Assuming it is the accident report Tome - I have not downloaded from your link to double check - 'tis just as a few of us predicted. No credit for that, just that despite the disbelief of others, some who seemed not to understand the difference between their little 30 footer touching the bottom and a ship doing so, it usually is that the fault lies just as the M5 report places it.
Aha! I had not realised the exact circumstances ands i should retract all my earlier complaints and carping.
It seems that having realised at midday that the boat had to be moved, they didn't do so for an HOUR. Why? Well, they had to wait until the people who had gone shopping came back from the market/shops and then they all ate the nice lunch they had brought with them. Unfortuantely the report doesn't say what the lunch comprised but since it needed two of them it must have been excellent.
Now, altho this isn't RYA approved it is most certainly approved in France that NOTHING can interrupt lunch. It says "lunch was a quick affair as usual" - hence it only took 45 minutes from when the crew came back, which is rather rushing things as a normal french lunch might take 2-3 hours, see?
It's very pleasing that the owners and all certifying authorities agree that interrupting lunch to move anchorages is simply unacceptable even tho fixing the boat might cost a few million quid, and hence all charges and issue of blame should be disregarded.
Likewise, starting the engines before lunch would be unacceptable cos it would have made it a teensy bit more noisy during the lunch.
Also, they weren't in the actual anchorage and were instead further north - because where the were was more convenient for zipping ashore to buy lunches.
Why didn't they go to Villefranche? - because the shopping isn't so good there for lunch, see, AND perhaps it might need a pilot so that would interrupt the pilot's lunch as well!
Should crew have been forbidden from going ashore as the wind rose, at 11:30? - Of course not! - that would mean scratching around for lunch from the numerous onboard fridges instead of having a nice fresh salad etc from the market ashore.
Not sure why only 3.7 times depth of anchor chain was down instead of nearer 5x for overnight stops, but it doesn't seen to be a huge issue and I expect there's a perfectly good lunch-related explanation for that as well.
Cant see the grounds for a prosecution in the report. None of its good but its phrased to conclude that what they did was inline with their training and that the design of the holding gear although poor, (as we now know), was inline with the most rigorous stands available, (LR).
It seem to me that the most sinful things they did was not to have any system for indicating that the anchor was dragging, anchor watch or what ever, electronic or otherwise, (especially at night). And not having a system of recording weather information from the NAVTEX – it being out of paper.
Prosecutable ? I doubt it. Won’t do his career any good though.
Well, I don't pay much attention to what happens to very large yachts when they go aground through dragging and grounding, as very few do near here, but the last one I knew all the details of the skipper was prosecuted, found guilty and fined, purely because no anchor watch had been stood. That despite the fact there was very little damage to the vessel.
No good anyone in charge of a large vessel saying in their defence that an anchor watch was unecessary in the conditions - the fact that they have dragged and grounded is obvious evidence that it was, in fact, needed.
Well I guess it's open season on this affair again!
It wouldn't be in the spirit of this forum for me to get all defensive and upset about whatever other members write about the IOM report. I do expect a great deal of criticism, some (most) of it justified and based on the now known facts, and some of it just for a laugh. I am OK with that as long as it's based on material in the report. So before any of you ask, and even if I did know (which I don't), I would not get into the whole "is he going to get prosecuted or not" question. He's still in charge, and my parents are aboard right now, so they must still trust him.
As usual TCM you are right about almost everything, except the lunch thing. I know it's just an example of the usual (and much adored) TCM writing style and analysis, but I think there is so much real stuff to "go after" in this report, that it is not worthwhile making other stuff up. So, while I know that much of what you write is tongue in cheek, and I also know that I must try not to sound too defensive, but I think that we can kill off the excessive-lunch-caused-the-grounding concept. We have a bunch of new (or should I say, updated) rules aboard M5 because of this incident, but none of them revolve around how the crew eat.
As I mentioned to you when you came to see M5, the engine starting procedure has been altered, the communication process revised, and various other issues examined. She's fully booked for next summer (except the Monaco GP...anyone interested?), and we're taking Christmas bookings (probably raising the fee too). Several clients are repeats so people are not scared to come back. Oh dear, this is starting to sound too defensive, so I had better stop. See you guys soon.
If it had been a "Normal" less high profile boat maybe the report would read-
Wind got up a bit, sod it we were on a lee shore.
Oops the new anchor we'd not really tried dragged,
Anyway with a bit of help we got her off Ok and no one got hurt. Bit sad we got a couple of bits bent, but all better now.
Thinks, note to self - bit more chain next time chaps.
Firstly of course, sorry about the lunch-centric silliness, which i hasten to confirm is total garbage i made up this morning.
As we discussed, there were a bunch of factors.
I spose it's interesting that we are both passionate about this - you that the boat isn't denigrated, me that a fab boat isn't whacked on rocks. But this is a very focussed issue of what happened on that day, in that place, all under someone else's control. It's undeniably a magnificent boat, and as you know, everyone wants it to stay that way.
I am pleased that you were wrong to worry that all the earlier conjecture and comment might cloud the actual issues or subsequent reports, and also wrong to worry that people might not charter it.
But it remains my view that it shouldn't have happened - despite the fact the kit being within the regulations - and that altho the skipper/crew also acted within regulations - they could have done a lot better. Losing the anchor in south of france in late summer isn't usually a lifethreatening thing - it just costs a load of money in spoilt holidays and boatfixing. I expect the skipper knows this very well- hence i didn't really need to confront him and say "hey, that was a bit daft, wasn't it, hm?" when we met.
As you said, it gets nowhere by dismissing/whatever the skipper - especially if he heads a crew that gets repeat bookings. Mind you - I just bet the anchor won't be allowed to drag again!
The only reason we're tallking about it is cos it's a fab boat. I mean, for example, if i was skipper on some manky boat which dragged its anchor I bet it wouldn't even get the merest mention, ever!
Hey Matt. You're right. It should never have happened. But it did. I am happy for people to discuss the issue, because I can see that it is done out a sense of anger for potentially endangering a truely awesome vessel (and of course the crew and other bystanders). If people feel this way it is because they respect what M5 represents, in an engineering and technological context. How can I be upset about that? When you push boundaries, stuff is going to come up that no one thought about before, and so some of this has proved useful (but expensive). That there was a degree of human error is no longer a question, although perhaps the size of that degree still is. There are some here, and on other boards, who think that Johnno should be hung drawn and quartered. It's not my decision, but I am happy that he is still there.
I know you were only teasing about the lunch thing. You are right about people only commenting about this incident because it's M5....I mean if YOU ever had an accident, whether it was in France, or somewhere less noticeable, like say ... Norway...... then I am sure that only a total moron would mention it in a public forum like this. What a git! Funny thing is, I still chuckle about it whenever it comes up. ....Joe
Not meant to re-open old wounds. However, there is huge interest in MV for the reason stated by others here. Actually, the report was a remarkably accurate repeat of the account we had from you shortly after the event so no big surpises.
What did surprise me was the statement in the SCTW regs which state that only 'If the Master considers it necessary, a continuous watch shall be maintained at anchor'. I can barely believe I read that, and cannot imagine any circumstances (day or night) where my nerves would allow me to stand down the anchor watch on MV. However, you can scarcely blame the skipper when he was operating entirely within the rules. You've already covered the other point about keeping the propulsion systems ready for immediate starting.
Anyway, looking forward to Monacco and the inevitable invite, where should I send the Navtex rolls?
Hi Tom...I wish I could invite you to Monaco, but I am not going since I can't afford the 30k for the berth.
I did watch an entire GP from the top of Mirabella's mast (160ft) many years ago. It is amazing, you see so much more of the race. We had a removable platform with railings (like the crow's nest on M5, but a little less glamorous) hooked it onto the mainsail track cars, and hoisted it with the mainsail halyard. It was freezing that year, and a nasty swell in the harbour (some of the ITV crew had to abadon their rented stinkpot), meant that we were swinging around quite a bit. Anyway, anyone into F1 (if there is there anyone left) would love to see that view.
We have somewhat changed our stance on anchor watches, but it is still not perfect. If the crew are exhausted then other accidents may occur, so we need to refine this further. Don't worry about the Navtex paper, trust me we have tons of it now!
I think the Skipper needs a damn good kick up the arse and docked 6 months pay IF he is allowed to remain at his post.
A ship of this magnitude should have had the safety bounderies (humanly as wel as technically) pushed out as far, if not further, than the limits that the design and technology was pushed, into unchartered wateres, so to speak.
I too found the no-anchor-watch revelation surprising but in this case the lack of an anchor watch was spcifically not the cause of the grounding. The master of the ship was on the bridge and knew immedaitely that the anchor had popped.
The faults were a combination of design and operation and the designers + crew could blame each other or share the blame.
So far as operation is concerned, it is clear (as JoeV had already explained) there was a dangerous combo of (a) lee shore plus (b) engine start takes longer than the time taken to hit rocks after an anchor pop. If one of those two factors had not been present, all would have been ok. Allowing that deangerous combo to exist is the master's responsibility
So far as design is concerned, the anchors did prove too small (for those conditions) and some of the maths in the report backs that up. If the anchors had been up to the job, it wouldn't have mattered that the dangerous combo mentioned above existed, the boat wouldn't have gone aground.
So, is a skipper supposed to assume the anchors wont work? If he is, he should be hung drawn and 1/4ed for allowing the above "dangerous combo" to exist. Is a boat designer supposed to assume the skipper might let the dangerous combo above happen? If he is, he should be HDQed for speccing poxy anchors.
The answer AFAIK is that neither of them is supposed to assume those things. This is one of those events caused by a combination of errors. No single person is at fault. There are no rules AFAIK as to what you can assume in yachting about the performance of others. There's no rule about how well the skipper should assume the designer has specced the anchor, and no rule about whether an anchor speccer can assume a skipper will always be able to motor away if the anchor pops. Maybe there will be in the future, but there isn't now.
So i wouldn't sack the skipper. He was imho partly to blame but a big share of blame lies with the designers. And I wouldn't sack the designers because a big share of blame lies with skipper (and you can't sack the designers, not now!)
All a bit on the fence I know, but that's how i see it.
A few other thoughts:
(a) getting the tow rope sucked up into the Hinckley jet wasn't very clever, doh
(b) the report was generally a bit lightweight in its analysis I thought, especially after all this time. It read a bit like a 5th form homework assignment
(c) Joe if we have a forum whip round for the £30k and no charter customer comes forward, can we come to the GP then?