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  1. #101
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    37,270

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heckler View Post
    I really dont think that a car gps system uses gyros or wheel speed. The software might do a bit of guessing, thats all.
    Many 'built in' car gps systems do indeed have such inputs. It helps a lot in cities with tall buildings all around.
    It is not a new thing either, I had a top model Ford (oxymoron alert?) from the tail end of the last century, its built in satnav was much better than a TomTom if you wanted to know how far down the Blackwall Tunnel you were.
    Unfortunately it sulked in the Hindhead Tunnel as that wasn't on its map.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    674

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Ill get hammered now, but looking at charts for Plymouth, there does not seam a lot to guide you in for a large port. without referring to the charts as I write this. there is a Red buoy on the west side and the light on the west side of the breakwater. I see there are sector lights to guide you in but once you are behind the breakwater there are only a couple of red buoys. Is it correct that in the channel behind the breakwater large boats/ships anchor. if so its easy to understand how you could get disorientated. I appreciate there is another sector light on your starboard side, but it looks like a distinct lack of channel marker buoys until you get to the Bridge or follow the main channel.

    Just putting myself in to someone elses shoes that had never entered Plymouth YET!! late at night and in reduced visibility. Perhaps ive missed something specific.

    Steveeasy

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    9,356

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by steveeasy View Post
    Ill get hammered now, but looking at charts for Plymouth, there does not seam a lot to guide you in for a large port. without referring to the charts as I write this. there is a Red buoy on the west side and the light on the west side of the breakwater. I see there are sector lights to guide you in but once you are behind the breakwater there are only a couple of red buoys. Is it correct that in the channel behind the breakwater large boats/ships anchor. if so its easy to understand how you could get disorientated. I appreciate there is another sector light on your starboard side, but it looks like a distinct lack of channel marker buoys until you get to the Bridge or follow the main channel.

    Just putting myself in to someone elses shoes that had never entered Plymouth YET!! late at night and in reduced visibility. Perhaps ive missed something specific.

    Steveeasy
    No, I don’t think you have. I think you are right.

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,155

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by steveeasy View Post
    Is it correct that in the channel behind the breakwater large boats/ships anchor. if so its easy to understand how you could get disorientated. I appreciate there is another sector light on your starboard side, but it looks like a distinct lack of channel marker buoys until you get to the Bridge or follow the main channel.
    No, there is another sectorized Lighthouse

    Ply Ent 1.png Ply Ent 2.png
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  5. #105
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Grenoble
    Posts
    30,547

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    The problem is that on the night in question the visibility of the lights would have been impaired so quite easy to become disorientated especially if you didn't know where you were in the first place.
    Plymouth is no different to many large ports lots of lights and lots of distractions in the background. In good visibility even without a GPS and plotter it is relatively easy to navigate.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Farnham, Surrey
    Posts
    21,153

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fr J Hackett View Post
    The problem is that on the night in question the visibility of the lights would have been impaired so quite easy to become disorientated especially if you didn't know where you were in the first place.
    Plymouth is no different to many large ports lots of lights and lots of distractions in the background. In good visibility even without a GPS and plotter it is relatively easy to navigate.
    Very true. Good summary of the situation.
    Semper aliud

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,155

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    Very true. Good summary of the situation.

    Exactly.
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  8. #108
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,155

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Going back to early electronic days (I can't say pre . . . because I started navigation when RDF was used).
    If viz was lost, the SOP I knew was to either anchor, if possible, where you were or to set a compass course in the general direction of open water and monitor the depth sounder.
    Maybe this has been forgotten with all today's electronic aids, but the fact remains that in low viz our only source for position is GPS (and GLONASS or Galileo), loose that and you are back to pre RDF days and no sun or stars to point an astrolabe at
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  9. #109
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Summer Walton, Winter Iberia
    Posts
    9,645

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillM View Post
    Here is my statement on the incident. At the below it some ideas about how I could have prevented this accident.

    The passage upon which the incident happened was the delivery from Hamble to Plymouth, prior to the Jester Baltimore Challenge. I have previously sailed past Plymouth several times, but not entered before. It appeared to me to be a large, safe port of refuge, so I was not expecting to find entry difficult.

    I left my home port (Hamble) around midday on Wednesday 26th May. I sailed all afternoon, experimenting with the new wind vane and reefing systems, then berthed in Cowes. Next morning (Thursday) I left for Plymouth at 0745. Wind was F5/6 WSW (so on the nose). I motor sailed down the Solent and exited via the Needles North Channel. I then turned off the motor and sailed close-hauled out of Christchurch bay. By late afternoon, I was fighting the flood tide, south of the Needles (about 180 T, 12 miles or so off). After the ebb started, I used this to my advantage and by about midnight I had passed St Albans Head. I planned to pass well south of Portland Bill, which I achieved by about midday on Thursday 27th (using a cycle of stemming the flood and making the most of the ebb tides). The wind then dropped to F2 or less variable, so I motor sailed across Lyme Bay.

    I arrived in the vicinity of Start Point around 5 p.m. but again had to fight the tide. Winds were variable and then non-existent. Fog patches appeared. There was a lot of shipping about. I was concerned that large ships were neither using their foghorn nor altering speed to take account of the conditions. I was concerned about being run down, so plotted their courses using AIS receive (part of the Standard Horizon VHF radio) and took action to avoid getting to close inshore at the headland, as this is where the ships mainly were.

    I slowly made my way around the headland about 3-4 miles off. By mid-evening I was making my down past Bolt Tail and in towards Plymouth, albeit the ebb tide that had helped me to pass the headland was now heading me off, so progress was slow. As I started to motor passed Bigbury Bay, there was a combination of mist and fog, which was confusing. I kept my speed down and eventually arrived outside of Plymouth around midnight.

    I decided that my choice was to stay out, but risk being run down by shipping in the fog, or check out the entrances to see if they were viable. I looked at the Eastern entrance and decided against entry. I then motored back west to see what the Western entrance looked like. At about 2 a.m. I identified a Red light, that I thought was the Draystone and followed it and a series of what looked to me in the mist as the sector lights for the Western entrance. My plotter (Garmin Dragonfly 5) on high zoom appeared to confirm what I thought I was seeing. Shortly after, however, my plotter lost the ability to see satellites and stopped working. I had the Reeds almanac open, as well as my pen and paper plan (prepared pre-passage). Furthermore, I could see a line of ships moored behind what looked like a breakwater, this gave me confidence that the lights that I was following would take me into safety.

    What I thought was the Western entrance wasn't. After the three white lights, I saw a set of R/G but not where I was expecting them to be. As I slowed down to tick-over, so as to consider what to do next, I ran into submerged rocks. Having heard a lot of water rush around upon impact, seeing more water than expected in the bilge and listing, I called Mayday. While waiting for the Lifeboat, I inflated my (rental) liferaft and activated my lifejacket worn PLB. My thinking being that these might not be needed but I would rather everything ready, just in case. Police Launch Endeavour and RNLI ILB both attended and between them towed me into Mayflower marina.


    On reflection:

    Simply stayed out and not attempted entry until daylight.

    Installed an AIS transponder, so as to be less worried about fast moving ships, in fog.

    At Start Point, instead of fighting the tide, I could have turned for Dartmouth. That would have also taken me away from the fog banks around the headland.

    Planned a port of refuge or anchorage in case my destination was inaccessible. I had considered that Plymouth WAS my port of refuge, so not planned a backup.

    Now over to the forum to add to my knowledge and ideas bank.
    A Janner, I know Plymouth well.

    Your decision to enter on the Cornish side of the breakwater was correct.

    Believe you were planning to go to Mayflower so interested, did you plan to go west or east of Drake’s Island and where did you hit the bottom?
    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Neither a Remainer or a Leaver be. Hoping for the best but planning for the worst✔️

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,453

    Default Re: What did PhillM do wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by steveeasy View Post
    Ill get hammered now, but looking at charts for Plymouth, there does not seam a lot to guide you in for a large port. ..... Perhaps I've missed something specific.

    Steveeasy
    What 'steveeasy' and perhaps others have missed is that the lights provision is made for the needs and benefit of commercial and naval shipping, and not the occasional amateur yottie who passes by.

    Put another way, what's there is intended to meet the needs of those wot pays the Light Dues. And it's my understanding that the fixed navigation resources and the people who support them provide a high standard as such things go.

    I will not be critical of PhillM, but those other blinkered types who rabbit on here at length could do with a short sharp dose of basic seamanship. Get your heads out of your I-pads and learn something of 'the ordinary practice of seamen'..... IMHO, of course.

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