taken awhile.
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hemmy007



Joined: 10 May 2002
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edscott wrote:
I watched the rescue on the binocs, and though I could see the winch going up and down, didn't see him in the water.

It was strong onshore winds, a little paddling would have eventually gotten him in somewhere, but it would have taken awhile.


To far out for conditions & experience, check.
Lost gear while too far outside, check.
10X too far outside reach, check your head... ;-O

ANDRE, is that you? Wink

Seriously, this person is very, very lucky.
Have been surfing and WS at that spot since the 80's
and we have seen more rescues and near-rescues in the last few years.

In the last six months, we had to call in for a guy
from the gorge that we had never seen there before
that could almost not stay up wind from the first reach
and came in about town at the last stop.
And of course we had the guy who camped out at the last beach.

Please if:

*your gear is not checked out (fairly new and taken care of)
for open ocean sailing

*do not know how to handle open ocean and breaking surf
*do not know how to stay up wind without going too far outside,

go sail somewhere else.

While very windy yesterday,
the surf was very, very small,
very mellow and warm.
If this was a real surf day,
not sure how it might have turned out differently.

Not clear why it why reaching so far out, so far downwind.

I sailed there for over two hours yesterday
and never had to reach more than a couple hundred meters
out to get back to the peak.
So if you are so far out that the people on the beach can not see the heli
you are about 10x too far out for no reason.

If you want to do long reach ws,
please go to alameda or coyote so the heli
does not have to fly that far to pick you up. ;-O

Clearly gear/sailor were not prepared for a round trip yesterday.
If the surf is large or the wind is super-powered up,
if you do not have experience in those conditions,
go ws somewhere else.

Would be interested in what the failure was,
but the radio saved the day.
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prevett



Joined: 25 Jun 1997
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Coast Guard web article stated that the windsurfer contacted them using VHF channel 16, and reported a broken mast. I am glad that everything turned out OK, and the Coasties certainly did a great job with the operation. But the Coast Guard having to rescue yet another windsurfer on the coast this year is very disappointing.

I don't know the exact details of this breakdown, but here are my thoughts/rants:

* The guy has a broken mast very far offshore. How? Wave rated masts do not break in open water sailing. Was the guy using a non-wave rated mast? Was the mast not inserted into the ferrule completely? If it was a non-wave mast, here's a suggestion: don't show up on the coast with your Bay gear on a 30mph day and expect to be safe.

* The guy is rescued two nautical miles offshore. WTF? The winds are side-onshore, so the wind did not push him farther out. If anything, he was sent down shore. So, here's another suggestion: don't sail at any distance offshore that you can't safely paddle back on your board, either with the sail attached, derigged, or ditched. For the most part, 1/2 mile out is about as far as you should go out at these coastal sites.

* The guy was not hurt when he was rescued. Third suggestion: if you can self-rescue by ditching your rig and paddling back to the shore, please do so. The Coast Guard is not your personal retrieval service. The cost of a rescue is greater than the cost of your rig if you have to ditch it and paddle.

As windsurfers, we have free, mostly unregulated access to spectacular sailing sites. Coast Guard rescues like the one yesterday are expensive for us taxpayers, put the rescuers at risk, and potentially threaten our unregulated access to sailing sites.

BTW, to the rescued windsurfer: If you are reading this, don't take this as a personal attack. I am just trying to make a point. Also, do share more details about the incident so that others can learn from it.


Last edited by prevett on Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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edscott



Joined: 27 Mar 1994
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not Andre or the Gorge dude, but it is a well-known sailor who has been sailing the coast for the last couple years and has done a few downwinders as I recall.
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bob1



Joined: 27 Apr 1998
Posts: 94
Location: San Carlos, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never occurred to me that I'd need to use my VHF radio on the coast. Always thought worst case scenario in outside breakdown was blown down wind onto desolate beach (if The Warden let me through) . . . .

Is VHF recommended for Waddel, DPL, et al.?? Or is this just a case of guy goin' way too far into deep water?
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higgybaby



Joined: 25 May 2004
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard to believe a handheld VHF a foot off the water made it all the way to Monterey or even SC Harbor. I'm guessing someone called it in from land and he talked to the helo once it was in the area? It will be interesting to find out.

Glad you're ok!
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