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-   -   Sharks and Lost Hope: 2 Women Rescued After 5 Months at Sea (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=96141)

E. Q. Taft 27 October 2017 07:54 PM

Sharks and Lost Hope: 2 Women Rescued After 5 Months at Sea
 
The planned voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti aboard a 50-foot sailboat didn't start off well for two Honolulu women. One of their cellphones was washed overboard and sank to the bottom on their first day at sea.

From there, things got worse. Much worse.

But the two sailors, accompanied by their dogs, were resourceful and well-prepared with more than a year's worth of food, and on Wednesday they were finally rescued by the U.S. Navy about 900 miles off Japan and thousands of miles from their destination.

jimmy101_again 27 October 2017 08:23 PM

No link?

I don't understand what their problem(s) were. Cell phones don't work at sea anyway. They are on a sailboat and they don't need a working motor. (A motor is nice but 50' sailboats really aren't designed to travel long distances on their motors.) Even without any electronics they can still just sail in a particular direction and they'll hit land eventually. There must be a lot of missing info in the news reports.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/27/us/wom...rnd/index.html

E. Q. Taft 27 October 2017 09:04 PM

Gah! Sorry.. This is the story I was referring to, but it's all over various news sites:

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/artic...m-bad-to-worse

Beachlife! 27 October 2017 09:35 PM

There's got to be more to the story. As written, it doesn't make them seem resourceful at all. Are sharks really a danger when you are in a 50 foot sailing vessel? I can understand it would have been a different story in a life raft.

WildaBeast 27 October 2017 09:55 PM

I suppose the get some credit for carrying a year's worth of food on a voyage they expected to take less than two months, although I wouldn't be surprised if that's standard practice for a long sailing trip like that. I don't know if that counts as "resourceful" though, or just good planning. It seems when sailing across the open ocean it would be wise to have a satellite phone, or at least a longer range radio transmitter than what they had.

GenYus234 27 October 2017 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimmy101_again (Post 1962672)
I don't understand what their problem(s) were. Cell phones don't work at sea anyway. They are on a sailboat and they don't need a working motor. (A motor is nice but 50' sailboats really aren't designed to travel long distances on their motors.) Even without any electronics they can still just sail in a particular direction and they'll hit land eventually.

There is. The first thing that happened was the mast spreader broke early on.

For those that don't know sailing, that's part of the standing rigging* that keeps the shrouds** in place to help prevent side loads from tearing the mast out of the ship. Without those, it would have been dangerous to sail close*** or even beam reach**** in a strong breeze. Sailing like that puts a great deal of side-strain on the mast as the force of the wind is trying to tip the vessel over. Sailing that way without the full system of rigging could have ripped the mast from the hull, potentially opening up a huge hole in it. That concern would have limited them to broad reach or running*****. Saling like that puts lesser strain on the boat and that strain is fore-aft, where (presumably) the backstay****** was still working. The trade winds******* around Hawaii tend to be from the east or north-east so running /reaching before the wind would limit them to heading in westerly directions. They were found about 950 miles south east of Japan, so it sounds like the headed in the safest direction and figured they'd hit land eventually.

* The cables and lines that are fixed in place. Pretty much like the diagonal guy wires for a telephone pole on the sea.
** The lines from the top of the mast to the sides of the ship.
*** When the wind is coming over the bow (front) of the ship.
**** When the wind is coming over the side (side) of the ship.
***** When the wind is coming over the stern (back) of the ship.
****** The rigging running from the mast to the stern (back) of the ship. Its job is to strengthen the mast in forward loads.
******* Winds on the oceans tend to be very consistent. When trade was carried by sailing ships, they relied upon these trade winds to keep on their routes.

ETA: tl;dr: IMBLO********, the strength of their mast was compromised because of previous damage and sailing west was the safest thing they could do.

******** Barely Learned

jimmy101_again 28 October 2017 08:05 PM

Ah, what Genyus posted makes more sense. The reports I've seen all basically harped on loosing the cell phone (which is stupid) and the motor failing (which is also stupid on a sailboat, nobody intends to move a 50' sailboat thousands of miles on its motor).

Psihala 31 October 2017 01:26 PM

Sailors Rescued After Months at Sea Didnít Activate Emergency Beacon
 
The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday that the two Hawaii women who were lost at sea for five months had an emergency beacon aboard their sailboat that was never activated.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...beacon-n815876

Sooeygun 31 October 2017 02:42 PM

Inconsistencies cast story of sailors rescued after 5 months at sea into doubt
 
Parts of their story have been called into question, including the tropical storm the two say they encountered on their first night at sea in May. National Weather Service records show no organized storms in the region in early May.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/lost-at...dogs-1.4379649

Some of this is the same as Psihala's link (probably same AP source), but different details.

ChasFink 31 October 2017 03:07 PM

I'm very confused. Why would anyone make up a story like this?

Lainie 31 October 2017 03:39 PM

Off the top of my head, to get a book deal. To get attention, more generally.

ChasFink 31 October 2017 03:55 PM

I guess some people have more free time than me for attracting attention to themselves.

GenYus234 31 October 2017 04:10 PM

The multiple times they thought a harbor wouldn't accommodate them are particularly odd. I'm not sure what model sailboat that is, but 15 meters sailboats typically have drafts between 5 and 8 feet. Anything that is a harbor is going to be able to accommodate a vessel of that size. Even if they couldn't dock or find anchorage, they certainly could have gotten close enough that their signals could have been detected.

Lainie 31 October 2017 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChasFink (Post 1962856)
I guess some people have more free time than me for attracting attention to themselves.

And more interest in doing so, probably.

Beachlife! 31 October 2017 05:19 PM

I can't even figure out what they were talking about when they said in a press conference that had they not been found they would have been dead in 24 hours. Of what?!?

It seems to me that they had no idea what they were doing and tried to cover up their embarrassment with manufactured drama.

Dr. Dave 31 October 2017 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1962848)
Off the top of my head, to get a book deal. To get attention, more generally.

I was thinking TV series or movie deal, but yeah.

Lainie 31 October 2017 06:48 PM

As for free time, their original plan suggests they had a lot more of it than most of us do.

jimmy101_again 31 October 2017 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChasFink (Post 1962856)
I guess some people have more free time than me for attracting attention to themselves.

People that go on planned weeks or months long sailboat voyages probably have more free time than you (or I) do.

UEL 31 October 2017 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1962859)
The multiple times they thought a harbor wouldn't accommodate them are particularly odd. I'm not sure what model sailboat that is, but 15 meters sailboats typically have drafts between 5 and 8 feet. Anything that is a harbor is going to be able to accommodate a vessel of that size. Even if they couldn't dock or find anchorage, they certainly could have gotten close enough that their signals could have been detected.

I've read quite a bit about it and have plotted everything on Google Earth. Very interesting.

They claim to have talked to someone on Wake Island, but that person would only help them if they sailed to the south side of the island. Instead, they preferred to sail westwards.

Their claim that their boat was too big rests on the fact that the owner added 6 tonnes of fibreglass to the hull to strengthen it (but shark attacks were tsill an issue, I guess) gave it an 8.5 draft. That is too deep. She also claimed that the 50 foot length made it too long to manoeuvre in the harbours. So, they'd sail a thousand more miles to get to a better harbour.

They also claim that their "antenna" was damaged, so all six of their communications devices failed. I work with all sorts of communications devices (HF, VHF, UHF, Microwave, satellite, cellular etc) and they all have different parameters for antenna. Now, if she said that the part of the superstructure that held all her antennae (or with an s if you prefer) was swept overboard, I'd be more inclined to offer the benefit of the doubt. But in an interview, she claimed that their comms was compromised because the damaged antenna would not allow for any signal from any device.

I was dubious of the less than 24 hours left to live claim until I read about how the Taiwanese fishing vessel attempt at rescue. Apparently, the damage from that vessel made their craft very unseaworthy. They have the benefit of my doubt on that one.

All told, I suspect that they may have conflated a few small problems into a much bigger one in order to have 15 minutes of fame.

jimmy101_again 31 October 2017 09:02 PM

Snopes has and article outline the major inconsistencies and other odd features of the story.
https://www.snopes.com/2017/10/31/hawaii-rescue/
It appears they passed multiple harbors for which a 9 foot draft would not have been a problem.


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