Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/381781
62 Proceedings Fall 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings system checks, the captain said he was confdent the winch worked properly, but the wind working against the parasail and towline exceeded the recovery capacity. He intended to hold the vessel at anchor to prevent the vessel from tow- ing astern. He also made additional attempts to retrieve the stranded passengers by winch, while waiting for assistance. Around 1:51 p.m., after completing basic hydraulic winch system checks, the captain called the owner again to get a time of arrival estimate. The captain emphasized to the owner that the situation was dire. During the telephone conversation, the vessel's towline broke at the bowline knot attached to the bridle and the wind carried the two passen- gers in the parasail away from the vessel, and the parasail passengers descended upon the surface of the ocean. Once the still-infated parasail canopy reached the water, it started dragging the two passengers backward, along the surface of the ocean. Cut the Anchor! The deckhand cut the anchor line, so the captain could chase after the two passengers with the vessel. As the vessel came alongside the two passengers, the captain instructed the deckhand to jump from the bow of the vessel onto the parasail to defate it. The deckhand did as instructed, but missed and went into the water. The parasail continued to drag the two passengers through the waves. The captain left the deckhand in the water to chase after the passengers. During the captain's second rescue attempt, he passed the two passengers, went downwind and positioned the para- sailing vessel perpendicular to and in way of the passen- gers' expected path; however, the two passengers collided with the side of the vessel and the parasail bridle and gear became entangled in the aluminum superstructure. The cap- tain grabbed hold of the passengers, but lost hold moments dug down, and then held. Once the vessel stopped mov- ing backward, the captain put the transmission in neutral and raised the diesel engine's revolutions per minute to increase power to the hydraulic winch. He again attempted to retrieve the two suspended passengers, but despite the increase in the diesel engine's power, the captain still could not retrieve the two female passengers. The winds now ranged from 23 to 34 mph with gusts to 40 mph, and the seas had grown with four- to six-foot swells and with an occasional eight-foot crest. The captain reached out to the owner again. At the time of the phone conversation between the owner and captain, the owner was away from the offce. Upon con- cluding the telephone call with the captain, the owner called his brother and directed him to get the assist boats ready. The owner told his brother to wait for him at the docks. While waiting for assistance, the captain allegedly opened the engine room's hatch door to check for winch malfunc- tioning and leaks in the hydraulic lines, but he detected nothing out of the ordinary. He paid out additional towline to see if the hydraulic fuid was circulating, and the system responded properly. Additionally, after running these basic Picture of the Tied High aground, post incident. An aft deck view of the vessel.