In hindsight, maybe going sailing on the Charles in a nor'easter not the brightest of ideas

Shortly after 4 p.m., Boston and Cambridge firefighters and Boston and State police began rushing to the Mass. Ave. Bridge on a report of a sailboat tipping over in the wind and dumping somebody in the water. Just as firefighters were about to begin their "tech rescue," however, the person managed to get back in the boat and make his way to shore on the Cambridge side - where he was met by troopers and Cambridge firefighters. He declined medical attention.

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It was good while it lasted

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And it seems guy recovered ok. We now have the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force for all incidents. Not the worst approach but letting fools learn their lessons the hard way used to work too.

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weather forecast?

Did this person know the weather was bad? Just stepping outside, with no prior info about weather should have been warning enough not to go out.

Then we have fishermen missing off coast of Maine -Coast guard suspended search...

Why? Risk your life? To go sailing or fishing?
Man vs Mother Nature who usually loses?

Rescue people risk their lives too!

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It's not only not the brightest idea, but

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it's beyond stupid to go sailing anywhere during a nor'easter, let alone the Charles River. The best thing to do is not to make it necessary for rescue workers to risk their limb and lives in the first place.

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I've been sailing in winds

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I've been sailing in winds that strong. It was exciting but not particularly dangerous. However, I would not do it on a body of water that's pretty much all lee shore no matter which way the wind is blowing.

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Lee shore cuts both ways

In a big boat, lee shore is your enemy, as the wind can carry you onto the shore and wreck your boat.

In a little boat, lee shore can be your friend: something breaks, or you're too tired to right the boat; just hang on and you'll eventually drift ashore, where you crawl out, drag the boat onto the shore if you can (or else just abandon it) and then head for that hot shower.

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There's drifting and there's

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There's drifting and there's drifting. I don't think what you do in 40+ mph winds is really what most would call "drifting". In winds like those, I'll stay off the lee shore regardless of the size of my boat, thanks.

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Depends where you are

I'll stay off the lee shore regardless of the size of my boat, thanks.

If it's the lee shore in open ocean, then yes, I agree.

If you're in protected water, like a bay or the Charles, it's a different story. Like Bob said above, a lee shore can be your best friend.

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What?

"Let alone the Charles River".

Thousands of people learn to sail on the Charles.

Community Boating, MIT, BU, Harvard, etc. all maintain sailing pavillions.

The river is vastly cleaner than it was 30 years ago - when people did all these things, too - and even swimmable some of the time. Water quality is rarely unsafe for boating anymore.

You say this is stupid - please explain.

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The Charles is viciously

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The Charles is viciously difficult to sail in high winds. The gaps between buildings lead to unpredictable changes in wind direction and strong gusts that can easily flip a dinghy over before the sailor has time to react. It gives local sailing teams a strong home field advantage, but it's also dangerous. Community boating tends to put up the small craft warning flags on days far less windy than what we had yesterday.

One upside is that even in November, the river water isn't cold -- whether because the basin is easily heated by the sun because it's broad and shallow, or because some weird exothermic reaction is happening in that motor-oil mud on the bottom, I couldn't say. At any rate, I wouldn't recommend swimming in the basin end. We used to have sailing races cancelled on days after a rain due because the untreated runoff from the river roads was considered hazardous.

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People know that

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The original comment said that it was stupid at any time.

Someone probably told her that 50 years ago so she thinks that it is the same now. Or someone on TV said it.

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The original comment said

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The original comment said that it was stupid at any time.

Are you looking at a different "original comment" than I am? The one I'm reading says, "it's beyond stupid to go sailing anywhere during a nor'easter, let alone the Charles River."

Someone probably told her that 50 years ago so she thinks that it is the same now.

What "her" are you talking about, and exactly what do you think she was told "50 years ago"?

I think you're a bit confused.

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Kind of a broad statement

it's beyond stupid to go sailing anywhere during a nor'easter....

That's kind of broad, don't you think?

FWIW, in my windsurfing days, I didn't even think of loading up the car unless NOAA was forecasting small craft warnings. Winds around 30 were wonderful.

Just sayin'

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The problem is a lack of knowledge about sailing

The sailors were, without a doubt, wearing protective drysuits, which would keep them warm for hours while swimming in the river. Also, when sailing little boats in a brisk breeze the boats capsize and are righted all the time. Calling emergency services because a boat capsized is kind of like watching a pickup soccer game and calling the police because "somebody knocked someone else down to the ground."

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You'd never catch me out in

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You'd never catch me out in wind like that.
I used to sail at Community Boating and anything more than a breeze barely able to move my sailboat was too much for my liking.

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