Another bar crossing gone wrong

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    Posted: 29 Apr 2024 at 11:06am
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https://www.1news.co.nz/2024/04/28/two-boaties-rescued-after-vessel-capsizes-in-akls-manukau-harbour/

Two boaties have been rescued after their vessel capsized in Auckland's Manukau Harbour this afternoon.





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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Phantom Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2024 at 11:59am
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I heard that unfold while we were out at Wellington Reef (Whangaparaoa) yesterday.   (Fishing was quiet there but had caught a 48cm snapper earlier near Moturekareka).  

CG Operations did a Mayday Relay asking anyone in the area to assist. Coastguard Air Patrol were on scene very quickly and able to give an accurate Lat/long for the upturned boat and the two folks clinging to the hull.Here's the CG comms on it: https://www.coastguard.nz/news-media/successful-rescue-off-manukau-bar/

There was also a Mayday Relay at 1pm for an incident involving a yacht that had run into a boat that was fishing off Army Bay.  I heard the Mayday Relay while we were at the southern end of Moturekareka so called in saying I was available to respond if needed. CG Ops said yes so it was time to wind the lines in, pull the pick and head across at WOT. Luckily the Hibiscus Coastguard vessel and a harbour master boat were very close by so I was stood down when I was about halfway there as they had pulled everyone from the water.  After I was stood down I decided to have a look at Wellington Reef as I was pretty close to it by then.

I was interested to see how many boats were a lot closer to the Army Bay incident than I was but they weren't listening on channel 16 (or 60) so had no idea that they could have helped.



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote rowboat bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2024 at 1:47pm
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2m swell and a dropping tide at the time of capsize. They are lucky to have escaped with their lives . All the capsizes off the Manukau as far back as I can remember , were during an out going tide , pushing against a decent swell. People may think 2m swell is doable , but that is the average swell height to the back of the wave . A significant wave could be double that , and against an outgoing tide , the breaking wave faces could easily be 5m or more. A bit big for most trailer boats.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2024 at 7:03pm
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Originally posted by Phantom Menace Phantom Menace wrote:

I heard that unfold while we were out at Wellington Reef (Whangaparaoa) yesterday.   (Fishing was quiet there but had caught a 48cm snapper earlier near Moturekareka).  

CG Operations did a Mayday Relay asking anyone in the area to assist. Coastguard Air Patrol were on scene very quickly and able to give an accurate Lat/long for the upturned boat and the two folks clinging to the hull.Here's the CG comms on it: https://www.coastguard.nz/news-media/successful-rescue-off-manukau-bar/

There was also a Mayday Relay at 1pm for an incident involving a yacht that had run into a boat that was fishing off Army Bay.  I heard the Mayday Relay while we were at the southern end of Moturekareka so called in saying I was available to respond if needed. CG Ops said yes so it was time to wind the lines in, pull the pick and head across at WOT. Luckily the Hibiscus Coastguard vessel and a harbour master boat were very close by so I was stood down when I was about halfway there as they had pulled everyone from the water.  After I was stood down I decided to have a look at Wellington Reef as I was pretty close to it by then.

I was interested to see how many boats were a lot closer to the Army Bay incident than I was but they weren't listening on channel 16 (or 60) so had no idea that they could have helped.



Vhf radio. Mine is usually turned off or volume down so low.   All the clutter of trip reports and trying to talk over each other cant be bothered,more chance of me responding to a flare.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2024 at 8:29pm
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"Coastguard commends the skipper's proactive approach to safety. They logged a trip report, both individuals were wearing lifejackets, and they had an EPRIB onboard, although they were unable to activate it."

There is a message here for everyone.  I don't know how many times I have read this over the years.  The EPIRB needs to be readily accessible from the outside of the vessel so give some thought to where and how you store / place the EPIRB onboard.



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Originally posted by rowboat bob rowboat bob wrote:

2m swell and a dropping tide at the time of capsize. They are lucky to have escaped with their lives . All the capsizes off the Manukau as far back as I can remember , were during an out going tide , pushing against a decent swell. People may think 2m swell is doable , but that is the average swell height to the back of the wave . A significant wave could be double that , and against an outgoing tide , the breaking wave faces could easily be 5m or more. A bit big for most trailer boats.


Sobering. Good post. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Phantom Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2024 at 7:35am
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Originally posted by Pcj Pcj wrote:

]Vhf radio. Mine is usually turned off or volume down so low.   All the clutter of trip reports and trying to talk over each other cant be bothered,more chance of me responding to a flare.


Yeah, there’s a LOT of noise on 60/64 in Auckland. I just leave mine listening on 16 which is a lot quieter and where the Maydays etc. will be.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2024 at 9:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Kevin.S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2024 at 9:27am
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Originally posted by Fish Addict Fish Addict wrote:

"Coastguard commends the skipper's proactive approach to safety. They logged a trip report, both individuals were wearing lifejackets, and they had an EPRIB onboard, although they were unable to activate it."

There is a message here for everyone.  I don't know how many times I have read this over the years.  The EPIRB needs to be readily accessible from the outside of the vessel so give some thought to where and how you store / place the EPIRB onboard.

Wise words FA, I don't think that EPIRB manufacturers help much by providing brackets to mount them on.  When things go wrong, they usually do it very quickly in a trailer boat and the chances of grabbing it are slim at best.  At a recent bar crossing seminar Waiuku Coastguard said they had never been to a rescue where the alert was given by an EPIRB.

I keep my EPIRB, a handheld VHF radio, first aid kit, flares and some other odds and ends in a floating grab bag in the boat.  If crossing a bar I make sure that someone on board is responsible for having it close to them and taking it with them if we end up out of the boat for any reason.  Once it expires, I'll definitely swap the EPIRB for a PLB that can be clipped onto a life jacket.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2024 at 9:36am
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Originally posted by rowboat bob rowboat bob wrote:

2m swell and a dropping tide at the time of capsize. They are lucky to have escaped with their lives . All the capsizes off the Manukau as far back as I can remember , were during an out going tide , pushing against a decent swell. People may think 2m swell is doable , but that is the average swell height to the back of the wave . A significant wave could be double that , and against an outgoing tide , the breaking wave faces could easily be 5m or more. A bit big for most trailer boats.

Our beach launching is considered a bar trip - so we can't log on line reports. I get very marginal at 1.5m swell. It will depend on a bunch of factors after that, and even at 1.5 I may pull the pin. I held off for a few hrs for the turn of the tide and conditions to improve a couple of days ago (just on 1.5m). And my boat is usually one of the first to check the conditions, and I have had unwanted water in the boat twice this summer.
2m is getting serious, and as you state , there can easily be worse than that. Then there is the odd wave that seems to double up.
I totally agree that at 2m you are entering lottery territory. Even if you have a bigger boat, get caught the wrong way for whatever reason, you will still be toast.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2024 at 10:23am
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SoHave viewed the huia webcam that shows the bar.Interesting looking down at bar.Its not where I actually thought it is Viewing up high gives the appearance of a dog leg bar.Only been across once and have no interest in crossing again. I can see MNZ going through the motions of skipper cert boat licencing etc. Not that it will stop accidents.Have a licence to drive and we still crash/die on roads
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PLB on belt for me. 
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Quote Kevin.S "I keep my EPIRB, a handheld VHF radio, first aid kit, flares and some other odds and ends in a floating grab bag in the boat"
I used to do the same when I owned a boat.  In addition it would be tethered to a cleat / rocket launcher so you could pull the bag free from outside the boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Phantom Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2024 at 4:59pm
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I'm liking the discussion round grab bags etc.  To be honest I haven't put together a grab bag  for my boat ... yet.  I have pretty much all the bits and pieces ready to go (and in the boat) but have been slack with putting it all into a grab bag!  I think that will be a task for this Sunday (either before I hit the water or while floating around).
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2024 at 5:49pm
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Yes - it makes a lot of sense. Especially if your boat is upside down or underwater. Bit late then.
Thinking same plan.
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What would be a good grab bag, most of them look pretty large for a trailer boat I’ve got my eprib and flares in an orange dry bag.

I had one of these in my last boat but it went with it. It was a good bag floated well.

https://www.bargainboatbits.com.au/buoyant-safety-gear-grab-bag-with-strap
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Looks ideal. Could put a few sammies in there too.
As long as you remembered later. Next weeks project - if not this week. Just had to buy a new remote cable (gear shift) today, and steering cable on list. 
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After reading the skippers statement , two things stood out . He said he had 16 years experience . This is not very experienced compared to the 40 plus years a lot of us on this site have had, but enough to perhaps be a bit overconfident. He said they were returning at high tide at 2pm . This is a mistake, as high tide was at mid day . Two hours after tide turn on the Manukau,  sees it racing out . The tidal overfalls against a 2m swell will make for dangerous conditions as they discovered .  Personally I have a 1.5m max swell ( and dropping ) policy  , never risking a rising swell forecast and returning no later than half an hour after high tide as it is still slack water at that time. I'm not trying to beat up on the skipper here , more just point out some safer protocols that may help others avoid similar incidents. 
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As I have said before and based on personal experience it is an unpredictable dangerous place, in all but most benign conditions and even those are difficult to predict at times. I rather do beach launch off muriwai than go through that bar in my 4.9m stabi but these days choose not to fish off West Coast at all. Great fishing off there though!
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Originally posted by rowboat bob rowboat bob wrote:

After reading the skippers statement , two things stood out . He said he had 16 years experience . This is not very experienced compared to the 40 plus years a lot of us on this site have had, but enough to perhaps be a bit overconfident. He said they were returning at high tide at 2pm . This is a mistake, as high tide was at mid day . Two hours after tide turn on the Manukau,  sees it racing out . The tidal overfalls against a 2m swell will make for dangerous conditions as they discovered .  Personally I have a 1.5m max swell ( and dropping ) policy  , never risking a rising swell forecast and returning no later than half an hour after high tide as it is still slack water at that time. I'm not trying to beat up on the skipper here , more just point out some safer protocols that may help others avoid similar incidents. 

I have my own ideas when I consider it safe to cross the Manukau Bar. A lot of people refer to a 1.5m swell as being a safe upper limit. My ideas are this: I use Swell Map and if the swell is 1.5m or less at the Shelf Break AND the chop is 0.7m or less I consider it 'safe'.I cross at slack water. 

IF the swell is less than that with no big sets coming through and it is a small tide I'll consider crossing an hour or two after or before slack water but I'll think long and hard about that.

I have to agree with the experience comment. I've not done a huge amount more than this guy but I know people with around 1000 crossings under their belt and I'll seek their advice if I'm concerned. We had a poster here who would proudly state he had done 35 river bar crossings and considered himself an expert even though he had three very close calls in that time Beware of false prophets!

All bars are dangerous at times. Personally I wouldn't have even considered crossing that day - neither myself nor the boat are up to it but I know others who are more than capable.

A really telling part for me is that they didn't have the power to stay in front of the advancing wave.


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