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Forums > Windsurfing   Western Australia

Boat incident

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Created by Gilderfish 1 month ago, 2 Mar 2020
Gilderfish
WA, 4 posts
2 Mar 2020 3:41PM
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I had an incident with a boat yesterday morning while sailing at Point Walter that I thought I would share as a reminder to stay well away from boats in the river! I was sailing back from the Claremont side of the river toward Point Walter around 11:30 am and found myself on a collision course with a large boat heading towards the city. I hoped initially that he would slow as, in theory, I had the right of way but of course he was a boat and bigger and did not slow and so I had to take action to avoid him. I should have jumped off but instead tried to sail downwind and behind him, but I had not seen his tender on a long line that was being pulled behind. I hit the rope that was towing the tender and came off. I dived underwater, my sail was run over by the tender and destroyed (pic attached). I was lucky enough not to be harmed and the board is also fine.

After the incident the boat did stop briefly, but only for him to come back and insist that it was all my fault and not his. He then motored off leaving me in the middle of the river with no ability to sail home. Thankfully another boat came past after 10 mins or so, saw me swimming home and offered me a lift. Thought I would share as this is another cautionary tail about the dangers of sailing in the river when boats are about!

Chris

morts
WA, 144 posts
2 Mar 2020 3:51PM
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Bugger that's no good Gilderfish, happy to read that your ok physically.

Did you get the name & rego of the boat? If so I'd report then to DoT, as they would quite possibly be in breach of their Duty of Care to assist another water user in distress.

Gilderfish
WA, 4 posts
2 Mar 2020 4:53PM
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I did get the name of the boat but not the number, I do plan to report the incident.

firiebob
WA, 2972 posts
2 Mar 2020 5:04PM
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Glad you're ok Gilderfish

dowls
QLD, 261 posts
2 Mar 2020 8:25PM
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I used to understand sail had right of way over motor.
but (now this could be just east side moronic understanding of law....)
but depends on ability of vessel to avoid incident.
I'm a rowing sculler early morning's, we have these pain in the arse city cats which give of a massive wash.
they have right of way because of limited ability to change course at speed.
hopefully different in gods country wa

Stuthepirate
SA, 3545 posts
2 Mar 2020 10:27PM
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Usually the commercial Ferries operating in channels get right of way over all craft.
For recreational users, the rule Paddle>Sail>Power should still apply.

Gilderfish
WA, 4 posts
2 Mar 2020 8:42PM
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Agree with the comments. In this case he could easily have eased up a bit, and I think he should have. That said I should have just recognised that the rules only take you so far and I should not have gone near him

wa881
WA, 147 posts
2 Mar 2020 9:19PM
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Glad your ok. Defn report it.

I windsurf on the river all the time and also have a boat. Just don't assume anything about what boats will or won't do is my experience.

A few weeks back I sailed behind a large stink boat. All clear, no problem, only to come past his stern to find the police RIB heading on a collision course with me not more than 50m away !! Of course, he immediately slowed down so no problem, but my experience that most of them will not. They just don't understand how hard it is to steer a windsurf and/or don't give a rasoo.

catchmeifucan
WA, 20 posts
2 Mar 2020 10:18PM
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Sorry to hear about your accident, glad you are okay. The reality is that every body is complaining about the boats and nothing gets done to improve our safety. Does one of us have to die before people come together and do something about it?!

NR
WA, 509 posts
3 Mar 2020 9:58AM
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Glad you are ok. I was sailing Pelican point and I may of seen the boat you are referring to as it was one of the only ones that day that had a tender and it was on a very long line.

decrepit
WA, 9853 posts
3 Mar 2020 10:17AM
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NR said.. >>that had a tender and it was on a very long line.

Sounds a bit like a rope strung across a dirt bike track.

stehsegler
WA, 3059 posts
3 Mar 2020 11:14AM
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I would recommend strongly you report the incident. Governments generally make changes when no money is involved only if there is enough empirical evidence that there is a problem. ie they will only do something about the boat situation if there have been enough reported incidences... even if it's just sending out more water police patrols.

On a different note, from what I understand there is an infringement penalty attached to failing to render assistance after a collusion. It's pretty low for someone to not help after an incidence ... regardless of who is at fault.

elmo
WA, 8057 posts
3 Mar 2020 11:21AM
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In all instances, forget who has the right of way, give way because in the event of an accident you WILL come of second best.

Even if the person in the boat by some small miracle is found, then charged, then found guilty (like that's ever going to happen) they'll be slapped with a warning or a paltry fine, which will be little comfort you recovering in hospital or rehab or your family and friends living life without you.

elmo
WA, 8057 posts
3 Mar 2020 4:32PM
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Just remember Elmo's curse specifically designed for ignorant boaties... May you Viagra turn into a fertility drug and your wife's, girlfriend's, goats contraception fail.

Subsonic
WA, 1936 posts
3 Mar 2020 5:54PM
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Gilderfish said..
Agree with the comments. In this case he could easily have eased up a bit, and I think he should have. That said I should have just recognised that the rules only take you so far and I should not have gone near him



There's some sad truths that sailing craft of any variety need to be aware of in WA.


RSTs might as well be available on the back of a cereal packet. It seems every RST holder i've come across is very vague on col regs. Even the simple ones that everyone should know.


most recreational stink boat owners strap on a set of horse blinkers as they step onboard and seem to struggle with the idea that other vessels can come at them from any angle and speed. (Its a timely reminder that we need to do the same)


As with what happened with petermac and neil, DOT will do their best to wash their hands of any serious incidents. If you want to take legal action, youre on your own. The best DOT will do is hand everyone a fine for not avoiding a collision.

Glad to hear youre ok, shame about the sail though. I don't ever assume that a stink boat skipper has any idea anymore. I just alter course to make sure im well out of the way. Its not worth the risk.

I'd definitely still report it. As mentioned above, if they recieve enough reports, it might compel them to up their game when they're dishing out RSTs.

Gilderfish
WA, 4 posts
4 Mar 2020 8:27AM
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Reported it yesterday. Will let you know what happens

RichardG
WA, 3086 posts
4 Mar 2020 12:42PM
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I would suggest all sailors have a personal accident policy that covers injury while sailing. Accidents on the water do happen and unfortunately power boats frequent the waters of the Swan River and many have no idea often setting courses to sail into fleets of windsurfers and other sail craft. The best course is prevention, caution and avoidance of collisions with power boats.

Being a member of a sailing club affiliated with Australian Sailing provides, among other benefits, this insurance cover:

www.networksteadfast.com.au/industries-and-associations/sailing/personal-injury-australian-sailing-members-insurance/

Death & Permanent Disablement-A lump sum benefit is payable in the event of death or a Permanent Disability. The scale of benefits is defined in the policy. The death benefit is $75,000 for members aged up to 85 years old and $10,000 for members under 18.

Non Medicare Medical Expenses Reimburses up to 100% of Non-Medicare medical expenses up to a maximum of $5,000 subject to a $50 excess. Claimable expenses are private hospital bed and theatre fee, ambulance, net of any recoveries from private health insurance. Cover is limited to expenses incurred within 12 months from the date of injury.

Physiotherapy Benefit Reimburses between 75% to 95% of costs incurred up to a maximum of $30 - $45 per visit up to a maximum of $750. Cover is limited to expenses incurred within 12 months from the date of injury.

Student Tutorial Costs Reimburses up to 80% of costs incurred up to a maximum of $300 per week for home tuition by a qualified tutor if the Injury stops the Insured Person from going to their external tutor outside the home for up to 52 weeks with a 7 day excess period.

Domestic Help Benefit Reimburses up to 80% of costs incurred up to a maximum of $300 per week for a recognised and licensed home help service if the Injury stops the Insured Person from usual and normal duties as a homemaker, sole provider for dependant children such as child-minding, cleaning, cooking, school pick up and drop offs for up to 52 weeks with a 7 day excess period.

Broken Bones-We will pay up to $5,000 any one accident. Cover only applies if the event occurs within twelve (12) calendar months of the date of Injury. Please refer to the policy wording and Certificate of Insurance for details of the cover provided and policy limits.

Dental We will pay up to $5,000 any one accident. Cover only applies if the event occurs within twelve (12) calendar months of the date of Injury. Please refer to the policy wording and Certificate of Insurance for more details of the cover provided and policy limits.

Loss of Income Weekly Benefit 100% of pre-Injury Salary, if prevented from working in your Occupation up to a maximum of $300 per week. The benefit period is 52 weeks and the excess is 7 days.

Funeral Benefit-We will pay up to an additional $10,000 for funeral expenses in the event of the death of the insured person where the death is covered by this Policy.

bodia1
WA, 4 posts
4 Mar 2020 3:57PM
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Is there a bit of a gentleman's "your much bigger than me and I am smaller and more manoeuvrable so I will get out of your way" in place??
I don't sail on the river so am not really accustomed to crossing paths with boats but I know the 3 or 4 times a year that it happens to me on the ocean I keep a massive distance to not upset the boat skipper

BSN0
WA, 8 posts
4 Mar 2020 9:23PM
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Guilderfish....glad you're ok. Yes you have right of way, but peeps please protect yourself, better to be angry than injured....or worse

Bodia1... we all wish that gentlemens agreements extended to larger craft. As an owner of both, I guarantee you, no such agreement exists. I have seen so many skippers in charge of vessels that they have no idea how to control in close proximity to other vessels. I have been on a 5 tonne boat that missed another 7 tonne vessel by less than 30 cm....scary stuff.....
Please reports this stuff.... nothing will happen if it goes unreported.

But most importantly, please do not assume that the paddle/sail/power rules will prevail. and lets be honest, Elmo's curse is there to sort things out.

Sail safe and have fun :)

Subsonic
WA, 1936 posts
4 Mar 2020 9:34PM
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bodia1 said..
Is there a bit of a gentleman's "your much bigger than me and I am smaller and more manoeuvrable so I will get out of your way" in place??
I don't sail on the river so am not really accustomed to crossing paths with boats but I know the 3 or 4 times a year that it happens to me on the ocean I keep a massive distance to not upset the boat skipper



I wouldn't call it a gentlemans agreement. More an understanding that the person behind the wheel of said behemoth will more than likely have no understanding of the regulations, and will be under some sort of belief that they are driving a car and they only need to keep eyes front, so to speak. There is unfortunately a small percentage of boaties (like gilderfishs mate) who hold a firm belief that bigger has right of way.

the reasoning behind the power gives way to sail regulation is because our ability to manoeuvre/get out of the way is limited by the wind being there to help us move. Despite our speedy nimble appearance our ability to alter course and perform manoeuvres is limited to wind direction and a need to focus on said manoeuvre (like gybing or tacking)

Eg: youre sailing along about to cross paths with a cruiser, belting along as they often do on the swan. Current course and speed you'll clear them 50m in front, no worries. As you reach their path the wind drops. You cease planing. Now you're screwed. So what started as a clear crossing becomes a case of the stink boat being the only one able to avoid a collision. Best not to take that risk. Just gybe before youre in the danger zone.


there is another regulation that clarifies, having right of way (they like to call it being the stand on vessel now) does not absolve you of avoiding a collision. Again, better to avoid the risk altogether.

bodia1
WA, 4 posts
5 Mar 2020 4:39PM
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BSN0
I suppose what I'm getting at is are you sure everyone else believes there's a gentleman's agreement in place to do with size except for windsurfers??
I have a boat and I definitely get out of the way of the ferry likewise when I windsurf I get out of the way of the boat...
My thoughts are more around self preservation rather than whose technically in the right

BSN101
WA, 1800 posts
25 Mar 2020 5:20AM
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It's like riding a motor bike, every other road user is out there to get you so watch everything, everyone and keep yourself out of harms way. Look after number 1! You!

pezza
WA, 151 posts
25 Mar 2020 8:16PM
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Regardless of right of way, don't play chicken with a vessel. All water users should avoid colliding at all costs rather than force right of way.

MikeyS
VIC, 1460 posts
26 Mar 2020 1:30PM
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BSN0 said..
. Yes you have right of way,



NO YOU DON'T!!!!!!!!! The ColRegs, which govern the "Rules of the Road", as adopted by virtually every State throughout the world, DO NOT GIVE YOU RIGHT OF WAY!!!

This is the biggest myth that never seems to go away.

There is a cascading set of OBLIGATIONS in the ColRegs, but nowhere do they give anyone a right of way. Just because someone else has an obligation, it doesn't give you a right. I know the difference might seem subtle, but this erroneous thinking tends to end up in collisions where the person in charge of the smaller, more vulnerable vessel, ends up in hospital, or worse.

EVERYONE on the water has an obligation to KEEP A PROPER LOOKOUT at all times and to avoid a collision.The powerboat has an obligation to give way to sailboats, including windsurfers. But that does not give your right of way. Your obligation in a possible collision situation initially is to maintain your course an speed. To comply with his obligation, the powerboat should alter course in a way to clearly avoid the collision. Not some pissy little turn, but something that clearly signals to you that there won't be a collision.

So if the powerboat doesn't comply with his obligation, and you still find yourself on a collision course, which you say you did, your OBLIGATION is to then alter course to avoid a collision.

There are plenty of resources that explain the ColRegs. Please people, read and understand them. And don't fall into the trap of thinking you have RIGHT OF WAY. You do not!

(There are a different, additional set of sailing racing rules that do use the concept of right of way, but they only apply to and between vessels racing.)

MikeyS
VIC, 1460 posts
26 Mar 2020 1:34PM
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BSN101 said..
It's like riding a motor bike, every other road user is out there to get you so watch everything, everyone and keep yourself out of harms way. Look after number 1! You!


Yep, not a bad approach. As long as looking after number 1 means avoiding a collision (and not causing someone else harm- e.g forcing them into the rocks)



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Forums > Windsurfing   Western Australia


"Boat incident" started by Gilderfish