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Scuttling a boat - lessons from the GGR Messages in this topic - RSS

Simon Currin
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Posts: 774


9/28/2018
Simon Currin
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Posts: 774
Excellent and thought provoking post.

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Simon Currin
S/V Shimshal simon@medex.org.uk
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Daria Blackwell
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Posts: 737


9/26/2018
Daria Blackwell
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Posts: 737
I think people will be studying the Golden Globe Race recreation 50 years after the first edition in 1968 for many years. I for one am truly happy that Abhilash Tomy and Gregor McGuckin, both of whose vessels were rolled and dismasted in an unavoidable storm, were successfully rescued from such a remote region of the Indian Ocean. That the vessel that came to their aid was a frigate built in the year of the first GGR (1968) and was on its last mission and due to be retired from service shortly is quite ironic. Both sailors exhibited amazing seamanship. Tomy immobilising himself with a back injury but communicating sufficiently to direct rescue efforts. Gregor erecting a jury rig to sail to within 30 miles of Tomy's position in case he was needed to provide assistance. Both should be commended. Both abandoned their vessels mid ocean. It was the right thing to do.

I was curious about the instruction given to them on scene:
“During the controlled evacuation of Hanley Energy Endurance, McGuckin was instructed to leave the vessel afloat. The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris instructed McGuckin that scuttling the vessel would be in breach of international maritime regulations. Hence, McGuckin removed all debris from the deck that could become separated, secured all equipment on board, and ensured the AIS beacon was active. The power source to the AIS device is solar panels which should remain active without any outside assistance reducing the risk to other vessels. Precautionary steps were also taken to ensure the relatively small amount of fuel onboard is secure.”


I had never heard that scuttling a vessel would contradict maritime law and I wonder if anyone can comment on this from first hand knowledge. The Osiris is planning to tow both vessels to a nearby island.

Naturally, there will be questions raised about running the race with the rule "if it wasn't available then, it can't be used now." Several sailors retired from the race, including one of the favourites, due to gear failure. The Longue Route, running concurrently in the spirit of Moitessier's iconic moment of not completing the race in order 'to save his soul', has no rules. The sailors can use whatever they need to in today's world. They have very different objectives in the two events. In the GGR, it's to win. In the Longue Route it's to test your mettle against the original records and your own personal best. At any rate, there still are many single-handed sailors out there at one time.

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Daria Blackwell - Rear Commodore, PR Officer, Editor OCC Digital Comms & Port Officer, West of Ireland s/v Aleria http://www.coastalboating.net
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