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Clarence River Bar Casualty

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Created by Lazzz 1 month ago, 24 Nov 2020
Lazzz
NSW, 602 posts
24 Nov 2020 1:28PM
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From Marine Rescue Facebook

"Last night the skipper of this yacht attempted to cross the Clarence River bar at Yamba in the dark, missing it by about 100 metres.

Having run aground on Turners Beach just south of the break wall, the elderly skipper called for help with a mobile phone before deciding to spend an uncomfortable night on board the yacht as it was pummeled by waves before disembarking this morning, shaken but otherwise unharmed.
The skipper did not have a VHF radio and had not Logged On with Marine Rescue NSW.

A crew from Marine Rescue Iluka Yamba headed out to inspect the yacht but was unable to retrieve it from the beach, from where it will now be salvaged."

www.facebook.com/MarineRescue/photos/pcb.10158613969571259/10158613964281259/

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 1049 posts
24 Nov 2020 3:40PM
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Does anyone know what the conditions were like when he tried to cross the bar?

BlueMoon
789 posts
24 Nov 2020 3:19PM
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Bundeenabuoy said..
Does anyone know what the conditions were like when he tried to cross the bar?



What what time did he go up on beach?
as you can see there was a pretty fresh southerly change go through Yamba (the strong winds were short lived tthough ), low tide was 2300hrs plus the over-run.



Kankama
NSW, 318 posts
24 Nov 2020 7:00PM
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I can't really understand how you can miss the Clarence mouth, maybe the guy can't see well. Still that seems pretty silly. With Navionics costing so little going into a bar at night by sight should be a thing of the past. I have done it and not lost a boat yet, but I have Navionics and Open CPN running all the time to help me when I am looking out the front.

The Victorian boat looks well kept and with the very little we know it seems like he fell overboard. Taking a week to cross Bass Strait could get you tired, but not if you stopped at Flinders and Deal. Something more to learn from - be really careful when crossing bars in the dark and ensure you can get back on your boat from the water if singlehanding. A ladder always trailing a length of floating line could be a minimum on most high transom monos (but short enough so that it doesn'f foul the prop. On my cat I have two low sterns and on the starboard rudder is a step to help you up on the boat. Great for play and for safety.

cisco
QLD, 11968 posts
24 Nov 2020 11:22PM
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The guy did not have a VHF radio onboard!! Did he have a 27 meg radio??
Sounds like the height of stupidity to me.

woko
NSW, 789 posts
25 Nov 2020 8:00AM
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Looks like he just plain old missed it ! There's port and starboard hand lights on the end of the walls. Maybe it was a satellite navigation assisted grounding

Flatty
QLD, 195 posts
25 Nov 2020 9:50AM
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Its puzzled me. You would think he would of atleast had a VHF onboard. He ended up on the beach between the southern breakwall and the headland didnt he?
I hope it wasnt the bloke asking about the bar a couple of weeks ago on here!

saltiest1
NSW, 2312 posts
25 Nov 2020 7:07PM
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Come on fellas. Speculation on these things does no one any favours and unless you've come in fatigued and in poor weather you probably don't know what it's like in the first place. Hopefully an accurate report can be sourced in the future and everyone can learn from some poor soul's mistake or misfortune.

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 1049 posts
25 Nov 2020 8:12PM
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Flatty said..
Its puzzled me. You would think he would of atleast had a VHF onboard. He ended up on the beach between the southern breakwall and the headland didnt he?
I hope it wasnt the bloke asking about the bar a couple of weeks ago on here!


No Flatty
Not this time anyway

Chris 249
NSW, 2503 posts
25 Nov 2020 8:34PM
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Yatesy was a damn nice guy and a good sailor. I only met him at one regatta, last year, but hit it off with him immediately.

I was at a regatta at the same club this weekend when I was told of the news. He bought the boat a while ago but Covid had delayed bringing it home. He had done a bit of coastal sailing but Bass Strait is different.

The Pion is a tough boat, like almost all of the old half tonners. I'm not sure how you blow out all the sails, unless it didn't have proper Cat 2 gear, but while he was a much better sailor than most he was lacking in serious offshore miles.

Damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

ChopesBro
274 posts
25 Nov 2020 6:53PM
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I'm not proud to admit I've managed in the past to end up completely lost on the clearance at night trying to get out

i wish the old timer only good. I wonder if the boat is salvageable?

Kankama
NSW, 318 posts
26 Nov 2020 6:06AM
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I think speculation is all that we will have about why these incidents occurred. Sadly people are not that forthcoming with relating how they stuffed up - resale and insurance are probably some of the reason. Whenever I look at someone who has done something that has led to an incident I don't look away. I try to work out how I could have done the same thing. In the case of the grounding there have been a few times I have gotten white line fever and wanted to come into a bar that I start making things line up in my head. I find coming into bars at night quite bad for this - finding a red light that isn't quite in the right position and fudging things around to make it fit for what I want. It is really important I am aware that I cannot fully trust myself. Everyone should have a really gruff cynical conscience sitting on their shoulder when coming into places at night saying - prove it! I and probably all of us here have had a few close runs and I have put my boat on the hard a few times - but never offshore. I would say that incidents like the bar crossing show that reasonable people can do dumb things. I have done quite a few and so I try very hard to have some hard and fast rules, that I now never break. I also use incidents like these to remember that although we can be relaxed at times, there are certain parts of a sail when you have to be fully functional and totally alert. If you cannot be then you need an incontrovertible rule that says you stay away until you are.

BlueMoon
789 posts
26 Nov 2020 5:42AM
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It's not a good look to not have a working VHF, but at least he had the good sense to, although uncomfortable, to stay onboard until daylight , than to jump into surf at night, that could have been another tragedy.

Thats very sad about Yatesy.

MorningBird
NSW, 2396 posts
26 Nov 2020 9:42AM
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Even coming into Pittwater in the wee hours from the wrong angle can be confusing. It is miles wide.
Entering Wide Bay on Cisco's little Lotus in 2014 Cisco was lost and Havefun and I kept us on course. Going into Bundy on the same delivery I was lost and Cisco had to give me directions.
Fatigue stuffs everybody around. The answer is know when you are fatigued and don't do dangerous stuff until you have rested.
Gethomeitis is a recognised danger in aviation, and in sailing.

cisco
QLD, 11968 posts
26 Nov 2020 9:38AM
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^ Crossing the bar at midnight was not a good decision.
As you will recall we came onto the way point then turned port onto the Inskip Point leads and only one light was visible. I think MSQ is a bit lax in maintaining the markers. The rear mark/light becomes obscured by trees.

When we turned and came beam on to the swell and the mast was arcing at 90 degrees and the sounder was dead, I was more than a little bit worried. Your support on deck and HaveFun calling the shots from below with Navionic on his iPhone got us through.

I intend exiting the bar in about 11 days time when I assist the new owner taking "APACHE" as she is now called to Brisbane.

"APACHE" is a greatly improved yacht from when we brought her up from Lake Macquarie.

Toph
WA, 1670 posts
26 Nov 2020 7:53AM
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cisco said..
I think MSQ is a bit lax in maintaining the markers. The rear mark/light becomes obscured by trees.



When I crossed in 2017, they weren't even aligned. I heard them in one of their morning scheds three days later saying re-alignment works was going ahed that day. It would've been a worrying crossing for the anti navionics, paper chart crowed




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MorningBird said.
Gethomeitis is a recognised danger in aviation, and in sailing.



This and confirmation bias - where you see what you want to see to confirm what your are expecting to see. A member here recently told of a story where being fatigued and just wanting to get home mistook a fishermans glow of a cigarette as a port marker. If that doesn't prove these are real conditions, nothing will. I have been foul of both those traps.... I reckon we probably all have.

wongaga
385 posts
26 Nov 2020 9:24AM
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I have some sympathy for the Clarence river bloke, having once caught myself headed for the rocks 100m to starboard of the Moyne River entrance to Port Fairy. This happened in clear daylight at the end of a 36 hour solo passage. Two things saved me: my usual routine of "I don't trust my brain when I'm this tired" routine of check, re-check, re-re-check and then once more for fun, and also looking at OpenCPN on the laptop (I also had the correct paper charts). I could not blame the leads, they were where they should have been.

All sailors need to develop the awareness and skills to deal with the effects of deep fatigue on our bodies and especially our brains.

Cheers, Graeme

Wavesong
QLD, 145 posts
26 Nov 2020 11:47AM
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Toph said..

cisco said..
I think MSQ is a bit lax in maintaining the markers. The rear mark/light becomes obscured by trees.




When I crossed in 2017, they weren't even aligned. I heard them in one of their morning scheds three days later saying re-alignment works was going ahed that day. It would've been a worrying crossing for the anti navionics, paper chart crowed





MorningBird said.
Gethomeitis is a recognised danger in aviation, and in sailing.




This and confirmation bias - where you see what you want to see to confirm what your are expecting to see. A member here recently told of a story where being fatigued and just wanting to get home mistook a fishermans glow of a cigarette as a port marker. If that doesn't prove these are real conditions, nothing will. I have been foul of both those traps.... I reckon we probably all have.


To be fair, though, with the banks constantly shifting, it's a continuous game of catch-up for MSQ to realign the markers. That's why it's so important to communicate with the Coastguard at TCB for the latest waypoints.

MorningBird
NSW, 2396 posts
26 Nov 2020 9:53PM
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Select to expand quote
cisco said..
^ Crossing the bar at midnight was not a good decision.
As you will recall we came onto the way point then turned port onto the Inskip Point leads and only one light was visible. I think MSQ is a bit lax in maintaining the markers. The rear mark/light becomes obscured by trees.

When we turned and came beam on to the swell and the mast was arcing at 90 degrees and the sounder was dead, I was more than a little bit worried. Your support on deck and HaveFun calling the shots from below with Navionic on his iPhone got us through.

I intend exiting the bar in about 11 days time when I assist the new owner taking "APACHE" as she is now called to Brisbane.

"APACHE" is a greatly improved yacht from when we brought her up from Lake Macquarie.


You've sold? Just when she was up to speed.
Havefun and I drove up to Port Stephens last week for the not LHI BBQ held this year at Soldiers Pt. We plan to sail Havefun to Broughton Islands in the next month or so. The plan was to sail up to Soldiers Pt but his forestay needed replacing before going to sea.
If I was on my own when we got to Bundy back then I would have stood off, heaved to and had a sleep. I was knackered going in beside the breakwater.

cisco
QLD, 11968 posts
26 Nov 2020 11:56PM
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Wavesong said..
That's why it's so important to communicate with the Coastguard at TCB for the latest waypoints.


That is a given. I will be calling them on the phone well before.

ChopesBro
274 posts
27 Nov 2020 4:27PM
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My story short.

moored well up river on the Iluka side. planned Sunset departure was delayed due to serious squall at the river mouth .

on moving out in darkness and bad weather, didn't believe we had become lost. Rather quite confident we were travelling well.

we run aground. Shock horror all around. We discover it's a sand island and seek a look around to try and identify our position in the pouring rain.

Shock and amazement when we discovered we are on whiting beach ( right near river mouth, other side the wall old mate grounded on).

all was well as we could float off but we anchored and stayed put.

the thing that disturbs to this day is we had traveled between both the internal iluka wall and Yamba middle wall without any knowledge they were there!

if we had of hit either it could have been a terrible.
i know the river very well and mate had just that week completed a navigation course.

we were totally lost and didn't know it

Bundeenabuoy
NSW, 1049 posts
28 Nov 2020 5:54AM
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Six months ago I came back through Sydney heads after a great day sailing down to Botany Bay and out to sea. Just two of us on board and it was one of those magical moments when you just don't want to stop sailing. We were happy to be well offshore as the sun was setting and I was looking forward coming back through the heads in darkness.
I have been in and out of the heads many times as I am constantly sailing Bundeena to the CYCA and back. I had not been drinking alcohol. The weather was perfect and it was not a dark night. I followed the lead lights in and was aware of the correct angle of approach. I was so keen to do this procedure correctly. My concern was passing sour pigs safety.
I have sailed around sour pigs constantly in races over the years. As we rounded Hornby Point (South Head) I started looking for the marks that define the reef and could not see them.
I positioned myself at the bow looking for them with my crew member on the wheel. We were travelling cautiously. It was not until we were further into the harbour that I realised we had passed them. My belief is that they were not lit up that night but I suspect there is a 10% chance we just did not see them or tiredness was a factor.

UncleBob
NSW, 705 posts
28 Nov 2020 8:34AM
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Bundeenabuoy said..
Six months ago I came back through Sydney heads after a great day sailing down to Botany Bay and out to sea. Just two of us on board and it was one of those magical moments when you just don't want to stop sailing. We were happy to be well offshore as the sun was setting and I was looking forward coming back through the heads in darkness.
I have been in and out of the heads many times as I am constantly sailing Bundeena to the CYCA and back. I had not been drinking alcohol. The weather was perfect and it was not a dark night. I followed the lead lights in and was aware of the correct angle of approach. I was so keen to do this procedure correctly. My concern was passing sour pigs safety.
I have sailed around sour pigs constantly in races over the years. As we rounded Hornby Point (South Head) I started looking for the marks that define the reef and could not see them.
I positioned myself at the bow looking for them with my crew member on the wheel. We were travelling cautiously. It was not until we were further into the harbour that I realised we had passed them. My belief is that they were not lit up that night but I suspect there is a 10% chance we just did not see them or tiredness was a factor.


I think you mean the Sow and Pigs reef.

Ramona
NSW, 5889 posts
28 Nov 2020 6:14PM
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I had an interesting experience last night at about 2200 crossing the bar into Greenwell Point after bringing Ricochet down from Sydney. This was a no motor delivery and I told my wife it would be a simple one night sail. Unfortunately it was one of those occasions where the East coast current was running N at 2.5 knots. I ended up arriving at the bar 2 hours after the tide was running out. I rang my son at 1800 to confirm the tide tables and at the time I had a solid 25 knots of NE and felt confident of crossing of the bar I had done hundreds of time in the dark. By the time I rounded the last corner to get to the bar the wind had dropped to 15 over the stern. By the time I was committed to the bar I was in breaking waves. Half way in the wind died and I was slipping backwards. One wave ran straight over the stern, filled the cockpit and slopped into the cabin. Couple of surfs backwards and I snapped off the oar for the Aries. I let the boat drift in irons back out to sea and when I cleared the area found a spot to anchor.
Now that would be a fine ending there but this morning when raising the anchor I fouled on a some old anchor chain or some other rubbish and had to leave my SS anchor and chained buoyed off. Mate came out and towed me in this morning.


A smart person would have just sailed into Shoalhaven Bight and hove to till dawn. Trying to keep everyone happy and not spend 2 nights at sea can be a problem.

Datawiz
VIC, 586 posts
28 Nov 2020 6:44PM
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Kankama said..
I can't really understand how you can miss the Clarence mouth, maybe the guy can't see well. Still that seems pretty silly. With Navionics costing so little going into a bar at night by sight should be a thing of the past. I have done it and not lost a boat yet, but I have Navionics and Open CPN running all the time to help me when I am looking out the front.

The Victorian boat looks well kept and with the very little we know it seems like he fell overboard. Taking a week to cross Bass Strait could get you tired, but not if you stopped at Flinders and Deal. Something more to learn from - be really careful when crossing bars in the dark and ensure you can get back on your boat from the water if singlehanding. A ladder always trailing a length of floating line could be a minimum on most high transom monos (but short enough so that it doesn'f foul the prop. On my cat I have two low sterns and on the starboard rudder is a step to help you up on the boat. Great for play and for safety.


Without causing a digression, towing a floating ski rope doesn't foul the prop, is maybe 20 metres long and has a very useful handle on the end.

woko
NSW, 789 posts
28 Nov 2020 7:06PM
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Ramona said..
I had an interesting experience last night at about 2200 crossing the bar into Greenwell Point after bringing Ricochet down from Sydney. This was a no motor delivery and I told my wife it would be a simple one night sail. Unfortunately it was one of those occasions where the East coast current was running N at 2.5 knots. I ended up arriving at the bar 2 hours after the tide was running out. I rang my son at 1800 to confirm the tide tables and at the time I had a solid 25 knots of NE and felt confident of crossing of the bar I had done hundreds of time in the dark. By the time I rounded the last corner to get to the bar the wind had dropped to 15 over the stern. By the time I was committed to the bar I was in breaking waves. Half way in the wind died and I was slipping backwards. One wave ran straight over the stern, filled the cockpit and slopped into the cabin. Couple of surfs backwards and I snapped off the oar for the Aries. I let the boat drift in irons back out to sea and when I cleared the area found a spot to anchor.
Now that would be a fine ending there but this morning when raising the anchor I fouled on a some old anchor chain or some other rubbish and had to leave my SS anchor and chained buoyed off. Mate came out and towed me in this morning.


A smart person would have just sailed into Shoalhaven Bight and hove to till dawn. Trying to keep everyone happy and not spend 2 nights at sea can be a problem.

Ah that's an excellent write up Ramona ? And good to hear you've your new vessel home. The idea of heaving to and waiting for the right conditions is of course paramount seamanship, but so close to home. Home bar or foreign same same I guess. Blue moons standing off the Clarence bar was text book stuff and an example to all.

Flatty
QLD, 195 posts
28 Nov 2020 6:34PM
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Ramona said..
I had an interesting experience last night at about 2200 crossing the bar into Greenwell Point after bringing Ricochet down from Sydney. This was a no motor delivery and I told my wife it would be a simple one night sail. Unfortunately it was one of those occasions where the East coast current was running N at 2.5 knots. I ended up arriving at the bar 2 hours after the tide was running out. I rang my son at 1800 to confirm the tide tables and at the time I had a solid 25 knots of NE and felt confident of crossing of the bar I had done hundreds of time in the dark. By the time I rounded the last corner to get to the bar the wind had dropped to 15 over the stern. By the time I was committed to the bar I was in breaking waves. Half way in the wind died and I was slipping backwards. One wave ran straight over the stern, filled the cockpit and slopped into the cabin. Couple of surfs backwards and I snapped off the oar for the Aries. I let the boat drift in irons back out to sea and when I cleared the area found a spot to anchor.
Now that would be a fine ending there but this morning when raising the anchor I fouled on a some old anchor chain or some other rubbish and had to leave my SS anchor and chained buoyed off. Mate came out and towed me in this morning.


A smart person would have just sailed into Shoalhaven Bight and hove to till dawn. Trying to keep everyone happy and not spend 2 nights at sea can be a problem.


I reckon you have balls than me crossing a bar on an outgoing tide with 15 knots of northerly with no engine and at night. Although i am a pussy queenslander. Well done for getting yourself out of that situation, could of gone sour and fast.

Ramona
NSW, 5889 posts
29 Nov 2020 8:34AM
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Flatty said..

Ramona said..
I had an interesting experience last night at about 2200 crossing the bar into Greenwell Point after bringing Ricochet down from Sydney. This was a no motor delivery and I told my wife it would be a simple one night sail. Unfortunately it was one of those occasions where the East coast current was running N at 2.5 knots. I ended up arriving at the bar 2 hours after the tide was running out. I rang my son at 1800 to confirm the tide tables and at the time I had a solid 25 knots of NE and felt confident of crossing of the bar I had done hundreds of time in the dark. By the time I rounded the last corner to get to the bar the wind had dropped to 15 over the stern. By the time I was committed to the bar I was in breaking waves. Half way in the wind died and I was slipping backwards. One wave ran straight over the stern, filled the cockpit and slopped into the cabin. Couple of surfs backwards and I snapped off the oar for the Aries. I let the boat drift in irons back out to sea and when I cleared the area found a spot to anchor.
Now that would be a fine ending there but this morning when raising the anchor I fouled on a some old anchor chain or some other rubbish and had to leave my SS anchor and chained buoyed off. Mate came out and towed me in this morning.


A smart person would have just sailed into Shoalhaven Bight and hove to till dawn. Trying to keep everyone happy and not spend 2 nights at sea can be a problem.



I reckon you have balls than me crossing a bar on an outgoing tide with 15 knots of northerly with no engine and at night. Although i am a pussy queenslander. Well done for getting yourself out of that situation, could of gone sour and fast.


I have done dumber stuff!



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"Clarence River Bar Casualty" started by Lazzz