We all hope to never have to be in this situation. this is a good video of what happens in an air lift.
There is much talk about why we would spend thousands of dollars on proper navigation instruments these days ( Garmin, Raymarine, Avionics, etc) when there is so much available at a fraction of the cost on our computers. Here is a fantastic article on why we may want to double think our choices on Navigation insturments.
Let's have a sailing discussion here... To tack, or not.. Quickest over all? Fastest sail? What would you choose, all things being equal
One of our valuable Instructors, Bill, was caught on film during a recent Advanced Cruising Course out of Island Cruising, Sidney BC. Its looks like they had fabulous weather and sea conditions!
A Rogue Wave ?
Nobody saw the wave coming.
Survivors on board the Leviathan II, perhaps the biggest tour boat in Tofino, said it broadsided the vessel. Passengers recounted that the boat had stopped to watch the seals on a reef and was broadside to the waves when it hit the unprepared crew and vessel.
Rogue or "extreme storm waves" are a phenomenon that occur when swells pass through one another causing their crests to coincide and reinforce one another, according to NOAA
Rogue waves are large, steep waves that often come in combinations of three to four waves and they can be deadly for anyone caught in their path. Typically they're associated with storm systems offshore, hundreds of kilometers for example that are producing very strong waves
"They come out of nowhere and they arrive under normally fairly calm seas, suddenly these very large waves that come out of nowhere and are unpredictable. They can be very dangerous this was not the first time that an accident like this has happened on this coast.
The stretch of water along Vancouver Island's West Coast Trail from Tofino south to Victoria is known historically as a shipwreck hot-spot thanks to the area's unpredictable conditions
How do you prepare for something like this? What could have been done in hindsight?
The vessel's crew was well experienced; the skipper of the MV Leviathan II has over 20 years whale watching experience in these waters and 18 years with the current company. The other two crew had five years and three years experience. All are licensed by Transport Canada and go through rigorous training, as well as bi-weekly safety drills and exercises.
So what about the average sailor out there. If these crewmen has so much experience and time on the sea, what about us?
Practice, knowledge, knowing where to find the knowledge, and using it efficiently is only part of the basics you need when boating on the ocean. Its different than lake sailing. Its a whole other ballgame so to speak.
And people can die.
Our thoughts go out to those that died in Tofino that day, to the skipper who this will forever haunt, and to the families who will be without their loved ones.
Link to NOAA on Rogue Waves