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



















Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,






2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan








Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,




2014 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship - Day 2
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; MC38s Lindeman Island Race VIDEO
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Ready to rock
IFDS Worlds - Wind delays, but racing continues in Halifax
IFDS World Championships - Day 2 images by Jude Robertson
MS Cup - Three days until the start
America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature   
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3   
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.   
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled   
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT