Pix Jun 8 Cavtat

Steve Coughlan
Thu 8 Jun 2017 13:28

Had an incident at Cavtat in Croatia yesterday evening. In summary wind blew up from the west to Force 6/7 (from 270 degrees) in the afternoon Jun 8. Westralia was berthed stern to, tied off aft to the sea wall with the anchor laid out forward. Boat bearing was 240 degrees so the wind was blowing to the starboard forward quarter. The sea picked up and was pushing all boats back towards the sea wall. At about 4 pm I decided to motor out and sit at anchor as I had to pick up my wife Judith from the airport at 4:30pm and I had no one on the boat to keep an eye on, stopping it from hitting the sea wall.  After releasing the back mooring ropes from the sea wall I commenced taking up the anchor chain and slowly motoring out. The wind pushed the boat around to the port, across the bow of the French yacht moored next to Westralia on the port side. Westralia fouled the French boat’s anchor chain. As a result of all that the bow sprit of the French boat and its spare anchor smashed the port quarter gunwale of Westralia, damaging a section of teak, bending various stainless stanchions, stainless guard rails, bent the extension rod of the port davit, smashed the emergency fibreglass life raft capsule, releasing the raft. In addition damage was done to the French yacht including bent stainless guard rails, damage to the bow sprit, damage to the aft transom as the boat drifted back in to the sea wall as a result of Westralia fouling the anchor chain. I tried to continue winching in the anchor chain to pull Westralia’s bow around but to no avail. After reversing, bowthruster, and then forward  Westralia cleared the anchor chain of the French boat. I made my way out with my anchor chain still out 20 or 30 metres. I then noted the electrical anchor winch had tripped so I reset it, and then organised to safely anchor away from the seawall. After all that I took the dinghy in and had Lari take me to the airport to pick up Jude. Major stress event for me.


In addition to all that prior to leaving the sea wall I had a fall from the parasol due to very rough conditions, landing uncontrollably on my left chest and right knee, resulting I think in a cracked rib and bruised bone to my right knee. I caught up with Alphonse Clement and we exchanged details for insurance purposes and he kindly gave me a copy of photos he had taken prior to, during and after the incident.



Winds pushing boats back on anchor into seawall



View to stern of Westralia. Place blow up fender to protect stern of boat from seawall. Engine in forward gear to keep off wall.




Attempted to motor from wall. Shortly after this shot fouled chain of boat on port side and swung around beam too the bow, causing damage to port stern quarter gunwale, safety rails and life raft capsule.




Finally at anchor, life raft activated as are result of fouling port berthed yacht. Note anchor winch tripped whrn pulling away from berth, compounding problems.