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Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang #141536
04/29/08 04:39 PM
04/29/08 04:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 851
US Western Continental Shelf
hobiegary Offline OP
old hand
hobiegary  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 851
US Western Continental Shelf
Sorry for this downer post, but it is meant in good faith.

This is for those of us who have not learned how important it is to be ready for disaster; be dressed for the water temperature, and be prepared for being the only boat in the area while needing assistance.

A chilling and horrible story here!

This is the 7th year since this tragedy occurred. Sven Schang lost his life on a beachcat in cold water. He capsized and never lived to tell about how difficult it was to right the boat nor, how the cold water paralyzed his attempts.

This is the story of Sven. It happened exactly 7 years ago and I hope that people will learn from our late friend's mistakes.

This story takes the form of a compilation of postings that occurred on the yahoo group knows as beachcats. Please take a moment to remember our fallen friend as you read of his antics which, resemble how some of us have or still may, approach catsailing. Please learn and help others learn from Sven's fatal mistake.

THE STORY OF SVEN
compiled by hobiegary May, 2001



From: "Sven E Schang" <hooahsven@m...>
Date: Fri Feb 2, 2001 6:12 am
Subject: Re: [beachcats] righting a hobie 16



----- I went sailing yestaurday off the massachusetts coast. Anyway, I have

always sailed 14's and now I have a 16ft. hobie cat. I was flying a hull on

the open ocean when a thought occured to me...If I end up upside down am I

going to be able to right the larger boat? Since the water is freaking

freezing I only flew the hulls at low levels. Does anybody know if it is

possible to right a 16 with out a righting system?(Can you do it with a

single rope?) Thanks in advance, Sven.



From: <philipp.danbe@b...>

To: <beachcats@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Friday, February 02, 2001 2:03 PM

Subject: [beachcats] Re: righting a hobie 16



> Buoy Station 44013 - BOSTON 16 NM East of Boston, MA reported

> conditions yesterday at 3 PM (warmest readings) as:

> Air temp - 42.1 deg F

> Water temp - 39 deg F

> Wind speed - 9.7 knots

>

> What were you wearing??? You need to have a righting bag with you,

> you can't chance not being able to self-right. I have to say, Sven,

> you have very, very, very large........

>

> Speed Thrills,

> Phil Danbe - Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club, New Jersey, USA

> http://www.fleet250.org/

> H-17 #5885 [email]philipp.danbe@b...[/email]

>



From: "Sven E Schang" <hooahsven@m...>
Date: Fri Feb 2, 2001 12:50 pm
Subject: Re: [beachcats] Re: righting a hobie 16

I had a 5/4/3 full wetsuit on. I wasn't even cold. I surf year round, but

it's hard to stay warm sailing because of the wind and not being protected

by the ocean. It was incredible. When you go sailing, and it is just you

and the ocean....it turns into a religious experience. Sven





From: "Sven E Schang" <hooahsven@m...>
Date: Mon Feb 5, 2001 8:43 pm
Subject: Re: Racing 82 H16

Hi, My name is Sven and I have been sailing Hobie cats since I was 13.

I sailed a 14ft until a few months ago when I finally got a 16ft. Anyway, I

am old now.(28) and have decided I want to try racing my new cat. Can I

just show up and race? I have a 82 which is stock except for a mesh tramp.

Is it O.K. that I have the old style mast? Thanks in advance. Sven



From: "Sven E Schang" <hooahsven@m...>
Date: Tue Feb 13, 2001 5:38 pm
Subject: Re: [beachcats] Winter Sailing in MA

Since their are not a lot of sailing stories, because it is winter I

thought I'd let you guys know that it is O.K. to sail in Feb. I started the

day off snowboarding at MT. Wachusetts. The sun was out and as I was

ripping it up I noticed that it really did not feel that cold out. Next

thing I know I was going over 100 mph to make it home to Scituate,MA to get

some sailing in. I rigged the boat in record time and remembered to put the

plugs in for once. After my last trip about two weeks ago you guys were

telling me I should not be sailing alone and stuff like that, you should

really try it. To keep the catastrophe down I wear a 5-4-3 wetsuit under my

clothes. I surf all winter why should I not sail. As long as I stay within

a mile or so my risk is also cut down. In addition, although the lobster

boat guys are dicks and do not respect my right of way they might save me.

Anyway, the wind was not great but sailing alone with just the ocean

glistening and the sun coming down was epic, and I was never even cold.

When I was derigging I found a new "stupid" thing you guys could add to the

survey. Have any of you forgot to put the pin in when demasting. The mast

crashes down and you look like an idiot. Sven



From: "Sven Eric Schang" <hooahsven@m...>
Date: Wed Feb 21, 2001 1:14 am
Subject: Re: great day sailing in MA

I knew it was going to be a good day when my boat almost flipped over

when I was rigging it. I am not sure but my tow vehicle(Mazda Miata) might

have flipped with the boat if I did not jump on the hull so quickly! I

remembered to put my plugs in but forgot to rig the jib right. At first I

could not understand why the boat wanted to pitchpole so badly. I was going

to go in because I figured it was too windy then I saw that I had the clasp

on backwards.(jib was pulling boat under somehow) I put myself into irons

and climbed out onto the hull to fix my clasp. It might as well been lava

under me cause the water was so cold. For all of you worrywarts, I had

thick rubber on but it would have really sucked to fall in the soup. After

I fixed my jib I found out what it is like to skipper a hell cat. It was

victory at sea conditions. My heart was in my throat for about four hours.

The wind was very unpredictable. At points it would just be strong then

gust would get me flying high. At one point I thought I was all done. You

know the point when you are flying a hull and trying to sheet out turn into

the wind etc....and then that moment when the boat seems to stop. This is

the moment you know you have lost the battle. I hit this moment but my

guardian angel or a wave or whatever righted me just before all was lost.(Do

not try this at home) Anyway, if I flipped I would have been O.K. When I

came back into the harbor my fiance was on the jetty waving to me. I had a

perfect day and survived to tell you guys about it. Sven.



From: sven schang <hooahsven@y...>
Date: Tue Apr 24, 2001 5:54 pm
Subject: Wind speed of MA coast?



Hi, I went sailing today and it was like victory at

sea! I was catching air off of steep waves. I got

both hulls out of the water a few times when I was

going upwind. When I was going downwind I thought I

was going to pitchpole as I headed down each wave. I

was not even on a broad reach. I think if I went with

the wind my boat would have become a plane. I was

sailing on adrenalin because it got way too windy. I

had to take the jib of in irons because it was making

me nervous I was going to pitchpole. I had a lot of

fun and managed not to go into the frigid ocean. I

was reading the "high wind" posts and was wondering

how fast the wind was in Scituate MA. If anyone knows

please reply.

From: sven schang <hooahsven@y...>
Date: Mon Apr 30, 2001 7:38 am
Subject: Cape Cod MA launch spots



Hi guys. I have tomorrow off and want to visit Cape

Cod. (1hr from house) I was wondering if anyone knows

of any good launch spots. I would like to go around

the tip P-town area, welfleet etc. In addition, I

still was wondering if anyone can right a hobie with

just a regular rope by themselves. Any of you studs

able to do it. (I should'nt call you studs when I am

going next to P-town tomorrow) Little phobic...Sven



---------------------------------------

MISSING BOATER FOUND DEAD

Rough seas may have caused a Scituate man's catamaran to capsize off

Provincetown.

By EMILY C. DOOLEY

STAFF WRITER



PROVINCETOWN - Sea conditions and human error are being blamed for the death

of a 29-year-old Scituate man who was last seen heading out for a sail from

Herring Cove Beach Tuesday afternoon.



Garbed in denim jeans, a T-shirt and a life jacket, Sven Schang, parked his

truck and trailer at the beach and left on his 10-foot Hobie Cat catamaran

around 1 p.m.



Around midnight, Provincetown police spotted his truck and trailer and group

of people who had seen Schang take off. They told police Schang said he

would return by 7 p.m. for high tide. His fiancee later confirmed that he

was overdue.



The Coast Guard started searching about 12:30 a.m. yesterday for the missing

boater with a 47-foot rescue boat crew from Station Provincetown and a HH-60

Jayhawk helicopter air crew from Air Station Cape Cod, petty officer Michael

Brown said.



At 2:30 a.m., the Jayhawk crew discovered Schang, unconscious and floating

on top of his capsized catamaran about 2 miles off Race Point. Brown said he

was found lying on the tarp of the catamaran, which sits in the water when

overturned.



Brown attributed the accident to sea conditions and personal error. "A

little wave could have just flipped it over. And he wasn't dressed properly

for the water temperature."

Schang was hoisted into the helicopter and flown to Barnstable Municipal

Airport in Hyannis where a waiting ambulance transported him to Cape Cod

Hospital.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.



Schang was the second boater to die in two days in Massachusetts, prompting

the Coast Guard to issue a warning to recreational boaters.



Steven Hockey, 18, of Bridgewater was presumed drowned after strong currents

swamped the small motor boat he and his brother, James Burke, 21, were

piloting Monday one-quarter mile off Scituate.



According to the Coast Guard, the average survival time for a 180-pound

person in 45 degree water is one to three hours but exhaustion and

unconsciousness can occur within 30 to 60 minutes.



With that in mind, the Coast Guard recommends all boaters wear life jackets,

bring protective clothing and carry a radio or communication device.



It is also wise to tell someone where you are going and how long you will be

out on the water.



The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free boating safety courses. For

information, call 1-800-368-5647.



Copyright © 2001 Cape Cod Times. All rights reserved.



Cape Cod Times home page:

http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/index.htm

This Article:

http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/missingboater3.htm








Sven Eric Schang
2001-05-06

Sven Eric Schang, 28, of Scituate, MA, formerly of Brookfield, died
May 2, 2001 following a sail boat accident off the coast of
Provincetown on Cape Cod, MA.

Mr. Schang was born in Bridgeport CT, a son of Robert Sven Schang and
Claudia Marilyn (McKee) Schang Killackey. He was educated in the
Brookfield, CT school system where he played football, basketball and
excelled in track during his years at Brookfield High School. He
attended the University of Massachusetts and was due to graduate with
a degree in English and Business.

Mr. Schang had been employed at Circuit City in Braintree, MA as a
sales consultant. At the time of his death, he had a contract to
start his own brokerage and financial planning office in his hometown
of Brookfield, CT. He was a veteran of the US Army, having served
with the Airborne Rangers, 42nd Battalion Specialist. His hobbies
included; sailing, surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, skiing,
music, computers/electronics, rebuilding classic cars, running, his
guitar and writing. While living in Scituate, Mr. Schang was a member
of St. Mary of the Nativity Church.

Surviving are his father, Robert Schang and his wife Lisa of
Brookfield; his mother, Claudia Killackey and her husband, Thomas of
Sharon, CT; a brother, Bob Schang of Brookfield; two sisters, Tara
Schang of Brookfield and Heather Schang Sadler of Kent, CT; nieces,
Sara and Leah Sadler and a nephew Shane Eric Sadler; and his beloved
fiancee, whom he was planning on marrying next year, Erin Elizabeth
Amato of Scituate, MA.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Marguerite Church,
Brookfield, Wednesday, May 9, 2001 at 10 AM.

Friends may call the Cornell Funeral Home, 247 White Street, Danbury,
on Tuesday, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 PM.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Sven Eric Schang
Scholarship Fund, c/o Cornell Funeral Home, 247 White Street,
Danbury, CT 06810.

Respectfully Submitted,
GARY


Santa Monica Bay
Mystere 6.0 "Whisk" <--- R.I.P.
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: hobiegary] #141537
04/29/08 05:37 PM
04/29/08 05:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 5,558
Key Largo, FL & Put-in-Bay, OH...
Mary Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Mary  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 5,558
Key Largo, FL & Put-in-Bay, OH...
Thanks for reviving that story, Gary.

Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: hobiegary] #141538
04/30/08 07:19 AM
04/30/08 07:19 AM

A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A



sad story. Could have and should have been avoided.

When i first got into beach cats... we had a local sailor who de-masted and was swept into the gulf. This was the week of 9/11 and there was no one else out. He had no water, no sunscreen, no cell phone, no anchor, no paddle...

He and his crew slept wrapped in the sails and were luckily found and rescued by a shrimp boat that was coming in because of a pending hurricane.

I learned several lessons from hearing him tell that story. Even though I sail mostly on weekends, when there are lots of other boats around...

I carry all the items mentioned above, plus a homemade first aid kit with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and bactine (suffered a few foot infections last year that could have become very serious), some extra foul weather gear in dry bags (in my hulls), some emergency tools and spare parts (I too de-masted in the gulf last year, but had a friend who’s spare parts let me re-mast) and a few flashlights (have been caught off guard and ended up sailing back to the beach in the dark).

I will gladly suffer with the extra 10-20 lbs of gear in exchange for any and every time I have / will need any 1 of these items.

PS I also have a righting bag

Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: hobiegary] #141539
04/30/08 11:48 AM
04/30/08 11:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 162
Dunedin Causeway, FL
hobiephil Offline
member
hobiephil  Offline
member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 162
Dunedin Causeway, FL
Quote

From: <philipp.danbe@b...>
To: <beachcats@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2001 2:03 PM
Subject: [beachcats] Re: righting a hobie 16
.
.
Buoy Station 44013 - BOSTON 16 NM East of Boston, MA reported conditions yesterday at 3 PM (warmest readings) as:

Air temp - 42.1 deg F
Water temp - 39 deg F
Wind speed - 9.7 knots
.
What were you wearing??? You need to have a righting bag with you,
you can't chance not being able to self-right. I have to say, Sven, you have very, very, very large........
.
Speed Thrills,
Phil Danbe - Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club, New Jersey, USA
http://www.fleet250.org/
H-17 #5885 [email]philipp.danbe@b...[/email]


I remember writing this. I just had a bad feeling so I made sure I checked the conditions and I tried to make sure my post was made in a light-hearted manner so he might listen instead of get pissed off. But, it still didn't work.
Good idea bringing it up again, Gary. Maybe it will save someone else.

Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: hobiephil] #141540
05/01/08 07:58 AM
05/01/08 07:58 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 297
R
rexdenton Offline
enthusiast
rexdenton  Offline
enthusiast
R

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 297
I stumbled upon this terrible story it I was looking for launch points on the Cape, and nearly choked reading the ending. I think of this story everytime I sail alone or in cold water. Sailing is only fun only if nobody gets hurt.

ALWAYS consider the following when sailing (*any* boat):
1) Sail the buddy system when you can. Go out with other boats, especially under testing conditions.
2) Hypothermia is very dangerous to most terrestrial mammals; we are not evolved to live in water. Humans easily die of hypothermia in 80 degree water (with enough time). It is real fast, and real confused in cold (<60 degree) water. (Google hypothermia, and ask yourself if thats the way you want to go.) Always dress appropriate to the risk of exposure. No exceptions!
3) Try it before you fly it-know your limitations. If you can't right your boat solo with people around you, you probably can't do it in a cold, pitching ocean swell with nobody around you.
4) Alone? Bring a phone, or a radio with you. Its just common sense.
5) Tell people when you will be expected back ashore, where you will be located, and if possible, where you will be sailing.

Just my two cents. Thanks for reposting. The life you save may be your own.

R


Nacra F18 #856
Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: rexdenton] #141541
05/01/08 03:52 PM
05/01/08 03:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
P
phill Offline
veteran
phill  Offline
veteran
P

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
I remember reading Sven's post about righting H 16 solo before and then reading about the tragedy.
Every time I see a post about a newbie wanting to sail by themselves I think of Sven.
Safety is something that should be considered very seriously by all.
The safest way to sail is with a club where there is plenty of support both on and off the water.


I know that the voices in my head aint real,
but they have some pretty good ideas.
There is no such thing as a quick fix and I've never had free lunch!

Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: hobiegary] #236285
08/13/11 02:02 PM
08/13/11 02:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
E
Erin Offline
stranger
Erin  Offline
stranger
E

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
Hi,
I was Sven's fiance. It has been ten years since the morning I kissed him goodbye for the last time. I joined this group to advocate for safety in sailing or whatever adventure you are on. Sven loved life and lived it to it's fullest. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him and our life together. Please be safe and think about how your actions not only will effect yourself, but your loved ones.

Erin

Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: Erin] #236292
08/13/11 08:53 PM
08/13/11 08:53 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,304
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline
veteran
TeamChums  Offline
veteran

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,304
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
Erin,
Thank you so much for keeping this thread alive. I still remember the first time I heard about Sven. I was pretty new at the time too. I have to say, Sven's tragedy has pushed me in the direction of taking all the safety precautions I can think of.


Lee

Keyboard sailors are always faster in all conditions.
Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: TeamChums] #236308
08/14/11 02:21 PM
08/14/11 02:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 431
Netherlands
DennisMe Offline
addict
DennisMe  Offline
addict

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 431
Netherlands
The first time I read this thread Sven's story stuck.
I'm really sorry for your loss Erin. Had a hard time righting my own Nacra 5,2 last wednesday. Made me think of Sven again. Chilling how this thread popped up just now. I was lucky, warm water and a safe gravel beach with lots of (too much!) help. But it made me re-think my arrogance / complacency once again... Who says I'll be safe next time.

Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: DennisMe] #236401
08/16/11 09:54 PM
08/16/11 09:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
E
Erin Offline
stranger
Erin  Offline
stranger
E

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
Thanks Lee and Dennis. It's amazing the impact his life and death had on so many people around the world! Stay safe while enjoying life!

Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: Erin] #236419
08/17/11 11:04 AM
08/17/11 11:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 930
Solomon's Island, MD
S
samc99us Offline
old hand
samc99us  Offline
old hand
S

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 930
Solomon's Island, MD
This is a tragic story. I have had a few close calls, and am fortunate to live in an area where there are people on the beach ready to call for help if I can't get the boat upright solo. At the same time, I've decided it is far safer to sail with a buddy on a bigger, more stable platform (TheMightyHobie18) and will likely sell my H14 for this reason.


Scorpion F18
Re: Memorial. The Story of Sven Schang [Re: samc99us] #236430
08/17/11 08:52 PM
08/17/11 08:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,911
South Florida & the Keys
arbo06 Offline
Pooh-Bah
arbo06  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,911
South Florida & the Keys
Don't ever sail alone in the open ocean unless you are part of an event or have coordinated with other sailors. Small bays and lakes offer that type of security, the ocean can turn in a second.


Eric Arbogast
ARC 2101
Miami Yacht Club

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