Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Sea Tragedy-Life-Jacket,Seaboots Ultimate Killers?

by Marty Sharp, dompost.co.nz/Sail-World on 3 Sep 2008
Time To Burn capsized - photo by Jimmy Joe. .. .
An ill-fitting life jacket (or maybe lacking a crutch strap) and the weight of wet weather gear may have been the ultimate cause of the death of a sailor who lost his life when their yacht Time to Burn lost its keel off the coast of New Zealand.

Warren Clark told Marty Sharp of the Dominion Post that they both had trouble staying afloat after the incident because of the weight of their wet weather gear.

`I wanted to give up too. I kept on going because we were together.'

But after doing all he could to save his mate's life in the incident, Clark could only watch as he floated away, face down.

Cold and fatigue overcame Napier businessman Mike Claudatos early on Sunday after the 12-metre racing yacht the pair were sailing lost its keel and flipped.

They left Gisborne early on Saturday in Time To Burn and weren't far from Tauranga when the boat hit what Mr Clark believes was a discarded spinnaker from another yacht.

They were sailing at more than 30kmh in an easterly wind about 20 kilometres off the coast of Mt Maunganui about 5.20am on Sunday when they felt the yacht hit something.

'We sailed for another couple of hundred metres before the boat went on its side,' Mr Clark said. 'I was inside. Mike was steering. He came inside with me.'

The yacht remained on its side for 20 to 30 minutes, during which time the men were able to fire two flares and activate radio beacons.

'Claudy got out as the boat started turning upside down. I had three attempts at getting out.

'I broke the surface and there was Claudy at the back of the boat yelling out my name.

'He said his lifejacket was coming off. It kept coming up over his head.'

Mr Clark found a rope from the boat and threw it over the hull and around the upturned rudder, to give the men a way of clambering on to the hull.

'While I was tying off the rope I pulled Claudy out of the water three times.

'He kept going under. His lifejacket came off again. I put it back on.

'When I next turned to him to say, 'Claudy, we're made, we're going to be getting up on the hull,' he was face down and drifting away.

'You've got to remember we're in sea boots and wet-weather gear and we're getting dragged under. It saps your strength, it really does. I wanted to give up too.

'I kept on going because we were together. If Claudy had hung on for another 10 minutes he'd be here today with us.'

When Tauranga coastguards arrived about 7am, they found Mr Claudatos' body about 200 metres from the yacht.

Mr Claudatos, 52, and Mr Clark, 57, had been sailing together for 15 years. They bought Time to Burn with two others in 2002. She was designed in 1994, constructed by Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders and raced successfully ever since in New Zealand.

Maritime New Zealand will investigate the accident. The yacht has been salvaged and is being towed to Tauranga.

.......................................
Letter from Reader:
Sender: Manfred Schreiber

Message: Thanks for reporting this. Did not Larry Klein lost his life due to wearing seaboots after the 'balkony' of a Hobie 33 broke and he felt into the water in SF Bay many years ago. A tragedy as Dawn Riley´s father tried to save him. I am not wearing seaboots since than. No matter what the manufacturers are claiming about their quality.

PredictWind.com 2014Protector - 660 x 82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Adventures of a Sailor Girl in Bermuda!
Wow! Who would have thought that we would have to wait even longer for the start of the America's Cup events Wow! Who would have thought that we would have to wait even longer for the start of the America's Cup events when arriving here this week! I wonder who bet on a late start for all of the teams, when racing was officially postponed on the evening of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifier Series here last night!
Posted today at 8:42 am
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand is ready to race - Video
It's nearly time to race... The first race of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifiers is scheduled for May 27. It's nearly time to race... The first race of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifiers is scheduled for May 27. Emirates Team New Zealand Skipper Glenn Ashby: 'I am 100% confident we have the right men for the job'
Posted today at 4:44 am
Bermuda Soundings - We'll know tomorrow
The 35th America's Cup is expected to get underway tomorrow, May 27 at 1408hrs local time. The 35th America's Cup is expected to get underway tomorrow, May 27 at 1408hrs local time. The start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers was delayed by a day due to strong winds - which did eventuate but not at the level expected.
Posted today at 3:18 am
America's Cup - All teams to race twice in extended Day 1 & 2 schedule
After losing the first day of racing at the 35th America's Cup, the rescheduled series will get underway on Saturday After losing the first day of racing at the 35th America's Cup, the rescheduled series will get underway on Saturday May 27 at 2.00pm (1400hrs) local time and will continue until 5.00pm/1700hrs local time. An 8-12kts westerly breeze is expected for the start of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. Each team will now race twice a day
Posted today at 12:19 am
America's Cup - A look at 30 years of Kiwi Cup history - Video
3News prime time news magazine reviews 30 years of America's Cup involvement by three Kiwi entities 3News prime time news magazine reviews 30 years of America's Cup involvement by three Kiwi entities - New Zealand Challenge, Team New Zealand and Emirates Team New Zealand. Beginning with the 1986/87 Cup in Fremantle through the wins and losses and rebuilds.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand on the pedal power gamble
Other teams at the 35th America's Cup still have the view that Emirates Team NZ took a design risk by using cyclors All the other teams still have the view that Emirates Team NZ took a design risk by using bicycles, rather than more conventional pedestal grinders, to power their AC50. Although the human legs do have more power than the arms, there were a wide array of factors to consider, and it was not a decision taken lightly as Emirates Team NZ's Mechanical Engineer Tim Meldrum explains.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Brits put on Game Face as racing stalled for a day
Strong winds in Bermuda has meant that day one of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers is postponed. Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper remarked: “We are feeling good about starting the competition. It’s been documented that we’ve struggled with straight line speed in some of the practice races and that is something we are working really hard to rectify.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - 12 days of British coverage to be free to air + Video
Georgie Ainslie presents Inside Track which went live a few hours ago from the Land Rover BAR team in Bermuda. BT Sport are making the America's Cup more accessible to watch by broadcasting the first 12 days of live racing from the Qualifiers and the Challenger Play-off semi-finals plus highlights from the Challenger Final and the Match on BT's Freeview channel, BT Sport Showcase HD. In this report Catch Georgie Ainslie presenting Inside Track from Bermuda earlier today.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Extended racing hours to catch up first day's schedule
The strong winds forecast for the first day of racing in the 35th America's Cup have hit the Great Sound in Bermuda, but The strong winds forecast for the first day of racing in the 35th America's Cup have hit the Great Sound in Bermuda, but are less than predicted. But on all three locations monitored by Predictwind.com the wind strength is clearly outside the limits allowed for racing with out the need for the Regatta Director to exercise his discretion to take safety consideration into account.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Late rule change plugs 'Love-tap' redress gap
A late rule change has been implemented in the 35th America's Cup to addressing situations involving damage and redress A late rule change has been implemented in the 35th America's Cup to addressing situations similar to the serious collision on the second day of last Practice Session between Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR, which saw the Kiwi boat taken out of racing for a four day period.
Posted on 26 May