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 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




























Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,










Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club? by Dan Ibsen & the Sail-World team, Copenhagen


Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta by Bruce Fleming, Santa Barbara
















J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe! by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight


J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate   
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Brazilian dance party   
IFDS Disabled Sailing Worlds Day 5 - USA fighting for Rio 2016 Berths   
J/111 World Championship 2014 - Day 4: Shmokin Joe consolidates lead   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi on top - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Breezy frustrations   
2014 Detroit Cup - Down to the final four   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Every finisher's a winner   
2014 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
J/24 US National Championship - Will Welles leaps into lead   
J/111 World Championships - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 – Day 2   
Light wind and a freak storm at Youth Olympic Sailing Competition   
31st Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Declared 'best ever'   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Aussies on fire   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Saturday’s racing images by Tim Wilkes   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Day 5 images by Jude Robertson   
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Champ - Day 3 images by Joy Dunigan   
Holt’s 25-year dream comes true with 505 Worlds Victor   


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