Skip to comments.Collision Suspected In Yacht Mishap That Killed 3
Posted on 04/29/2012 9:48:12 AM PDT by BenLurkin
NEWPORT BEACH (AP) A yacht involved in a race off the coast of California and Mexico apparently collided at night with a much larger vessel, leaving three crew members dead and one missing, a sailing organization said early Sunday. It was the states second ocean racing tragedy this month.
The 37-foot Aegean carrying a crew of four was reported missing Saturday during a 125-mile Newport Beach, Calif. to Ensenada, Mexico yacht race, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The Newport Ocean Sailing Association, the race organizer, said the accident occurred late Friday or early Saturday several miles off the coast near the ocean border of the two countries.
It appeared the damage was not inflicted by an explosion but by a collision with a ship much larger than the 37-foot vessel, association spokesman Rich Roberts said in a news release early Sunday.
Race officials believe there are few other possibilities for what caused the accident, Roberts later told The Associated Press, speaking by phone from Ensenada.
He said details were still scarce but it was possible that if the smaller boat was bobbing around in light wind, the crew might not have been able to get out of the way of a larger ship, perhaps a freighter. The race goes through shipping lanes and its possible for a large ship to hit a sailboat and not even know it, especially at night, he said.
Roberts said a race tracking system indicated that the boat disappeared about 1:30 a.m. PDT Saturday.
A Coast Guard search turned up the boats wreckage, including the rear transom with the boats name on it, the association release said.
Three crew members of the sailboat were found dead and a search was under way early Sunday for the fourth.
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One thing I learned from my boat owning days is that any body of water will try very, very hard to kill you. Oftentime in very unexpected ways.
A lot of racers don't like a radar reflector, up high on the mast, since it might offer wind resistance.
I know morons here in Texas that have large fishing boats who set their auto pilots and gps gear up such that they go out in the dark at 55mph plus to their fishing spots. This may not sound all that bad to some people familiar with boating until you understand that they do this while they are sleeping.
So does my bicycle helmet BUT I NEVER ride without it and I have 2 cracked ones that demonstrate my good sense.
It is hard to aim away from anything when there is no way to see it. Shall I say that old bromide about these unfortunates; that they probably died doing what they loved?
Well, “ intelligent”, jonascord
I have a nice little airplane I bought from a guy who would remove the tie down I bolts from beneath the wings.
Said they added to the drag.
Plane can go flat out 165mph and he’s worried about the 1/100th of a mph from some damn “tie down I bolts”?
Folks are foolish, a radar reflector can be made with little resistance.
I'm fresh on the RF equations, but the Reynolds numbers/aerodynamic stuff is rusty.
I still remember falling into a pool at 5 years old, unable to swim. Nobody saw me. I was lucky I was next to the ladder, saw it, and just climbed up and out like nothing happened. I was more worried about getting in trouble with parents than anything else.
After being out on an 18 ft skiboat in Little Traverse Bay when a storm started to hit (Lake Michigan), I have a real healthy respect for water.
AIS would have helped. A radar reflector *could* have helped, but even good ones don’t really give a sailing yacht a good signature. I would not be surprised if the bridge on the freighter was unoccupied.
And why was there no lookout on the sailboat? Or maybe they thought it was the oceangoing ships responsibility to look out for them and avoid them. Everyone in their bunks and the boat on autopilot? If you’re going to sea, you need to have a watch 24 hours per day. Please don’t tell me about the ones who have done it single-handed and made it around the world. They were idiots.
I would be very surprised if there was nobody on the bridge of the ship. It just is not done with professional seamen on big ships. There is an officer on the bridge 24/7 and a lookout at night. I don’t think you know much about big ships.
Someone, I forget who, once said that if you treat the sea with contempt, it will quickly kill you.
I'm not willing to say that they didn't have a reflector hoisted. Most race rules require them, for ocean racing, as well as EPIRBs and full life rafts. However, all you have to do is look at Hollywood to see that massive wads of cash does not automatically impart Total Knowledge.
Remember the Mark Twain story in "Life On The Mississippi" when,as a pilot, he ran over a log raft, because the crew had taken the required lantern into the shelter? Stupid is forever.
We used to have big boats and fished far off the Texas coast in the Gulf. We would NEVER do that, some one was awake and at the helm every minute! When we planned a trip 100+ miles off shore we left about 3 AM went slowly until it was light and then hooked ‘em up. Same if we were after dark coming home. You can hit a floating tree trunk or a barrel or any manner of floating junk. I am surprised to hear that your moron friends are still alive.
I’m not saying there was nobody *physically* on the bridge, I’m saying that whomever was on watch was not paying attention. Perhaps you are unaware, but it’s common knowledge amongst yachtsmen that freighters often run us over without stopping.
The tie down rings do nothing in flight and can be easily screwed in for tie down on the ground.
A radar reflector is a safety issue while moving. I bet the pane owner you mention never removed his transponder to save weight or the transponder antenna to reduce drag.
But in this case the yacht was being tracked by the race officials, and since all large boats require tracking systems, I would think that the collision must have be recorded in some way.
Was a Kennedy at the helm of the yacht? They have a history of getting their boats run over by slower ships.
Agreed, put it inside a glass ball and call it a Christmas tree ornament...
I always thought that "the laws of the sea" gave right of way to the sail boat over the power boat. Of course that can get problematical when the "power boat" is an oil tanker that takes a half mile to change direction.
I can't see up the mast far enough to see if they had radar, but I would be surprised if they didn't. This is a newish Hunter 376 and from the look of the size of the helmsman station console it was probably fully equipped. I've transited the Ensenada to San Diego area at night on a radar equipped sailboat and it can get crowded with fishing boats and who knows what. With a four man crew they probably had two crew on watch at all times during the night.