sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Nine-year-old: 'We're gonna sink. We're gonna die,' but family rescued

Nine-year-old: 'We're gonna sink. We're gonna die,' but family rescued

'Mitchell, West and Bradley James being interviewed by CTV after the incident'    .

'If one bad thing goes wrong, it just seems like it gets worse and worse and worse and that's what happened.' These were the words of rescued sailor Mitchell James, the Canadian skipper of the catamaran lost to the Pacific Ocean after he, his brother Bradley and nine-year-old nephew West were rescued over two hundred nautical miles off the coast of Honolulu.

'Worse and worse' could be described as an understatement. A family of three, who had previously done only coastal sailing, were attempting their first voyage across the Pacific when they ran into 40 knot winds and six metre seas.

First, they were dismasted, then tried to rig a jury sail, but the balance of the mast came down too.

They tried to motor, but finally the motor overheated in the high seas. Now they were drifting and called for help.

A ship came to the rescue, but collided with their yacht and they were thrown into the ocean. The yacht sank, leaving them at the mercy of the six metre seas.

The trio from Alberta, Canada, had been on a four-week journey, sailing from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Hilo, Hawaii, when they ran into the series of storms which were to prove fatal to the catamaran. The U.S. Coast Guard described the storm's intensity as 'extreme.'

The three used their satellite phone to issue a call for help to the U.S. Coast Guard around 5:30 p.m. local time Tuesday and waited for rescue.

The Coast Guard called on the crew of a 34,000 tonne 273 metre container ship, Horizon Reliance, about 120nm away. The ship is owned by Horizon Lines, which is a member of the greatly respected AMVER?nid=93770 group, a worldwide association of ships that provides voluntary assistance to boats and ships that become stranded at sea.

Hero ship Horizon Reliance - part of the voluntary world-wide alliance of AMVER -  .. .  

As a result of the company's participation in the scheme, Capt. James Kelleher and the crew of the 893-ft. Horizon Reliance container ship were directed by the U.S. Coast Guard to alter course at full speed to assist the 33-ft. sailboat and its crew of three, according to Horizon Lines.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, the ship located the trio, bobbing aboard their boat in the dark waters.

'Weather conditions were poor, with southwesterly winds gusting to 40 knots and sea swells in the 20-ft. range,' Horizon Lines said.

But then was the final straw. Just as the rescue began, the waves dashed the men's sailboat up against the massive tanker, badly damaging the sailboat and causing it to take on water.

Within minutes, the boat went down, throwing the trio into the sea. As the sailboat was destroyed, nine-year-old West James prepared for the worst, 'We're gonna sink. We're gonna die,' the boy said, according to his father, Bradley James.

The first piece of positive news was that the sailors were all wearing lifejackets with strobe lights, which enabled rescuers to keep them in sight in the dark.

The crew of the Horizon Reliance dropped a rope ladder over the side of the ship and threw a life ring in the water. They were able to pull Mitchell James over so that he could climb up.

Meanwhile, the waves had pushed Bradley James and his son around to the other side of the ship.

'While they were dealing with Mitch, we just got further and further away,' Bradley James told reporters in Honolulu Thursday.

While the ship tried to maneouvre around, James' son, Wesley, started to suffer the effects of the cold water.

'It didn't help that he'd done all these Cub Scout things and had learned about hypothermia and so he knew what was happening to him and he was a little bit worried,' James said, choking back tears.

'But I just kept saying, ‘You're fine.'

After close to another hour, the crew of the tanker was finally able to pull James and his son from the water. James said the entire crew of the ship was there to greet them aboard.

'It was just a gauntlet of happiness. It was all grown men and most of us had tears in our eyes,' he said, again choking back his own tears.

The crew gave the trio warm blankets, a place to sleep, and a hearty breakfast the next morning.

Jim Storey, spokesman for Horizon, which owns the cargo ship, said the company would be putting up the trio in a Honolulu hotel.

The Jameses set sail from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and headed for Hawaii. The boy's mother and teacher gave him permission to take the trip if he documented the journey, Storey said.

He'll certainly have a story to tell when he gets back to school!

Editor's Note:
The story suggests that the ship, instead of approaching the catamaran from the windward side, approached from the lee. This is unusual, as most ships in rescue situations attempt to put the yacht into the lee of the ship.

Of particular interest to sailors is that the story points out the importance of having strobe lights attached to life jackets




by Lee Mylchreest

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=93770

1:43 AM Fri 10 Feb 2012 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

12 Oct 2013  British sailor's collision with 120,000 tanker comes to court
14 Aug 2013  Shipwrecked sailor rescues Jack Russell, forgets wife
09 Aug 2013  Ouch! rocks at 4ft, draft over 7ft, not a good look at 6 knots
23 Jun 2013  Blind Japanese sailor's hopes dashed, rescued from liferaft
19 May 2013  Another 'couldn't cope' rescue - sailor 'too tired' to continue
26 Apr 2013  The moment 750,000 people won't forget
01 Mar 2013  The voyage that went wrong and more wrong and even more wrong...
09 Feb 2013  Slow boat to America - 30ft Japanese boat arrives Oregon
26 Jan 2013  Captain Calamity - 15 rescues but he doesn't want saving
10 Jan 2013  Capsized sailor's life jacket comes to the rescue
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World





Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,






































Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5 by American Windsurfing Tour,


















470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,






ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Finn leaders emerge from shifty Santander breeze   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - RS:X winner images by Barbara Sanchez   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 470 spots awarded   
52 Super Series 2015 - Outlook looks hot for the 52 Super Series   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - Another early start on day 4   
ISAF Sailing World - First entry leaves sailor's reputation in tatters   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard   
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result   
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO   
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT