Boating Accident News 5/10/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 05-10-2013 11:40 AM

05-09-13 SAN FRANCISCO, CA America's Cup Sailor Dies In Boat Capsize A 72-ft.long, high-tech catamaran sailboat capsized Thur. (05-09) in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America's Cup races this summer, killing an Olympic gold medalist from England and injuring another sailor. Artemis Racing said Andrew "Bart" Simpson died after the capsized boat's platform trapped him underwater for about 10 min. shortly after 1 p.m. Artemis and 2 other yacht teams, each outfitted with multimillion-dollar racing boats that can achieve speeds of 45 mph, are challenging defending champions Oracle Racing for the America's Cup, sailing's most prestigious trophy. Simpson, 36, served as the Swedish team's strategist. "The entire Artemis team is devastated by what happened," CEO Paul Cayard said in a statement on the team's website. "Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew's wife and family." British newspapers reported that Simpson is survived by a wife and an infant. Artemis Racing said doctors "afloat" with the team and on shore were unable to revive Simpson after he was freed from the wreckage. The other sailor suffered minor injuries, and the rest of the crew of about a dozen people was accounted for and taken back to their dock in Alameda. Officials said winds were blowing between 15 and 20 kts (17 to 23 mph) when the boat capsized. The Nat’l. Weather Service later issued a small-craft advisory, warning inexperienced mariners to stay off the bay and indicating winds of 21-33 kts (up to 28 mph). The Artemis boat flipped in winds of about 20 kts near Treasure Island, which is bisected by the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. The armada of rescue boats and helicopters were visible from the roadway. Simpson and the unidentified injured sailor were brought to shore as the St. Francis YC in San Francisco, where paramedics performed CPR on Simpson. He was pronounced dead a short time later. No deaths have been recorded during the actual racing for the America’a Cup since its inception in 1851. Simpson and his partner Iain Percy won an Olympic gold medal for England in 2008 in the Star class of sailing. The duo was expected to repeat in London in 2012 but was upset by a Swedish team and settled for silver. Percy is Artemis' director and the boat's tactician. The team announced Feb. 23 that Simpson was joining Artemis to "provide weather and tactics support" to the crew. Artemis Racing has had some technical problems. Last fall the front beam of its AC72 catamaran was damaged during structural tests, delaying the boat's christening. A year ago, Artemis' AC72 wing sail sustained serious damage while it was being tested on a modified trimaran in Valencia, Spain. Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority, said officials were investigating Thursday's accident. He said it was unclear what effect the death will have on the America' Cup races, which are scheduled to run from July to September. It was too soon to answer questions about the safety of the high-tech boats on the San Francisco Bay, Barclay said. "Obviously a catamaran is more prone to capsizing than a mono-hull," he said. "Whether boats are safe or unsafe, we're not going to speculate on those things." In addition to sailors wearing crash helmets and life vests, chase boats carry doctors and divers, Barclay said. The boats participating in the latest America's Cup more resemble a space craft than the traditional sloops that historically competed for the trophy. Financed by billionaire Larry Ellison, Oracle Team USA won the 2010 cup and made several changes to the races this year in an attempt to make the staid competition more fan- and TV-friendly. While much faster and more exciting than the sloops, the catamarans have proved hard to handle. The wing sail looks and acts like an airplane wing, improving the yacht's speed and maneuverability. The 7-ton boat's hulls are lifted out of the water and skim along the waves on "foils," reducing the drag on the boats and increasing speed dramatically. USCG Lt. Jeannie Crump said the agency did not know the extent of the damage to the Artemis boat. A commercial salvage boat would tow the vessel to Clipper Cove, between Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island, Crump said. She added that Coast Guard officials weren't sure what caused the boat to capsize. The Swedish team has 2 boats. Read full story here.
05-07-13 SAGINAW BAY, MI Coast Guard rescues four from sinking boat in Saginaw Bay The USCG rescued 4 people in Saginaw Bay from a boat taking on water Tue. night (05-07). The names and hometowns of the rescued have not been released. At 7:45 p.m., CG Station Saginaw River in Essexville received notification that a 24-ft. recreational boat carrying 4 people was taking on water near Channel Island in Saginaw Bay. The owner later said they began taking on water when several large waves entered the boat. The boat’s bilge pump was not working properly and the boat was sinking. A rescue crew launched from the station rescued the boaters, removed the water from the sinking boat and towed it to the Michigan DNR boat ramp near the entrance to Saginaw Bay. Read full story here.
05-06-13 COLUMBIA, SC Boat Rescue on Congaree A Midlands family had to be rescued from the Congaree River Mon. afternoon. (05-06). Recent rains have flooded the Congaree and created quicker currents. "We were driving around for about an hr. and the motor went out," said Joseph Wilkinson.  "We tried over and over to get it started but every time I'd put it in drive it would cut back off." Wilkinson was stranded on the Congaree Mon. with his wife and one-y/o son. "It's not usually this rough," he said.  "I saw one other boat out there and that should have been a sign there weren't any other boats out here." Along with the currents, boaters were cautious of big logs floating down the river, freed by the recent weather. "I didn't hit any logs, thankfully," said Wilkinson. His wife used a cell phone on the boat to call for help. Cayce Police and a family relative responded, towing the boat and everyone on board to safety. Read full story here.
05-06-13 SEATTLE, WA Firefighters quickly knock down house boat fire by Ballard Fred Meyer Firefighters were able to quickly take care of a fire on a houseboat by the Ballard Fred Meyer Mon. afternoon (05-06), according to Seattle FD Spokesman Kyle Moore. SFD received a call at 1:10 p.m. When they got there, at 1:14 p.m., the houseboat had heavy smoke and flames coming from it. But firefighters were able to respond quickly, knocking it down by 1:20 p.m. No one was on board the boat when SFD got there and therefore there were no injuries. The Seattle Fire Investigator determined the cause of the fire was overheated electrical. It resulted in $2,000-worth of damage.Read full story here.
05-05-13 KEY LARGO, FL Coast Guard Rescues 3 People, Dog From Capsized Boat A day on the water off the Florida Keys turned out not to be so much fun for 3 people and their dog after they had to be rescued from their capsized boat by the USCG. Sun. (05-05) the CG received a report of a disabled 21-ft. boat off Barn Sound. Rescue crews were sent to search for them by boat and plane. The capsized vessel was spotted with 3 people and a dog on top of the hull. They were picked up and taken to Key Largo. No one was injured. Read full story here.
05-06-13 HILLSBORO INLET LIGHTHOUSE, FL Boat catches fire at dock, no injuries No one was injured after a 60-ft. boat caught fire behind a home Mon. night (05-06). The blaze broke out just before 9 p.m. at a boat dock behind a home along NE 30th Terrace. Firefighters arrived on scene and extinguished the blaze. It remains unclear how that boat caught fire. Read full story here.
05-07-13 NEWTON COUNTY, AR Vermont woman dies in kayak incident on Buffalo River A Vermont woman died in a kayak accident early this week on the Buffalo River. A spokesman from the Nat’l. Park Service identified the victim as 79-y/o Sally Sairs.
The accident occurred Tue. afternoon (05-07) at 2:30 in Newton Co. when Sairs and a friend were kayaking upstream from the Ozark Campground and Sairs' head struck a tree and her kayak overturned. The companion she was with said Sairs was underwater for several min. before she could get to the kayak and she was unable to turn the kayak upright or get Sairs' head above water. Boaters floating down the river arrived on the scene and assisted with turning the kayak upright and getting Sairs out of it. It is believed Sairs was underwater about 40 to 45 min. prior to help arriving. NPS Rangers and members of the Newton Co. Search and Rescue team recovered the body. The Park Service says the river was running at 588 cubic feet per second. Read full story here.
05-08-13 CROW WING COUNTY, MN Brainerd woman's kayak capsizes, throws woman into river for 10 minutes A 23-y/o Brainerd woman fell into the Mississippi River after her kayak capsized Wed. (05-08), just N. of the Washington St. Bridge in Brainerd. Lt. Dave Larson with the Crow Wing Co. Sheriff's Office said that Brittany Kuntz, 23, Brainerd, who was wearing a PFD, was kayaking down the river from the Evergreen Cemetery landing in Brainerd and was planning to go S. to the Kiwanis Park landing. Larson said that Kuntz hit a log that extended out of the river and that tipped over her kayak. Larson said that the woman was in the river for about 10 min. before swimming to shore on her own. Kuntz was able to walk to Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Med. Center in Brainerd, which was nearby. Kuntz was treated and then released. Larson said that this was the woman’s 2nd time out kayaking. The 911 call came in at 1:34 p.m. that there was a female in the river yelling for help and that an empty kayak was floating down the river. Emergency personnel from the Brainerd FD, Brainerd PD, Crow Wing Co. Sheriff’s Boat and Water division, North Mem. Ambulance, and Minnesota State Patrol, that also had its helicopter out, searched for the woman. Emergency personnel located the blue kayak near the Laurel St. Bridge. Read full story here.
05-08-13 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, CA Body, kayak found near Avila Beach The body of a man in his late 30s was found in the water at Olde Port Beach near Avila Beach around 9:00 on Wed. morning (05-08). Part of Harford Pier in Port San Luis was closed while San Luis Obispo Co. Sheriff's officials investigated. They say there were no obvious wounds on the man's body. Investigators say earlier in the morning, around 4:00 am, employees with Patriot Sport Fishing found an abandoned kayak floating in the harbor. Read full story here.
05-05-13 OREGON CITY, OR Kayak instructor rescues 3 from Clackamas River A kayak instructor pulled 3 people to safety after their raft was stuck on a downed tree in the chilly Clackamas River Sun. afternoon (05-05). It happened near Carver Park, E. of Oregon City. Two women and a baby were pinned against a tree in the water. Chris Bensch was teaching a kayaking class in the river when he let a group of 6 people float by on 2 large rafts tied together, but then he realized they were headed for a large fallen tree.  He said, “They kind of got swept into it. They kind of made it through the 1st one, and then totally got pinned on the 2nd one, and I immediately swung into action.” Bensch said one woman’s face was barely out of the water as she was pinned sideways against a tree. The women had lifejackets with them, but the baby was the only person wearing one. Read full story here.
05-08-13 OUTER BANKS, NC Elderly Man Rescued From Sailboat After Unconscious For Hours An elderly man from Great Britain was rescued off our coast Wed. morning (05-08) by the USCG after being unconscious for several hours. A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from CG Station Elizabeth City rescued Trevor Wilson from his 24-ft. sailboat around 9:00 a.m. some 70 mi. E. of Kitty Hawk. The 72-y/o man says he was unconscious for 7 hrs. after he apparently fell and hit his head. Wilson was able to activate his EPIRB around 6:00 a.m. Wilson was taken to Sentara Norfolk Gen. Hosp. for treatment. Read full story here.
05-05-13 FOREST GROVE, OR Sailboat with 5 onboard flips on Hagg Lake Five people were not hurt after a gust of wind caused the sailboat they were on to flip over on Hagg Lake. The accident happened just before noon on Sun. (05-05). All 5 people were wearing lifejackets and they were able to make it to shore safely. A witness said that other boaters on the water tried to help. "I saw a 22-ft. sailboat go over sideways and then it just sunk to the bottom," said Forrest Pointer. "Cops went racing out. This party barge helped the guys out of the water and then they got them back to shore." A USCG team is making plans to recover the boat over the next few days.Read full story here.
05-03-13 HOUMA, LA Coast Guard rescues 2 from storm-damaged sailboat The USCG says a helicopter crew rescued a man and woman from a 36-ft. sailboat disabled by storms. The Courier reports that the crew also treated a cut on the woman's leg after she and the man were hoisted into the helicopter Fri. afternoon (05-03). CG Petty Officer Ryan Tibbetts said neither was seriously hurt. A passing offshore supply vessel spotted the disabled boat about 50 mi. SW of Terrebonne Bay and called the CG. Callais Offshore towed the damaged sailboat to Port Fourchon. Read full story here.
05-05-13 JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO Three fishermen safe after canoe overturns in Jefferson County Three boaters are safe after their canoe capsized on the Meramac River at Tesson Ferry and Meramac Bottom Road. Fenton, Saline Valley, and Mehlville FDs launched boats to pull the 3 fishermen from the waters. It happened just after 9:00 a.m. Sun. (05-05). Water rescue officials say all 3 people were pulled from the water and were taken to a local hosp. to be checked out.Read full story here.
05-06-13 CENTER HARBOR, NH Man rescued from NH lake dies The New Hampshire Marine Patrol says a man who was rescued from Lake Winona by someone in a canoe has died. The patrol says 66-y/o Spencer Hadlock of Ashland was operating a 14-ft. boat powered by an outboard motor Sun. morning (05-05). Witnesses said Hadlock was reaching back toward the motor from a seated position when he fell overboard. He was seen treading water before submerging. The person in the canoe got Hadlock to shore and performed CPR until emergency crews arrived. Hadlock was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Med. Center. Authorities said he died Monday (05-06).Read full story here.

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