The Tabor Boy Project

High School Tall Ship Concordia Sinks Off Brazil

You probably have read the news reports of the high school tall ship Concordia capsizing and sinking off the coast of Brazil on Wednesday and all of the students and crew being rescued after 30 hours adrift in lifeboats. I've been updating the Sea-Fever blog with "new" news if you have interest in keeping up with this story.

I know the Concordia and Class Afloat pretty well and think that this is a significant blow to sail training at a time when so many tall ship programs are struggling to stay viable.

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Comment by Robert C. Beauregard on February 25, 2010 at 10:37am
Wow. Micro bursts can be fierce, this one must have been exceptionally bad. Such a sad loss. Thankfully all are accounted for. Thanks for posting, I hadn't heard anything about it elsewhere.
Comment by James Hutton on February 21, 2010 at 12:00pm
It is tragic that a fine ship is gone but no lives were lost! I’m sure that it will be very easy for many (especially shore side desk drivers with little or no seatime) to look at this incident and be naysayers to sail training. However, again – not one of the 65 lives were lost! “That no life was lost is even more unbelievable after details of how everyone on board scrambled to survive after a microburst struck the ship, a sudden burst of wind with tornado-like force that has been attributed by some to the disappearance of aircraft and vessels in the infamous Bermuda Triangle”. I can’t help but feel that this is not “unbelievable” but due to modern practices, drills/safety-training, and equipment that make professional sail training (and commercial shipping) far safer. Only 20 years ago I sailed on ships that didn’t have EPIRBs and float away life rafts, among other safety equipment. Professional sail training is safe and this is a testament that under the very worst conditions, that not one life was lost.

Sail training will always be an invaluable growth experience for people of all ages. Yes, there are risks involved but they are acceptable risks. All of the most inspiring leaders that I know and work with have learned through experiences where calculated risks were involved. Sail training teaches you how to approach risk and mitigate it – a lesson that will stay with you for life. It would be a terrible mistake for people to use this incident as an attack against sail training.

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