Mind that propelor

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nigelhatton
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Mind that propelor

Post by nigelhatton » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:30 pm

I won't go into too much detail as I'm very tired in my hospital bed.

I often paddle with a high vis vest and cap in my bright red ecobezhig. That never stopped me being hit by a RHIB on Sunday. This is what happened.

14;50 Sunday 18th I set off from the breakwater beach at Brixham, Devon for a solo paddle. After 30 mins I was near Goodrington sands when I became aware of a RHIB coming from my rear right side. i became fearful that it was heading for me so I slowed and waved/shouted. At about 50 ish feet away it was going to go over me so I capsized just before it hit me.

Now I am in hospital with re-atached acchillies tendons, severed fibula, nerve damage, capillaries damage, 6 ligaments slashed and 4" slashes to the rear of each foot. The kayak is destroyed with 2 sq feet missing from the feet area.

So although I wore all the correct high vis gear it turns out the crew of the 6 metre rhib were operating a radio controlled boat and never saw me. I have been told the skipper is a sea safety advisor.

tomorrow I am being transferred to a N London nerve specialist becuase of problems.
It was my first day in the UK for several months after paddling the south coast of France. I don't think I'll give up sea kayaking but will be more fearful than ever of rhibs and jet skis and speed boats.

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Mark R
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Mark R » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:34 pm

Jeez. Hope you are able to make a quick recovery.


I didn't understand what you meant by the boat being 'radio-controlled' - the crew were onboard presumably?
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Yakdiver
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Yakdiver » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:39 pm

OUCH that sounds terrible get well soon
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nigelhatton
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by nigelhatton » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:42 pm

they were operating a radio controlled boat alongside their rhib. must sleep now.

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soundoftheseagull
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by soundoftheseagull » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:48 pm

Get well soon
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Mike A
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Mike A » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:50 pm

Jeez, that sounds absolutely horrific.

Here's hoping that you make as speedy a recovery as possible, and congrats on the positive outlook re getting back into your boat. Hope its soon for you.

I am not up on law of the sea, so don't know if it's possible, but I hope that skipper has been charged by the police with the equivalent of driving without due care. Cases like yours certainly add weight for mandatory boat insurance / skipper licences.

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Graham T » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:40 pm

I think it best I keep my rather strong views of those in the Rib to stupid boys, at least for now, and expect they are in for a rather sizable claim against them. I too send my best wishes for as speedy and full a recovery as possible

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zec01
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by zec01 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:41 pm

Capsizing was good thinking, I dread to think what would have happened if you hadn't!

I agree that the skipper should be charged and should be held fully responsible, I hope your recovery goes well and that you are soon back on your feet.

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ArnoG
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by ArnoG » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:11 pm

Get well soon. A horrific incident.
I'd go and see a lawyer to nail the b*stards

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MikeB
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by MikeB » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:11 pm

Nigel - this sounds like a horrible experience - I wish you all the very best in your recovery, and in sorting things out in the future. Thanks for posting.

Kindest regards, Mike.

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Bod » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:39 pm

Really awful incident to read about. Best wishes on the road to recovery.
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by PSK » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:51 pm

Terrible.

Wishing you a swift and complete recovery.

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scotty
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by scotty » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:13 pm

Hope you recover soon,a racing yacht reversed over Andy saturday before last when i was with him but only at a few mph and with no damage to himself or boat, a year ago a rib nearly got him while swimming of east cowes front,he had to dive,the rib was bow high and never saw him before or after,no time for shouting.With Andys luck i might be safer solo.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:14 pm

Nigel, I am distressed to hear your news. Hang in there and get well soon.
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Skerryvore
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Skerryvore » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:23 pm

Nigel, that's horrific to here about your accident , totally out of your control and something that could happen to any of us paddling solo or in groups.
I Hope you get the full care and attention to your recovery and keep being positive and looking forward to getting out again.
I remember reading about a solo paddler in Loch Morar which is near Arisaig who capsized as a speedboat came straight into them.
Thinking of you all the very best
Alan
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Kate D
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Kate D » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:34 pm

Wishing you all the best for a complete and speedy recovery.

I'm not sure I would have thought of capsizing in time to do anything about it. I'm guessing that's why you are here to tell the tale. Good effort.

Just out of interest, how many other paddlers wear high viz vest and hat when out paddling?

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by fenix » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:58 pm

Jeez that sounds awful. What muppets they were in the boat. Capsizing probably saved your life.
I hope they never get allowed back in a boat again.

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Strad
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Strad » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:43 pm

sounds terrible, wishing you a good recovery
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by chrism » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:27 am

Best wishes for your recovery.

I have to admit I've never worn hi-vis kit (and probably wouldn't have thought of capsizing) - something to think about.

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Jim
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Jim » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:39 am

That's horrific, all powerboats worry me especially RIBs which often seem to ride bow high with a limited view ahead.

Presumably the coastguard were involved and will be prosecuting the skipper for not keeping an adequate watch? The idea that someone could drive any vessel or vehicle at speed whilst looking at or even controlling a completely separate vessel, even a model, is beyond belief. In general terms I am against litigious culture, but in this case I wish you every success in whatever civil action you need to take.

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JohnA
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by JohnA » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:55 am

Quick thinking, Nigel. Glad you survived the experience and best wishes for a full recovery.

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Mark R
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Mark R » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:09 am

If a Mayday was called, the MCGA are duty bound to investigate.
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Erling
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Erling » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:43 am

This was a most distressing read. Wishing you all the best, Nigel. I hope you make a quick recovery.

These kinds of accidents are exactly what scares us when kayaking in the waters around our summer home (Oslo fjord) in the height of summer. Lots of power boats around. Within one week this summer, five people were killed in two separate RIB accidents within 2 km from us.
Kate D wrote:Just out of interest, how many other paddlers wear high viz vest and hat when out paddling?
Sonja could admittedly have chosen a better colour for her kayak but she really, really liked the Tiderace Xplore and this was the only one available. She tries to compensate though, with bright coloured clothes and flag. Boaters comment that the flag is the first thing they see.

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by chrism » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:28 am

Now that flag looks a good idea.

Are we allowed to turn this into a visibility of kayaks thread, or should that be done elsewhere?

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by beardiebloke » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:56 am

Horrible story but glad you survived - it could have been so much worse.
Mark R wrote:If a Mayday was called, the MCGA are duty bound to investigate.
Would MCGA automatically notify the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau? They've published reports on similar incidents with RIB collisions and also leisure craft so I would expect this to be included as well. It won't help Nigel's legs but worth reporting IMO. http://www.maib.gov.uk/

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Jim
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Jim » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:15 am

beardiebloke wrote:Horrible story but glad you survived - it could have been so much worse.
Mark R wrote:If a Mayday was called, the MCGA are duty bound to investigate.
Would MCGA automatically notify the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau? They've published reports on similar incidents with RIB collisions and also leisure craft so I would expect this to be included as well. It won't help Nigel's legs but worth reporting IMO. http://www.maib.gov.uk/
MAIB is a branch of MCA so yes they will be automatically notified (in fact isn't the B for Branch not Bureau?).

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by rockhopper » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:16 am

I don't think that visibility is necessarily the full answer to the problem.
I have, on three separate occasions nearly been run over by small sailing catamarans. On two of these it was clear that the chap on board just wasn't looking where he was going, his view of me was obscured by his sail and he made no attempt to look underneath the sail to see if anything small (like a kayak or a person) was in his way. Each time it was only my loud voice bellowing at him that made him take evasive action, both times with probably only 20' between us and with me about to take similar action that Nigel did. On the third occasion there was a group of three of us rafted up checking our chart and an idiot in a 'cat' thought it would be fun to see how close he could get to us as he went past (about 2'.... which felt like it was a whole lot closer). There was nobody else remotely close to us and he did it because he was an arse!

On all these occasions I could have been dressed in a pink tutu and had a flashing orange light on my head and it would have been unlikely to have made any difference (my kayak is RNLI orange anyway!) consequently whilst visibility is important I would suggest that education of other craft users is also a big issue.

Wishing you a speedy recovery Nigel.

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by tg » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:22 am

Don't have one myself but had a toot and it was LOUD!

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GWS Nigel.

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Jim
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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Jim » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:57 am

A couple of mentions of shouting at motor boats failing, and even a sail boat getting close. I won't pretend it is a fail safe solution but a shrill whistle has a better chance of being heard over engine noise.

I can recall sailing with my mate in his 505 out of Tynemouth one day when he heard a whistle (I didn't) blown by a nearby fishing boat and threw in an emergency gybe (made a right tangle of his spinnaker), their nets were invisible just below the surface and we missed them by a few yards preventing us from getting tangled up and possibly damaging an expensive net. Quite what the effect on the boat might have been had we hit the net at speed I don't know, had the centreboard been down we might have front looped but I think it was up or at least mostly up - stopping on the rudder would be less violent but may have damaged it making returning through the breakwaters adjacent to the shipping lane quite difficult. Anyway, the skipper heard the whistle over the noise of the fishing boats engine, whether it would work the other way I am less certain but its got to be worth a try.

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Re: Mind that propelor

Post by Peter M » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:24 am

Always a concern. Speedy recovery Nigel

Peter

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