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The capsizing of the DIXIB LBB II 18 attributed solely to weather phenomena. The age of the vessel or its wood hull construction 18 not implicated in any way.

ACTUAL LIVES SAVED BY INDICATED EQUIPMENT:

Lifejackets L/L/A Inf. BIA

14

Liferaft

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO SAVE INDICATED NUMBER OF LIVES:

Lifejackets L/RZA Inf. BIA Liferaft
14

6

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO PREVENT INDICATED NUMBER OF INJURIES: Lifejackets L/F-B/A Inf. BIA Liferaft

20

FINALISTA 100, 10/82

The FINALISTA 100 had 43 persons on board when it caught fire, burned, and sank about 37 miles off of the central California coast. Water temperature was not reported, but according to NOAA data for October, it would probably have been about 55° F. The FINALISTA 100 should have had a class A EPIRB on board, but if it did, it was not a factor in the rescue. From the limited information available on the accident, it appears that the operator was able to summon help from a nearby vessel by radio. The FINALISTA 100 did have an inflatable liferaft on board, but it was behind a fixed rail and too heavy for three crewmen to lift over the rail to launch. The 43 persons on board apparently used lifejackets and the life floats until rescue arrived 30 minutes later.

The vessel was certificated for 50 persons on ocean voyages, and would have to have had a life float for 25 persons. The inflatable liferaft was carried voluntarily as additional equipment. The life float proved adequate for the 30 minutes it was used, and apparently no one sustained permanent injury. The water chill chart suggests that everyone should have survived at least one hour in water of 55° F. Had rescue taken 2 to 3 hours or more, an inflatable buoyant apparatus, as a minimum, would have been required to prevent deaths. A satellite EPIRB would have made no difference in this particular casualty, since close-by help was summoned by radio: If help had not been close by, or if the operator had been unable to use the radio, a satellite EPIRB would have been essential for rapid location and rescue.

The FINALISTA 100 was 12 years old, which is not old for a wooden vessel. The fire started in the engine room due to a fuel leak. The crew had the fire contained with extinguishers, but once the extinguishers were used, fire spread throughout the vessel which then burned completely. It may be concluded that wooden construction contributed to the loss of the vessel, but age or condition was probably not a factor.

ACTUAL LIVES SAVED BY INDICATED EQUIPMENT :
Life jackets L/F-B/A Inf. B/A

22

21

Liferaft

0

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO SAVE INDICATED NUMBER OF LIVES:

Life jackets L/F-B/A Inf. B/A Liferaft
21

22

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO PREVENT INDICATED NUMBER OF INJURIES:

Lifejackets L/F-B/A Inf. B/A Liferaft

(Insufficient information)

JOAN LA RIE III, 10/82

The JOAN LA RIE III had 22 persons on board and sank about 84 miles off of the New Jersey coast in 53° F water. Although it was not required, the JOAN LA RIE III had an EPIRB when it was inspected 8 months before the sinking, but no EPIRB signal was heard during the rescue operations and no EPIRB was found with the rest of the debris. Lifesaving apparatus consisted of a 7person buoyant apparatus and a 15-person life float. Most of the passengers where resting in the deckhouse when the vessel was hit by rogue wave, heeled over, and began to flood. Two persons are missing as a result of this casualty. They may have drowned in the deckhouse. The remaining 20 persons were able to escape into the water, but none was able to put on a lifejacket. Apparently all but two persons made it to the life float and buoyant apparatus, which were secured together. Those two died. of the remaining 18 gathered at the life float and buoyant apparatus, 14 survived and 4 died in the 90 minutes it took for rescue to arrive. No distress message was ever sent by the JOAN LA RIE III. The vessel happened to be in a crossing situation with a Brazilian cargo vessel which noticed that the JOAN LA RIE III, five miles away had suddenly disappeared. Its distress messages alerted the coast Guard, which dispatched three boats and two helicopters. This Brazilian vessel changed course, and when it arrived on scene, it launched a lifeboat and recovered 7 of the 14 survivors. Coast Guard rescuers arrived about the same time, rescued the other seven, and retrieved five bodies.

The survivors of the JOAN LA RIE III were fortunate that the Brazilian vessel saw the accident. If this had not occurred, its likely that most of those in the water would have died in another 2 to 3 hours. No other vessels happened upon the scene, even those which had been fishing nearby and had been in contact. A satellite EPIRB would not have brought rescue any faster, since the Brazilian vessel gave an immediate alert and accurate position information. Had the Brazilian vessel not been there, a satellite EPIRB would have resulted in a rescue within a few hours, depending upon satellite position at the time of the casualty. The water chill chart suggests that many or most would have died in that time.

An inflatable buoyant apparatus might have saved all 18 persons who made it to the life float and buoyant apparatus. Because of the gusty wind and high seas, this would have been a wet ride, but probably sufficient for the length of time it took for rescue to arrive, even if the survivors would have had to rely on an EPIRB alert. An inflatable liferaft with a canopy would have been better in these conditions, however. The loss of the JOAN LA RIE III was attributed to loss of stability due to the adverse affect of a pilot house added on top of the cabin, boarding seas primarily from a rogue wave, and possible lack of watertight integrity of a hatch. The casualty can not therefore be related to its wood construction, or its age (14 years).

ACTUAL LIVES SAVED BY INDICATED EQUIPMENT:

Life jackets L/F-B/A Inf. B/A
0

14

Liferaft

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO SAVE INDICATED NUMBER OF LIVES:
Lifejackets L/F-B/A Inf. BA Liferaft

14

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO PREVENT INDICATED NUMBER OF INJURIES: Lifejackets L/F-BIA Inf. B/A Liferaft

11

7

SAN MATEO, 2/83

The SAN MATEO had 32 persons on board, including 23 children, when it capsized in breaking waves exiting Morro Bay, California. About half of those in the water were able to use a buoyant apparatus which floated free. The other half had nothing, except for a few lifejackets which had been thrown to them by a deckhand who saw a lifejacket box float free from the capsized vessel. A harbor patrol boat was nearby when the capsizing occurred, and rescue began immediately. They were soon joined by another harbor patrol boat and a Coast Guard boat. Everyone was rescued from the 56° F water in just a few minutes. Three persons were admitted to the hospital, two in critical condition. There is no indication that different survival equipment would have mitigated these injuries. Because of the location of the casualty right outside of the harbor entrance, an EPIRB would have not been a factor. The buoyant apparatus performed its function in supporting survivors out of the water. An inflatable liferaft or buoyant apparatus could have been put to a similar use, but its unlikely that it would have performed any better than the rigid buoyant apparatus in this case.

The SAN MATEO was lost as a result of a loss of directional control and subsequent broaching in waves. There is no reason to implicate the vessel's wooden construction or its age in this casualty.

ACTUAL LIVES SAVED BY INDICATED EQUIPMENT:

Lifejackets L/F-B/A Inf. B/A
8

16

Liferaft

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO SAVE INDICATED NUMBER OF LIVES:

Lifejackets L/F-B/A Inf. B/A Liferaft

24*

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO PREVENT INDICATED NUMBER OF INJURIES:

Lifejackets L/F-BIA Inf. BA Liferaft

24*

* Lifejackets should have been worn under hazardous harbor entrance conditions.

SUNRISE II, 6/83

The SUNRISE II had 21 persons on board when it sank at night in four to ten foot seas in the Gulf of Mexico, about 13 miles offshore. When the boat began to sink, the three life floats were launched with only two or three people aboard each one, even though one float had a rated capacity of 15 persons, and the other two were rated for 12. Six people stayed aboard the sinking boat, while the rest jumped into the water in their lifejackets, and eventually hung onto the life floats. A nearby offshore supply vessel heard the SUNRISE II's Mayday over the radio, and arrived just as the boat sank. The survivors swam to the offshore supply vessel, and within 45 minutes, despite darkness, and poor weather and sea conditions, everyone was brought on board. NOAA water temperature data for the Gulf of Mexico in June indicates a water temperature of around 82° F, 80 hypothermia would not be a threat. There were no reported injuries as a result of this casualty.

The life floats and lifejackets on board were adequate for this casualty, although the life floats were not used correctly. Because the operator was able to broadcast a Mayday on VHF-FM channel 16, he was able to get help from a nearby vessel. The Coast Guard also received the call and was responding. The SUNRISE II had a Class A EPIRB on board. The investigation reports that the battery was new, but there is no indication in the report as to whether or not the Coast Guard helicopter had acquired the signal, or if it was being used to home in on the location. An EPIRB homing signal 18 normally an important means of locating casualties for Coast Guard search and rescue forces. The SUNRISE II was probably lost as a result of planking being torn away and general weakness of the hull. The casualty is therefore directly related to the advanced age of the wooden hull.

ACTUAL LIVES SAVED BY INDICATED EQUIPMENT:

Life jackets L/F-B/A Inf. B/A
13

8

Liferaft

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO SAVE INDICATED NUMBER OF LIVES:

Lifejackets L/F-B/A Int. B/A Liferaft

21

MINIMUM EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO PREVENT INDICATED NUMBER OF INJURIES:

Lifejackets L/F-BZA Inf. BIA Liferaft

21

FANTASY ISLANDER, 9/84 The FANTASY ISLANDER had 37 persons on board when it caught fire in Charlotte Harbor, Florida. The fire was noticed by a nearby recreational vessel, which was able to take 24 passengers on board and take them back to the dock. As the fire started to consume the vessel, the remaining 11 passengers and 2 crewmembers abandoned ship to the 15-person life float. None of these people were wearing lifejackets, since the operator did not have everyone on board put them on when the fire broke out. The operator was able to get a distress message transmitted on VHF-FM channel 16, which was heard by other vessels in the area. By the time the decision to abandon ship was made, the area where the lifejackets were stowed had been consumed by flames. The people on the life float were rescued by other vessels in the area which were on scene within 25 minutes. Water temperature at the time is believed to have been about 85° F. There were no injuries. The life float was adequate for this casualty, only because some of those on board were able to transfer to another boat just as the fire was getting out of control. Life jackets would have been adequate for the sheltered harbor area where the fire occurred, had the operator instructed the passengers to put them on in a timely manner. The FANTASY ISLANDER had no EPIRB, nor would one have been of any use in the harbor area where the fire occurred. The FANTASY ISLANDER was lost as a result fire destroying its wooden structure. The fire started in the engine room, apparently as a result of poor design and material selection for a dry exhaust system. The casualty is therefore directly related to the wooden hull structure, but not to the age of the vessel.

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