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    Re: Sailing Tragety In Southern California
    From: Tom Sult
    Date: 2012 May 05, 09:51 -0500

    Hind sight is always 20/20. An investigation will likely tell a story of a 
    chain of small errors that lead to this tragedy. Least we forget,  the best 
    of us have made errors. The difference is ours did not end in tragedy. We 
    were lucky to live another day. Those among us who are the most humble... 
    even learned something from the mistake, assuming they even knew the mistake 
    occurred at all.
    Let's have a modicum of respect for our departed brothers. It is unlikely they 
    were hapless morons. They were us... Perhaps on a bad day but us non the 
    less. Lets learn the lessons of systems management and "cockpit resource 
    management" from them.  As the FAA says about air accidents, "we investigate 
    so that no one will die in vain."
    Thomas A. Sult, MD
    Sent from iPhone
    On May 5, 2012, at 3:04, bill  wrote:
    > On 5/4/2012 8:56 PM, Greg Rudzinski wrote:
    > ...> Harry and I discussed some of the possibilities and it does look like
    >> technology over reliance may have contributed to the accident. It is
    >> quite possible that Coronado Island, where the accident took place, was
    >> used as a GPS waypoint. The helmsman might have gone below for a bit at
    >> the wrong time or I hate to say it fallen asleep at the wheel. No one
    >> was wearing their PFDs either.
    > This is a pet peeve of mine. I do agree that there is an over reliance on 
    electronics, but I suggest it goes beyond that. I race. Small sailboats and 
    Alpine skiing. Without going into a lengthy rant about Lake Michigan 
    (Tri-State and Chicago-Mac races) DSO examples ad infinitum:
    > Racing involves egos and winning.  We push it to the limits. I do not have 
    the budget for big boats, racing software/electronics, or a full compliment 
    of sails for every leg or wind condition (often replaced every year). Doubt 
    they want me as a grinder at 64 ;-)
    > A well-equipped big racing boat's electronics include a laptop loaded with 
    tactical and strategic software and pods (digital information displays) 
    on--or near--the mast to relay everything from bearing, speed, velocity made 
    good, and target speed to the crew (calculated from polar diagrams for wind, 
    waves and point of sail--often custom tailored to the boat and crew).
    > They also have the usual GPS chart plotters, true and apparent wind 
    directions, and depth information. Maybe even a compass! When in the history 
    of navigation have we had better information about our location and sea 
    > Like a teenager behind the wheel of a car on a cell phone, or texting while 
    manipulating the music on their iPod they have all the information they need 
    to drive safely; they are just too distracted to pay the necessary attention 
    to what is important. (Or too driven to win.) Just drive the *blank* boat!
    > If a prudent navigator knows/suspects a piece of equipment is off kilter, 
    they place a piece of tape across the face so everyone understands it can not 
    be trusted. Sadly we cannot do that with a person in charge who is pushing 
    the crew or boat past their limits or putting souls in peril.  That would be 
    > A closing thought for those "seasoned" enough to remember the 70's and Ted 
    Turner, AKA "Captain Outrageous." He won the America's Cup, and  won the 
    horrific Fastnet Race on corrected time. (15 competitors died.)
    > Somewhere during this period he was in a "short" race when the weather 
    turned on the fleet and battered several boats and crew.  He handed off the 
    helm as conditions became serious. When he came ashore the media hounded him. 
     They asked if he handed off the helm to win. He replied something to the 
    effect of, "No, I handed off the helm to live."
    > And there I submit is the difference between being extremely 
    competitive/cocky and stupid. You have to finish to win.

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