Boating Accident News 10/19/2012

By Kristy Moore posted 10-22-2012 01:51 PM

10-16-12 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Team Oracle Boat Capsizes in Bay (10-16-12) High drama on the San Francisco Bay Tue. afternoon (10-16) after an Oracle Team USA boat AC72 capsized while practicing for the America's Cup race. The catamaran is a massive vessel with the hull alone weighing 13,000 lb. It's mast is 131.2 ft. high which is the height of a 13 story building. The 3 p.m. capsize turned into an overturn by 4:30 p.m. when the boat turned upside down.  By 5 p.m. the boat was breaking apart and looked to be a total loss. Tactician Tom Slingsby explained what led the boat to capsize: “We called for a bear-away as we were out training. The winds were blowing about 25 kts, and there was strong ebb current at the time. We started the bear-away, and as the boat accelerated it pitch-poled. We didn’t know what was going to happen with the new boat. When the nose went down, the wing hit and a few guys went in the water. We were unsure if the wing would snap, so we all climbed off the boat." Tow boats weren't enough to get ahold of the vessel, which was sucked out past the Golden Gate.
The wing of the ship was severely damaged. It appeared to break away from the boat just before 5 p.m. It was breaking into parts a few min. later. Four or 5 crew members were on the boat, but it wasn't clear what they were trying to do. There were dozens of pieces of the boat floating nearby. So far the USCG has not been called in to help, the rescue effort is a private one being done by America's Cup people.
The good news is that no one was injured when the boat capsized. Team Oracle said in a press release that the goal was to get the crew and the boat back to Pier 80. As of 5:15 p.m. California time it was not at all a sure thing they would make that goal.

"Capsize is turning into an epic rescue story. With darkness falling the team is still working to secure the AC72 catamaran platform and return it to the team base at Pier 80. Latest updates indicate the wing has been damaged nearly beyond recognition. The CG has been standing by to assist, but to this point, ORACLE TEAM USA is working on the rescue operation with its own resources.” Read full story here
10-15-12 VENTURA, CA  Boat stranded on beach south of Ventura (10-15-12) A 24-ft. power boat ran aground at McGrath State Beach S. of Ventura on Mon. night (10-15), the USCG said.
None of the 4 people aboard was injured. The CG declined to say what caused the boat to come to shore.
Read full story here
10-14-12 EAGLE MOUNTAIN LAKE, TX Operator missing after boat sinks in Eagle Mountain Lake (10-16-12) Authorities have searched a North Texas lake for a boat operator missing since his 26-ft. cabin cruiser was hit by a large wave and sank. A spokesman for the Tarrant Regional Water District did not immediately return a message Tue. (10-16) on the status of the search. Officials say about a dozen passengers were plucked from Eagle Mountain Lake following the accident Sun. afternoon (10-14) near the Fort Worth Boat Club. All were rescued by nearby vessels. Searchers by Sun. night located the sunken cruiser. Emergency personnel continued the search Mon. (10-15) for the missing man, whose name hasn't been released. Read full story here
10-17-12 PORTSMOUTH, RI Police Investigating Double Boat Fire at Marina (10-18-12) Portsmouth detectives are investigating the cause of a boat fire that began Wed. night (10-17) at Pirate Cove Marina. FD from around the area — including Bristol — responded to Pirate Cove Marina in Portsmouth just after 8 p.m. Wed. (10-17) after a report of 2 boats on fire. Police now say 4 boats were damaged during the blaze. There were no reports of anyone on board the boats at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported. At least 3 area FDs — Portsmouth, Bristol and Tiverton — fought hard to prevent the fire from spreading to surrounding boats in the busy marina. The USCG were also on scene to prevent hazardous materials from entering the bay. A crowd of at least 20 nearby residents and boatyard personnel watched from Point Road as a heavy, gray plume of smoke rose from the boats. Firefighters could be seen along the docks fighting the flames. The fire was located at the end of one of the marina's busy slips. Boats were docked closeby where the blaze was fought. The dept.'s first responders made an immediate call to stop the fire from spreading to other boats. A propane cylinder on one of the boats intensified the fire. Four boats were found to be damaged after the fire was extinguished.
One of the boats was a 25-ft., fiberglass powerboat. The 2nd boat, which appeared more heavily damaged, was a 1958, 40-ft. Richardson wooden boat. A 3rd and 4th boat were also believed to be damaged. The 3rd, a sailboat, received some minor damage. Police are also checking on a fourth boat, which might have sustained some heat damage. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Portsmouth detectives and members of the State Fire Marshal's Office were both at the marina. Read full story here
10-17-12 CATAWBA ISLAND TOWNSHIP, OH Coast Guard rescues men from boat fire off Catawba Island Twp. (10-18-12) USCG crew members rescued t2 men from a burning boat on Lake Erie near Catawba Island Township, Ottawa Co., Wed. afternoon (10-17). The CG has not released the names of the men involved in the incident. A search and rescue coordinator at CG Sector Detroit got a cell phone call from a Good Samaritan boater at 3:27 p.m. Wed. who said a nearby boat was on fire with 2 people aboard. A boat crew from CG Port Security Unit 309, which recently returned from deployment in the Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, was in the vicinity conducting training with 2 other boat crews. The crews responded within 5 min. to the area of the burning vessel, where they assisted the 2 men off the 38-ft. pleasure craft and transferred them to shore. The men were not hurt in the incident. Two additional rescue boat crews, one carrying 4 members of the Catawba FD, arrived a short time later. By then the fire had burned itself out, but the Catawba firefighters assessed the damage and made sure the fire was cleared. The boat was taken by a commercial salvage vessel to Gem Beach Marina. Read full story here
10-18-12 SEAFORD, NY Passengers Swim to Shore After Boat Flips in Seaford (10-19-12) Four men were forced to swim to shore after their boat flipped near the Great Island Channel in Seaford Thur. evening (10-18). According to Nassau Co. detectives, around 7:56 p.m., 4 Seaford men, 3 age 19 and one 20, were traveling on an 18-ft. boat when they struck marshland in Great Island Cannel, causing the boat to flip. The men swam to a nearby island. Three of them stayed on the island while the 4th swam to the mainland for help. Marine 6 and the Wantagh FD were dispatched and Marine 6 was able to rescue the men and bring them safely to John Burns Park in Massapequa. No injuries were reported. There is no criminality involved in this accident at this time, police said. Read full story here
10-10-12 PENSACOLA, FL Dead airman struck by boat while survival training (10-18-12) Military officials say an Air Force officer died after he was struck by a boat during ocean survival training at a Panhandle Navy Base. The Air Force told the Northwest Florida Daily News on Thur. (10-18) that Maj. Garrett Knowlan was struck by a boat in Pensacola Bay last week during a training exercise focused on how to survive after parachuting into water. Knowlan was stationed at nearby Eglin Air Force base and piloted the CV-22 Osprey. The military says his death is under investigation. Read full story here
10-14-12 SCOTLAND, MD Coast Guard rescues 2 from sinking boat in southern Md. (10-15-12) The USCG rescued 2 boaters off Point Lookout State Park in southern Maryland when their craft took on water. Officials say the 55-ft. boat got into trouble on Sun. (10-14). CG members helped the boat’s owners, a man and a woman, from the craft onto a utility boat and tried to remove water from it. The boat continued to list and rescuers had to leave it. The boat, which the owners had bought the day before, sank. Read full story here
10-17-12 HUMBOLDT BAY, CA Woman rescued from Humboldt Bay after boat capsizes (10-17-12) The USCG successfully rescued a woman Wed. (10-17) from a capsized row boat in Humboldt Bay. She was reportedly slightly hypothermic and transported to land near the Adorni Center in Eureka where medical personnel were waiting. Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Ken Woods said that when fire officials arrived, the CG was already in the process of rescuing the woman from her overturned row boat. He said the boat was visible from Samoa Bridge. "It was a very small boat," Woods said. "She was probably 1/3-1/2 mi. E. of the bridge." He said the CG rescued the woman using one of its boats, taking her to the Woodley Island dock. There fire officials and emergency medical personnel checked to make sure she was OK. Woods said the woman wasn't wearing a lifejacket. Read full story here
10-15-12 DOWNE, NJ South Jersey boaters rescued after boat battery dies (10-16-12) Three boaters had to be rescued when their boat’s battery died while they were cruising Indian Creek near Dividing Creek Mon. (10-15). They were located by a New Jersey State Police helicopter just before 11 p.m., according to State Police Spokesman Lt. Stephen Jones. It is unclear how long they were stranded, but Jones said that they had been out since at least daylight. Family members were alarmed when the group of 3 men didn’t return on time and alerted authorities to the past-due boaters. State Police marine troopers from the Port Norris Barracks went out on a boat to search for the missing men while helicopters from the State Police and USCG  kept watch from the air. When the boat was finally sighted, the helicopter crew radioed the troopers on the water to its location. All 3 men were safely taken off the boat and transported back to dry land. The boat was tied off so that it could be towed back to a dock at a later time. Read full story here
10-17-12 NEWPORT BEACH, CA Harbor View Dads Group on Boat Cruise Save Kayakers, Dogs (10-18-12) About 30 members of the Harbor View Dads booster group were enjoying a harbor yacht cruise Wed. evening (10-17) when they found an upside-down kayak and 2 people and 2 dogs in the water. “The dogs had life vests, the humans did not,” said Nik Froehlich, president of the group. The incident occurred about 6:45 p.m. The group pulled alongside the stranded boaters and pulled them and the dogs to safety. Then they helped upright the yellow kayak and helped them back on board. J.R. Means, managing partner of Bayport Yachts, provided the group’s boat for the trip and said they first noticed a cooler and paddles floating in the water in the channel between the mainland and Little Balboa Island. “We were starting to coast away from them, but it didn’t look right,” he said. They backed up and pulled them aboard, and some Duffy boaters helped retrieve their paddles, Means said. The dogs and the kayakers spent about 8 min. aboard, he said. Read full story here
10-14-12 SARASOTA, FL Police: Man who lived aboard sailboat drowned (10-18-12) A 61-y/o man who lived aboard a sailboat in Sarasota Bay died of an apparent drowning, police say.
James LaRive had previously described himself as homeless and was staying aboard a boat anchored in the city-owned anchorage at Island Park, near where his body was recovered Sun. morning (10-14). Release of his information was delayed until his next-of-kin could be notified. LaRive's death appears to be the result of an accidental drowning, but the investigation has not been completed. Read full story here
10-18-12 VENTURA, CA Ventura Harbor Patrol rescues kayakers (10-19-12) The Ventura Harbor Patrol rescued 2 kayakers Thur. (10-18). At 6:50 a.m., the patrol received a radio call from the commercial fishing vessel Defiant, which reported a kayaker 1/2 mi. offshore with another person in the water. The fishing vessel was unable to immediately lend assistance due to its size and maneuverability.
Patrol officers responded in their rescue vessel and arrived on the scene within 4 min. of the report. Once there, they found a kayak with one person aboard and another in the water. Patrol officers immediately pulled the person in the water onto the rescue vessel and learned he was in the water for about an hr. and that when he had tried to climb onto the kayak, it capsized. Officers also took the other kayaker aboard, along with the small boat. The unusually warm weather and water helped the victim fight off hypothermia. No medical attention was needed and the 2 were returned to the Harbor Patrol office. Officers gave them a ride back to their car and assisted in loading their equipment. Both victims were Ventura residents. Read full story here

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