How could this happen?

Aeolus

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From an article in today's Guardian. Any thoughts on how something like this could happen? The explanation in the article seems unlikely. The boat in question was a Sunseeker 620 recreational fishing boat.

'Hohnen dropped anchor, made sure everything was secure, and went to sleep next to his son. They didn’t bother putting on life jackets, since it would have been too uncomfortable to sleep.

The next thing Hohnen remembers is having wet feet. “Instantly, I knew there was an issue,” he says. He yelled at Jeacocke to wake up. While they were sleeping, the anchor rope had wound itself around the boat’s propeller and started to pull the vessel down. There was already a lot of water in the boat. Hohnen tried to start the engine to turn on the deck pump but nothing happened, and he realised that the engine was already under water.'
 

Snowgoose-1

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From an article in today's Guardian. Any thoughts on how something like this could happen? The explanation in the article seems unlikely. The boat in question was a Sunseeker 620 recreational fishing boat.

'Hohnen dropped anchor, made sure everything was secure, and went to sleep next to his son. They didn’t bother putting on life jackets, since it would have been too uncomfortable to sleep.

The next thing Hohnen remembers is having wet feet. “Instantly, I knew there was an issue,” he says. He yelled at Jeacocke to wake up. While they were sleeping, the anchor rope had wound itself around the boat’s propeller and started to pull the vessel down. There was already a lot of water in the boat. Hohnen tried to start the engine to turn on the deck pump but nothing happened, and he realised that the engine was already under water.'
In details concerning tidal range depth for the day ?
 

Minerva

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That sounds like an awfy tenacious anchor! Enough grip on the seabed to pull down a (I’m guessing 6.2m not 62ft) boat. Even that must be in the significant tonnes worth of strain!
 

NormanS

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It's a typical newspaper story.
I'm just like these guys, - I never bother to put on a lifejacket when going to bed. 😄
 

johnalison

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It's a typical newspaper story.
I'm just like these guys, - I never bother to put on a lifejacket when going to bed. 😄
People we know were sailing with another club member, now sadly deceased, and they anchored in notably sheltered local creek. Their host, and owner of the 44’ boat, insisted that everyone slept with lifejackets alongside, to their irritation and later hilarity.
 

RupertW

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That sounds like an awfy tenacious anchor! Enough grip on the seabed to pull down a (I’m guessing 6.2m not 62ft) boat. Even that must be in the significant tonnes worth of strain!
If they’ve caught it under a rock on a short scope at low tide I can just about see it happening but lots of strain on the rope.
 

oldmanofthehills

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Boats have been pulled under in the upper severn estuary. Short rode from bows and anchor buried deep in the mud of Slime Road, when tide rise can be 14m and tide nearby ar 9kt or locally above 4kt. However no such conditions occur off the coast of Australia.

Anchoring by the stern due to rope rode snagging on prop might as Corribee Boy says have caused the problem here, especially if combined with over large over heavy outboard.
 

LittleSister

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You don't have to be wearing your lifejacket to have it close enough too hand to put it on, or at least grab hold of it, before you abandon ship. (The only times I can ever remember sleeping in a lifejacket was when I was in the cockpit, either being close at hand for my less experienced then partner when she was on watch on an ocean trip, or grabbing 5 minutes of sleep at a time between alarms when doing single-handed trips over 24 hours long.)

'Hohnen knew he had to get out of the boat quickly. He reached to grab Julian and seconds later began to inhale salt water. Within a minute of Hohnen waking up and calling the coastguard, the boat had capsized.'
Strange that he alone woke up, and that with only moments to go before the boat sank, especially as one of the others was a noted light sleeper. The boat would have had to be at a serious angle to have flooded, and as it flooded, in what they say were calm conditions, and the owner reported that when he woke up he had wet feet. I would have thought that even in calm conditions one would hear the water slopping about once the cabin started flooding to any depth, and that's if the boat had no automatic electric bilge pump to hear, which I imagine most boats of this type would have.

One can only marvel at the skipper, at night, being able to realise the boat was flooded, yell his 'light sleeper' mate awake, establish that the problem was the anchor rode around the propellor, try without success to start the engine, make a mayday call to the coastguard, and grab his son, all within 60 seconds of waking up.

'Jeacocke was thrown from the boat, but Hohnen and his son were now being dragged down by the boat’s canopy. Hohnen quickly understood that he would have to swim down, holding Julian, at a faster rate than the boat was sinking in order to get out from underneath the soft top. When he emerged on the surface of the water, he saw the boat’s lights fading as it sank.'
I find it hard to believe that a boat of that type would sink quite that fast.

Apart from the rest of this unlikely tale, I find it totally incredible that someone's son would be called Jeacocke. FFS.

One of the least mystifying parts of this tale. He/they didn't! Jeacocke was the surname of his friend Stephen.
 

KevinV

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Just to save folks googling..

My boat sank in the dead of night – and I had to save my seven-year-old son

I don't see how, in the space of time available, they could possibly have ascertained that the anchor rode round the prop dragged them down. Maybe they saw the rode round the prop as it was going down, but that doesn't mean that was the cause of the sinking.

If we're going to enter into supposition then it seems more likely to me that the boat was sinking for a completely different reason and the attempt to start the engine got the rode wrapped round the prop. I can just about imagine the latter being possible if the boat turns from lying to the wind (when dry) to lying to the current when partially submerged
 

Capt Popeye

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Especially if it might self-inflate and impede your egress? ;-)

Yes well I recall an incidentthat involved two local fellas drowning , (Felixstowe Ferry) some years ago now, I recall that they were on a Delivery Trip , ran aground , could not refloat the Craft , so both went to sleep in bunks , to wait the turn of the tide , both found later the next day , apparently drowned , somehow the Craft had taken in so much water during the night possibly due to the angle that she had dried out , that she filled and sank as the tide rose .

My view is that if sleeping on board in similar sittuation , best to wear a Boyancy Aid ,non inflateable type , that will give boyancy , even when still asleep , (??) so that surely one will at least float while waking up ? maybe ?

Personnaly never wear a Inflateable Boyancy Aid inside any craft as stated above mjoon it could well trap the wearer
 

Capt Popeye

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Might mention , that there are tales of craft running aground , on a underwater bank (Sand Shingle ) then as the water level drops , the craft is tilted to such an angle that the Stern takes on water untill it slips below the water level as the craft fills up with Sea water as the Water level rises .
I understand that the East Coast of GB in generally a dangerous place to run aground on a falling tide , possibly leaving the Craft very vunerable to getting swamped by rising Sea levels
 
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SaltyC

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Sorry got to bite! Surely,if you are aground and drying out (falling the 'wrong way') you would stay awake, inflate dinghy, advise CG NOT go to bed??

Is the engineer being tooooo practical???
 
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