Entries in Sailboat (4)


California Yacht Club Mourns Member Killed in Sail Boat Race

U.S. Coast Guard(SAN DIEGO) -- A California yacht club on Sunday mourned the death of one of its members who was killed in a sail boat race over the weekend.

Craig Thomas Williams, a 36-year-old married father, was killed and five crew members were injured when their sailboat, christened Uncontrollabe Urge, lost steering and broke apart in the surf.

"[Williams] was a very integral member at our yacht club and it's a tragic loss," said Carey Storm, the commodore of the Silver Gate Yacht Club.

"To have one of our top racers to go out and for a weekend of a competitive race and have it end in tragedy, the loss of life, the loss of… injuries, the trauma to the entire crew, the loss of the vessel…It's just really difficult," Storm told ABC News' San Diego affiliate.

The Uncontrollable Urge was one of 40 vessels in the annual Islands Race, fighting to make their way along a 139-nautical mile course from Long Beach to San Diego.

A mayday call was issued by crew on board the 30-foot sail boat around 9:26 p.m. Friday after the boat's rudder failed, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

"The crew initially stated they were not in need of assistance and declined assistance from both the Coast Guard and other boaters involved in the race.  The sailors requested assistance from a commercial salvage company, however they were unable to launch due to weather conditions," the release said.

An attempt to anchor the boat around 11 p.m. failed, the Coast Guard said, and the boat drifted closer to San Clemente Island.

When the boat entered the crashing surf, the sailors were forced to abandon the vessel.

A helicopter crew rescued the six sailors and took them to a Coast Guard station where they were met by paramedics, however, officials said Williams was dead on arrival.

Chuck Hope, commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club, one of the sponsors of the race, said it could have been much worse.

"This was an excellently prepared boat," he said.  "The fact that we didn't lose six was a testament to the fact that they did have safety equipment on board.  They followed the procedures.  It could've been a much worse scenario."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Whale Sinks Sailboat Off Coast of Mexico

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- A California man was rescued after his 50-foot sailboat was struck by a whale while he was sailing alone about 40 miles off the coast of Mexico.

The impact from the collision disabled the sailboat's steering and the vessel began taking on water late Tuesday.

Max Young, 67, a retired Sacramento high school teacher, quickly stuffed a mattress into the hole in the ship's hull and activated several pumps.

Young also activated his EPIRB, an emergency radio beacon, around midnight which alerted the Coast Guard.

"The safety equipment he had on board allowed us to find him very quickly. It was a big reason why we were able to rescue him," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela J. Boehland.

The Coast Guard requested assistance from the Ocean Virgo, a Panamanian-flagged merchant ship. The Ocean Virgo was approximately 60 miles away and immediately headed to the scene.

"The fact the freighter was less than 60 miles away and was able to respond to our rescue request was great, but he was very lucky that he was able to be rescued so quickly," Boehland said.

The command center watch also diverted an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Sacramento to investigate the sinking vessel.

When the crew of the Hercules located and established radio communications with Young at about 2 a.m., he was bailing water from his boat. He had also deployed his life raft in case he had to abandon his boat.

The Hercules remained on scene until the Ocean Virgo arrived around 4 a.m., and Young climbed out of his boat via a rope ladder that was thrown by the ship's crew.

Young had been on the final leg of a trip from the East Coast to a marina in Emeryville, Calif., when the collision took place. Young has been sailing for at least 30 years, and having worked on boats with his father, who was a commercial fisherman, he's been on the ocean most of his life, his wife said.

Debra Young said she has been in contact with her husband while he's on board the Ocean Virgo, which is headed for Panama. He's not expected to be back to Sacramento for another few days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Two Dead, Seven Injured After Boat Capsizes in California

Comstock Images/Thinkstock (file photo)(SAN DIEGO) -- Two people died and seven others were injured after a boat capsized off the coast of San Diego Sunday afternoon.

According to authorities, the 35-foot sailboat flipped over near Shelter Island around 5:30 p.m.  ABC News affliate KGTV-TV in San Diego reported two men in their 50s or 60s were pronounced dead on the scene.  Another seven people, including three children, were transported to nearby hospitals to be treated for injuries, none of which were considered to be life-threatening.

An investigation is underway to determine how the boat capsized.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Elderly Man and His Dog Rescued off Coast of Mexico

ABC News(ENSENADA, Mexico) -- A 77-year-old man and his dog are safe after being stranded several days in high seas off the Mexican coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the man and dog from a disabled sailboat about 120 miles off the coast of Ensenada in Baja California Monday.

Shortly after 1 p.m., amateur HAM radio operator Rex Weinheimer picked up a mayday call over a HAM maritime network in Stonewall,Texas, near Austin.

"I heard someone calling, but I couldn't make it all out," Weinheimer told ABC News.  "The communications were so horrible that I could not tell the mental state or anything.  The signal would come up then drop out."

After 10 minutes of disrupted communication, he determined one person was aboard the disabled vessel.  Weinheimer said he also gathered that the boat was floating at sea in rough weather with broken sails and lines.

A commercial freighter, about an hour from the sailboat at the time of the call, was the first to make an attempted rescue, but rough seas prevented the freighter from getting close enough to the sailboat.

The HAM operator notified the U.S. Coast Guard, who dispatched a MH-60 Jaywhawk helicopter and a C-130 Hercules plane.

The rescue team battled 12-15 foot swells and high winds to reach the boater.

A Coast Guard swimmer eventually evacuated the man and his dog from the boat.  Both remained "calm considering being hoisted up in a helicopter at hurricane force wind," according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Henry Dunphy.  "The dog sat on the man's lap the whole flight back to San Diego."

Dunphy told ABC News the man, who wasn't identified, had no recollection of how many days he had been at sea.  The boat had set sail from Ventura, California.  Because he lacked food and supplies, the man and dog apparently had been at sea for several days, possibly headed to Tahiti, according to the rescue crew.

He was taken to a San Diego hospital for a medical examination.  Dunphy says both the man and his dog were fine.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio