Friday, October 25, 2013

Banned For Life For Asking For Help

I was banned for LIFE by the Cruiser and Sailors Forum for posting a response to some negative information about the Nina search.  My post read:

"Actually, there are some exciting things going on in
the Nina search. The use of satellites to locate a boat
in the Immense Tasman Sea will eventually save other lives. The worst thing we can steal from others is hope.

Fortunately, not many people have long term survival at sea stories because most get rescued. Those who do have stories, like John Gelnnie, who spoke to us while the Nina families were in Texas, was an inspiration. John survived 119 days on the East side of NZ. He is happy he rescued himself.
Unfortunately, in the Tasman, rescue may be more critical, as boats can get caught in a never ending merry-go-round of the reverse circulating currents. 

The good news, the Nina had good store on her. She likely had engine failure due to fuel starvation.  The text message sent indicates her sails were blown out. It is spring time in the Tasman, lots of rain for water and fish to eat.  There is no evidence the yacht sank, no flotsam, nothing.  They did a thorough search of the shore line and found nothing.

Let's stay positive, the search continues, new technology is being applied, all of us may benefit from that. We hope to bring the sailors home. If anyone is interested in looking for the Nina on satellite images pm me and I will get you set up!"

After posting this, I emailed one of the administrators on the board who had given me two strikes on a three strikes and you are out policy for posting a copy of a press release about a meeting the rescue team was having in Houston, Texas.  Sailor, John Glennie, who survived 119 days in an over-turned catamaran was set to speak and I wanted to let Houston sailors know about it so they could attend.

Unfortunately, I neglected to spot the four words about the search willing to accept donations. Out of a 1000 word release, I should have noticed.   For that, they gave me the two strikes because they don't allow "solicitation for donations" on their site, a rule i respect.  Frankly, it was a release about the event, not a solicitation for donations.  

So here I am, offering to set people up to search for the Nina on satellite images. All you have to do is log into the website, Tomnod, and off you go. My email to the admin asked for that permission.

The next day when I got up, I found I had been banned for life by Angela from the Cruisers and Sailors Forum. Her message read:

" Hello Tim

We have been extremely tolerant of your repeated posts calling for donations to Texas Equusearch (both for the missing yacht Nina and for Lady Domina) and for members to support Tomnod, who appear closely linked with Texas Equusearch.

You have had repeat personal messages to quit soliciting members, including a strike for doing so. You requested posting another link to Tomnod. This was not granted, yet you went ahead and asked members to contact you via PM for details of how to look at satellite images for Tonmod.

With great reluctance you are being issued with a third strike and a permanent ban from Cruising Forum.

Yours sincerely


As usual, Angela got it wrong, but you can't make sense with her.  I never received a response to my query about being able to post a link to the Tomnod site.   However, why anyone would oppose an appeal to search for the Nina on satellite maps is a question Angela is not willing to answer.  More, Tomnod is a private web site owned by the imaging specialist, Digital Globe.  They are the guys who provide a lot of the images for Google Earth.   

 Angela claims Tomnod is associated with Texas Equusearch, a clear mistatement.  There is no affiliation, though Texas Equusearch is advising the families in the Nina search.  The families have been able to obtain images by Digital Globe.  The images are hosted on the Tomnod site.  Further, Texas Equusearch had nothing to do with the Lady Domina search, either.  More, I am not an 'official' Texas Equusearch volunteer, though I support their great work.  Certainly, at least one sailor on the Cruiser's Forum will benefit one day from the work they are doing.

If we can't convince fellow sailors to stand by the effort to save the 7 sailors on the Nina, how can we convince the rest of the world to support this wonderful cause?  When administrators on the Cruisers Forum toss people off their board who are working to inform the community, and to help save 7 lives, one has to wonder about the value of the rest of the information on their site.

Of course, you can't make these basic arguments to Cruiser Forum admins.   First, they don't listen.  Second, there is no place to respond to since once booted off you can't write to them.  After getting socked two points for posting a mere press release, they refused to communicate with me except to say, 'why don't you go somewhere else'.

Why anyone would oppose the attempted rescue of the seven sailors on the Nina, I have no idea.  Why anyone would oppose Texas Equusearch and the research they are doing in the field of search and rescue at sea is beyond me.  

At the least, nearly everyone who hears about the plight of the seven sailors wants to help.  Over 13,000 people have signed up to search for the Nina on the Tomnod website, including sailors.  We expected a few people to oppose the efforts to save the Nina Seven out of ignorance.  We just didn't expect that ignorance to come from fellow sailors.

I don't suppose it will do any good to get these basic arguments to Angela through a third party.  This is a lesson for all of us in the importance of explaining the great work being done, and I guess, that includes explaining to people who should be in the know.

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