Steve Collins – Lost At Sea

Our guest speaker at the cruising club I am President of spoke last night about how he was lost in the ocean during a rescue – and it was getting dark… an incredible story!

Little Ship Club Canterbury

Picture this – you are alone, sailing solo across the Tasman, bringing your new-to-you 10 metre steel yacht back from Australia to New Zealand. Approximately 70 miles off Lord Howe Island you encounter some rough weather, and it goes on and on for hours and the sea state gets worse and worse. Your boat is damaged, and the fuel tank located in the keel of the yacht begins to leak, sloshing stinky slippery diesel all throughout the boat. Unable to source the location of the leak and covered in fuel, you are being thrown around in the rough conditions.

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7 thoughts on “Steve Collins – Lost At Sea

  1. Thanks Viki. Very scary. We’ve all been taught that you don’t leave the boat until you’re sure it’s going under (everyone’s read Conrad’s Lord Jim, right?), but you never know how you’ll respond under the stress of the situation. I remember being in one particularly bad storm and thinking maybe I should call someone and then I asked myself, “…and what would I say? That I’m scared and just want someone else to know I’m out here?” The boat was not falling to pieces and we were (painfully) making our way to safety… nothing to do but sit it out. But I do want a Jordan sea anchor for sitting it out next time !

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  3. What a terrifying story – I’m so glad it ended well after all! If you don’t already know of it, the book Once is Enough by Miles Smeeton is a pretty incredible story of another small boat that makes it through horrible conditions (including a pitchpoling) and brings her crew safely to port – the Smeetons had very strong opinions that a yacht out for simply her own wanderings should never ask for rescue and they lived by it, jury rigging their boat successfully and sailing her 1600 miles from the scene of the pitchpoling to Coronel, Chile. Whether or not one shares their views of the rights of pleasure voyagers to call for rescue, it’s an incredible read!

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