I’ve a few items for this month’s Safety Tip(s):
This past May I discussed a Carbon Monoxide event that occurred on our sailboat in this column. Interestingly there is an excellent article on CO Poisoning in the Summer issue of our USPS Ensign Magazine. As members you should be receiving this magazine via email and/or snail mail. Check it out as it covers symptoms and treatment while stressing the true danger of CO Poisoning. It’s titled Carbon Monoxide Poisoning by Gino C. Bottino, MD.
It was interesting reading an article referenced by Mark Cooper in last month’s Signal Hoist at powerandmotoryacht.com that presented the findings regarding the collisions of US Navy vessels in Asian waters last year. Many US sailors lost their lives in the incidents. One of the incidents demonstrated failure of the US Navy guided-missile destroyer to follow basic good seamanship rules as it sailed at 20 knots across commercial shipping lanes, in the dark of night, off the coast of Japan. Two container ships were approaching from starboard of the destroyer in a “classic crossing situation”. The container ships were in the so called “danger zone” (as it is taught in our ABC course on rules of the road) and were therefore the Stand On vessels – meaning they had the right of way and the destroyer was the Give Way vessel and should have taken evasive action. It did not, and instead passed dangerously close across the bow of the first of the two crossing container ships and luckily avoided a collision. Not so lucky with the second container ship. The helmsman “first ordered right full rudder to pass astern of the container ship but then ordered full speed, then flank speed, as well as full-left and hard-left rudder.” The container ship rammed the destroyer amidships. The destroyer’s combination of high speed and failure to make safe and decisive maneuvers to avoid a collision, as required in this situation, created the deadly situation. Court martials were ordered and criminal charges are pending.
Finally, here is a statement from the United States Coast Guard :
“The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and associated healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. Essential steps include: wearing a life jacket at all times and requiring passengers to do the same; never boating under the influence (BUI); successfully completing a boating safety course; and getting a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons®, or your state boating agency’s Vessel Examiners. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters to “Boat Responsibly!” For more tips on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.”
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-682-4543. Sail safely!