Rescue at Tubamancha

Rescue at Tubamancha

Post by Bob Galv » Wed, 24 Aug 1994 04:31:45

I went sailing at Tuba Sunday afternoon, 4pm launch.   It was very
gusty/holey, like 0-30, and there was a lot of eel grass floating in the
water, like millons of shoelaces hitchhiking on your fin.

There were 7 sailors already up in the waves when I got there, Dean
Karnazes and friends.  They left as I arrived, but one guy with a Hot
sail stayed. I didn't know him, but at least I had company.

After a while of very tough sailing, my sailing partner seemed to have
disappeared, so decided to set course back down the beach.  I soon found
him, sitting on his board about a quarter mile out.  His U-joint had broken.
Oh shit.

Of course I had my trusty safety pack with towline and knife, so we went
work.  First I tryed towing his rig.  Forget it.  It submarined!  We
removed his boom, put it over my boom, where gravity held it in place,
and I hightailed it to the beach.  I half buried the boom so it would
"stand up" and be easy to find later.

Returning to our hapless comrade, he now has his sail rolled up and it's
my job to get the mast to shore.  We tryed tieing it parallel to my mast.
The top held fine, but I couldn't get a good purchase on the bottom.  In
retrospect, I could have secured it at my boom, but didn't think of that
at the time.  I ended up taking it apart (2-piece mast) and shoving the
parts through my leeward footstrap.  Difficult sailing, but do-able.  I
even planed when I had enough wind.

Depositing the mast by a log, I pondered the Next Step.  I was shivering
and very tired.  I really didn't want to go back out.  But couldn't see
Jeff (we have exchanged names by now), so I felt compelled to follow
through. Luckily, by the time I find Jeff again, he has drifted down the
beach (and OUT also) to near the launch, and has been discovered by two
other sailors, who take over the towing operation.  In the holey
conditions, everyone ends up quite a bit downwind of the launch, but
alive, intact, and with no damage or loss of gear.  It was dicey, though.
The Sail Ditch Option was very close.

Lessons learned:

1> Retire tired old gear!
2> Several short pieces of line may be better than one long one.
3> Knot tying and gear carrying in choppy water is a ***!
   We all need work in this area.  I suggest practice in ideal conditions.


What is the correct spelling of "tied/tyed" and "tieing/tying"?

Happy to be of service,
Bob Galvan


Rescue at Tubamancha

Post by SConkl » Wed, 24 Aug 1994 13:27:04


Great story and inovative ideas on how to rescue equipment.  I am glad you
had the strength to keep going.
Where the heck is Tubamancha?


Spencer Conklin


Rescue at Tubamancha

Post by Barry Kea » Wed, 24 Aug 1994 16:07:00


>Of course I had my trusty safety pack with towline and knife, so we went
>work.  First I tryed towing his rig.  Forget it.  It submarined!  We
>removed his boom, put it over my boom, where gravity held it in place,
>and I hightailed it to the beach.  I half buried the boom so it would
>"stand up" and be easy to find later.

>Returning to our hapless comrade, he now has his sail rolled up and it's
>my job to get the mast to shore.  We tryed tieing it parallel to my mast.
>The top held fine, but I couldn't get a good purchase on the bottom.  In
>retrospect, I could have secured it at my boom, but didn't think of that
>at the time.  I ended up taking it apart (2-piece mast) and shoving the
>parts through my leeward footstrap.  Difficult sailing, but do-able.  I
>even planed when I had enough wind.

In the holey>conditions, everyone ends up quitt downwind of the launch, but
>alive, intact, and with no damage or loss of gear.  It was dicey, though.
>The Sail Ditch Option was very close.
> [snip,snip,snip]

Happy to be of service,
>Bob Galvan

||||>>>> Cool story Bob your a good guy to help. HOWEVER DUDE!!!!!!! You
 really did it the hard way.


If there is a tow line available, completely de-rig you sail in the water.
I have done this in the ocean 25+ knts wind, 6'seas.

Step One:Undo the outhaul and downhaul

Step two: undo the inhaul and let your boom fall to the baord.

Step Tree: ditch the battons(or save them if you want)

Step Four: unclip the  mast from the universal.

Step Five: roll up you sail around the mast

Step Six: undo your harness hook, so you can lay on the board.

Step Seven: while you hold the mess togeather on your stick, have the rescuer
tie you back footstrap to his back footstrap-YES, tail to tail -10'line.

Step Eight: This hurts but not as much as drowning or getting eaten alive by
Whitey.: Lay on top of the whole mess with your legs spred wide for balance.

Step Nine: Get towed in:

The two times I have had to do this took approx 5 minutes till towing time.
Working fast of course beacause it was off Santa Cruz, California, Great
White Shark capitol of the world.

VARIATIONS: If your mast snapped: ditch it. and just fold your sail up in a
tight bundle so you can  lay on it.

Santa Cruz


Rescue at Tubamancha

Post by Luigi Semenza » Thu, 25 Aug 1994 01:10:01

|> What is the correct spelling of "tied/tyed" and "tieing/tying"?

`Tie' and `tieing' are the normal spellings, but `tying' is also
available.  ---Luigi


Rescue at Tubamancha

Post by Ed Corne » Fri, 26 Aug 1994 01:37:20

rec.windsurfing safety & rescue faq
Third draft- Posted 24 AUG 94

        Disclaimer:  The information contained herein was collected by Ed Cornell

to a newsgroup request for contributions to a faq.  Some contributions were
anonymous and the credibility of named authors is unknown.  Your
interpretations of the applicability of the information for any particular
situation are to be considered entirely your own.  The information is
intended only for discussion.  I am not responsible and cannot be held
liable if you decide to act in accord with it.

        Overview:  Here's the latest review of our collective wisdom about rescue.
 There are three sections:  Prevention, Towing/Paddling, and Repair
Techniques.  Sample freely and write to me if you have additional topics,
better ways to say things, or hands-on experiences that can be used to
refine or illustrate our discussion.  This is a living faq.  Thanks to all
the contributors (especially the South Cooking Lake gang), and my editor,
Jaime Cordera.


        Hazards and limitations.  Patrick LaValla has summarized the dangers
apparent in records of search and rescue incidents.  These are known as
retrospective analyses of actuarial data.  The idea is that hindsight can
be turned into foresight.  One or more of these factors were common in case

1.  Failure to recognize a potential environmental threat;  unfamiliar with
area for activity or characteristics of weather.
2.  Equipment failure; inspections and replacement neglected.
3.  Too ambitious an undertaking for current skill proficiency.
4.  Solo activity; itinerary not known to others.
5.  Hypothermia (cooling of the body and brain) owing to improper clothing.

6.  Lack of rest (fatigue); poor physical conditioning.
7.  Thirst (hypohydration during salt water activities).

        Preparation:  There are some things you should know before getting out on
the water.  Run through this list:

1.  How am I doing?  Had a long, exhausting week?  Been exercising and
stretching?  Had a good long drink of water?
2.  What part of my equipment is suspect?  What do I tend to break?    
3.  Determine where you would end up if you are left to drift.  Stay upwind
of the launch site or know alternate landing sites.
4.  Weather report says what?  Anything hairy on the horizon?
5.  Tide table says what?  What is propelling me when the apparent wind
6.  Local conditions.  Where's that shipping lane?  Where's that rip
current?  Where's that fin eating rip rap?  Where's that 3 cm deep reef?
Check with several locals.
7.  Where's my buddy?

        Once out, take breaks to rest and refresh.  Go in to assess the situation
from shore if storm waves, barges, or overpowering gusts are beginning to
appear.  Don't sail to exhaustion; always reserve the strength for a

"""""""""""""""""""""""To the point""""""""""""""""""""

"Offshore winds: just say no.  The second closest I saw somebody come to
dying windsurfing was a guy who tried to paddle a 9' board less than 100
yds back to the beach in a 30 knot breeze.  When the Coasties picked him up
he was so tired he couldn't get into the boat by himself; dead tired =
plain old dead, in situations like that."--Rolland Waters

"You are flirting with death."--Kirk Lindstrom, on whether a carbon mast
would conduct a lightning strike.

"Big ebb, little wind, big problem."--Chrissy Field maxim.

"Don?t forget folks, when you?re sailing on the coast, you are lower on the
food chain."--Bingen Bart.

        Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs).  Decades of actuarial data indicate
that people wearing these are more likely to survive and be rescued
following boating accidents.  Coast Guard and water safety agencies
consider the issue to be similar to that of seat belt use by car occupants
and helmet use by motorcycle riders.  Certified and maintained safety
devices work.  The net talk concerning convenience and freedom of lifestyle
choices is often tangential to that fact.

        Coast Guard officials recommend a Type I PFD for high speed water sports
and/or turbulent waters.  US Coast Guard certification appears on a tag
sewed to the PFD. State laws requiring windsurfers to wear PFDs usually
specify that the devices must be certified in accord with federal
performance requirements.

        Because Type I PFDs are so bulky, most windsurfers who wear approved PFDs
wear Type III.  A Type III PFD will provide at least 15 lbs of buoyancy,
enough to maintain the wearer in a vertical or slightly reclined position
at the surface of calm water.  Passively buoyed by a Type III PFD, you may
or may not be face up, so it is best to be semiconscious following your
encounter with the mast.  There are several models of Type III PFDs that
are appropriate for windsurfers; widely available are those for
waterskiiers and kayakers, who also need freedom of movement in the arms.  

        There are also PFDs for windsurfers that are not tested or certified by
safety agencies.  Like the certified PFDs, they provide buoyancy during
waterstarting, insulation of body heat, and protection during slams.  They
differ in that they are usually less bulky (providing less flotation) and
are cut to allow unencumbered arm and shoulder movement.  They may include
features such as:

1.  Pockets for keys, spare line, or small tools.  A nice feature.  Be
careful about what you might fall on.
2.  Pockets for packets of lead shot.  These are used rarely by
professional racers who know how to leverage 2-5 kg of additional upper
body weight.  Not recommended.  Always check your position of passive
buoyancy if you do put some of these anchors in your PFD.
3.  A loop to place over your harness hook to prevent the PFD from
annoyingly riding up your body in the water.  There is a tradeoff here.  In
rare emergencies it is vital to have the PFD pushing under your chin.
4.  Blue, green and black panels to coordinate with the colors of your
wetsuit and rig.  Not recommended--you want to be seen.  Day-glo yellow is
definitely a fast color.
5.  Pockets to insert sheets of closed cell foam to provide more flotation.
 Make sure that the foam is distributed so that the buoyancy does not put
you face down.  Try it out.

"""""""""""""""""""""To the point"""""""""""""""""""""""

"The waves kept pumping and crashing, tossing me and my rig about, like a
t-shirt in a washing machine.  The wind had increased even more, and it was
difficult to stay on the board.  A few times large waves would pull me into
the water, and I realized that I was still crying.  Thank God I was smart
enough to wear my life jacket."--Grace Jackson.

        Survival Kits.  As with other safety considerations, whether and what you
carry requires consideration of sailing habits.  Given the broad goal of
soon returning to land, you may want to make repairs or replacements, you
may want to be detected, and you may want to be towed.  Here are some
common ideas about what to carry in a belt pack, PFD, or harness pocket.
If you put any of this stuff on the rig--mast protector pocket, for
example--consider that it might be gone when you make it back to your

1.  About 10 meters of 8-10 mm Nylon cord.  Strong and stretchy for tow
line use.
2.  About 1 meter of 3-5 mm rigging line.  Should fit pulleys, masthead,
and boomhead slots.  Also used for tying repairs.
3.  A fin***driver that can also be used to dig out knots.
4.  A knife.  As flat as possible, perhaps with screwdriver accessory.
5.  A spare fin.  Perhaps cut down and shaped from one with a damaged tip.
6.  Whistle, flares, mirror or submersible strobe light.  Check marine
supply outlets.
7.  Helmet.  Posts indicate that a helmet may be especially warranted in
crowded rigging areas and when attempting high speed or aerial maneuvers.

"""""""""""""""""""""To the point""""""""""""""""""""""

"1.  Remove brain.  2.  Go for it."--Response to request for step-by-step
instructions for forward loop.
"3.  Carry health care card."--Same thread.
"When I prepare for a day on the water, I first get up and brush
tooth."--Eric Sanford.

        Staying with your board is your first priority, notifying somebody of your
plight is your second, and limping in alone is your third.  The
international signal for help is to extend and flap both arms up and down
at your sides.  With a sinker, this can be done by straddling your board
with your legs in the water.  (Insert ASCII animation here).

        Another common distress signal is to wave arms overhead and cross them.
This signal may be more visible in heavy swells or chop.

        Research by social psychologists indicates that you are more likely to
receive bystander intervention if you direct your overtures to the closest
person rather than to the crowd.  It is not unusual for everybody in a
crowd to assume that someone else is going to take care of the person in
need.  Once you have a person?s attention, try to maintain eye contact and
get them as close as possible.  Seek a minimal commitment first:  "Please
get help", or if attempting self-rescue, "Will you watch me 'till I get
in?" Barbara Morrow tells of an incident that led her to hail a pair of
sailors.  When they slowed, she asked for a tow, and the one who heard
yelled that they were "...having enough problems handling conditions".
They continued on their way, and she ended up swimming for an hour.

        If no one is presently within sight, you should assess the situation to
make a plan of action.  Do not derig immediately; the rig may be serving as
a sea anchor (dragging to resist wind or current that is moving you away
from the shore).  Assess your equipment to see what you can use for self
rescue techniques.  Assess whether you can be standing upright on the

read more »


Rescue at Tubamancha

Post by Dan Bro » Fri, 26 Aug 1994 02:10:42

|> I'm sighing to see you trying to tell us the the W O-L is a definitive (much
|> less adequate) reference.  Surely you should not be plying such nonsense
|> here, or soon we'll all be crying, ENOUGH!  If I'm lying, I'm dying - the
|> spelling of tying as tieing is trying!

Now that'll be hard to beat!  Time to start a new thread ...